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.
Earlier this week The Weather Network said its systems, including the website and mobile app, were down because of a cybersecurity incident. Without the best-known weather source, many Canadians were scrambling for other information -- especially those in Atlantic Canada preparing for post-tropical storm Lee. While The Weather Network will always be most relied upon, we’ve got some other options to check out.
Now, let’s catch you up on other news.
Noteworthy reporting this week:
- Wildfires: B.C. considering adopting Australia’s use of volunteers to bolster fire response, Eby says
- Politics: Ontario government ‘completely buried’ climate change report, opposition critics say
- Research: Intense drought heightens lightning’s devastation, even when there are fewer strikes
- Policy: Task force led by Lisa Raitt, Don Iveson aims to bridge climate, housing issues
- Arts: Actors, filmmakers call on TIFF to end partnership with RBC over environmental concerns
- Energy analysis: World Petroleum Congress coming to Calgary, billed by organizers as the Olympics of the oil and natural gas industry
- Extreme weather: Weather-weary Maritimers clean up after post-tropical storm Lee
- From The Narwhal: Annual racing of slugs on Bowen Island, B.C., highlights the importance of this small, slimy species
A deeper dive
Cooking like history taught us
Many people know that the world is undergoing a huge drop in biodiversity. What fewer people are aware of is the fact that agrobiodiversity – the range of plants and livestock that feed us is also in decline.
History shows us what happens when food biodiversity is lost – and what we can do about it.
Taras Grescoe, author of The Lost Supper: Searching for the Future of Food in the Flavors of the Past, lit out to far-flung territories in search of obscure things to drink and eat. But there’s more to his quests than just a pursuit of pleasure (as pleasurable as some of these foods have turned out to be): what motivates him is understanding the impact that human appetite has on ecosystems. It’s an issue that’s gaining urgency.
Take for example a plant the Greeks knew as silphion. Two thousand years ago, it disappeared from the face of the Earth. It was prized for its intoxicating aroma, and a flavour that transformed everything. The disappearance of silphion is considered the first extinction of any species in recorded history, as well as a cautionary tale in how thoroughly human appetite can extirpate a species from the wild.
So when a similar plant, the Ferula drudeana, was discovered growing in the centre of Turkey, Gresco travelled to meet experts to help replicate ancient dishes with it.
Grescoe set out on a round-the-world quest for nine lost, endangered and ancient foods, spanning the history and prehistory of our species. In many places, he discovered that cherished foods are at risk of disappearing, similar to other ancients ingredients.
Humanity’s backup plan is to keep the seeds and semen of plants and livestock in gene banks. The problem is that seeds kept inert in cold storage can’t evolve with and adapt to changes in the environment.
The secret to saving the world’s dwindling nutritional diversity, it turns out, is as simple as it is counterintuitive: To save it, you’ve got to eat it.
Eat the past to preserve the future. Read the full story today.
What else you missed
- NDP wants Suncor CEO to explain to MPs company’s shift from clean energy focus
- Libya investigates dams’ collapse after devastating flood last weekend killed more than 11,000
- Environment minister must unblock Rebel News founder Ezra Levant on X under court order
- Twin polls suggest slim majority of Albertans support oil and gas emissions cap
- Oil companies can only decarbonize as fast as the rest of the economy, says Shell Canada
- UNESCO approves report outlining threats to Wood Buffalo National Park
- Fish stocks along Atlantic, Pacific coasts unaffected by marine heat waves, study says
- Norway will deliver gas to Europe for as long as needed, climate minister says
- Trans Mountain says ‘worst-case’ could see pipeline completion delayed to end of 2024
- EU lawmakers approve new rules requiring airlines to use more sustainable fuels
- Seven in 10 Canadians are worried about climate change, link it to extreme weather: poll
- EU lawmakers pass bill hiking renewable energy targets
Opinion and analysis
Eric Reguly: BP bosses have a history of strategic shifts on the environmental front. The next CEO will have no such luxury
Kerry Gold: Climate change is having a direct impact on home insurance rates
Jared Wesley: Albertans want federal climate regulation – just don’t tell Danielle Smith
Gus Carlson: Those calling for TIFF to drop RBC sponsorship cut their nose to spite their face
Vancouver-based Spring Activator buys Future Capital to focus on marginalized communities
Marlon Thompson launched Future Capital in 2020, to act as a venture capital and entrepreneurship training ground for people’s whose identities are underrepresented in the field. Now, he is selling Future Capital to Spring Activator, a venture-capital firm with its own educational and networking arms for new entrants into what is known as impact investing – investing that promotes environmental and societal benefits alongside financial returns.
Research has shown that the sustainability field – including impact investing and environmental, social and governance disciplines – lacks diversity. In a 2021 survey, the non-profit Diversity in Sustainability found that professionals in the field in Canada, the United States and Britain are disproportionately white and from middle-class backgrounds.
- Amazon makes first investment in direct air capture climate technology
- New ETF focuses on ‘blue economy’ of marine, freshwater resources
- BP to stick with energy transition strategy after Bernard Looney’s exit, interim CEO says
Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Jacob Beaton doing regenerative farming, as mentioned in last week’s story on young farmers.
Jacob Beaton, a member of the Tsimshian First Nations, operates Tea Creek Farm, which spans 450 acres in Kitwanga in Northern B.C. He has an idea that he says could help both the labour shortage and the challenges of farming under climate change.
Since 2020, Beaton has trained young Indigenous people in skilled trades and agricultural practices, ranging from crop management to greenhouse operations. The focus is on regenerative practices, Beaton says, because that’s the way Indigenous communities have always farmed.
But Indigenous people have long been locked out of mainstream agricultural production, he says. Provisions in the Indian Act limited the amount of land they could own, and to this day make it challenging to obtain financing for land purchase. He says opening up agricultural training, financing and land acquisition opportunities to Indigenous peoples would go a long way to making regenerative agriculture more mainstream.
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
- 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
- Western Canada’s unrelenting wildfires showing signs of reprieve but tough days remain ahead