Thom Mitchell And New Matilda Want To Keep the Bastards Honest At The Paris Climate Talks


New Matilda has launched a mini-fundraiser – the first of several which are aimed at both securing the future of the site for another year, and taking our reporting to the next level. Chris Graham explains.

Australia is in no position to lecture the world about climate change.

We’re one of the worst carbon polluters on earth per capita; we’re the only nation on earth to actually abolish an emissions trading scheme; and Malcolm Turnbull – the man who said he would die in a ditch in the fight to tackle climate change – has just approved a coal mine in the Galilee Basin that will pump out four times the carbon emissions of New Zealand in a single year. And we’re definitely the only country on earth who had a minister and prime minister laugh about the affects of climate change on small Pacific Islands at a public meeting.

In short, as a nation, our inaction on climate is pretty disgusting.

And that’s why we’re hoping New Matilda readers will help send our gun environmental reporter, Thom Mitchell to France in November, to cover the Paris Climate Talks.

The Paris Climate Talks are a gathering of world leaders to try and nut out a deal which limits global warming of to 2 degrees… ie. they’re meeting to determine the future of the planet.

Basically, we want to go to Paris to try and help keep the bastards honest… our bastards, and all the other bastards. We’ll be the only genuinely independent Australian media outlet there, and one of the only independent outlets in the world.

We’ve launched a modest fundraiser on Pozible which we hope our readers will consider supporting. We’re seeking $10,000 to cover the talks – that will cover Thom’s flights ($2,500), Accommodation for 20 days ($4,500), travel insurance ($1000) and a daily stipend so Thom can eat, and travel (20 days, $100 a day).

Thom-MItchell-LThom Mitchell has worked hard this year to bring you important environmental news as it happens.

In the course of his first year in reporting, Thom has revealed that Whitehaven Coal had a ‘phantom greenie’ on a key environmental panel; he’s pursued the Carmichael Coal Mine relentlessly; and last month Thom’s deft use of FOI documents revealed that a major port expansion on the Tiwi island done without any environmental approval was a combination of government bungling, and suspicions of deceit on the part of the port developers (that story is ongoing by the way – Thom broke a fresh angle on it yesterday, regarding local concerns about plans by the US military to use the port. And a new FOI story is scheduled for early in the week).

In short, if you help fund Thom to the Paris climate talks, you’re helping genuine independent Australian media provide independent DAILY coverage of a crucially important international event.

And we’ll sweeten the deal a little – readers who contribute will receive regular email ‘insider’ updates on what’s happening behind the scenes. This is a service only available to people who contribute to this fundraiser. There’s additional goodies for high-level supporters as well.

If we exceed our funding goal – big ask, but you can always hope – then the additional money will be directed specifically towards our environmental reporting into 2016. We might even send Thom off on a quick detour on the way home to bring you more great independent, environmental reporting (suggestions welcome!).

NOTE: Our Paris Climate Talks fundraiser is the first in a series of mini-fundraisers we’re launching to help take New Matilda to the next level. Our goal is to raise at least $200,000 by Christmas 2015 on a series of specific projects, thus helping to secure the future of New Matilda for another year. More details next week.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.