What We Do
The Energy Mix is a community news site and e-digest on climate change, energy, and the shift off carbon. It’s published by Energy Mix Productions Inc., a Canadian non-profit headquartered on unceded Algonquin Anishnaabe territory, also known as Ottawa. We respect the sovereignty of the many Indigenous peoples and communities on whose land our work takes place.
Everything we do is meant to bring the climate news you need to a wider community.
Since May 2014, we’ve summarized the best of that material in a free e-digest that you can request direct to your email inbox.
Each week, we scan 1,200 or more news headlines to find the groundbreaking, provocative, hopeful, or sobering stories that help you make sense of a complex, fast-moving issue.
We produce original news reporting, analysis, and exposés to shine a light on the urgency of the climate emergency, the successes in getting the crisis under control, and the obstacles that still stand in the way.
We act as a centring point—in functional terms, an aggregator and a rewrite desk—for the avalanche of climate news that appears every morning, making it easier to track the most important stories and cut through the backlog on email and social media.
Then we archive all our stories on this indexed, searchable site.
We’re testing a new approach to opinion leader journalism where we identify audiences that can have disproportionate influence in driving faster, deeper carbon cuts, then deliver the content and analysis that will help them get that work done.
And we’re a bit of an experiment in new media, using a journalist’s commitment to facts and evidence as a tool to support faster, deeper emission cuts.
We’re a proud member of Climate Action Network-Canada, unlike a traditional news outlet that would stay one step removed from any news source.
We’re a part of the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada and the Online News Association, and an active participant in the Covering Climate Now news collaborative, unlike a full-fledged environmental NGO that wouldn’t usually declare itself media.
We’re also one of the lead partners behind the Green Resilience Project, a Canada-wide series of local listening sessions on the links between income security, local resilience, and climate action. It’s a step beyond anything a media organization would usually take on, and it’s brought us a richness of front-line insights that we couldn’t have picked up any other way. We’re planning to continue and expand the Green Resilience Project, and we’re curious to learn how a community news outlet and a community outreach initiative can inform and complete each other.
Straddling that line turns out to be a great vantage point to track a large, complex, global crisis, tell the story of the effort to solve it, and help readers find the best way to make a difference.
Who We Are
The Energy Mix is produced by:
PPM at birth: 317
Mitchell is founding publisher and managing editor of The Energy Mix. He is rumoured to be a frighteningly fast writer, after working seven years as a journalist, 35-plus as a commercial writer, 45-plus as a sustainable energy and climate specialist, and now again as a journalist and editor. In October, 2019, he delivered a TEDx Ottawa talk on building wider public support for faster, deeper carbon cuts. He received the Clean50 Lifetime Achievement Award in October 2022.
Passions: Energy and climate solutions, clear writing (from other writers), improv comedy.
Proud moment: Building a model wind turbine out of wooden stir sticks with his daughter when she was 11 years old.
Favourite quote: “The plural of anecdote is not evidence.”
Climate action superpower: Imagining how “unusual suspects” can see themselves in a picture of a post-carbon future, then putting a foundation under the idea. Helping people balance climate anxiety with climate solutions, and vice versa.
PPM at birth: 341
Farida has worked as a writer and editor in the media and journalism fields for nearly 10 years. She joined The Energy Mix in 2021 hoping to make a small contribution where it matters. Farida holds a Master of Journalism degree and aspires to report on sustainability and social justice as soon as she (imminently) gets her act together.
Passions: Short stories, history, rare eight-hour nights of sleep.
Proud moment: Bicycled from Vancouver to Seattle without GPS (spent the night in a post office, but hey, what’s life without a few wrong turns?)
Climate action superpower: Practitioner of the lost arts of walking places and mending things.
PPM at birth: 320
Gaye is a senior writer for The Mix. She has been a climate activist for more than 10 years, often via the written word, and is a former part-time English professor at the University of Ottawa.
Passions: Winter, oceans, poetry, and riding her bike.
