Climate Extremes

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LATEST NEWS ON THIS TOPIC

Extreme Heat, Heavy Rain Connect Changing Climate to Squamish, B.C. Rockslides

Climate change may be behind two rockslides that shook Squamish, British Columbia Monday, with extremes of heat followed by pounding rain creating ideal conditions for massive slabs of granite to shear off the precipitous face of the Stawamus Chief.

Hydro-Québec Signs 25-Year, $20-Billion Export Deal with New York

Hydro-Québec has signed a tentative C$20-billion deal with New York State that will see the utility export 10.4 terawatt-hours of electricity per year for the next 25 years, pending approval from both sides of the border.

Regenerative Farming Can Restore Soil, Reverse Desertification

As droughts and extreme weather wreak havoc on farms and threaten food supplies, regenerative agriculture practices can help farmlands adapt to the changing climate while offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.

Groups Urge Stock Exchange to Probe Vancouver Fossil’s Oil Drilling Plans in Botswana

Environmental activists and lawyers are urging a Canadian virtual stock exchange to investigate a Vancouver-based company’s interest in drilling for oil and gas in the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana, after documents suggested it may have obscured its ambitions in the biodiverse and ecologically fragile region.

Climate Finance Faces $75-Billion Gap as COP 26 Looms 1,000 Hours Away

With the opening of this year’s United Nations climate change conference, COP 26, less than 1,000 hours away, the world’s poorest, most vulnerable countries are facing down a six-year, US$75-billion shortfall in the international climate finance that rich countries have been promising since 2009, Oxfam estimates in a report released Sunday.

Climate Lifestyles Mainly Matter as ‘Acts of Strategic Mass Mobilization’

The climate community has long debated how much attention we should each be paying to our individual carbon footprint. On Undark, self-declared “climate hypocrite” Sami Grover says lifestyle choices are must useful as “acts of strategic mass mobilization”.

Climate Now Threatens U.S. Banks More than Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Global heating should be sending a chill up the spines of U.S. bankers as a new report finds that climate risk now imperils balance sheets more than the subprime mortgage crisis did 14 years ago. 

Global Farm Subsidies Drive Emissions, Undermine Food System Change

Despite research showing that industrial meat production generates staggering volumes of greenhouse gas emissions, a new report reveals that almost all global farm subsidies support the most damaging producers and undermine efforts to transform the food system.

Livestock Farming Still Essential to Smallholders in Poorest Regions

Climate policymakers must look beyond the risks in large-scale animal agriculture and invest in smallholder farmers in impoverished regions to “help rural farming communities adapt in the face of the climate crisis,” say a Ugandan farmer and a U.S. public health nutrition scientist.

Emissions Rise, Species Lose Habitat as World’s Great Forests ‘Reduced to Patchwork’

The world’s largest forests are being reduced to a patchwork, and as the patches get more frequent, the carbon leaks and the heat rises. As the great rainforest canopies are shredded into ever-smaller pieces, industrial activity has an ever-greater impact on biodiversity and forest carbon storage.

U.S., European Union Pledge 30% Methane Cut by 2030

The United States and the European Union issued a joint promise Friday to reduce their emissions of climate-busting methane by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, with the aim of finalizing the agreement during this year’s United Nations climate conference and getting other countries to sign on.

Straights of Mackinac

Michigan’s Line 5 Pipeline Could Wreak US$41B in Climate Damage

Allowing Calgary-based pipeliner Enbridge Inc. to maintain its Line 5 pipeline by tunnelling beneath the Straits of Mackinac could generate US$41 billion in climate damages over the next 50 years, new expert testimony submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission states.

Enbridge Line 3 Groundwater Damage Nets $3.3M Fine, Possible Criminal Charges

Enbridge Inc. has been fined and could face criminal charges for breaching Minnesota environmental laws during the construction of its Line 3 pipeline replacement.

Dramatic Difference in B.C. Police Responses Draws Charge of Systemic Racism

Stark differences in the police response to Fairy Creek protesters versus anti-vaccine passport demonstrators suggests that whether one is assaulted with pepper spray or merely met by a polite presence depends on the colour of one’s skin.

mental health

3/4 of Young People Fear for the Future, 4 in 10 Fear Having Children, Global Survey Finds

A recent global survey on young people’s attitudes toward the climate crisis has shown that 75% agree that “the future is frightening.”

1,600 Oil and Gas Wells Could Close as LA County Votes to End Drilling

Some 1,600 oil and gas drilling sites, many of them still active, may be on track to close after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Wednesday to end new fossil drilling.

Catastrophic Tipping Points ‘Closer Than We Think’: Monbiot

The effects of climate change may well escalate faster than expected, thanks to climate policies that won’t go far enough, fast enough to reduce warming and avert catastrophic consequences, warns essayist and activist George Monbiot in a recent post for The Guardian.

Climate Concern Should Guide Court’s Decision on Fairy Creek Injunction, Lawyer Argues

Public concern over climate change should play a large part in deciding whether a British Columbia forestry company is granted an extension to an injunction against protests over the logging of old-growth forests, a court heard Wednesday.

Biogas Plan for North Carolina Hog Waste Amounts to Greenwashing, Critics Say

A project planned by agribusiness giant Smithfield Foods will turn hog waste into biogas, but nearby North Carolina residents and advocates oppose the development, saying it raises serious environmental justice issues.

Smallholders Look to Agroecology for Sustainable, Equitable Food Systems

Agroecology can encourage environmental sustainability while empowering smallholder producers—leading grassroots organizations to embrace it as a solution to the inequity and environmental destruction caused by the industrialized global food system.

#Elxn44: Climate Messaging Can Connect to Local Concern for Safety, Health, Cost of Living

Over the last month of election campaigning, much of the climate conversation has necessarily focused on familiar campaign themes like emission reduction targets, pipelines, fossil fuel subsidies, and how to elect more climate champions to Parliament.
But on a parallel track, some organizations have been listening for issues that connect the climate emergency back to voters’ day-to-day concerns—like community safety and vulnerability, staying healthy in a global pandemic, the cost of living, and the need for basic fairness in the transitions that lie ahead.

Field Projects Show How Farmers Can Cut Nitrogen Emissions While Boosting Yields

Two new studies are shining a light on how farmers can reduce their use of nitrogen fertilizers—and control the climate-busting nitrous oxide they produce—while increasing farm yields and incomes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_East_Africa_drought

Under-Reporting Adds to Climate Impacts in Africa

Media myopia and scientific uncertainty created by “noise” in the climate system are contributing to a “chronic” and dangerous under-reporting of extreme weather events in Africa. 

2020 Sets ‘Stark’ Record for Murders of Environmental Activists

A record 227 activists working to protect environmental and land rights were murdered in 2020, says the latest in a series of annual reports from Global Witness.

Safety Inspections Begin after ‘Overheating Incident’ Takes World’s Biggest Battery Offline

The owner of the world’s biggest grid battery, the 400-megawatt/1600-megawatt-hour Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility south of San Francisco, ordered an investigation earlier this month after an “overheating incident” took 300 MW of storage capacity offline, even though nothing caught fire.

Harvard to Divest Fossil Fuels, Sets Example for Other Institutions

Climate activists are hailing Harvard University’s move to divest from fossil fuels as a profound shift in the status quo and a model for other institutions.

Climate Disasters Could Cost 1/3 of Global GDP by Century’s End

Climate-driven disasters like wildfire are generating persistent economic harm that could tally up to more than a third of global GDP by 2100, an international study has found.

drought crops

#Elxn44: Canadian Voters Demand Mitigation, Adaptation Strategies

As Canada approaches the September 20 federal election, climate organizations are looking to candidates for immediate plans for faster, deeper carbon cuts—and to adapt to the climate impacts the country is already seeing.

Ford Government Broke the Law by Failing to Consult on MZOs, Court Rules

An Ontario court has found the provincial government broke the law by failing to adhere to the Environmental Bill of Rights with a controversial measure to speed up more than 40 local land developments using Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZOs).

CleanBC Climate Plan Falls Short, Indigenous and Environmental Leaders Tell Horgan

Barely three years after environmental and Indigenous leaders in British Columbia endorsed the province’s CleanBC climate plan, those same leaders have withdrawn their support and are demanding a plan that matches the scale of the climate crisis.

Severe Weather Affects 1 in 3 Americans, Threatens 60,000 More Deaths Per Year by 2050

This summer’s weather disasters affected nearly 1 in 3 Americans, highlighting the urgency for immediate mitigation and raising doubts about whether the country is prepared for climate change.

Climate Extremes Force Small-Town U.S. to Choose: Fight or Leave?

