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A dramatic new series about the world's fight to beat climate change
A dramatic new series about the world's fight to beat climate change
784 backers pledged CA$ 70,863 to help bring this project to life.

About

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CA$ 70,863

784

Species at risk. Oceans in peril. Millions of refugees in crisis.

At a time when the earth faces overwhelming challenges, some of our oldest media outlets are fading away. Scientists tell us time is running out. But how can people take action if some of the most important stories are happening out of sight and out of mind?

This year has been the hottest in recorded history, and it also promises to be the hottest in politics.

It's the year of the craziest election in recent American history with some contenders vowing to hurl climate agreements into the dust.

Above all else, it's the year that rubber needs to hit the road on climate change action — carbon tax, emissions targets, and clean energy.

With your backing, we'll create a dramatic new series on the race against climate change.

We'll bring you reporting on where candidates in the U.S. presidential election stand on pipeline projects, LNG, big oil, and how they think and feel about climate change.

Your backing will mean we can report on places where climate stories are breaking, on struggles and solutions around the world: from the melting ice fields of the Greenland, to the subways of New York City, to the flooded streets of Miami.

We'll talk with workers left stranded by the oil and coal industry's steady decline. We'll question assumptions about fracking. And we'll pursue and publish stories we can't even imagine today. As the news unfolds, we'll be there. We'll be on the ground, bringing stories back to you for a year.

Your funding will empower one of Canada's leading investigative teams to report on:

  • Corporations standing in the way of change and citizens fighting for it.
  • U.S. and Canadian climate policy compared with Obama & Trudeau's promises in Paris at the UN Climate Conference
  • Food security
  • Tar sands, fracking 
  • Beautiful, inspired business solutions that move the world forward
  • Animal welfare

We could still  reach our stretch goal of $80,000 which will allow us to create an APP.  Please pledge so  we can make it easier for people to access urgent stories from "Reports from the Race Against Climate Change" right where they live.

Stuff we love to brag about ...

It's awards season in Canada.  The team behind the National Observer is up for no less than four prestigious awards, this spring, nominated by the Canadian Association of Journalism for 3 stories and for the Excellence in Journalism Award by the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Our reporters won the Canadian Journalism Foundation's Excellence in Journalism Award in 2012 and 2014, and last year, we won an award from the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals for our powerful coverage of trophy hunting in British Columbia's remote rainforest.

We also successfully over-delivered on two Kickstarter projects: the Tar Sands Reporting Project in 2014 and the Reports from the Energy Battlegrounds in 2015. Kickstarter even named the Tar Sands Reporting Project its "most socially responsible project" of year in Canada. Our readership time per page is now on par with The New York Times.

And thanks to our last Kickstarter funding we ...

  • Built a progressive news platform in a country dominated by Conservative-controlled media 
  •  Provided persistent critical coverage of the oil industry's powerful influence on the government of former Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper 
  •  Exposed links between a senator, a pipeline company, the prime minister's office and a petro-propaganda machine 
  •  Exposed controversial canine fur use in a large retailer, and animal cruelty across agricultural and fur-farming industries in Canada 
  •  Sent a reporter and a videographer to the United Nations climate conference in Paris to provide daily coverage

About our rewards

Climate Man T-shirt with art by Victor Juhasz: $65. 

Victor has gotta be one of  North America's top political satirists. We think he's The Best. 

He lampoons the powerful for publications including Rolling Stone, Esquire, The Nation and National Observer.  We commissioned him to make a painting just for this campaign. Then we made it into a poster, put it on a t shirt and a cup. You can have them separately (see prices below) or all of them by pledging $250.

A chic Race Against Climate Change t-shirt can be yours for a $65 pledge!
A chic Race Against Climate Change t-shirt can be yours for a $65 pledge!

$50 -  A unique Race Against Climate Change coffee cup, emblazoned with Victor Juhasz's 'Climate Man' illustration

Drink to the future. Life is too short to sip from a boring coffee cup. Pledge $50 or more and get a one-of-a-kind Climate Man mug!
Drink to the future. Life is too short to sip from a boring coffee cup. Pledge $50 or more and get a one-of-a-kind Climate Man mug!

