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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.

Save this link: Here’s where else you can keep up with the latest weather in your area.

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


Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Wildfires: B.C. considering adopting Australia’s use of volunteers to bolster fire response, Eby says
  2. Politics: Ontario government ‘completely buried’ climate change report, opposition critics say
  3. Research: Intense drought heightens lightning’s devastation, even when there are fewer strikes
  4. Policy: Task force led by Lisa Raitt, Don Iveson aims to bridge climate, housing issues
  5. Arts: Actors, filmmakers call on TIFF to end partnership with RBC over environmental concerns
  6. Energy analysis: World Petroleum Congress coming to Calgary, billed by organizers as the Olympics of the oil and natural gas industry
  7. Extreme weather: Weather-weary Maritimers clean up after post-tropical storm Lee
  8. 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.

Open this photo in gallery:

Colorized illustration from Historia Plantarum (Theophrastus). Parts of Ferula drudeana, the presumed silphion plant, used in cooking experiments in Istanbul.Handout


What else you missed


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


Green Investing

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.


Making waves

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.

Open this photo in gallery:

Jacob Beaton in the bottom field with squash at Tea Creek in Summer 2023Ravyn Good/The Globe and Mail

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.

Read the full story today.

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

Open this photo in gallery:

A Caretta Caretta sea turtle is released on El Burrero Beach, after recovering from its injuries at the Taliarte Wildlife Recovery Center, on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain, September 16, 2023.BORJA SUAREZ/Reuters


Guides and Explainers


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