Proudest moment: Watching her daughter, then age 10, speak before a crowd of 10,000 at the 100% Possible rally held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in November 2015, a few days before the signing of the Paris Agreement.
Favourite quote: “Have courage, and be kind.”
Climate action superpower: Claims not to have climate action superpower. Does carry a gorgeous, bright yellow umbrella that keeps out the rain and wind and doubles as a stick with which to (gently) whack climate deniers.
PPM at birth: 355
Chris is a staff writer for The Energy Mix. He has several years’ experience sustainably raising livestock and works to make the policy process more accessible to farmers.
Passions: Canoeing, history.
Proudest moment: Becoming a father.
Climate action superpower: Grazing sheep in pasture-based systems to sequester carbon in soils.
PPM at birth: 324
Melissa brings passion, commitment, and more than 15 years of senior-level experience as a development and communications professional. She’s led philanthropic campaigns for Canadian non-profit organizations working in animal welfare, child and women’s health, and environment and conservation, and understands the challenges faced by organizations whose missions are not typically easily funded. Helping to foster a culture of philanthropy, taking broad concepts and creating relatable narratives, and strengthening the case to support projects are the goals that get her up (very early) in the morning.
Passions: Animals and nature; smart, funny people; my parents’ laughter; writing, cooking, and gardening. Melissa also stops to talk with any dog or baby she encounters.
Proud moment: Professionally—designing and delivering a logistically intense donor expedition to the baby seal nursery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Personally—being a good daughter.
Climate action superpower: Listening, learning, and finding my place within the climate solutions that will move us forward to heal our fragile world.
Manager, Special Projects
PPM at birth: 333
Janet Patterfung spent her first year on the Energy Mix team as Project Manager of the Green Resilience Project, a series of community conversations on the links between climate change, income security, and community resilience. With more than 15 years of experience in fundraising, events, and community engagement, Janet is currently fundraising to supercharge The Mix and continue the work of Green Resilience.
Passions: Pets & wildlife, climate justice, human rights, a perfectly ripe peach.
Proud moment: Watching my five-year-old child, who is afraid of bugs, rescue one from drowning.
Climate action superpower: The ability to connect with people.
PPM at birth: 341
Eric is the digital manager of The Energy Mix, including the website and e-digest. He has 20 years of experience in branding, graphic design, web development and email marketing communication.
Passions: Baseball, art, music and whiskey.
Proudest moment: Marrying his wife, Sarah.
Climate action superpower: Exploring the environmental impacts of animal agriculture and promoting vegetarian/vegan alternatives.
Marketing Strategist and Copywriter
PPM at birth: 327
Karri is a climate policy analyst turned regenerative wool farmer and knitwear designer. She also serves as a marketing strategist and copywriter for The Energy Mix. With more than 25 years of experience in the national not-for-profit sector, Karri now lives, plays, creates, and farms at Fermes Leystone Farms on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin Peoples in west Québec.
Passions: Sheep, wool, and knitting, climate justice, community building.
Proud moment: Serving as a sheep midwife to her ewe, Cara Dune, as she navigated a difficult birth. (This was also the first time Karri was present at the birth of an animal.)
Favourite quote: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Climate action superpower: Bridging the worlds of federal climate policy with localized, tangible agricultural practices that benefit the climate.
Digital Advertising Manager
PPM at birth: 366
Sarah has an environmental studies background and is completing her masters in Barcelona on bottom-up rural initiatives in sustainable transitions. Experiences in green journalism, content writing, and environmental policy fed her interest for environmental communications.
Passions: Wildlife, photography.
Proud moment: When her low-maintenance plant grows a new leaf, or getting 70 mosquito bites on one hand after a day in the swamp.
Climate action superpower: Appreciation and willingness to understand diverse worldviews and ways of living.
PPM at birth: 320
Jody is a freelance writer for The Energy Mix. She lives and writes on the traditional Treaty 7 territory of the Blackfoot confederacy and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. Jody trained as a journalist, is a web content strategist by day and a political blogger by night, and recently became a grandmother.