Small, rural towns in the United States are struggling to stay afloat after recurring extreme weather has depleted funds and prompt migration, raising questions about how to address climate damage in communities that are disappearing. 

Equitable Energy Use Could Bring Decent Living Standards to All

Providing a decent standard of living for all people on Earth would take less energy than the current global demand—provided a concern for equity takes centre stage, an international team of researchers says.

B.C.’s Fairy Creek Protesters Face a Different Fight from Clayoquot

A major shift in tactics by those seeking to protect British Columbia’s Fairy Creek could help the old-growth watershed avoid same fate as Clayoquot Sound, says a Canadian environmental journalist and author.

Ocean Warming Pushes North Atlantic Right Whales into Dangerous Waters

The climate crisis could deal a fatal blow to the endangered North Atlantic right whale as plummeting plankton populations drive the mammals north into unprotected jurisdictions. 

Child cycling with a mask

Climate Action Can’t Wait for COVID, 220 Global Health Journals Declare

The world’s major health journals say the climate and nature crisis is an emergency demanding we transform our societies.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

Alberta Coal Review Hears Public Concerns about Water, Recreation, Toxics

Albertans want to talk about a lot more than coal when it comes to development in their beloved Rocky Mountains, says the head of the committee charged with collecting public opinion on the issue.

BREAKING: Postpone COP 26 Over COVID Safety Failures, Climate Groups Urge

Crucial negotiations over carbon reductions and international climate finance at this year’s United Nations climate change conference must be postponed because of the UK government’s failure to ensure pandemic safety, particularly for delegates from the Global South, Climate Action Network-International declared in a statement released this morning.

Devastating Hurricane Ida Reveals Deep Inequities in U.S. Climate Protections

Ten days after Hurricane Ida first began swinging its scythe of destruction and death from the U.S. Gulf Coast all the way up to the streets of New York City, the story of this monster storm has become one of unprepared authorities, inadequate infrastructure, and the most vulnerable, as always, in the crosshairs.

Hurricane Ida Produces Oil, Petrochemical Spills on Land, at Sea

The fierce, 150-mile-per-hour winds unleashed by Hurricane Ida last week left behind oil and petrochemical spills on land and at sea, with aerial photography and satellite images capturing some of the impacts in the aftermath of the storm.

deciduous forest

One-Third of Global Tree Species at Risk of Extinction

Human activity is pushing almost a third of the world’s tree species toward extinction, and many are now barely hanging on, a new report concludes.

Arctic Melt Could Increase Risk of Viruses Jumping Between Species

A new study has found that the risk of a virus crossing species in one of the Arctic’s largest lakes could be increasing with glacier melt.

Insurers Deny Coverage for Homes Near Wildfires

With wildfires raging in British Columbia, insurers are putting property owners in a bind by refusing to cover new properties bought and built within a certain distance of a fire.

Extreme Heat, Drought Drive ‘Unbelievable’ Rise in Food Prices

Canadians have started to pay more for groceries as severe drought drives up prices for agricultural commodities, and experts say more price hikes are likely this fall.

Iraq Urges OPEC to Reduce Oil Dependency, Embrace Renewables

The deputy prime minister of Iraq and the executive director of the International Energy Agency are urging the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and shift into renewable energy.

Satellite Imagery Shows Extent of Greenland Ice Melt

In a recent satellite image of the Greenland ice sheet, pools of blue and a menacing swath of grey signal an ecosystem in an accelerating state of meltdown.

Apply Proven Pandemic Solutions to Climate Fight, Australian Climate Scientist Urges

As his home nation continues to execute strict protocols in the face of repeated outbreaks of COVID-19, Australian climate scientist Tim Flannery is urging policy-makers to bring proven pandemic measures to bear in the climate crisis fight.

All-Indigenous Crews Bring Local Knowledge to Wildfire Response

First Nations in the North Thompson region of British Columbia are making the case that all-Indigenous fire crews can deliver the local knowledge that has been missing from the province’s wildfire response.

U.S. Opens Climate Change and Health Equity Office

The United States is setting up an Office of Climate Change and Health Equity to get at the health impacts of the climate emergency and the disproportionate toll on poor communities, the Biden administration announced earlier this week.

After Declaring Climate, Housing Emergencies, City of Ottawa Fails on Both: Op-Ed

Despite pious declarations from municipal leaders, the City of Ottawa’s soon-to-be released official plan shows little sign of alarm about the two major crises the city is facing, says a local citizens’ alliance.

Afghanistan Climate Strikers Desperate to Evacuate as Fridays for Future Issues Call for Rescue

Fridays for Future organizers in Canada and around the world say they are mounting a desperate publicity and fundraising effort to help climate strikers in Afghanistan and their immediate families arrange safe passage out of the country.

CO2 Pipeline Rupture in Mississippi Points to Health Risks in Carbon Capture Expansion

A dangerous carbon dioxide pipeline rupture in Satartia, Mississippi, last year is a foreshadow of the risks people face in the U.S. and elsewhere if the fossil industry and governments push through with plans to expand carbon capture and sequestration infrastructure.

Microgrids Deliver Resilience in Wake of Devastating Haiti Earthquake

Haiti’s fledgling microgrid system survived last month’s devastating earthquake, galvanizing some non-profits in the country to secure more distributed and renewable energy resources.

Shell Misleads with ‘Drive CO2 Neutral’ Ads, Dutch Watchdog Says

A Dutch advertising watchdog group is calling out Royal Dutch Shell for misleading advertising even as the oil giant faces pressure from the country’s courts.

U.S. ‘Forest Thinning’ Masks Logging, Increases Wildfire Intensity

The U.S. Forest Service promotes forest thinning to manage fires, but an expert ecologist says the practice is a euphemism for logging—and makes fires worse.

Shift Forestry Jobs to Other Sectors, B.C. Analyst Urges

Citing the imperative to preserve forests as carbon sinks, a 40-year veteran of the British Columbia Forest Service is urging the province to substantially reduce its annual allowable cut, put an end to clearcutting, and stop accepting inflated job data meant to justify practices that are far from sustainable.

‘Catastrophic’ Hurricane Ida Hits Louisiana at 240 Km/Hr

Hurricane Ida cut a path across southeastern Louisiana after storming ashore with sustained winds of 240 kilometres/150 miles per hour, with weather services warning the “catastrophic”, high-end Category 4 storm could bring storm surge, extreme winds, and flooding rains through the early part of this week.

#Elxn44: Fairy Creek Blockade Pushes Old-Growth Forests onto Federal Election Agenda

A year of protests and civil disobedience in the Fairy Creek valley on southwest Vancouver Island has brought old-growth logging onto the agenda for the federal election, with more than 700 people arrested at least once in a bid to stop Surrey, B.C.-based Teal Jones from cutting trees in the watershed.

Climate Made European Floods More Likely, Intense as Temperatures Hit Record High

A new round of attribution research is showing how this summer’s deadly floods in Western Europe were supercharged by climate change, just as the UK Met Office reports that 2020 was the continent’s warmest year on record.

Climate Bond Initiative Considers Certifying New Rail Line through Amazon Rainforest

Indigenous people and ecologists in Brazil are aghast that the UK-based Climate Bond Initiative is considering green certification for a 933-kilometre rail line that would run through the Amazon rainforest.

Angry Fire Chief Demands Help after Gas Explosion from Abandoned Well Injures 20, Destroys Buildings

Twenty people were injured and two buildings were destroyed last week in Wheatley, a town of 3,000 people on the southwestern tip of Ontario, after an explosion triggered by a hydrogen sulphide leak from an abandoned gas well that was first declared an emergency on June 3.

Indigenous Seed Growers Advance Food Security in Northern B.C.

Canada’s climate conversations have largely left out Indigenous voices and land-based knowledge, but a seed-saving group in northeastern British Columbia is showing a different way forward.

Mental Health Crisis Hits U.S. Wildland Firefighters

Longer, more intense fire seasons are increasing stress and trauma among U.S. wildland firefighters, raising the need for accessible, targeted mental health services.

Wildlife Habitat Lost to Wildfire May Take Many Years to Recover

The blazes that have scorched Western Canada this summer have incinerated large areas of wildlife habitat that may take many years to recover.

Small Food Choices Can Make a Big Difference, New Research Shows

Recent studies measuring potential health and environmental benefits from strategic dietary changes have found that modest shifts in consumption patterns can significantly reduce the global footprint of food production.

First-Ever Rainfall Recorded at Greenland Summit Weather Station

At 5 AM local time on August 14, the first recorded rain fell on Greenland’s highest summit, signifying dramatic change taking place across the world’s Arctic regions as global temperatures rise.

