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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.

Before we get into the newsy stuff, take a look at these four books on why protecting trees is a matter of survival — ours and the planet’s.

Also, have you seen that The Globe is launching a Climate Innovators and Adaptors digital hub? One aim for the project is to highlight visual stories about climate from around the world. Over the next year, we will highlight stories about ecosystems, habitat and biodiversity; exploration; clean energy and clean technology solutions; as well as urban adaptation.

Now, let’s catch you up on other news.


Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Mining industry’s ‘green metals’ are a fallacy, experts say. The green moniker, which implies the metals and mining methods are environmentally friendly, is generating fierce debate.
  2. Alberta solar projects raise tensions over agricultural land use as municipalities eye the tax revenue solar farms will generate. The projects have councils walking a delicate line between welcoming a lucrative new industry and preserving valuable agricultural land.
  3. Hunted to the brink of extinction, the return of North Pacific Right whales to B.C. waters brings hope. Also: Great Lakes piping plovers are adapting to the climate crisis; a study has found that dumped fishing gear is trapping species at risk and hurting the lobster industry
  4. When it comes to how wildfires are managed, First Nations want a bigger say, and Indigenous leaders who are calling on Ontario to expand supports for evacuees. Also: The Globe visited the B.C. Interior last week, asking dozens of residents to describe life in wildfire country – and why this season has them worried for the future.
  5. From the Narwhal: ‘It was hard enough before’: Farmers wait, desperate for rain, in a prolonged season of extremely dry conditions across central Canada where both provincial and federal government have intervened with emergency adaptation measures

A deeper dive

The climate refugees are coming

Omar El Akkad is a journalist and author, his latest novel is What Strange Paradise. For this week’s deeper dive, he talks about his article on climate refugees -- and how both countries and international law aren’t ready for them

According to the UN Refugee Agency, by the end of last year, more than 82 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide. That number’s not only a record high, it’s also been rising steadily for a decade. And yet, like the wildfires and storms and myriad natural and geopolitical upheavals that have defined the early years of this century, these numbers may be remembered in the coming decades as relatively mild compared to what came next.

Depending on how high the sea levels rise and how much of the planet human-driven climate change renders uninhabitable, the next half-century may see the forced displacement of hundreds of millions of human beings, the majority of them from the poorest and most vulnerable countries on earth. And, yet, despite this likelihood – and the fact that climate-driven displacement is already starting to happen – there exists almost no international framework for protecting or even simply classifying climate refugees.

That absence of any meaningful protections is, in the long run, a recipe for mass bloodshed. It’s also, with respect to the developed world that reaped so much wealth and convenience from the very fossil fuel industries that are primary drivers of climate change, a moral abdication. Many of the first people who will be driven from their homes by climate change come from places that contributed almost nothing to the climate crisis. A basic commitment to shelter and protect these people is, in every respect, the very least of what they are owed.

- Omar

In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file photo, displaced families arrive after being rescued by boat from a flooded area of Buzi district, 200 kilometers (120 miles) outside Beira, Mozambique.Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Associated Press


What else you missed


Opinion and analysis

Dr. Aaron Henry: Ottawa must look abroad in its climate goals

Gary Mason: Alberta’s report on anti-energy campaigns looks like a multimillion-dollar dud

The editorial board: Canada’s massive wildfires are the result of decades of bad decisions. Time to make better decisions

Konrad Yakabuski: Newfoundland’s power curse was born from a thirst for revenge

The editorial board: Muskrat Falls is Newfoundland’s biggest financial disaster. Justin Trudeau just put it on your tab


Green Investing

Capturing carbon’s potential: Five companies and innovations to watch

Carbon Upcycling is in a fast-growing segment of the Canadian clean-tech sector focused on manufacturing useful products and providing innovative services by tapping into the massive volumes of CO2 captured from all kinds of energy and industrial processes to reduce the impact on climate.

Here are five emerging Canadian companies with carbon utilization technologies that could be on the verge of major market breakthroughs.

Also read:

Bank of Japan Governor calls for ‘learning by doing’ approach on climate change


Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Lieschen Beretta, who is farming with sustainability in mind.

Lieschen BerettaHandout

My name is Lieschen Beretta, I’m 24 years old and live in King City, Ont. My career is my lifestyle. I manage my family’s ranch – raising livestock, and just about anything else the family business entails.

Our ranch resides in hilly landscapes, making it hard to farm any crops. By raising and finishing beef cattle on grass as well as deploying rotational grazing, the cows are supporting and growing one of the most effective resources to capture carbon: grass.

Our approach mimics how animals naturally grazed on grass and moved to new pastures to find fresh grass, enabling a healthy, balanced ecosystem comprised of soil, plants, water, wildlife and bacteria. Healthy land makes for healthy animals and vice versa.

I take pride in being able to supply great-tasting grass-fed beef to Canadians through our growing partnership with A&W, and right here on the farm through local channels. We’ve also learned about soil health and climate change, so we’re pumped to be part of the solution.

- Lieschen

Do you know an engaged individual? Someone who represents the real engines pursuing change in the country? Email us at GlobeClimate@globeandmail.com to tell us about them.


Photo of the week


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