Passions: Photography, bicycles, music, movies, thunderstorms, and reading several books at once (translation: has a short attention span).
Favourite quote: “You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.” (Ursula K. LeGuin)
Proudest moment: Starting over in my late 40’s—taking my life back. And lacing up my roller skates again without any major injuries (so far).
Climate action superpower: As a former PR person for the fossil fuel industry I’ve now switched sides and bring my inside knowledge to bear.
The Climate News Network team
In September, 2021, The Energy Mix merged with the United Kingdom-based Climate News Network and welcomed four colleagues with well over a century of combined experience in journalism and journalism training.
The Network was launched in 2014 after a discussion about think tanks funded by the fossil fuel lobby pushing out propaganda designed to sow doubt on climate science. Its objective was to redress the balance and give developing world journalists (who the founding editors had trained) an accurate daily news service on climate and related subjects like energy, biodiversity, and food supply.
Two members of the Energy Mix/Climate News Network team, Alex Kirby and Paul Brown, enabled our Ottawa-based news site to deliver daily, on-the-ground coverage of the 2021 United Nations climate summit, COP 26, in Glasgow, Scotland—without emitting a single gram of carbon dioxide for air travel.
Alex began in journalism as a Reuters stringer in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. It’s been downhill ever since, though 26 years at the BBC let him pay the rent. He’s spent the last eight years learning the job from his youngers and betters.
Passions: The British countryside and its pubs.
Proud moment: Writing several stories which prompted changes in government policies on poverty, nuclear power, and human rights. Oh, and whales. The rest of the job was inconsequential fun.
Favourite quote: From a colleague who remained in Baghdad as the first Gulf War began: “I stayed to tell our listeners what was happening in their name.”
Climate action superpower: (Remembering the question every journalist should ask themselves before doing an interview): “Why is this lying ******* telling me this particular lie at this particular moment?”
Journalist from the age of 16 in weekly, evening, and daily newspapers, first in New Zealand and then the UK. He was, successively, letters editor, arts editor, literary editor, and science editor of the Guardian, with a brief 1970s career as a film critic too. He has also written for, among other journals, Nature, the Lancet, and the London Review of Books. His appetite for climate science dates from the 1988 Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere.
Passions: Books, walking, travel, family.
Favourite quote: “In a democracy, scientists have an obligation to explain their science. Unfortunately, there is no corresponding obligation to listen. That’s where we come in.”
Climate action superpower: Fear of failure. Another self-quote: “My experience of journalism is if you’re not hounded by fear, panic, and a profound sense of inadequacy, then you’re doing it wrong.”
Paul Brown worked as a reporter and news editor on a number of British regional and national newspapers for 40 years, leaving the Guardian in August 2005 after 24 years, 16 as environment correspondent. He has written nine books, four for children, mostly about environmental subjects.
Paul has taught journalism in more than 25 countries over the last 10 years for the Guardian Foundation and the United National Environment Programme.
Our Board of Directors is:
Mitchell is founding publisher and managing editor of The Energy Mix. He is rumoured to be a frighteningly fast writer, after working seven years as a journalist, 35-plus as a commercial writer, and 40-plus as a sustainable energy and climate specialist. In October, 2019, he delivered a TEDx Ottawa talk on building wider public support for faster, deeper carbon cuts
Vicky is communications lead at Climate Action Network Canada and a graduate of the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University in K’jipuktuk (Halifax), where she studied international development and contemporary studies. Vicky has worked with a range of organizations focussing on climate action, food security, and children’s rights, as well as with obscure theatre companies and the Canadian Museum of Immigration. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor adventures and tries with limited success to keep her plants alive.
Stephen Hazell M.Sc. LL.B.
Stephen is an environmental lawyer and founder of Ecovision. He served as executive director of Sierra Club Canada and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, as a partner and counsel with a leading Ottawa-based energy and environmental consulting firm, and as director of a federal environmental regulatory program. Stephen was policy director and general counsel at Nature Canada until December 2019, and continues to serve there as emeritus counsel. He has taught environmental law at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.
