About The Energy Mix

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 that makes a difference 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:

Mitchell Beer - The Energy Mix

Mitchell Beer

Publisher

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.

Email: mitchell<@>theenergymix.com

Farida Hussain - The Energy Mix

Farida Hussain

Managing Editor

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.

Gaye Taylor - The Energy Mix

Gaye Taylor

Senior Writer

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.

Chris Bonasia - The Energy Mix

Chris Bonasia

Staff Writer

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.

Carrie Buchanan - The Energy Mix

Carrie Buchanan

Editorial Advisor

PPM at birth: 313

Carrie is a retired professor of journalism and communication who was a tenured faculty member at John Carroll University in Ohio for 13 years. Prior to that, she spent 15 years as a working journalist, 12 of those at the Ottawa Citizen as a reporter and copy editor.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College in biology and psychology, plus a master’s in journalism and a doctorate in mass communication from Carleton University’s School of Journalism & Communication. During her time as a journalist, she often drew upon her biology background to write stories on health and environmental issues. As a professor, she taught health and environmental reporting almost every year, including three years teaching a linked course with a physics professor on the science and communication of climate change. She also served for nearly a decade as faculty adviser to the student Environmental Issues Group.

Her academic website includes links to many of her publications.

Lella Blumer - The Energy Mix

Lella Blumer

Community Engagement Lead

PPM at birth: 320

Lella is a community organizer, activist, and facilitator whose path has included journalism, project management, political advocacy, and a lot of support for ordinary citizens taking extraordinary actions.

As lead for the Community Engagement team, she focuses on decision-makers having the climate news they need to more urgently cut carbon use and dependency.

Passions: Growing food, non-fiction, walking everywhere, and active participation in democracy.
Climate action superpower: Never, ever, giving up.

Energized by: This call to action from James Baldwin: “The world is before you, and you need not take it, or leave it, as it was when you came in.”

Mike Hager - The Energy Mix

Mike Hager

Community Engagement Manager

PPM at birth: 358

Mike is passionate about policy solutions that can shape more vibrant, resilient, and sustainable communities. Since graduating from the UWaterloo Environment & Business program in 2017, Mike has spent his career working in the municipal and non-profit sectors to advance climate and circular economy programs.
Passions: Music, biking, camping, and cooking. Sometimes all at once.

Proud moment: Sea kayaking the Queen Charlotte Strait & Broughton Archipelago.

Favourite quote: “Lead with your heart, but take your brain with you.”

Climate action superpower: Finding common ground in climate conversations.

Karri Munn-Venn - The Energy Mix

Karri Munn-Venn

Community Engagement Strategist

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.

Janet Patterfung - The Energy Mix

Janet Patterfung

Manager, Green Resilience Project

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.

Giselle Hausman - The Energy Mix

Giselle Hausman

Project Coordinator, Green Resilience Project

PPM at birth: 356

Giselle’s background is in the non-profit sector, with roots in the environment and arts fields. Since 2011, social development, events, and community engagement have been at the forefront in her work. Fully bilingual in Spanish and English, Giselle has experience working in Latin America, Canada, and the United States.

Passions: Music, recording & composing, community connectivity.

Proud moment: Picking the first ripe fruit from my fig tree.

Climate action superpower: Integrating the arts and creative approaches into projects.

Eric Lukazewski - The Energy Mix

Eric Lukazewski

Webmaster

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.

Jody MacPherson - The Energy Mix

Jody MacPherson

Freelance Writer

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.

Joan Baxter - The Energy Mix

Joan Baxter

Freelance Writer

PPM at birth: 314

Joan is an award-winning journalist and author of seven books. She worked for more than 30 years in various African countries, reporting for the BBC World Service, AP, Reuters, CBC, and many other Canadian and international media. She’s worked as a science writer and communicator for international forestry and agriculture research centres, and as a researcher for international NGOs investigating extractive industries, land-grabbing, and a host of other environmental, climate, and social justice issues. Today she is back home in Nova Scotia, a small part of Mi’kma’ki, where she continues to worry—and write—about these issues.

Passions: Walking, reading, being in the woods or on the water, and investigating/calling out BS and PR.

Climate action superpower: Something I wish I had. Instead, I have climate action inspiration that comes from listening to and learning from my “kids” and other young people, and contemplating the future confronting their little ones.

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 Kirby - Climate News Network

Alex Kirby

Journalist

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?”

Tim Radford - Climate News Network

Tim Radford

Journalist

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 - Climate News Network

Paul Brown

Journalist

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 Beer - The Energy Mix

Mitchell Beer

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 Coo - The Energy Mix

Vicky Coo

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 - The Energy Mix

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 Regehr - The Energy Mix

Sheila Regehr

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.

How We Fund The Energy Mix

Energy Mix Productions received its federal incorporation as a Canadian non-profit in March, 2017. Since then, we’ve developed several funding streams to keep on delivering the climate news that makes a difference.

  • We’ve received generous support from the Trottier Family Foundation for regular production of The Energy Mix, and from the McConnell Foundation for the Green Resilience Project.
  • The Green Resilience Project has received grant funding from two Canadian government departments, all of it directed to building a wider community dialogue at the intersection between income security, local resilience, and climate solutions.
  • We offer sponsorship packages to corporate and charitable partners that see value in specific aspects of our work.
  • In partnership with the Small Change Fund, our project work on climate news production and community climate dialogue allows our supporters to receive charitable tax receipts for donations.
  • We accept fee-for-service assignments as content producers, content marketers, discussion animators, and communications advisors and strategists when those projects align with our core mission to build awareness and momentum for a faster shift off carbon.

Our funding structure wasn’t always so complicated. When we launched The Mix, it was a much smaller, less formal, largely self-funded operation. And we still have no interest in building a news organization for its own sake—unless things go very badly in the race against climate change, we hope and expect to work ourselves out of a job by 2035.

But to do our part to make that happen, we realized we had to expand. As we saw the climate crisis worsen, and as the next decade emerged as the crucial time span for deep carbon cuts, we saw so much more we could contribute to this global fight—but only if we built a bigger team and raised the funds to support it.

We understand we can only do that if we are always careful to prevent conflicts of interest. We only accept funding that matches our mission, so it’s inevitable that some of our news sources will be funders, donors, or clients…and vice versa. We address that risk by ensuring that no funding source ever influences story selection or development, and that anything we produce for a fee is confidential until the client releases it. When we write news about a client or funder, we disclose that dual role in the story.

We know this complication isn’t unique to The Mix. Some of the independent media we respect the most have faced the same challenge and come to the same conclusion. Small media inevitably depend on clients and funders. But we know we can only accept those funds if we fully embrace our duty to declare any potential conflict, real or perceived, and always conduct ourselves ethically to the best of our abilities.

Which Energy Mix is this?

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So after publishing for 4½ years, we were (mostly) pleased when the International Energy Agency launched a publication called…The Energy Mix.

If you’re on this page, you’ve found the thrice-weekly e-digest and online archive produced in Canada by the non-profit Energy Mix Productions. You can check out our archive of thousands of stories on climate change, energy, and the shift off carbon, or subscribe by clicking here. If you’re looking for the IEA’s newsletter, click here.

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.

Submitting Content

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 couple of dozen original stories or curated news summaries that fill out our news digests.

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.