Editor Saught for Climate Change Book

A friend of a friend from college (Mac Funk) is writing a rather interesting sounding book on responses to climate destabilization and he is looking for a researcher/editorial assistant.

Hi all,

As some of you know, I’m working on a book, which has the tentative title “Best Laid Plans.” It will someday—hopefully sooner than later—be published by Penguin Press, where my editor is Eamon Dolan, the guy behind “Fast Food Nation” and many other titles.

The topic, roughly speaking, is climate change—though less the science and environmental impacts than the business and social response—and reporting it has meant lots of travel: Nunavut, the Chukchi Sea, Arctic Norway, Denmark, NYC, Russia, India, and Bangladesh so far, Nigeria, Greenland, the South Pacific, Spain, Singapore, China, Israel…and Iowa still to come. Reporting it also means lots of research, and I’m realizing I’ll need some help if I’m to make my deadline. So I’m looking to hire an assistant for a job starting July 1 and lasting for nine months to a year. Please pass this along to anyone who might be interested.

Some quick details:
Location: Seattle or elsewhere (working remotely is possible, though not ideal)
Pay: ≈ starting full-time magazine salary if in Seattle; hourly if working remotely (minimum 30 hours/week)
Benefits: catastrophic health insurance if in Seattle, plus free ballpoint pens from my personal collection
Duties: 75% research/reporting; 15% scheduling interviews/travels; 10% hateful tasks (read: transcription)

The bulk of the work will be directed research projects: Find out if Tuvaluans—whose own country may be submerged by rising seas—are really buying up plots of land in nearby Fiji. Tell me if investment is flowing toward California’s firefighting industry. Tell me what the Russians are planning in the Arctic for summer ’09. The assistant will need to make calls and send emails to various parts of the world—and have strong Google skills. He or she will also run support as I travel abroad, setting up interviews and the like, and will help me keep track of relevant news; an hour of reading the newspaper each morning will be encouraged.

Above all, I’m hoping to find someone who I can trust to be smarter than I am—someone who can immediately grasp concepts, big and small. A journalism/editorial background would be extremely helpful, though I’m not 100% biased on that front. Because the focus of the book is not climate change itself, but rather the response to climate change, knowledge of international relations or the business world is as likely to be useful as scientific training. An appreciation of and nose for detail—especially weird detail—is a major plus.

Anyone who might be interested should read the Harper’s article “Cold Rush: The Coming Fight for the Melting North,” which the book grew out of. It’s at www.harpers.org/archive/2007/09/0081685 [Subscription Required]. Applicants can email me a resume directly.


Email mckenziefunk [at} yahoo {dot] com

Hat-tip Japhet K.