Copenhagen: Time To Get Over Ourselves

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A few hours ago, the United Nations agency that is organizing the Copenhagen climate conference sent out a beleaguered-sounding email saying that the conference venue fits 15,000, but 34,000 people—delegates from around the world, journalists, NGO representatives—are trying to attend, so they’re implementing a “quota system.” Does that mean Al and Leo will have to wait in line?

For updates on that and many other pressing questions, bookmark the Blue Marble, MoJo’s environmental blog, which will be covering the climate talks 24/7. Our Washington bureau chief, David Corn, is headed there as we write, as is blogger Kate Sheppard, and essayist Bill McKibben. And because climate change is the biggest story of our lifetimes, we’ve also joined forces with a group of other journalism shops, including the Nation, Grist, Treehugger, the Center for Investigative Reporting/Frontline World, the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, and The Uptake—together, we have several dozen reporters on the ground, and we’ll be using a nifty by-journalists-for-journalists technology called Publish2 to pull together all of their posts and stories. (Check the right-hand column of the Blue Marble for the feed, and also this page.)

Hey, if any group of people is harder to get to collaborate than politicians, it’s probably journalists. If the latter can get over our myriad hangups and work together, maybe there’s hope for the former. (P.S.—while you’re thinking about it, why not put a picture of your kid–or your pet, favorite celebrity, or self—on our climate cover? It’s a fun way to let your friends, or your representatives, know where you stand.)

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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