$120 - A 16'' x 20'' poster of National Observer's "Climate Man" by renowned New Jersey illustrator Victor Juhasz 

The original painting is our reward for one lucky donor of $7,900
The original painting is our reward for one lucky donor of $7,900

$2,100 - Original 13.4" x 17.7" painting of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau boxing during the 2015 election campaign by Victor Juhasz

A $25 pledge gets you a stunning Digital Download of National Observer's Spirit Bear photo, and a $30 pledge gets you your very own Spirit Bear poster. Image captured by one of our favourite junior photographers, Sophie Wright, then 12 years old.
A $25 pledge gets you a stunning Digital Download of National Observer's Spirit Bear photo, and a $30 pledge gets you your very own Spirit Bear poster. Image captured by one of our favourite junior photographers, Sophie Wright, then 12 years old.

Green Tourism Canada, Bluewater Adventure, Eagle Wing Tours and the Best Western Plus Kelowna pledged and selected the multi-media story reward. You can select it, too for $3,500. National Observer's premium advertising package sells for $8,000 to $10,000. We are offering only one more.  We'll tell your story!

Join us in The Great Bear Rainforest in August

$8,000 GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST CRUISE! AUGUST 20-SEPT 5. Video below by Bluewater Adventures shows your route to adventure and your boat, Island Roamer.

The magic starts when you meet the boat in Bella Bella, B.C.  

From there, the journey begins. Witness the heartrending, inspiring spectacle of salmon spawning - the biggest migration of fish on the planet. Watch whales breach glassy waters, and track the iconic Spirit Bear up the stream in a mist-laden forest.

You'll enjoy starry black nights undisturbed by city lights, and the sunlight sparkling off the flat, calm waters of the protected coastal sea. This is not open ocean.

Photograph it all, and surprise your friends back home stunning images of whales, bears, and if you're lucky, maybe even a rare sea wolf. Enjoy delicious food and excellent company - a trip that will change your outlook on the world around you. 

Classic Early Grimes T shirts and Tank tops. Rare collector's item.

Grimes is a producer and recording artist, whose new critically-acclaimed album "Art Angels" has been named Album of the Year by NME. Her outstanding song "REALiTi" below:

Grimes' hit song "Genesis" was in our last Kickstarter video, which launched the National Observer website. She's a big advocate for the environment and social justice and she rocked our Tar Sands Reporting Project t-shirt at a show in Los Angeles in 2014 after becoming a backer of our campaign.

National Observer's team

National Observer's award-winning team
National Observer's award-winning team

Top row: Charles Mandel, Elizabeth McSheffrey, Bruce Livesey Middle row: Sandy Garossino, Linda Solomon Wood, Jenny Uechi Bottom row: Mike De Souza, Valentina Ruiz Leotaud, Bruno De Bondt

National Observer is a crowdfunded journalism site

We depend on crowdfunding for costly one to three-month investigations, well-written, in-depth stories, videos, and podcasts. Investigative reporting takes time, talent, smart research, great writing and legal reviews. This costs a lot of money.

Thanks to crowdfunding, we've been able to afford to do reporting that has instigated changes in legislation, exposed corruption in government and corporations, and we've helped citizens gain vital rights.

Risks and challenges

Everything is harder in practice than it is in theory when it comes to investigative journalism and in-depth reporting. Once we're onto something, we don't give up. It took four of our reporters an entire month scouring documents to discover links they suspected were there between an oil pipeline company, the prime minister's office and a propagandist. It took many drafts of writing, collaborative thinking, and editing to turn the research into a story that was later used in Parliament to hold the government to account. Sometimes, to do things well, it takes much longer and gets more expensive in terms of time and money than we anticipate. That's why we hope you'll be extra generous this year as you back our project.

Together, we can do this!

Finally, these stories unfold in the real world, about real people.

Nothing is scripted and anything can happen. This can turn out to be a really beautiful and amazing thing, but also a really trying, difficult and sometimes dangerous thing. We appreciate your patience and support through the year, as we check our facts and build our sources.

Thank you for believing in this project and for being a part of telling this very important story.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $4

    RECOGNITION, HIGH FIVE: National Observer thinks you're awesome and we want everyone to know about it. Your name and a social link (optional) will be added to our "People Who Made it Real" page. You'll get a Thank You email from the founder of the company and, of course all of our online news and updates.

    *You will get this with every pledge.

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    Pledge CA$ 15 or more About $12

    SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY: Learn how to optimize your online presence in a one-on-one webinar with National Observer’s social media director. Valentina is a master of all things Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and with a little of her help, you could be too.

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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $19

    Download a Virtual Spirit Bear. Get this beautiful, high resolution image on your computer to use as screensaver, profile pic, or printed piece of art! This reward also comes with our campaign updates.

