If you’re reading this on the web or someone forwarded this e-mail newsletter to you, you can sign up for Globe Climate and all Globe newsletters here.
Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.
Our team had a fun week last week! Not just because of the sunny weather, but for winning award recognition for the work we’ve been sharing in this newsletter with you.
We’re so happy to say that The Globe and Mail won the CJF award for climate solutions reporting. Specifically, the crew of climate journalists who worked on a series of stories about how Canada’s economy can be re-engineered to adapt and capitalize on climate change.
You’re likely quite familiar with Globe journalists Ryan MacDonald, Kathryn Blaze Baum, Jeffrey Jones and Adam Radwanski by now. In case you need a refresher, here they are at the awards! Congrats, team!
Now, let’s catch you up on other news.
Noteworthy reporting this week:
- Extreme heat: As global temperatures continue to rise, this Ottawa lab is leading research into how the human body responds. But what can Canada’s cities do to make summers bearable in the hottest neighbourhoods – and will they do it soon enough? That vulnerability to rising temperatures may actually depend on where you live.
- B.C. heat waves: The province launched an alert system ahead of summer to warn of extreme heat. A coroner’s report came out on the 2021 heat wave indicating that it led to 619 deaths, and needs to be better prepared for what’s next. But many heat deaths are preventable, and our editorial board thinks that was 619 too many killed already.
- Oil and Gas: Canadian doctors’ group calls for ban on fossil fuel ads in open letter. Meanwhile, three senior executives have been let go from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the first shakeup at the oil sector lobby group since it came under new direction.
- Art: Renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky goes larger format than ever by taking over the immense screens of Yonge-Dundas Square with this cinematic cri de coeur about the climate crisis.
- From The Narwhal: How a Winnipeg social enterprise group solved their organic waste problem by transforming ‘waste’ into nourishment for the soil
A deeper dive
How to rescue a chorus of chorus frogs
Sierra Bein is the author of Globe Climate. For this week’s deeper dive, she talks about a story The Globe recently published about the western chorus frog and the efforts to save it.
What measures no more than four centimetres, and can bring a decade-long construction plan of a road to a halt?
The western chorus frog is hard to spot, but it’s easy to hear its loud song.
Just 20 minutes southeast of Montreal, you can listen to the air full of the sound of their catcalls: a multitude of clicking, bell-like croaks from dozens of male frogs trying to attract mates.
Another great thing about these frogs is that because they are eaten by other rare species, they are vital to the local food chain. But it’s a threatened species, that has lost more than 90 per cent of its essential habitat in Quebec since 1960.
We humans have tried to take the future of the chorus frog into out own hands. Biologists tried to shower them with rain and put them in a refrigerator to simulate winter, but they still wouldn’t breed come springtime. In 2014, Montreal’s Biodome tried an experimental hormone treatment that worked.
But if the wetlands where chorus frogs breed continue to be lost, Tommy Montpetit estimates they could go extinct in the province in little more than a decade. He’s the conservation director at the environmental advocacy organization Ciel et Terre. He also grew up close to one of the most important habitats for the species in the province.
Biodome’s effort to breed more frogs is really a last resort. Yet, Mr. Montpetit feels that his calls to protect the chorus frog from its greatest existential threat beyond climate change – land development – largely go unheard. That road project we mentioned earlier is mostly finished being built, and is drying up the wetlands on both sides.
In fact, without more measures put in place to help the frogs survive, Mr. Montpetit estimates they could go extinct in the province in little more than a decade. Still, the activist remains hopeful that a younger generation can be part of the solution.
Thanks to Joel Balsam and Stephanie Foden for this story and accompanying visuals. Read the full piece here.
What else you missed
- Critics take aim at ‘wild west’ carbon offset market
- Canada’s first carbon offset market coming to help big industry cut emissions at a lower cost
- Canada and California to partner on climate action and nature protection
- Biden to lay out clean energy growth plan at troubled Summit of the Americas
- Study casts doubt on corporate contributions to fight against climate change
- EU lawmakers face hundreds of amendments in key votes on climate policies
- Lululemon, H&M back $250-million Fashion Climate Fund to decarbonise supply chain
- Alberta First Nations want consultation, benefits from oil sands carbon storage plans
Opinion and analysis
Adam Radwanski: Canada’s carbon offset market starts to take shape, with a lot of pitfalls still to be avoided
David Sax: The good life begins outdoors
Kelly Cryderman: Strong demand and sky-high pricing cause energy security issues across the globe
Thomas Homer-Dixon, Robin Cox: Instead of lurching from one catastrophe to the next, B.C. needs to understand how its crises are linked
André Picard: B.C. report on last year’s heat wave is a grim reminder that we must better protect our most vulnerable
Investor groups targets high-emitting companies to improve their climate records
A coalition of Canadian investor groups known as Climate Engagement Canada has named 40 high-emitting companies that it will try to push to set tougher targets to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and advance the transition to a low-carbon economy. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Air Canada and Canadian National Railway Co. are on the list.
If companies are resistant to the engagement process, the members of the group could use their power as large shareholders to vote for change at annual meetings to make sure their interests are protected from climate risks, said Kevin Thomas, chief executive of Shareholder Association for Research and Education.
- Stress test: How to balance green or ethical investing with making money
- How to play the bull case for agriculture stocks
- Is responsible investing a smart strategy for retirement-age Canadians?
Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Adel Essaddam working on polyester waste upcycling technology.
My name is Adel Essaddam and I am vice-president of science and innovation for Loop Industries. I am 27 years old and based in Terrebonne, Que.
Our team of scientists and the engineering team at Loop have been working on developing and commercializing a polyester waste upcycling technology. Our work is redefining sustainability and creating a circular approach to plastic recycling. I am the co-inventor of our commercial Gen II depolymerization technology.
One mistake the world has made for decades was to replace a problem with another problem instead of seeking solutions that are applicable and scalable. Plastic is part of everyone’s daily life. Plastic is in our clothing, our home insulation, our cars, it is everywhere around us. Instead of trying to get rid or replace it, we should focus on making it sustainable and make the consumers aware of these alternatives. Plastic does not have to be made from petroleum or turned into waste. It should be kept away from landfills and incineration and instead be fully recycled thus becoming a part of a true circular and sustainable economy.
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
Guides and Explainers
- Want to learn to invest sustainably? We have a class for that: Green Investing 101 newsletter course for the climate-conscious investor. Not sure you need help? Take our quiz to challenge your knowledge.
- We've rounded up our reporters' content to help you learn about what a carbon tax is, what happened at COP 26, and just generally how Canada will change because of climate change.
- We have ways to make your travelling more sustainable and if you like to read, here are books to help the environmentalist in you grow, as well as a downloadable e-book of Micro Skills - Little Steps to Big Change.
Catch up on Globe Climate
- Where will Doug Ford take Ontario’s climate policies next?
- Globe analysis reveals which cities are most at risk of flooding
- How to grow a climate change-fighting garden
- How two chefs are rethinking the local seafood supply chain in Ontario