Judge Cites ‘Striking Errors’ in Ruling Against German Coal Plant

An administrative court in Germany has ruled that permission to build the country’s newest coal plant, Datteln IV, was granted illegally, with a judge citing “striking errors” in decisions by local authorities, the environmental law charity ClientEarth reported in a release yesterday.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Environmental Justice Win as U.S. Orders Review for Massive Petrochemical Plant

A majority Black community in south Louisiana is declaring a win after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ordered a full environmental impact statement for the US$9.4-billion Formosa Plastics petrochemical project, a massive undertaking that would double toxic emissions nearby and emit 13 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, the equivalent of three coal plants.

Southeast Asia Loses $28 Trillion by 2070 if Average Warming Exceeds 3°C

Southeast Asia—a region that British Columbia and others have been touting as a possible market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports—stands to gain US$12.5 trillion if average global warming is held to 1.5°C, but lose $28 trillion if warming is allowed to exceed 3°C by 2070, the Deloitte Economics Institute concludes in a new analysis this week.

Wildfire

Firefighters Lay Out ‘Critical Resource Needs’ as Caldor Fire Prompts New Evacuations

With 465 homes, and 178 other structures already destroyed, the Caldor Fire near the California-Nevada border had grown to 136,000 acres (55,000 hectares)—partly because the state couldn’t mobilize enough fire crews or equipment to fight it.

deciduous forest

Forest Regeneration Depends on Forest People’s Knowledge

Trees are vital for solving the climate crisis. But there’s nothing simple about the forested world, as forest people know.

Pipeline Leaks, Construction Problems Validated Biden’s Keystone Cancellation, Lawmakers Say

Serious and “preventable” construction problems on the 3,000-mile Keystone Pipeline System in the United States validated President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the controversial Keystone XL project on his first day in office, a group of senior Congressional leaders said Monday, citing a new report from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Insurers Move ‘at Light Speed’ to Limit Exposure to Fossil Industry Risk

With global climate change threatening to wreak havoc on their industry, insurance companies are increasingly looking to limit their exposure to the fossil fuel sector.

Methane Fee Shapes Up as New Political Battle for Biden, Congress

Farm state Democrats in the United States and the Biden White House are about to step into a “political tinderbox” over the emissions reduction option identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the quickest ways to begin getting runaway global warming under control.

Texas Bill Will Prevent Cities from Protecting Workers in Heat Emergencies

A new bill introduced by Republican lawmakers in Texas that undermines local COVID-19 safety measures could also remove municipal mandates for safe working conditions on hot days, even as climate change makes temperatures more extreme.

‘Acknowledge the Anxiety’ When Discussing Climate Change with Kids, Experts Say

Experts in child psychology and climate stress are saying parents should acknowledge the anxiety that children feel as they bear witness to the effects of climate change.

Rapid Pollinator Decline Driven by Habitat Loss, Pesticides, Changing Climate

The world’s pollinators are in decline—and scientists now have a surer idea of why. The bees, butterflies, wasps, beetles, flies, bats, and hummingbirds yes, animals and birds, too) that shift pollen from one flower to another and help three-fourths of the world’s food crops to fruit and reproduce are on the way out. Oblivion awaits insects and other pollinators because of the things humans have done, and go on doing.

1 Billion Children at ‘Extremely High Climate Risk’ as Inequities Get Worse, UNICEF Warns

Nearly half of the world’s 2.2 billion children face “extremely high risk” due to the climate crisis and other forms of pollution, according to a new UNICEF report released late last week, marking the third anniversary of the start of #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg’s school strike.

Surprise Election Win Spotlights Climate Policy Gaps between Nova Scotia, Federal Conservatives

While pundits parse an unexpected provincial election result in Nova Scotia for clues on the federal campaign, closer observers say the rise of Premier-Designate Tim Houston’s Progressive Conservatives points to a pragmatic governing approach in a province that has quietly led the country in some aspects of the energy transition.

#Elxn44: Climate Impacts, Anxiety Drive Discussion in First Week of Federal Election

A summer of wildfires, heat waves, drought, and climate anxiety continued to take up much of the airtime on the campaign trail as Canada’s federal election campaign entered its second week, with at least four climate and energy hawks declaring as first-time candidates and the CBC issuing a call for input on questions for the leaders’ debates September 8-9.

#Elxn44: Northwestern Ontario Farmers Face Worst Drought in Three Decades

Peggy Brekveld has owned a dairy farm with her husband in Thunder Bay for nearly three decades and says she’s never seen a drought this bad.

http://cdooginz.deviantart.com/art/California-Drought-518267539

Wildfires, Lake Mead Water Shortage Show Western U.S. Climate Crisis Deepening

A water shortage at a major U.S. reservoir and wildfire evacuations in Utah and California are signals that the dire predictions in the United Nations’ climate report are already unfolding.

#Elxn44: Ottawa Announces $340M Over Five Years for Indigenous Guardians, Protected Areas

The federal government has committed C$340 million over five years to support a national Indigenous guardians network and fund Indigenous Protected Areas.

Global ‘Climate Gentrification’ Pushes Poor People into Unsafe Areas

The evolving role of climate risk in the global real estate market and insurance markets could gentrify low-risk areas while pushing less-privileged people to the regions hit hardest by climate impacts.

Wildfire Smoke Drives New Market for Personal Air Quality Sensors

With wildfire smoke spreading over North America, an increasing demand for personal air-quality monitors reveals how climate change is reshaping citizens’ day-to-day habits and concerns.

Successful Ozone Protection Treaty Prevented 2.5°C of Additional Warming

Spring 2060. In dark glasses, a wide sunhat and with what little exposed skin left caked in sun cream, a child stares at the woodland across from their house. It looks scraggly and stunted, and with far fewer leaves than in the old photos she has seen. Still, no time to dwell on it: there’s a UV index of 20 and she’s already spent five minutes outside. 

Passive House Beats Conventional Design for Summer Cooling

A Passive House home won a competition against Scotland’s building code, in a recent head-to-head test to see which design approach kept living space cooler for longer.

#Elxn44: Canadian Farmers Receive Federal Lifeline for Drought Losses

Prairie producers experiencing what may be the worst drought in Canadian history are looking to the federal government—and producers farther east—for a financial lifeline. 

Coffee Prices Skyrocket after Quadruple Punch of Drought, Frost, Fire, and Pandemic

As extreme weather in Brazil, political turmoil in Colombia, and pandemic-related shipping bottlenecks conspire to push the price of coffee beans up nearly 43% this year alone, small roasters are wondering how they will survive.  

Most Disasters are Predictable, Political, Not ‘Natural’, Expert Asserts

A renowned expert in emergency management is saying the U.S. emergency response system needs major reform to confront the oncoming disasters of climate change.

U.S. Urban Heat Islands Rooted in Redlining, Other Discriminatory Policies

As heat waves become more severe and more frequent, experts are saying that protecting marginalized communities from the killer effects of urban heat islands will require undoing decades of inequitable housing policies.

Judge Tosses Mammoth Alaska Oil Project, Citing ‘Capricious’ Failure on Carbon Emissions

A federal judge on Wednesday threw out Trump administration approvals for a large planned oil project on Alaska’s North Slope, saying the federal review was flawed and didn’t include mitigation measures for polar bears.

Bangladesh Factory Fire Highlights Urgent Need to Protect Climate Migrants

A tragic factory fire in Bangladesh has thrown a spotlight on the dangerous predicament faced by climate change migrants.

#Elxn44: Voters Focus on Climate, Cost of Living as Federal Campaign Gets Under Way

Within hours of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s visit to Rideau Hall Sunday to trigger a September 20 snap election, the climate emergency began to emerge as a top vote-determining issue in the 36-day campaign.

Indigenous Teen Fights Manitoba Wildfire to ‘Protect Our Elders’

For years, Cody Baptiste would watch his older brother spend his summers fighting wildfires in Manitoba.

It’s a path he knew he eventually wanted to follow.

Tropical Storm Follows Massive Earthquake as Haiti Struggles to Help Victims

A tropical storm piled into Haiti Monday and early Tuesday, with the country still reeling from a massive, 7.2-magnitude earthquake Saturday that was last reported to have killed more than 1,400 people and injured at least 6,000.

Proposed California Insurance Plan Could Mitigate Climate Risk, Equalize Coverage

As insurance systems fail to adequately protect climate disaster survivors, the California Department of Insurance is proposing a pilot program to encourage long-term risk reduction and close the wealth-driven gap in coverage.

Long-Time Alaska Gardening Column Becomes Accidental Record of Climate Change

A review of decades of advice from a longstanding Alaskan gardening column is offering insight into a warming climate and an evolving social awareness of how to adapt.