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    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $31

    WILDLIFE FOR YOUR WALL: Pocket a stunning 8’’ by 10’’ print of the rare and elusive Spirit Bear, captured in the heart of Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. The Spirit Bear is found nowhere else in the world, and is the result of a curious genetic variation of the black bear.

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    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $31

    EYE CANDY: Immortalize Justin Trudeau’s infamous boxing match on an 8" X 10" poster in your living room with this Liberal red sketch of the new prime minister by New Jersey artist Victor Juhasz. Guaranteed conversation-starter, may induce swooning.

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $38

    GROOVY GARB: Fashion means action in this unique Climate Man T-shirt that forces you to choose between the light side and the dark side of climate change action. The original design by Victor Juhasz is a National Observer exclusive. (SMALL, UNISEX) **Other sizes available below!

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $38

    CLIMATE MAN COFFEE CUP: Make your cubicle colleagues jealous as you drink your morning coffee in a caricatured Climate Man coffee cup, featuring an original design by renowned New Jersey artist Victor Juhasz. Climate Man, torn between two starkly contrasting climate realities, was created for the National Observer in 2016 for the Race Against Climate Change campaign.

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    Pledge CA$ 65 or more About $50

    Climate Man T-shirt (MEDIUM, UNISEX)

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    Pledge CA$ 65 or more About $50

    Climate Man T-shirt (LARGE, UNISEX)

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    Pledge CA$ 65 or more About $50

    Climate Man T-shirt (XL, UNISEX)

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 70 or more About $54

    COLLECTORS ITEM: CLASSIC EARLY GRIMES T-SHIRT (Medium size). Own a unique, limited-edition T-shirt with original art by Grimes, the acclaimed singer-songwriter and artist, whose new album, "Art Angels," was named NME's Album of the Year. Hurry, as supply is extremely limited! The Canadian price above is $53 U.S.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 70 or more About $54

    GRIMES ART TANK TOP (Size: S) Be fashion-forward with a unique tank top featuring original art by Grimes, the acclaimed singer-songwriter and artist whose new album, "Art Angels," was named NME's Album of the Year. Hurry, as supply is very limited! Canadian price is $53 U.S.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 70 or more About $54

    GRIMES ART TANK TOP (Size: XL) Be fashion-forward with a unique tank top featuring original art by Grimes, the acclaimed singer-songwriter and artist whose new album, "Art Angels," was named NME's Album of the Year. Hurry, as supply is very limited! Canadian price is $53 U.S.

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    Pledge CA$ 78 or more About $60

    COLLECTORS ITEM: CLASSIC GRIMES T-SHIRT (XL size). Own a unique, limited-edition T-shirt with original art by Grimes, the acclaimed singer-songwriter and artist, whose new album, "Art Angels," was named NME's Album of the Year. Hurry, as supply is extremely limited! The Canadian price above is $60 U.S.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 120 or more About $92

    MAKE A STATEMENT: Hang a striking 16’’ x 20’’ poster of Victor Juhasz’s Climate Man character next to your dining room table and challenge your friends to choose where they stand in the Race Against Climate Change.

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    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About $192

    Drink to the future. Get an entire Climate Man Mug Set for your team.

    $50 for a single mug, you get EIGHT Climate Man mugs in this sweet package.

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    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About $192

    COMPLETE CLIMATE MAN SET

    Victor Juhasz's Climate Man painting on a t shirt (large), a cup, and a poster.

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $383

    EXPERT CONSULTING: Improve your writing, conduct a special investigation, or embark on your own entrepreneurial journalism journey with a one-hour professional training session from the National Observer’s seasoned reporting team. Available field veterans include Linda Solomon Wood, Jenny Uechi, and Mike De Souza, but other writers may available by request on the consulting issue of your choice. One-hour sessions to be conducted by phone or Skype.

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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $767

    RARE WILDLIFE FOOTAGE: Two beautiful, exclusive, copyrighted videos by Peabody-winning filmmaker Bill Weaver to brag about to your family and friends. Footage includes five minutes of playful humpback whales caught up close on camera in the Great Bear Rainforest, and three minutes of the elusive Spirit Bear on Royal Princess Island - the only place in the world they are found. These videos are a sweet reminder that the world is a beautiful place. Available for private use only.

