x

Fund journalism projects directly

Get access to every story on Beacon

Directly fund your favorite writers

Beacon empowers writers by letting you fund their work directly. That means you, the reader, decide which writers and stories get published instead of advertisers.

Support journalism around the world

There are hundreds of projects on Beacon that you can fund directly. We’ve made it easy browse and search for topics you’ll love. With Beacon, you can enable journalism all around the world.

Pledge on your own terms

It’s easy to enable great journalism through one-time pledges or ongoing subscriptions. You can pay by credit card, PayPal, or Amazon, and cancel your subscriptions at any time.

A clean, ad-free reading experience

Beacon was designed from the ground up to be a clean and simple reading experience that looks and feels great on any screen. It wasn’t easy, but trust us, it was worth it.

Defending the Desert

Reported by Chris Clarke

Help me report on the North American deserts, and I’ll give you a story a week on the continent’s most intact, most threatened, and most biologically diverse ecosystems.

Back this work
*This project is live and producing stories.
At 50 backers Chris Clarke can provide sustainable reporting you won't get anywhere else.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • One original story a week, on threats facing the desert.

  • Exclusive interactions with me in BEACON discussion forums.

  • Access to every story, by every writer on BEACON.

  • My top-level backers will get a “Desert Defender” T-shirt in a size of their choice, courtesy of the folks at BEACON.

America’s deserts are under assault.

Long considered barren and empty, useless for anything but nuclear testing and toxic waste dumping, the arid lands of North America have long been spared the overwhelming development visited on places like the Great Plains’ grasslands and the West Coast’s old growth forests.

But the deserts aren’t barren. They’re not empty. The North American deserts have their own rich biological diversity, and a rich cultural history as well. North America’s deserts make up almost 800,000 square miles of largely intact habitat.

desert

But because they’re seen as barren, our deserts are targeted for the kinds of developments that wouldn’t fly in more heavily populated areas, like landfills and sewage sludge dumps. And as our society confronts its contributions to climate change, the desert is increasingly offered up as a sacrifice so that people who live elsewhere can go “green” without rethinking their lifestyles.

The landscapes that are the soul of North America are being threatened.

With your help, I’ll report on those threats — and on the unique natural and cultural aspects of the desert that are so very worth preserving.

You? Add your name to the list →

Lane McCoy

Dennis Reynolds

Jim Andre

Bob Bond

Florian Boyd

Marion Urban

David Lowe

Dipika S Kadaba

Serene Ong

Charles Jones

Veronica Bowers

Jim Dodson

Andrew MacKellar

wendy wilke

Meg Foley

Rob Mrowka

Laurie Jones Neighbors

Richard E Davis

Kim Whitney

Robert Vaughn

Elizabeth A. Nunn

Maggie Fusari

PZ Myers

David Becker

Leslie Sobel

Sherrie Wesberry

John Wall

Will Mattsson

Jill Giegerich

Wally Borgeson

Sonya shiffer

Jim Andre

Gloria Putnam

John Feeney

Jym Dyer

Kristjan Wager

Charles Hohn

Kenn Kaufman

Lorraine Salas

amanda bellerby

Marie Choi

Ryan Chriatensen

Heather Driscoll

John Hansen

Vance Dubberly

John Mitchell

Yaney MacIver

Rachel Shaw

Scott Sexton

Brent Kryda

Jane Tsong

Ann Wellington

Randy Lyman

Janine Blaeloch

Nathaniel Frein

Michael Dennt

Robert Greacen

Veronica Sullivan

John Stendahl

Pamela Richards

Gordon MacGinitie

Arvind Baddepudi

Donald Newell

Cecile Christensen

Robert Carr

Florian Weller

Sherri Andrews

Tiffany Arnold

Teri Macias

Steven Lawrence

Lawrence Hogue

James Stanger

Patrick O'Driscoll

Bonnie Brady

Terry Weiner

Jim Dodson

Connie Barlow

Kenneth Sitz

Lynda Armbruster

Samuel Thomasson

Carson Blaker

Robert Ellis

Eric Perlmutter

Bill Harris

Kevin Keith

norbert lies

Leslie Sobel

Jack Freer

Kevin Hayes

Lyn Dunagan

Jacob Forman

Florian Boyd

Deborah Bollinger

Deanna Pineda

Bora Zivkovic

Eric Merrell

Gabriela Ziolkowski

Shawn Miklaucic

Madhusudan Katti

Tiffany Rojas

Plus 42 others who want to read stories about Defending the Desert
Chris Clarke hasn't posted an update yet

Chris Clarke BIOGRAPHY

I’ve been reporting on Western environmental issues since the late 1980s, at first for local grassroots environmental publications and then branching into the mainstream. My work has received an Utne Alternative Press Award, and a respectable showing in the Advocacy Journalism section of the 2013 Los Angeles Press Club Awards.

Aside from publications I’ve edited, including the award-winning Earth Island Journal, my work has appeared in Orion, Camas, Bay Nature, California Wild, the New Internationalist, and about thirty daily papers nationwide. I write about 500 pieces a year for Los Angeles’ KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is Beacon?

    Beacon lets you back original reporting by experienced writers around the world. By backing one writer you get access to their stories as well as every story by every writer on Beacon.

  • How does Beacon work?

    You pay a monthly or one-time fee that directly supports a writer of your choice. They use that money to find and publish new and exclusive stories that you want to read. You get access to their stories so long as you back their work.

  • How do I read the stories?

    You'll get an e-mail update whenever the writer you back posts a new story. You can read them online or on mobile through this site. We'll also send you a weekly e-mail newsletter, with the best stories across Beacon.

  • Do I need a recurring subscription?

    Although a recurring subscription is the best way to support a project, you can also pay upfront for a fixed-length subscription. You can cancel a recurring subscription at any time.

  • Is this different than crowdfunding?

    It is a new form of crowdfunding. Traditional crowdfunding isn't well suited to journalism because it requires on going support. Beacon helps make crowdfunded journalism more sustainable.

  • How can I help this project succeed?

    Tell a friend. Sharing this page by email is best, but sharing on Facebook and Twitter can help spread the word and make sure the project is fully funded.

Stories about Defending the Desert need to be told

Help Chris Clarke bring them to BEACON. At 50 backers, Chris Clarke can provide sustainable reporting on the topic you won't get anywhere else.

Back this work