Wildfire

Raging Wildfires Have Firefighters, Communities Scrambling as Election Begins

With a federal election kicking off in a country beset by raging wildfires and punishing heat and drought, exhausted firefighters in Canada are pleading for patience and kindness from the public, and Indigenous communities are stepping up ever more strongly to the fight.

How Much Climate Transition Would $50 Billion Buy? Energy Mix Readers Respond to Fossil’s Subsidy Demand

After Cenovus Energy CEO Alex Pourbaix made his pitch for C$52.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies to decarbonize production in the Alberta tar sands/oil sands, we asked Energy Mix readers how else they would spend that money to drive faster, deeper carbon cuts. The community delivered.

‘Globally Unique’ Arctic Ecosystem Could Collapse within Decades

A key ice bridge in Canada’s High Arctic may collapse within decades, taking with it a “globally unique and fertile piece of the Arctic ecosystem,” CBC reports, citing a new study in the journal Nature Communications.

July Sets All-Time Monthly Heat Record as Northern Hemisphere Bakes

July 2021 has taken its place as the hottest month in 142 years of official record-keeping, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

Ottawa Refuses Grassy Mountain Coal Mine Despite First Nations’ Appeal

The federal government has officially put a nail in the coffin of the contentious Grassy Mountain coal project with an August 6 announcement that the project will not proceed.

Feds Pledge $200M to Help Farmers Cut Emissions, Boost Resilience

Canada’s ministry of agriculture and agri-food has announced a three-year, C$200 million On-Farm Climate Action Fund to help farmers adopt climate-friendly management practices. 

‘Buying More Stuff’ Can’t Drive the Economy in a Climate, Biodiversity Emergency

Urging Canadians to tap into their pandemic savings and “buy more stuff” is exactly the wrong message for a country that wants to reduce its emissions and support biodiversity, according to an emerging line of thought that refuses to see consumer spending as the path to economic salvation.

smoke, wildfire, siberia

Putin Wants Better Effort Against ‘Unprecedented’ Siberian Wildfires

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday urged authorities to strengthen their efforts to fight wildfires across northeastern Siberia, calling the situation “unprecedented” as fires threatened people’s homes.

Anti-Vax Rhetoric, Climate Denial Share Similar Tactics—and Harms

COVID-19 anti-vaxxers are singing straight from the climate denial playbook— “discredit, deny, and disseminate potentially dangerous nonsense”—a trend that bodes ill for the future of public health. 

Renewable Mini-Grids Can Replace Diesel, but Depend on Community Ownership

Powering our appliances and charging our smart devices night and day is something many take for granted. Yet 789 million people living in remote communities and isolated areas globally do not have access to electricity. If we include the people who are not connected to their national grid, the number rises to 1.4 billion.

Standardization Needed for Carbon Credits in U.S. Agriculture

Experts are calling for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to standardize and regulate the currently “uncertain” protocols for carbon credit programs. 

New Certainty on Extreme Weather Must Lead to Political, Social Action

From land and marine heat waves to storms, flooding, drought, and wildfire, extreme weather events have become more common and more intense since the 1950s, and human-caused climate change is the primary driver. 

Human Activity Drives Climate Change, ‘Epochal’ IPCC Report Finally Confirms

It is now, finally, “unequivocal” that human influence is behind our warming climate.

Five IPCC Scenarios ‘Show How Much Suffering Can Be Averted’

Even the most optimistic scenario in this week’s science assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows average global warming pushing past the crucial boundary of 1.5°C and staying there for most of the century, before gradually beginning to decline. All the other scenarios point to a far worse future. 

But the differences among the five pathways make all the difference in the world.

heat dome

Canada Has ‘Responsibility, Power to Make a Difference’ on IPCC Findings

In the hours after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its new science assessment, Canadian climate organizations linked the report’s stark findings to Canada’s stubborn refusal to scale back fossil fuel emissions and subsidies, and the urgent need to close the gap between science and action.

Carbon Budget Tally Shows that ‘Every Tonne of CO2’ Counts

Quick action to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could show “discernible effects” within years, but humanity has only about a dozen years at its current rate of emissions before a narrow window on a 1.5°C future closes, according to carbon budget calculations in yesterday’s science assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Continuing Ocean Warming Will Bring ‘Irreversible’ Changes

Scientists are “virtually certain” that ocean temperatures will continue rising until the end of this century, and that the transformational impacts of sea level rise, ocean acidification, melting of the cryosphere, and deoxygenation are now irreversible.

All the World’s Regions Face ‘Concurrent, Multiple Changes’, IPCC Says

Every region of the world will “increasingly experience concurrent and multiple changes” in climate events if global warming continues to rise, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). 

Two Metres’ Sea Level Rise Unlikely, But Can’t Be Ruled Out

While most projections in the sixth IPCC assessment of global climate science track anticipated developments under five emissions scenarios, there is one notable exception: a single chart projecting future sea level rise that deviates significantly as early as this decade.

Wet Seasons Will Be Wetter, Dry Seasons More Dry, IPCC Assessment Concludes

Whether and when you experience drought or inundation—or both—will depend on where you live, but the latest IPCC assessment report has confirmed that the world’s water cycle will keep on growing more and more extreme.

What’s Next: ‘An Alarm Bell to Phase Out Fossil Fuels’

Yesterday’s science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced a wave of reaction from climate policy analysts and campaigners around the world.

NO MORE EXCUSES: ‘Unimaginable, Unforgiving World’ without Drastic Emission Cuts, IPCC Warns

Human activity is “unequivocally” producing a world of heat waves, wildfires, floods, sea level rise, and needless death and suffering, “it is more likely than not” that average global warming will exceed 1.5°C by 2040, and faster, deeper emission reductions will be needed to bring temperatures back below 1.5° by the end of the century, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes in a landmark science assessment released this morning.

Gulf Stream Becoming Wildly Unstable, Dangerously Weak, New Study Finds

New research suggests that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), a critical ocean current that stabilizes monsoon patterns and helps keep the northern hemisphere warm, has become wildly unstable and dangerously weak. 

New Study Measures the Cost of Emissions, One Heat Wave Death at a Time

A recent study has arrived at a striking new form of measurement for the true cost of burning fossil fuels: the number of people who will die annually from rising heat, and the number who won’t once emissions are scaled back.

This story includes details about the impacts of climate change that may be difficult for some readers. If you are feeling overwhelmed by this crisis situation here is a list of resources on how to cope with fears and feelings about the scope and pace of the climate crisis.

PG&E Must Answer to Federal Judge After Devastating California Fire

As California’s mammoth Dixie Fire continues to burn its way through northern parts of the state, a federal judge has ordered giant utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to explain its potential role in starting the blaze.

Bangladeshi Villagers Live Day-to-Day Hardships of Sea Level Rise

Every day in a remote coastal village in southwest Bangladesh, Tuli, 11, helps her mother and aunt carry drinkable water from a pond. They must walk more than a mile, there and back, to collect the water.

Costa Rica Debates Permanent Ban on Fossil Exploration, Extraction

Legislators in Costa Rica are debating a measure that would permanently ban fossil fuel exploration and extraction, stopping a nascent pro-exploration lobby in its tracks and making it impossible for future governments to rescind the decision.

Biden Sets 50% EV Target for New Cars by 2030

United States President Joe Biden signed an executive order yesterday that calls for 50% of his country’s new cars to be electric vehicles or hybrids by 2030, just days after the Senate adopted a $1.2-trillion infrastructure package that was widely seen as just a downpayment on the White House’s commitment to climate action.

Microsoft, BP Carbon Offsets at Risk as Oregon Wildfires Eat Away at ‘Buffer Pools’

Recent wildfires on the U.S. west coast threaten to exhaust forest “buffer pools” that act as a kind of insurance for carbon offsets issued to major companies, raising questions about the reliability of the offset programs themselves.

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Prairie Drought Could Threaten Global Food Supplies

The ongoing drought in Canada’s prairie provinces is devastating farms and revealing potential future repercussions for the both the global and domestic food system. 

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Northern B.C. Communities Urge Cooperation, Decolonization for Economic Health

settler—provided that decision-makers adopt the principles of reconciliation, decolonization, and collaboration, a new report concludes.

Record Wildfires Spawn Heated Political Rhetoric in Turkey

As drought-driven wildfires ravage and traumatize Turkey’s farming sector, the catastrophe is fanning the flames of political division. 

This story includes details about the impacts of climate change that may be difficult for some readers. If you are feeling overwhelmed by this crisis situation here is a list of resources on how to cope with fears and feelings about the scope and pace of the climate crisis.

