NM’s 20 Question Challenge: Climate Campaigner Blair Palese


1. How do you get your news?

Twitter, the Guardian, ABC, New York Times, the Economist and New Matilda.


2. The best thing about News Corp is…

No-one is buying News Corp papers anymore!


3. What issue should be number one on Australia’s political agenda?

Climate change – the issue of our time. I’m also very concerned about economic planning for life after fossil fuels and how we support the communities impacted; education and innovation funding; having an immigration policy we can be proud of (especially as climate change means MORE boats, not less!) and finally, how we create decentralised democracy that encourages smart government, not poll-driven, least common denominator and most popular guy (usually a guy!) politicking.


4. If you could force the PM to work one day in another job, which job would you nominate for him?

A nurse on Manus Island.


5. What is the best/worst tweet you’ve ever seen?

Worst: From the people trying to cook the planet with the Tarsands pipeline. What could possibly go wrong with this plan:


6. What are you reading at the moment?

Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.


7. Who would you like to get stuck in an elevator with and why?

Maurice Newman. To check for tin foil.


8. What’s the weirdest thing you have in your house?

A collection of Mexican religious icons.


9. You get drunk with Joe Hockey at a Liberal Party fundraiser and he agrees to let you change one thing in the budget, what do you change?

I’d eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies. It would be so worth the Grange hangover.


10. The headline you’d most like to see on the front of a daily newspaper?

Paris climate meeting leads to historic global agreement to address climate change, radically reduce emissions.


11. If you could take one person from history on a date, who would it be?

Rainer Maria Rilke.


12. If you were offered, say, a $60,000 scholarship to study anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Should be the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany but I’d go for the Italian Language School, Amalfi Coast.


13. You’re Andrew Bolt for the day, what crazy right-wing conspiracy theory would you advance?

Global temperature is increasing directly in proportion to the number of solar panels installed. Coincidence?


14. Cat person or dog person?

Hate to say it…Cat.


15. What’s the best dish you can cook?

Pretty pleased with my perfectly textured mushroom risotto.


16. Which Australian thinker or leader inspires you?

Gillian Triggs for speaking truth to power.


17. Favourite movie?

Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire.


18. Corniest joke you’ve ever heard?

What’s the difference between a plum and an elephant? They’re both purple except the elephant.


19. What image should hang on the wall of the PM’s office?

The Bureau of Meteorology’s weather forecasting chart with new deep purple and pink colours that extend the temperature range beyond 50 degrees. Sadly 50’s the new 40!


20. Guest question: You can only save one of Johnny Depp’s dogs from the wrath of Barnaby Joyce, Boo or Pistol. Who will it be, and why?

I’d have to go with Boo – the non-violent activist in me has a hard time with the name Pistol.


21. What question would you like to see the next person asked?

What one issue would make you quit your job and give up everything to work on?

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.