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

Happy eclipse day, earthlings!

Make sure you keep up with how the weather will affect the view of the eclipse. You can check the forecast for Canadian cities on the path of totality here. You can also check back in for live updates as crowds gather across Canada to witness today’s celestial event. My fingers are crossed that the clouds will part for you!

Do we still need to remind you not to stare at the sun without eye protection?

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People watch the moon eclipse the sun during the period of totality in Jackson, Wyo., Aug. 21, 2017.CELIA TALBOT TOBIN/The New York Times News Service

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Photo essay: Stark portrait of Quebec wildfires wins kudos at World Press Photo Contest
  2. Carbon tax: Trudeau defends carbon pricing agenda from provincial leaders’ attacks
  3. Renewables: Britain bets on offshore wind to help achieve net-zero goal
  4. Pollution: Rampant pollution in Asia has left more than half the world’s population breathing unsafe air
  5. Electric vehicles: Ford delaying start of EV production at Oakville, Ont., plant until 2027
  6. Agriculture: How Canadian potato prowess could help bolster Ukraine’s economy
  7. Wildfires: Canada lost 8.6 million hectares of forest in 2023, more than 90% due to wildfires
  8. Report on Business magazine: Think powering a nuclear sub is hard? Try running a utility
  9. Maple syrup: Exploring the many uses of birch and maple syrup. Plus: a recipe for birch (or maple) scones
  10. Photos from The Narwhal: Wild fish spring to life in Lake Ontario, despite dams, pollution and hatchery competitors

A deeper dive

Eclipse awe gives us a sense of humility and community

Tyler Nordgren is a professional astronomer and artist. He earned a PhD in astronomy from Cornell University and has worked as an astronomer at both the U.S. Naval Observatory and Lowell Observatory. His books include Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets. For this week’s deeper dive, read an excerpt from his story What our souls can see in an eclipse’s darkness.

This is the moment of totality. Only at this moment is it safe, and necessary, to remove your eclipse glasses and see the sun turned black in a daytime sky the colour of cobalt surrounded on all sides by a strange sunset glow that rings the horizon. And streaming outward from the dark sun is that corona I read about when I was young. At a temperature of more than a million degrees it’s the hottest thing any human being will ever see with their own eyes and it is only visible for those who have made the journey into the path of totality. It’s one of the many reasons that settling for a 99-per-cent partial eclipse isn’t 99 per cent of the show. Make the effort to go to totality, and you will delight in those moments of darkness.

When I first saw totality – after 20 years of wondering what I had missed as a child – though I knew the science of what was happening, the hair still stood straight up on my neck and I knew the difference between knowing and feeling. It struck me, then, that all those years ago I missed a life-changing experience by not turning around and throwing the curtains wide and I cried – though I was grinning so hard my face hurt.

I realize that some of you reading this will not believe me, or accuse me of hyperbole. The world, after all, is full of false promises, whether it’s “one simple trick” to change your life or, these days, AI-generated wonders that pretend to be more real than reality. Scientists share in this blame. After all, how many times have you been told you cannot miss whatever supermoon or meteor shower or comet is in the night sky?

However, an eclipse changes you. I experienced it again in 2017, after witnessing “the Great American Eclipse” on a ranch in Eastern Oregon with friends. Our eyes sparkled as we talked about the sense of connection we felt in our little valley under the trees. It was a connection not just to one another and those around us but to the universe. It was a connection made tangible as during totality the sun and moon were aligning not just with the Earth, but literally with each of us. And that connection, while individual, was also communal.

When we think of historic moments that bring us together, so many involve a triumph over adversity, be it a sporting, political or military victory. In each of these, a victor implies a vanquished. Yet in the moment of totality, there is no winning or losing, just sharing. And perhaps that is one reason why when I talk to those who have had this experience, the words they use are ones of togetherness.

Read the full story today, and watch the eclipse if you can. You can follow our live coverage if you can’t.

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What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Michael Byers: Canada needs an Inuk astronaut

Ashley Nunes: Ford’s delay of Oakville production shows all that EV glitter isn’t gold

John Ibbitson: Trudeau courageously sticks to the carbon tax

John Rapley: What Canada can learn from Britain, where there’s boom amid the gloom

Claude Lavoie: A carbon tax will hurt the economy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right policy

Tony Keller: The carbon tax is dead. Long live the carbon tax

Heather Exner-Pirot: This is the end of the road for electric-vehicle subsidies

Campbell Clark: The two solitudes of Steven Guilbeault

Green Investing

Frustrated with inaction, panel tasked with bolstering sustainable finance markets ends its work

An expert panel appointed by the federal government to accelerate the growth of Canada’s sustainable finance market has disbanded at the end of a three-year mandate marked by frustrations over a lack of progress in implementing its major recommendations.

The panel, the Sustainable Finance Action Council, was formed in 2021 to devise ways of attracting capital focused on mitigating climate change. It developed a framework for a made-in-Canada taxonomy of climate-focused investments, which would categorize them as either “green” or “transitionary” depending upon the levels of greenhouse gas emissions they produce and whether they are likely to continue to be used well into the future.

Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Lauren Chu and her sustainable pet business.

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Lauren ChuSupplied

We’re Lauren Chu and Forest, founders of Nifty Dogs, a Toronto-based community platform and e-commerce business for environmentally and socially conscious dog owners and their pets.

Forest is a rescue who opened my eyes to the world of responsible living with dogs – and the incredible community of people who care deeply about that responsibility.

Nifty Dogs was founded after I became involved with fostering. The goal was to create and source products that are kind to the planet. Our products include leashes made from retired climbing rope, toys made from old T-shirts or fire hose, and compostable poop bags. Proceeds from our sales are donated to grassroots and Indigenous organizations that support a variety of causes, including gender equity, nature conservation, community music programs and mental health.

In addition to our products, Nifty also serves as a community platform. Here, we aim to foster and invite open conversation to empower us all to do what we can for the world we want to live in.

- Lauren

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

Photo of the week

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People take photographs of illuminated cherry trees at Chidorigafuchi Moat in Tokyo on the evening of April 5, 2024. The Japan Meteorological Agency confirmed last week that the flowers on a sample Somei-yoshino cherry tree at the Yasukuni Shrine were in full bloom 13 days later than average.Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

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