8.5 Billion Tonnes of Greenland Ice Melt in One Day

The massive ice melt that took place in Greenland on July 27 has highlighted the rapid rate of glacial retreat and is raising the alarm for future ice loss and sea level rise.

Worldwide Tree Planting Promises Could Exceed the Available Land

A new Oxfam report is warning that relying too much on tree-planting offsets will endanger the world’s food supply—just as Royal Dutch Shell pushes hard to open a new oil field that would require a new forest the size of England to offset its emissions.

65 Nations Face Food Insecurity as Climate Change Hits Global Fisheries

The combined impacts of climate change and overfishing are putting food security at risk in dozens of countries, according to a recent study.

Western Canada Wildfires Are Generating their Own Weather, Experts Warn

A combination of intense heat and drought conditions has been causing wildfires in Western Canada to generate their own weather systems, experts say.

Wildfire Smoke Increases COVID-19 Risk, U.S. Study Shows

Wildfire smoke may greatly increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to new research from the Center for Genomic Medicine at the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Washoe County Health District (WCHD), and Renown Health (Renown) in Reno, Nevada.

‘Cloud Feedback’ Could Increase Climate Warming

A new study has left climate scientists more confident that “cloud feedback”—a wickedly complex cycle in which clouds respond to temperature change according to factors like type and altitude—will drive further warming, though perhaps not as much as feared.

New Cooling Technologies Could Reduce Carbon Impact of Air Conditioning

Passive cooling and other innovations can play a critical role in lowering air conditioner energy use during heat waves, experts say—but barriers remain for some communities to gain access to these cooling solutions.

Crews Spend Four Days Dousing Fire at Tesla ‘Big Battery’ in Australia

A crew of 150 firefighters spent four days battling the blaze and authorities issued a toxic smoke warning to surrounding communities after a 13-ton lithium battery pack at Tesla’s Victorian Big Battery facility in Australia caught fire last week.

30% of Pedestrian, Bike Crashes Go Unreported in Washington, DC

Realizing that Vision Zero safety initiatives are being hampered by patchy data, jurisdictions across the United States are using software programs and public outreach to fill in the gaps. 

49% Want Urgent Climate Action as Canadian Wildfire Impacts Mount

Half of Canadians say the recent wave of heat, drought, and wildfires sweeping the country has given them a heightened sense of urgency about the climate crisis, according to an Ipsos poll released Wednesday by Global News.

‘Climate Allows Society’, Governor General Mary Simon Tells Official Ceremony

Trailblazing Northern Quebec Inuit leader Mary Simon emphasized climate change, Arctic environmental protection, and reconciliation as she was installed earlier this week as Canada’s first Inuk governor general.

Ottawa Announces $5.2-Billion Bailout for Muskrat Falls Hydro Megaproject

The Trudeau government has agreed to a tentative, C$5.2-billion bailout for Newfoundland and Labrador’s troubled Muskrat Falls hydropower megaproject, aimed at stopping local electricity rates from almost doubling while taking some of the immediate heat off a province facing serious financial woes.

Bangladesh Flooding Hits Thousands of Rohingya Refugees

Heavy rains in southern Bangladesh this week have flooded and destroyed dwellings at camps hosting more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees.

U.S. Nearly Doubles Wind and Solar Capacity in 2020

The United States almost doubled its new installed capacity of wind and solar power in 2020, according to the American Clean Power Association (ACPA).

California Insurers Abandon Farmers in Face of Wildfire Risk

In yet another sign that our current systems are poorly equipped for the demands of climate change, California farmers are being left unprotected as insurance companies raise premiums and drop renewals to compensate for the increasing risk of wildfires.

Athletes Swelter, Pass Out as Heat Wave Hits Tokyo Olympics

While the lion’s share of the sports reporting focuses on medal counts, COVID-19 prevention measures, and embarrassing gaffes by Olympic officials, the heat wave stifling much of the Northern Hemisphere is putting athletes’ health at risk, with at least one news outlet comparing the Tokyo Summer Games to a battlefield.

New York

IPCC Begins Two-Week Marathon Meeting on New Climate Science Assessment

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has launched a high-stakes, all-virtual marathon meeting aimed at finalizing a key climate science report, the first volume of the world’s first comprehensive climate change assessment in nearly a decade.

Pacific Salmon Face Massive Die-Offs as Temperatures Rise

With massive die-offs predicted for salmon populations across North America’s West Coast, as both home and migratory waters grow too hot for their survival, efforts are intensifying to restore and protect habitats and restrict the annual harvest.

Regulations Fail as Radioactive Oilfield Waste Piles Up in U.S. Landfills

Thirty-four years after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first detailed the numerous harms emanating from radioactive oilfield waste, a new report concludes that regulation and accountability are even more urgently needed.

Scientists Scramble to Protect Kelp Forests from Heat Waves, Ecosystem Disruption

With kelp gaining recognition as “the ocean’s equivalent of trees,” decarbonizing oceans and providing critical habitat for aquatic species, scientists are racing to protect kelp forests from rising temperatures and disrupted ecosystems.

Food Rescue CEO Urges Waste Reduction While Meat Magnates Boost Emissions

The director of Canada’s largest food rescue organization is urging companies to both fight the climate crisis and secure their bottom lines by eliminating food waste, even as the meat industry lays plans to scale up production.

New Climate Adaptation Coalition to Stress Social Equity, Just Transition

A new climate adaptation coalition is bringing together an unusually wide mix of voices—from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to the Métis National Council—and placing carbon reductions, social equity, and a just transition off fossil fuels at the centre of its strategy for building climate resilience.

Wilkinson Funds Alberta Flood Control Reservoir Because ‘the Hits Just Keep On Coming’

The federal government has provided the final piece of the puzzle to allow a controversial reservoir that could protect Calgary from future flooding to move forward.

Citizen Complaint Challenges ‘Sustainable’ Certification for Old Growth Logging

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is facing a citizen complaint before the federal Competition Bureau for certifying old-growth logging as “sustainable”, something it has being doing since 1996 through its Sustainable Forestry Management standards process.

More Trees, Less Pavement Can Reduce Urban Heat Islands

A new report from Climate Central lays out how U.S. cities can mitigate urban heat islands (UHIs) and adapt to the increasing frequency of extreme heat events. 

Wildfire Wave Creates New Risks for U.S. Solar Operators

Wildfires have cost the United States solar industry tens of millions of dollars in losses over the last decade, and the costs could add up as blazes across the western U.S. become more frequent and severe, warns renewable energy insurance specialist GCube.

Expanding Tailings Pond at Copper Mountain Mine ‘Flirts with Disaster’ for B.C., Washington

The expansion of a tailings pond at a southeastern B.C. copper mine must not be allowed to go ahead without a thorough environmental assessment, says one of the founding organizers of Earth Day.

Battery Fires Prompt Recall for Chevy Bolt EV

General Motors has issued a recall for Chevy Bolt electric vehicles manufactured between 2017 and 2019, after a dozen of them had their batteries catch fire in just over a year, including two in the last month.

Quebec Rejects $14-Billion LNG Terminal

Quebec has rejected GNL Québec’s application to build a C$14-billion liquefied natural gas terminal in the Saguenay region, capping years of opposition by Indigenous communities, climate campaigners, scientists, and health professionals.

Terrifying Headlines Sweep the Globe as Climate Impacts Accelerate Worldwide

While terrifying wildfires and flash floods make headlines across the globe, researchers are offering a starkly honest road map for cities looking for the swiftest path to greater resilience.

Two Manitoba Municipalities Declare Agriculture Disaster

Farmers are calling for emergency relief after two rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Interlake region declared a state of agriculture disaster earlier this month following drought, extreme heat, and a destructive surge of grasshoppers. 

Extreme Weather a Climate ‘Wake-Up Call’ for Canadians, Wilkinson Says

Extreme weather conditions across the country should be a wake-up call for people resisting taking action against climate change, Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Tuesday.

‘We Have No Choice’: Ottawa adds $1.4B to Climate Adaptation Fund

The federal government is adding almost C$1.4 billion to its disaster mitigation and adaptation fund this year to help communities across Canada facing climate change and environmental disasters.

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Carbon Capture a ‘Dangerous Distraction’, 500 Organizations Warn Canada, U.S.

Technological carbon capture is a “dangerous distraction” that will only delay the transition off fossil fuels, “despite occupying centre stage in the ‘net-zero’ climate plans trumpeted by the United States, Canada, and other countries”, more than 500 organizations are warning this week, in an open letter to political leaders published simultaneously in the Washington Post and the Hill Times.

