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

The May long weekend is traditionally the start of gardening season in Canada, when our days get warmer and nighttime temperatures tend to stabilize. If you’re looking for inspiration for your home garden, we’ve rounded up tried-and-true tips from experts across the country, including the best vegetables to grow in small spaces and advice for making pollinator gardens thrive.

Not only can home gardens help fight climate change, research also shows that nurturing plants can even reduce stress. So whether you have a sprawling backyard or a tiny condo balcony, it’s a great time to freshen up your outdoor space.

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

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Wildfires: Heavy wildfire smoke blankets Western Canada as Alberta awaits more rain
  2. Extreme weather: Maritime farmers holding breath as record-dry spring wrings region
  3. Recovery: B.C. communities focus on recovery from devastating wildfires
  4. Housing: How a growing number of architects and builders are looking for ways to reduce carbon by using less concrete
  5. Energy: Breaking down UCP and NDP energy policies in Alberta
  6. Clean fuel: Ottawa’s new clean fuel policy will add up to 17 cents to gas prices in 2030, watchdog reports
  7. Conservation: To save the Fraser River’s white sturgeon, B.C.’s angling guides go fishing for data
  8. Diet: For decades, China has strived to eat more meat. Can it be persuaded to do the opposite?
  9. Construction: How Ontario’s rules for dealing with excavated dirt aim to clean up the industry
  10. From The Narwhal: New hope for flood-prone Peguis First Nation means evacuees could come home

A deeper dive

Fire weather for a new planet

Ryan MacDonald is a senior editor at The Globe heading the climate, environment and resources team.

Cooler temperatures and some much-needed rain are giving people in Alberta hope that the wildfires that have burned since early May will soon be tamed. There is hope that those who were evacuated will soon return home; some don’t have homes to return to.

At The Globe, we have regular meetings to discuss how to cover wildfire season in Canada. Inevitably, these meetings happen during a moment of crisis as it did with the “unprecedented” wildfires in Alberta. We scramble to cover an event that is threatening people’s lives and livelihoods.

That’s why I want to draw your attention to John Vaillant’s essay: We built a volcano, and then threw Alberta in. It’s a worthy, considered read that looks at how we got here.

The central point of Vaillant’s essay is that “after two hundred years of relentless combustion, our fossil-fuel-driven civilization has become its own volcano.” From there, Vaillant argues that fire has become the thing that drives us, empowers us and enriches us.

His arguments are born out of the research for a book about the devastating wildfire that forced 90,000 people to flee Fort McMurray in 2016. The fire came to be known as “The Beast” – hence the title of John’s book “Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast.”

Vaillant cites the creation of the Fire Weather Index as evidence of how climate change is fuelling a new kind of “fire weather”. To change the weather, we must change how we do things as a country and, crucially, reduce our emissions.

- Ryan

Related reading: In similar vein, Charles Brindamour and Blair Feltmate look at the wildfires as a reason for the federal government and the private sector to commit more money to adapt to extreme weather. An investment in climate resiliency will protect both people and the economy, they argue.

What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Editorial board: The Liberals promised two billion trees by 2030. Only 2 per cent have been planted. What’s going wrong – and what needs fixing

Eric Reguly: The ugly downsides of Canada’s costly obsession with electric vehicles

Laura Cameron and Angela Carter: Feds should not waste their $15-billion Canada Growth Fund on carbon capture for oil

Campbell Clark: There is no cost-free climate plan

Amanda Lewis: What we lose when the forests burn

Green Investing

Teck Resources’ coal business raises questions about ESG successes

In fending off a hostile takeover bid from mining giant Glencore, Vancouver-based Teck Resources highlighted its successes with ESG issues and urged investors to consider Glencore’s failures as a reason to spurn the Swiss company’s offer. But that strategy now opens the door for shareholders, regulators and would-be partners to cast a critical eye on Teck’s own record. The company has paid millions in fines related to pollution from coal-mining operations in British Columbia’s Elk Valley and is still working to stem the contamination of watersheds in the region.

Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of Bashar Rahman doing a fundraising campaign.

Open this photo in gallery:

Bashar RahmanSupplied

My name is Bashar, and I am a 21-year-old climate activist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I have been living in Vancouver for the past two years as I pursue a Bachelor of International Economics degree on a full scholarship at the University of British Columbia as a first-generation low-income student.

I have been working on a project called Stories of Change, where I pedal across Bangladesh to capture and amplify the inspiring stories of climate resilience in the country. By sharing these stories, I aim to highlight the innovative solutions and the incredible people behind them. You can follow our journey on the website:

Throughout my work, I have learned that small, localized actions can make a significant impact on our environment. To slow climate change and build a more resilient future, I encourage people to support community-led initiatives, embrace sustainable practices, and actively engage in climate discussions. Together, we can foster hope and drive positive change in the face of the climate crisis. You can also support the project here.

- Bashar

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

Open this photo in gallery:

Activists of the Last Generation ("Letzte Generation") climate action group block Puschkinallee avenue on May 23, 2023 in Berlin, Germany. Last Generation activists are now into their fifth week of nearly daily disruptive protests by blocking traffic in Berlin as they seek to put pressure on politicians to enact stronger legislation towards mitigating climate change.SeanGallup/Getty Images

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