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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.
Let’s start your afternoon off with a little inspiration.
Nature is at the heart of filmmaker Gunjan Menon’s documentary series, Our Wild Neighbours. Since 2022, when Menon immigrated to Canada from India, she has been making regular visits to document the urban wildlife at Vancouver’s Stanley Park, a 400-hectare rain forest brimming with old-growth trees and scenic views of the mountains and ocean.
“I want to remind people to go out,” she said. “And especially if you’re in a new country, you’re lonely or missing that connection, this is a very good way to find it.”
Now, let’s catch you up on other news.
Noteworthy reporting this week:
- Environment: Canada’s deepest lake feeling immediate effects of climate change, new research finds
- Nuclear energy: Cameco shares surge on uranium prices as governments warm to nuclear power. Also, Canada loans $3-billion to Romania to complete construction of two nuclear reactors
- Net-zero electricity: Ottawa making energy companies the middle man with net-zero electricity legislation, ATCO chief executive says
- World Petroleum Congress: The conversation around the energy transition is changing
- Oil and gas: Oil sands producers in talks with Indigenous communities for equity stakes in carbon capture projects. Meanwhile, Canadian oil and gas companies must do more to reduce their emissions, minister says
- Britain: British PM Rishi Sunak rolls back key climate measures
- Food and drink: This Napa winery is deeply rooted in organic farming
- Policy: Ottawa under pressure to bet big on its own carbon pricing system as industry warns of lost investments
- On the ground with The Narwhal: Tsleil-Waututh’s race to save salmon habitat in drought stricken southwest B.C.
A deeper dive
The OSIRIS-REx mission speak to our past, present and future
Ivan Semeniuk is science reporter for The Globe. For this week’s deeper dive, he talks about recent missions to better understand the galactic universe, and our own.
Voyages to outer space can excite the imagination and inspire thoughts of worlds beyond our own.
What is not always as apparent is that scientists’ curiosity about what lies out there can be motivated by the quest for a deeper understanding of our own world.
The OSIRIS-REx mission, which returned a sample of the asteroid Bennu on Sunday after a seven-year journey is an especially apt example of this.
While the mission’s acronym is unwieldy, it captures not one but three ways in which asteroids can matter to those of use who are preoccupied with thoughts about our planetary home.
OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer.
Buried in that word salad is the word “Origins”. This is because the chemical makeup of Bennu, a carbon-rich left over from the solar system’s formation must carry some of the same raw ingredients that went into Earth’s formation and ultimately allowed it to become a living world.
Another theme is “Security”, which nods at the fact that asteroid impacts have sometimes been devastating to life on Earth and the more we understand about how to counter that threat the better.
Finally there is the “Resource Identification” theme, which speaks to a possibility that is more likely to be realized many decades in the future – namely, mining asteroids and using the raw material to support a more extensive presence of the human species around the solar system.
Collectively these three themes speak to our past, present and future. They also challenge us to think about our own planet in a more long-term proactive way.
Perhaps the best thing about OSIRIS-REx and other efforts like it isn’t the science we have yet to extract from it, but the statement that it makes about humanity – a species that is curious, inventive and trying to understand where it fits into the cosmic scheme of things while wondering how to make that role sustainable.
What else you missed
- B.C. to introduce new disaster management laws to address preparedness, mitigation
- Pathways Alliance watching Trans Mountain’s latest hurdles with dismay
- Smoke prevents Yellowknife from holding welcome home celebration
- Climate takes centre stage at UN as global temperatures hit record
- EU lawmakers to grill new climate chief on fossil fuels, document shows
- Aviation will need significant government support to decarbonize, WestJet CEO says
- Europe’s power industry warns aging electricity grids risk failing green goals
- Biden uses executive power to create a New Deal-style American Climate Corps
- Climate change may mean ‘hundreds of billions’ at risk in U.S. housing market
Opinion and analysis
Imran Bayoumi: More climate disasters are in Canada’s future. The military cannot be the solution
Eric Reguly: The EU and China are on the verge of a retaliatory trade war over EVs. China has the upper hand
Mark Richardson: Looking for anteaters in the savannahs of Guyana
Catherine McKenna: Oil giants’ climate-change cheap talk is why we need a hard cap on their emissions
Nature-related risk disclosure for Canadian companies may be years away
A new reporting system for companies and financial institutions to tally their impact on land, water, biodiversity and other parts of the natural world will allow investors and regulators to finally get a full accounting of risks and benefits stemming from industrial operations, its developers have said.
The system, which currently features 14 recommended disclosures, was developed by the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures, members representing more than US$20-trillion in assets.
- Rio Tinto planning more investments in Canada, but rules out bid for Teck
- Oil companies cautious about drilling as energy transition looms
- Clean energy investing loses lustre despite climate crisis
- Investor newsletter: These stocks benefit from agriculture’s fight against climate change
Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Arzeena Hamir doing regenerative farming, as mentioned in our previous story on young farmers in Canada.
Arzeena Hamir knows first-hand the critical role that policy and funding can play when it comes to navigating the effects of climate change on farms.
Right from the start, says Hamir, they approached farming from a sustainability lens. “It was always part of our ethos to try and make the best decisions for the land and the other creatures that are around us.”
This meant using mostly hand labour to avoid the harsh effects of tilling on the soil; installing solar panels on their home’s roof; and swapping gas-based vehicles for electric models, including electric golf carts to transport produce off the fields. But Ms. Hamir soon realized farming under the constraints of climate change couldn’t be done alone – the government needed to step in. She never imagined so much of her farming work would involve advocacy, but she’s come to believe it’s the best way to support the agriculture industry.
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 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
- To prevent food insecurity, we should look to the ancient past
- Young farmers help each other embrace new techniques to lower emissions
- Going to court to combat climate change
- Even deep-sea species are feeling the heat of climate change