Climate Change Adds New Risks for Retirement Savings

Individual retirement savings are facing a new form of risk as climate change wallops the corporate world’s physical assets and drives heavy economic losses.

Start Keeping Promises on Climate Finance, Developing Countries Urge G7, G20

Developing countries have presented G7 and G20 nations with a five-point plan to correct their “worrying lack of urgency” on climate finance in the lead-up to this year’s United Nations climate conference, COP 26, coming up in November.

Canada Must Protect ‘Near Urban’ Wild Spaces to Meet Conservation Goals

The federal government must prioritize the protection of “near-urban” nature—spaces rich in biodiversity but increasingly fragmented and fragile—if Canada is to make good on its promise to protect 30% of its land and waters by 2030.

New Solar Projects Train Indigenous Youth in 2 Saskatchewan Communities

Two Northern Saskatchewan Indigenous communities are engaging younger generations in renewable energy by launching in-school solar power projects.

Chicago, Detroit Floods Show Inland Cities Threatened by Rising Waters

As climate change wreaks havoc with the world’s water cycles, Chicago and Detroit are facing a serious reckoning with their engineering—and social—underpinnings.

New Wave of Atlantic Hurricanes May Be a Rebound from Earlier Lull

A new study of satellite data suggests that what has been perceived as a “century-scale increase” in hurricane activity in recent decades may just be a rebound from a lull caused in part by aerosol pollution.

188 Dead, Widespread Destruction as Western Europe Receives 2 Months of Rain in 2 Days

After two months’ worth of rain fell in just two days through July 14 and 15, causing severe flooding in much of Western Europe and leaving nearly 200 people dead, political leaders are attributing the deluge to the climate emergency.

In Conversation: ‘Crushing Moments’ of Wildfire, Drought Must Spur Governments to Action, Newton Says

Teika Newton is Managing Director of Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac) and lives near Kenora, Ontario. In this feature interview conducted last Friday, she talks about the day-to-day realities of a climate emergency, the resilience she’s learned from other generations, and what it’s like to work on climate policy with wildfires nearby…and the winds blowing in her direction.

Amazon Deforestation Flips Carbon Balance, Puts 10,000 Species at Risk

With scientists confirming that parts of the Amazon rainforest now emit more carbon than they can absorb, a landmark report is warning that more than 10,000 Amazonian species are at high risk of extinction due to habitat destruction.

South Portland, Maine Wins Marathon Pipeline Battle

In a reversal being hailed as a new precedent, a pipeline operator is dropping its six-year-long federal
lawsuit against the city of South Portland, Maine.

Elon Musk’s Fort Lauderdale Tunnel Plans Don’t Hold Water

As Fort Lauderdale, Florida, formally accepts proposal a proposal from Elon Musk’s Boring Company
to build an underground transit tunnel, many are asking if the decision is wise, given the porous ground on which the city sits and the high risk of sea level rise in the area.

Toronto Endorses Fossil Non-Proliferation Treaty, Adopts New Building Retrofit Standards

Toronto city councillors carried off a two-fer this week, adopting two new policies Wednesday to accelerate energy-efficient building retrofits before endorsing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Thursday afternoon on a 22-2 vote.

Northwest Ontario Fire Evacuations a ‘Race Against Time’

As much of Canada continues to bake under fierce heat, northwestern Ontario communities are calling out the provincial government’s failure to prepare for wildfire season.

Proposed U.S. Clean Energy Bill Could Save 317,000 Lives

The Biden administration’s proposed clean energy standard could enable a swift drop in emissions and save hundreds of thousands of lives between now and 2050, says a new report.

EU Introduces ‘Sweeping’ New Laws to Hit 55% by 2030

The European Union executive has introduced a dozen new laws aimed at curbing carbon pollution, raising renewable energy targets, plant three billion trees, and cut the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions 55% by the end of a “make-or-break decade” for climate and biodiversity.

Hunger Now Kills 11 People Every Minute

A roiling combination of climate crisis, pandemic shock, and war has disrupted food production, leading to a six-fold increase in people suffering famine-like conditions, according to a new report from Oxfam.

Replacing Bolsonaro May Not Be Enough to Solve Amazon Deforestation

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon made global headlines in 2019, thanks to massive wildfires and the election of anti-environmentalist president Jair Bolsonaro. Brazilians took to the streets against it, and retailers and consumers threatened to boycott Brazilian products. But with the pandemic dominating the headlines in 2020 and 2021, deforestation continues to rise.

‘Nothing to See Here, Folks’, as Canada Sends Updated Carbon Target to UN

The federal government is facing reactions ranging from disappointment to mockery after filing its updated carbon reduction target, or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), with the United Nations climate secretariat this week.

Opinion: Toronto Councillors Can Help Wind Down Fossil Fuel Proliferation

Days after people across the Greater Toronto Area watched a “heat dome” scorch much of western Canada and burn Lytton, British Columbia to the ground, Toronto City Council has a unique opportunity to help turn down the heat.

Experts Predict Future Health Impacts as Wildfires Rage, Two First Nations Evacuate

As two remote First Nation communities in Northern Ontario evacuate in the face of encroaching wildfires, experts are warning that impacts like trauma and respiratory damage from such events will become ever more common as the planet heats up.

Massive Alaska Pipeline at Risk as Permafrost Thaws

Melting permafrost is causing the structural supports for the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline—one of the world’s largest—to buckle, raising concerns for the delicate and remote ecosystem through which it passes.

Extreme Heat, Cold Kill Five Million Per Year

Extreme hot and cold temperatures brought on by climate change are causing five million deaths per year, amounting to 9.4% of all human lives lost around the world between 2000 and 2019, according to a new paper in the journal Lancet Planetary Health.

Gulf of Mexico Fracking Releases 250 Million Litres of Toxic Waste

Oil and gas fracking has released at least 66.3 million gallons/250 million litres of waste into the Gulf of Mexico since 2010, according to an analysis released last week by the Center for Biological Diversity.

Coffee Prices Surge as Brazil Faces Epic Drought

our morning cup of coffee may soon be delivering an extra jolt at the cash register as Brazil endures its worst drought in a century, Arabica plants fail to fruit, and wholesale bean prices soar.

B.C. Battles 300 Wildfires as Next Western Heat Wave Begins

Crews in British Columbia battled nearly 300 wildfires, temperatures in Death Valley, CA hit 130°F/54.5°C, more than 31 million Americans were under heat warnings, and a mega-drought spanned 93% of the western United States, as an entire region of North America faced a second massive heat wave just a bit milder than the last one less than two weeks ago.

abandoned oil well

Federal Orphan Wells Fund Replaced Money Fossils Were Already Spending: Report

Much of the federal subsidy that has helped clean up abandoned oil wells in Alberta may have simply replaced money that fossil companies would have spent anyway, according to a new analysis.

New York Commuters Wade Through Filthy Floodwaters as Storm Swamps Subway Station

Subway riders slogged through waist-deep water and more than a dozen people had to be rescued from a flooded stretch of highway Thursday as Tropical Storm Elsa brought heavy rains and winds up to 50 miles per hour to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Verification Still an Issue as U.S. Gets Close to Funding Soil Carbon Capture

With the United States moving swiftly to fund credits for farmers who store carbon in their soil, there’s growing concern that the program may pay for carbon storage that is already happening—and give fossil companies and other major emitters a free pass to keep polluting.

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BREAKING: Deadly Western Heat Dome ‘Virtually Impossible’ without Climate Change

Less than a week after a deadly “heat dome” devastated western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest and burned Lytton, B.C. to the ground, an international science team is reporting that the blistering conditions would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change.

Lytton-Area Tribal Council Criticizes B.C.’s ‘Slow, Chaotic’ Wildfire Response

As experts warn that the planet is entering a “runaway fire age,” First Nations in and around Lytton, British Columbia, are expressing anger as response crews prioritize fire-damaged rail infrastructure over people.

Ottawa Announces $420 Million for ‘Green Steel’ Conversion in Sault Ste. Marie

Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario will receive up to C$420 million in federal funding to replace its coal-fired production processes with electric arc furnaces, one of a trio of green infrastructure announcements this week that included a high-frequency rail promise for the Quebec City-Toronto corridor and light rail funding for the long-delayed Green Line in Calgary.

Attribution Science Could Bring More Wins in Climate Lawsuits

Better use of the latest climate attribution science in lawsuits against companies and governments that pollute could bring far more wins in the courts, says a new study in Nature Climate Change.

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Oxnard, California Declares Environmental Justice Win as Batteries Replace Gas Peaker Plant

A California utility’s decision to replace a natural gas peaker plant with a battery storage installation is being hailed as a victory for environmental justice and an example of what the future of the state grid could look like.

