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“The Cut” is a weekly reporters notebook-type essay by an Ideastream Public Media content creator, reflecting on the news and on life in Northeast Ohio. What exactly does “The Cut” mean? It's a throwback to the old days of using a razor blade to cut analog tape. In radio lingo, we refer to sound bites as “cuts.” So think of these behind-the-scene essays as “cuts” from Ideastream's producers.

Got questions about climate change? Let us know!

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This September will mark my one-year anniversary of reporting on the environment and climate change here at Ideastream Public Media. While my reporting has allowed me to become much more knowledgeable about environmental issues, concerns and solutions in the region, I’m still learning something new with every story.

Don’t get me wrong, learning is one of my favorite parts of my job. But, if I’m being honest, I’ve only scratched the surface of climate and climate change across the 22-county region that Ideastream Public Media serves.

I’ve enjoyed tackling the big-picture stories like the EPA’s conservation efforts across the Great Lakes region, and I’ve had fun covering local environmental efforts like an elementary school litter clean-up squad. But now that I’ve settled into my role, I wonder whether it’s time to get back to the basics.

There have been times where I’ve walked into interviews or hopped into Zoom calls and said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. But if you can take a second to explain it to me, it would really help.”

It's my hope that the stories I produce can help explain these issues to you.

With that in mind, I want to know how to better help you.

We hear a lot about how our climate is changing. Sure, it’s always been changing, but now it’s happening faster and the changes are coming with more severe consequences. Oh, and if we don’t act fast, life as we know it will be forever changed and there will be no going back.

I can’t deny that. That’s simply what the science says. But I also can’t deny that, even as someone who reports on this stuff full time, it’s a lot to process and make sense of. It can be draining to hear time and time again that the state of the planet is constantly threatened by factors that can seem so out of our control.

I’d like to know how my reporting can answer your questions or addresses concerns you might have about Northeast Ohio’s environment, climate change and proposed climate solutions.

I can’t do that without knowing what questions you have. So, we’ve put together an online form so you can let us know directly what environmental stories you’d like to see and hear online and on the air.

Maybe you’re skeptical about the science — let us know and I’ll get a local climate expert to break down those big facts and figures for us in a way that makes sense. Or, if you’re unsure how effective an electric vehicle would be in reducing your carbon footprint, I can dive into a pros and cons list of EVs and the electric vehicle industry.

You might just want to know why there’s less snow on your kids’ favorite sledding hill each winter. Or why the pond you’ve fished since you were five has less fish than it used to. Or why you’re forced to mow your lawn well into fall and shovel your driveway weeks into spring.

We’ll ask for your name, along with contact information and where you’re writing from. If you’d like us to reach out directly to discuss your topic further, be sure to check those boxes in the form!

I’m hoping that through this process, I’ll be able to expand my environmental reporting across Northeast Ohio and better report on topics and issues you all might be thinking about or experiencing every day.

So, ask us your questions. I can’t promise I’ll have all the answers, but I’ll be sure to find someone who does.

Zaria Johnson is a reporter/producer at Ideastream Public Media covering the environment.