Sheila is co-chair of the Basic Income Canada Network and former executive director of the National Council of Welfare. Her 29 years of federal public service spanned front-line work, policy analysis and development, international relations, and senior management, with a focus on improving fairness and equality, and on gender and race in particular. She has policy expertise in areas of income security and taxation, such as child tax benefits, child support, maternity/parental benefits, pensions, and social assistance. Her insight also comes from experiencing poverty as a young parent. Sheila is grateful, in her retirement, to have resources, time, and health to do volunteer work and help care for twin grandsons.
Kim Scott, MSc
Kim is a performance measurement specialist with a keen interest in the nexus between human health, energy democracy, and sustainability. She is the founder of Kishk Anaquot Health Research, an Indigenous-owned and -operated consultancy, co-chair of the Advisory Council for the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise, and a member of the Canadian Sustainability Indicators Network. She currently serves as an external member of the departmental audit committees for Global Affairs Canada and Parks Canada. She supports the strategic direction of the National Collaborating Center on Determinants of Health and the development of a governance structure for the Ărramăt research project on conservation, biodiversity, and health. A life-long supporter of solar energy, she has designed and built a passive solar home, systematically reduced her own carbon footprint into carbon-negative territory, and is in the process of continuing to alter her lifestyle to live on the resources of one earth.
Using Our Content
Our content is here to be used and shared. So please do! If you republish or summarize one of our stories, please include a credit line with a link back to the original story page.
If you see news happening, or want to submit a story or an idea, we want to hear from you. But please read these instructions first.
Each week, we scan more than 1,200 headlines to come up with our initial story lineup. From that wider pool of content, we distill the 36 original stories or curated news summaries that fill out our digest.
So space limitations are one of the guiding realities for every edition of The Energy Mix.
We welcome ideas that:
- Are substantive, not promotional
- Address one or multiple aspects of the impacts and risks of climate change, the rise of renewable energy and other climate solutions, and the accelerating collapse of the fossil industries
- Offer a balanced, evidence-based perspective on the pathways to a post-carbon future
- Present an unexpected or offbeat aspect of an issue that is already in circulation
It shouldn’t have to be said, but we don’t accept content that denies the reality of climate change, or the central role of human activity in triggering the climate emergency. If you try to go there, you can expect us to be terse in response. We’ll try not to mock you. (Maybe.)
You can submit a story idea in one of two ways:
- If you see news that you think we should cover, just send us the link. We welcome, but don’t require, a cover note telling us why you think the story matters.
- If you want us to publish your bylined story, please fill in the submission form.
If you have a story idea to submit, please observe the first rule of freelancing and use the submission form to send us a short query before you go to the trouble of writing the whole post. Your writing time is valuable, and we don’t want you putting hours into a story before giving us a chance to confirm whether we’ll consider it.
In the same spirit, we try to answer every unique query. But we ignore and delete pitches that are obviously form emails offering generic or promotional content that is not tailored to our site or our audience.
We rarely if ever have space for book reviews.
Sorry, but The Energy Mix is a non-profit publication with no budget to pay for unsolicited content.
Energy Mix Productions welcomes guest posts and sponsored content from businesses, non-profits and charities, academic institutions, and anyone else who shares a commitment to real, rapid decarbonization. Publishing your content with The Energy Mix brings your voice to an audience of active participants and influencers in the drive to stabilize global climate systems and avert climate catastrophe.
All guest and sponsored content must adhere to these guidelines:
- Content must present legitimate solutions or advocacy positions that are consistent with current climate science, technology, and policy. We do not accept greenwashing and guard very carefully against it.
- Guest and sponsored posts can appear on our website, in our e-digest, or both. They are always clearly signposted and placed alongside our regular news coverage, opinion, and analysis.
- We reject climate denial and demeaning or hateful content in any form.
- We reserve the right to accept or reject any submission, with or without explanation, or to negotiate content with providers.
Contact us today for full specifications and guidelines.