International Funding a ‘Moral Imperative’ as Madagascar Famine Looms

Having contributed nearly “zero” of the emissions that are driving the climate crisis, the people of Madagascar are now at serious risk of starvation as global heating brings crop-decimating drought, dust storms, and locust plagues.

Deadly Western Canada Heat Wave a ‘Wake Up Call’ for Climate Action

As the town of Lytton and the Lytton First Nation mourn all they lost to last week’s British Columbia inferno, climate experts and health professionals warn that further tragedies await in the absence of an “all hands on deck” approach to fighting the climate crisis.

Ocean Catches Fire after Gas Leak from Underwater Pipeline

Environmentalists criticized Mexico’s state-owned oil company Saturday after a gas leak at an underwater pipeline unleashed a subaquatic fireball that appeared to boil the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Peace River

Extensive Fracking, Industrial Development Violate B.C. First Nation’s Treaty Rights, Court Rules

The Blueberry River First Nations will be able to limit development in a key natural gas fracking region in northeastern British Columbia, after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the province violated Treaty 8 with the amount of industrial development it had permitted in the area.

‘Nationalize’ Old Oilfields and Use Revenue for Cleanup, Researchers Urge Alberta

Most of Alberta’s energy wells no longer hold enough oil and gas to pay for their cleanup and the public should take them over to ensure their remaining revenue funds remediation, a new report concludes.

Wildfire Smoke Suppresses Solar Panel Output

A recent analysis of California’s devastating 2020 fire season has confirmed something long suspected: wildfire smoke does have a negative impact on solar panel output.

Locals Evacuate, Firefighters at Risk as Lithium Batteries Explode in Illinois Paper Mill Blaze

Lithium batteries exploded loudly overnight inside a burning former paper mill in northern Illinois that officials had believed was long abandoned, and fire officials have decided to let the blaze burn out because they fear trying to extinguish it could trigger more explosions.

Scientists Affirm Climate Change Connection as Western ‘Heat Dome’ Shatters Records

Pavement buckled, light rail power cables melted, all-time high temperature records fell, then fell again, and utilities in British Columbia and Alberta reported record electricity demand as a brutal “heat dome” brought broiling temperatures to western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest this week, prompting scientists to draw an immediate, obvious connection to climate change.

Canada Day 2021: A Time to Listen, Not Roar

With the discovery of the remains of more than 1,000 Indigenous children in unmarked graves at former residential schools in Kamloops, Brandon, and Cowessess, Saskatchewan, Canada’s national holiday July 1 is an essential moment for those of us in the settler community to absorb and reflect. (Warning: This story contains details of residential schools and the abuse that took place there.)

B.C. Old Growth Forest Panel Raises Hopes, Suspicions

British Columbians fighting to save the province’s remaining old-growth forests are cautiously welcoming the provincial government’s decision to assemble an independent Old-Growth Technical Advisory Panel.

EU’s Offshore Renewables Plan Must Not Sacrifice Marine Protections

If the EU does not want to sacrifice its marine ecosystem in its efforts to meet its Paris targets, it must deploy its plans for a 25-fold increase in offshore wind with more monitoring and less rule-breaking, says a new position paper.

Oregon Wildfires Leave Legacy of Psychosocial Risk, New Challenges for Mental Health Systems

People in rural Oregon are living through serious distress and trauma, in their case as a result of record drought an horrific local wildfires. Bob Doppelt, coordinator of the International Transformational Resilience Coalition, originally published this account on Undark.

Boston Transit Revival Must Connect Climate Resilience, Equity Concerns

If we want equitable cities, the post-pandemic revival of mass transit systems must prioritize both day-to-day and extreme-event climate resilience, says a new in-depth study by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA).

‘Unprecedented’ Heat Wave Bakes Western Canada and U.S., Raises Wildfire Fears

As health authorities in British Columbia declare the ongoing heat wave a greater threat than COVID-19, experts are warning that the heat, arriving on the heels of the driest spring on record, is setting the stage for a summer of devastating wildfires.

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California Brings Renewables ‘Into the Spotlight’ with 11.5-Gigawatt Power Purchase Plan

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is calling for 11.5 gigawatts of new generating capacity, almost all of it clean, by 2026, a procurement equal to one-fifth to one-third of the power the state consumes.

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Rich Nations Leave Island States to Shoulder Impacts, Effort in Climate Crisis

As the nations most responsible for the climate crisis continue to deny and dither, the world’s small island states are fighting hard to save themselves.

Analysts Present 10 ‘Key Elements’ of a Well-Designed Net-Zero Target

With governments, businesses, and institutions producing an avalanche of net-zero carbon commitments, and some observers writing off the whole exercise as a “big con”, Climate Action Tracker is out with a set of 10 “key elements” for distinguishing effective national targets from the less legitimate variety.

Dire Climate Thresholds ‘Closer Than Once Thought’, Leaked IPCC Report Warns

Dangerous climate thresholds that will fundamentally reshape life on Earth “are closer than once thought” and will create unavoidable, dire consequences in the short term, even if humanity gets greenhouse gases under control, according to a leaked draft of an upcoming United Nations science report obtained earlier this week by Agence France-Presse.

Earth’s Energy Imbalance from Sun’s Heat Has Doubled Since 2005

The Earth is warming much faster than expected, with the amount of trapped heat from the sun approximately doubling between 2005 and 2019, says a new study co-authored by NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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Regulator Restarts Pipeline Construction after Trans Mountain Files Tree-Cutting Plan

A federal regulator has lifted a stop-work order on tree cutting and grass mowing along the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project route.

U.S. Ban on Xinjiang Solar Components Could Jeopardize Climate Target

Chinese-made materials used in solar panels will be barred from the U.S. market as part of a broader effort to halt commerce tied to China’s repressive campaign against Uyghurs and other minorities, the Biden administration said Thursday.

New International Crisis Group Will Press for Climate Action

More than a dozen of the world’s top scientists, led by former UK chief scientific advisor Sir David King, have formed a new Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG) to monitor and critique the global response to the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

U.S. Virgin Islands Refinery Shuts Down after ‘Raining Oil Droplets’ on Residents

A notoriously dirty oil refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands is shutting down after “escalating environmental scrutiny made it impossible for backers to obtain desperately needed financing,” Bloomberg News reports.

$26-Billion Seawall System May Not Protect Houston Area from ‘Killer Surges’

When Hurricane Ike made landfall in 2008, Bill Merrell took shelter on the second floor of a historic brick building in downtown Galveston, Texas, along with his wife, their daughter, their grandson, and two Chihuahuas. Sustained winds of 110 miles per hour lashed the building. Seawater flooded the ground floor to a depth of over eight feet. Once, in the night, Merrell caught glimpses of a near-full moon and realized they had entered the hurricane’s eye.

Sea Level Rise Could Swamp Denmark’s Financial System

The Danish financial system is becoming concerned about future losses due to flooding, with its potential to swamp assets in a relatively small country with a coastline that stretches more than 8,000 kilometres.

Developers ‘Blindsided’ as Australia Scuttles 26-Gigawatt Renewable Energy Hub

Australia has pulled the plug on a proposed 26-gigawatt plan to produce green hydrogen and ammonia from wind and solar power, just months after the project was awarded major project status by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s coal-friendly national government.

No Chance at 1.5°C Limit without Reducing Food Production Emissions

A safe limit to global warming won’t be possible without tackling food production emissions along with fossil fuels—but there are plenty of grassroot actions that can do both, says a new analysis.

Vision Zero Principles Reclaim City Streets for Cyclists, Pedestrians

The century-old mindset that framed pedestrians and cyclists who dared to use city streets as trespassers in the kingdom of the car is finally fading—and good riddance, says the Globe and Mail.

Judges Say Belgium’s Slow Climate Action Breaks Civil Law, Violates Human Rights

Belgium has breached civil law and violated the European convention on human rights by failing to meet its declared climate targets, a court in Brussels ruled Friday, in what The Guardian calls “the latest legal victory against public authorities that have broken promises to tackle the climate emergency.”

Enbridge Line 3

Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking Accompany Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline Project

Two contract workers involved with Enbridge’s US$2.9-billion Line 3 replacement project in northwestern Minnesota have been charged with human trafficking, and reports of sexual violence and harassment associated with the project have been flooding in to local crisis centres.

Global Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke Show Desperate Need for Policy

Nearly three-quarters of the planet will be facing a significant increase in wildfires by 2100, leading to severe public health impacts, a new report by the Global Climate Health Alliance concludes.