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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1,200 or more About $920

    ORIGINAL ARTWORK: An original sketch of Justin Trudeau prepping for the 2015 election in his famous Liberal red boxing gear. This signed, one-of-a-kind piece of art was created for the National Observer by Victor Juhasz in the months before Trudeau rose as prime minister of Canada. Be the only one to call it yours.

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  21. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 2,000 or more About $1,533

    PREMIUM PACKAGE: Take home Climate Man, Justin Trudeau artwork, mugs, t-shirts, photos and more in a Race Against Climate Change package that includes all of the above rewards.

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    Pledge CA$ 2,500 or more About $1,917

    1 article by National Observer about you, your business, or your favourite person or nonprofit published on the site. (not multimedia)

    Also, take home Climate Man POSTER, Justin Trudeau POSTER, 2 MUGS, 2 LARGE t-shirts (WRITE US IF YOU NEED DIFFERENT SIZE), Spirit Bear photo & get social media advice with Valentina's webinar in this remarkable reward.

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    Pledge CA$ 3,000 or more About $2,300

    CREATIVE EXPOSURE: National Observer’s skilled reporters will write an article of your choice on their stunning audio-visual storytelling platform. Feature yourself, your business, your friends, your community group or any cause that compels you, and we’ll put our best writers to task. Think of it as the works on a hamburger, but for storytelling instead: video, photos, links, and logos. Our talent, your idea. Reward valued between $5,000 and $8,000, offered at major discount for a limited time only on this Kickstarter campaign for one person ONLY!

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    Pledge CA$ 3,500 or more About $2,684

    CREATIVE EXPOSURE: National Observer’s skilled reporters will write an article of your choice on their stunning audio-visual storytelling platform. Feature yourself, your business, your friends, your community group or any cause that compels you, and we’ll put our best writers to task. Think of it as the works on a hamburger, but for storytelling instead: video, photos, links, and logos. Our talent, your idea. Plus, we'll feature your story in one National Observer newsletter sent to 16,000 subscribers. Reward valued between $8,000 and $10,000, offered at major discount for a limited time only on this Kickstarter campaign for one person ONLY!

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  25. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 3,750 or more About $2,875

    CREATIVE EXPOSURE: National Observer’s skilled reporters will write an article of your choice on their stunning audio-visual storytelling platform. Feature yourself, your business, your friends, your community group or any cause that compels you, and we’ll put our best writers to task. Think of it as the works on a hamburger, but for storytelling instead: video, photos, links, and logos. Our talent, your idea. Plus, we'll feature your story in one National Observer newsletter sent to 16,000 subscribers. Reward valued between $8,000 and $10,000, offered at major discount for a limited time only on this Kickstarter campaign for one person ONLY!

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  26. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 6,750 or more About $5,175

    2 x CREATIVE EXPOSURE: National Observer’s skilled reporters will write 2 articles of your choice on their stunning audio-visual storytelling platform. Feature yourself, your business, your friends, your community group or any cause that compels you, and we’ll put our best writers to task. Think of it as the works on a hamburger, but for storytelling instead: video, photos, links, and logos. Our talent, your idea. Reward valued between $5,000 and $8,000, offered at major discount for a limited time only on this Kickstarter campaign for one person ONLY!
    Estimated delivery: Oct 2016

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    Pledge CA$ 7,500 or more About $5,750

    THE ONE, THE ONLY: Bring the original Climate Man painting by artist Victor Juhasz into your home to impress your friends and family. The one-of-a-kind political caricature was created for National Observer in 2016 as a symbol of the world’s struggle between the harsh and lucrative development of the past, and the bright but bold solutions of the future.

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  28. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 8,000 or more About $6,134

    A TRIP TO THE GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST

    Watch the video at the bottom of the page for a preview of what you will experience on this incredible trip!

    Cruise through British Columbia’s miraculous Great Bear Rainforest. See rare wildlife including whales, grizzlies, Spirit Bears, and sea wolves, and meet the Indigenous stewards of the land who have lived there since time immemorial.

    Prepare for dazzling sunny days and rain-drenched mornings as you witness the brutal, inspiring journey of salmon upstream.

    Your reward will cover all costs once on board The Island Roamer, a luxury sailboat that will take you into a wilderness so breathtaking it will change the way you see the world.

    Passengers will be part of a group of 13, and must cover their own trip to Bella Bella, B.C. where National Observer will be waiting.

    This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but if you are unable to attend in person, consider sending one of our reporters or filmmakers with your reward instead. They will produce in-depth, multimedia journalism from the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, a place like nowhere else on Earth.

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Funding period

- (30 days)