I've been unusually quiet, here - just wanted to let you all know what's going on. This is my last week at Grist, next week I start full time as a trainee electrician.
Over the last few years I've found myself feeling increasingly jealous of the people I interview - foresters, power plant workers, farmers - in short people who interact with physical atoms rather than bits.
At the same time I've found it increasingly hard to get past the tough parts of writing: the crappy first draft, and the edits revealing my failures.
All my life work has been an adventure. Raft guiding was an adventure for the first 3 years, writing for the first 17. Now slithering into crawlspaces has me happier than I've felt in years.
The work is like a real world logic problem that needs to be solved using oversized lego pieces. I've found a wonderful mentor, named John Cazden, who is a delight to work with. I'm taking community college night classes.
It feels good to be doing something that is unequivocally useful. After years of writing about climate policy in the abstract, its unbelievably satisfying to be directly electrifying everything. After so much talking, what a relief to start doing.
It's also crazy, after journalism, to jump to a field where I can just drop out of the blue and find a great job locally in a couple days. I'm taking an initial pay cut, but potential pay is far higher. Why didn't anyone tell me about the trades!?
I've just followed my gut, and what made me happy, to this place, so I haven't fully understood/rationalized it. I'm feeling that old urge to write, to figure out what's going on... Maybe this is just the pandemic. Maybe it's my midlife crisis. But I'm happy.
I still think journalism is wonderful, and @grist is just about the best place in the world to practice it. I'll miss the connection to brilliant, driven people -- ie you -- but I'll still be here from time to time. Here's to courageously embracing change.
@grist Two last pieces - this just published. And I have a major narrative treatment filling in the insane details in Ohio's utility corruption saga coming after I depart grist.org/climate-energy…
@grist So it seems like this may have struck a chord for people. If you are looking for transformation you might do what I did and talk to @scottpoynton who is helping folks with transitions. I had a couple clarifying sessions with him.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Nathanael Johnson

Nathanael Johnson Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @SavorTooth

23 Sep 21
🧵 The wildfires in California are extraordinary, and the more I report on them the more amazing they seem - a few examples from my latest piece: grist.org/wildfires/outp…
Jeff Marsolais, Eldorado National Forest supervisor: "All of the fuels experts I have been around — people with 40-, 50-year careers — have never seen conditions like this. We were ordering up air tankers for initial fire attacks in January." January!
California is ramping up efforts to thin forests, cut brush, and do prescribed burns ramping up spending 16-fold year over year. But it takes a little while to do the environmental assessments of those projects and line up the contractors (especially on federal land - NEPA)
Read 15 tweets
4 Jun 21
I get frustrated with environmental NIMBY's who block clean energy projects. But I also agree with their arguments: solar plants can trample tribal rights, kill tortoises, and alter aesthetics of the landscape. Those thing hit me in the gut. wsj.com/articles/solar…
The frustration sets in when no one frankly acknowledges that EVERY new clean power station is going to "destroy this land forever,” wherever that land may be. And EVERY big infrastructure project like this requires balancing the wishes and rights of different groups.
It's easy to point out the problems with a proposal. But doing so relies on the assumption that the alternatives are not going to be even worse. And with the climate warming we shouldn't make that assumption. The motto "Come back later with something better," = status quo
Read 7 tweets
24 Mar 21
So much good stuff happening at @grist - the website. Remodeled down to the studs. grist.org And wait, there's more
A great Grist 50 is out: grist.org/grist-50/2021/
A hopeful piece from @shannonosaka on sneaky climate policy. "It’s not particularly sexy, or particularly interesting. And that’s the whole point. 'Lack of public attention is a feature, not a bug,' @atrembath explained." Historically, it's how bills pass
Read 7 tweets
24 Mar 21
Tomorrow night Berkeley, CA, will vote on ending single family zoning. It's something local activist Dorothy Walker has been working on for half a century. My story: grist.org/cities/zoned-o…
Cities across the US are allowing more diverse housing by doing away with single family zones - see also Oakland, San Jose, which are exploring the idea
When @loridroste introduced it in Berkeley with @TaplinTerry and @RigelRobinson she hammered out this epic thread. I read it and thought - wait really?
Read 13 tweets
22 Jul 20
My buddies @mehannibal and @the_wrangler on opposite sides of the John Muir debate latimes.com/local/californ… My two cents:
Instead of canceling the guy, I wish we would take this opportunity to understand the man in full -- not just as a prophet or a wilderness mystic, but as an affluent farmer who went to war with nature on his ranch, but deemed it sacred when hiking in the mountains.
He was perfectly happy to extract resources from the natural world to support himself, but condemned Native Americans for doing the same in the places he wanted to hike, and helped kick them off their land.
Read 8 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!