Stumbling UN Climate Negotiations Raise Fears for 1.5°C Target

With scarcely four months before this year’s United Nations climate conference convenes in Glasgow November 1, negotiations are stumbling over multiple hurdles—from a frustrating and largely unproductive set of mid-year negotiations over the last 2½ weeks, to rich countries’ failure to deliver on promises ranging from climate finance to international access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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Advisors Scorch UK’s ‘Really Shocking’ Climate Record as COP 26 Approaches

In a searing indictment of its failure to act fast enough to prepare for the onslaught of rising heat, there is condemnation of the British government by its independent advisors for the UK’s “really shocking” climate record.

Opinion: Offsets Can Help Fund Climate Solutions if ‘Imperfections’ are Solved

The chorus of “net-zero” commitments continues to grow, fuelling the ambitions of businesses and governments around the world to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. And one hot topic of debate is the role of offsets.

UN Maritime Agency Accused of Greenwashing after Triple-Fail on Climate Action

The United Nations and its maritime regulatory agency are facing charges of greenwashing after a key committee adopted a “hopelessly weak” target for ocean-going ships to improve their carbon efficiency.

Poor Countries React to Failed G7 Summit as EU, U.S. Mull Carbon Border Adjustment

The European Union and the United States have agreed to work together on a series of climate, technology, and sustainable investment initiatives, possibly including a carbon border adjustment, just days after a G7 summit that is being written off as a failure on the two biggest crises the world’s wealthiest countries face—climate change, and COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

AGI New York

Giant UK Investment Manager Drops AIG Over Fossil Fuel Insurance, Climate Risk

The United Kingdom’s biggest asset manager, Legal & General Investment Management, is dropping its shares in U.S. insurance giant American International Group (AIG) and three other companies, after concluding they aren’t moving far enough, fast enough to address the climate risks in their activities.

Ontario Communities Face Health Risks from Thousands of Abandoned Oil Wells

The putrid smell makes Paula Jongerden sick to her stomach.
It comes from a natural gas well about 300 metres from her home near Delhi, ON, that erupts at least twice a week.

French Power Company Raises Safety Alert about Chinese Nuclear Plant

One week after the French company that co-owns the Taishan nuclear power plant in China issued a letter warning about an “imminent radiological threat,” Chinese authorities have declared that all is well.

Study Finds Surprising Role for Aluminum in Ocean Carbon Capture

Researchers from Quebec and China have highlighted the unexpected benefits of aluminum when it comes to trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) at the bottom of the ocean.

Canada Closes the Door on New Thermal Coal Mines

The federal government will no longer approve new thermal coal mines or mine expansions, after Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson released a policy statement pinpointing coal as a source of greenhouse gas emissions and other “unacceptable environmental impacts”.

Report Calls for Climate, Biodiversity Action to Work in Tandem

A landmark report is warning that global heating and biodiversity collapse are intertwined crises that will be solved only if they are solved together—critical information for policy-makers as the world prepares for this fall’s global biodiversity and climate conferences.

Alberta Government Mishandling Funding for Contaminated Sites, Repeat Audit Concludes

Alberta’s auditor general is criticizing the government for failing to fix problems pointed out six years ago in a program that’s supposed to guarantee coal and oilsands mines clean up after themselves.

High-Carbon Investments are ‘Mispriced’ for Climate Risk, Bank of Canada Warns

Canadian investors may be in for a rude awakening as they discover that their stocks and bonds in carbon-intensive industries are “mispriced” once the risks of climate change are taken into account, the Bank of Canada warned in its annual Financial System Review released last month.

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California Could Divert Floodwaters to Recharge Parched Aquifers

California may be able to address its side-by-side problems with flooding and drought by diverting water from areas with two much moisture to other parts of the state that need it, according to a new study in the journal Science Advances.

Oxygen Levels Plummeting in Freshwater Lakes

As global heating undercuts the ability of aquatic habitats to store and circulate oxygen, the myriad creatures that inhabit the world’s beleaguered freshwater lakes are finding it harder and harder to breathe, says a new study in the journal Nature.

Natural Solutions Could Cut Canada’s Emissions by More Than 10%

If work begins now to aggressively restore and protect Canada’s forests, grasslands, farmlands, and peatlands, the country could reduce its annual emissions by 78 megatonnes (Mt) by 2030, says a groundbreaking new study.

Severe Storms Could Wipe Out 167 Million Homes by 2040 without G7 Action

Unless G7 leaders find global solutions to climate change, 167 million homes around the world could be wiped out within the next two decades, warns the UK-based disaster relief charity ShelterBox.

Helicopter ‘Sand-Blasts’ Line 3 Opponents, 200 Arrested at Peaceful Protest

A peaceful protest against the expansion of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota on Monday was met with the same helicopter-as-weapon tactic that authorities deployed against citizens protesting George Floyd’s murder last summer.

New York

Oxfam, Swiss Re Predict Deep Economic Pain without Faster, Deeper Carbon Cuts

Canada’s economy could shrink 6.9% per year by 2050, the world’s most industrialized economies could drop 8.5%, and developing countries will fare far worse if governments don’t deliver on the faster, deeper carbon cuts they promised in the Paris Agreement, Oxfam and the Swiss Re Institute warn in an analysis released on the eve of this week’s G7 summit in Cornwall, UK.

marine clouds

Climate Models May Underestimate Clouds’ Cooling Ability, Scientists Say

Standard climate modelling may underestimate the extent to which some types of clouds cool the atmosphere, according to a new paper in the journal Nature Climate Change that raises questions about a new generation of global models that predict faster future warming.

85% of British Columbians Want Stronger Protections for Old-Growth Forests

A strong majority of British Columbia residents care a great deal about the health of the province’s old-growth forests, and many believe the Horgan government is doing a poor job of protecting them, a recent survey suggests.

Cyberattacks Could Shut Down U.S. Power Grid, Granholm Warns

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Sunday called for more public-private cooperation on cyber defenses and said U.S. adversaries already are capable of using cyber intrusions to shut down the U.S. power grid.

World Climate Deal Could Fail Unless G7 Solves Vaccine Disparities

The shattering disparities in COVID-19 vaccination rates between rich and poor countries could defeat efforts to implement the Paris agreement, a growing chorus of international leaders is warning ahead of a three-day summit of G7 leaders in Cornwall beginning Friday.

Open house

Climate Risk Becomes Major Issue on Home Buyers’ Checklists

Climate risk, with its implications for a home’s safety today and its resale value tomorrow, is emerging as an important new item on many buyers’ checklists, as new mapping technologies and data sources make it easier to track down information on fires, floods, and other potential impacts.

‘Tipping Point Cascade’ Could Speed Climate Destabilization

New research is raising the alarm over a possible “domino effect” that could cause separate but interconnected climate systems to reach their tipping points at lower temperatures than previously estimated.

G7 Ministers Recommit to Climate Finance, Leave Details for Later

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s seven wealthiest nations have signed off on a communiqué that recommits to US$100 billion per in international climate finance, but still leaves it up to G7 leaders meeting in Cornwall, UK next week to decide how the now dozen-year-old promise will be kept.

Biden to Restore State, Indigenous Right to Block Energy Megaprojects

In a major reversal of Trump-era efforts to advance fossil interests, the Biden administration is restoring the rights of state and Indigenous lawmakers to refuse major energy projects that could threaten water security.

Historic Megadrought Pushes Western U.S. Into New Dust (and Fire ) Bowl

From post-wildfire sere forests, to a sharply depleted Lake Mead, to a devastated spring salmon run, to threats of violence along the Oregon-California border, a dry spring is creating conditions for a challenging summer throughout the western United States.

Biden Administration Suspends Arctic Refuge Oil and Gas Leases

The Biden administration has suspended oil and gas drilling leases in the ecologically fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland ordering a new review of a Trump-era decision she says was approved with “insufficient analysis” of its environmental impacts.

Horgan Favours Lumber Access as B.C. Old-Growth Forests Fall

As the British Columbia government moves to overhaul the province’s forestry sector, the Sierra Club of BC is decrying the decision to prioritize access to wood fibre over old-growth forest protections.

Funding Must Address Climate Health Impacts, Inequities, Culbert and Ness Warn

The climate crisis is deepening the socioeconomic factors that lead to widespread ill health—and policy-makers must pay attention, say two Canadian public health experts.

Texas Storm

True Death Toll from Texas Winter Power Failure Rises to 702

The death toll from February’s power grid failure in Texas could be five times what officials have so far declared—and little is being done to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

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Climate Change Causes 37% of Heat Wave Deaths, New Research Shows

Climate change due to human activity was responsible for about 11 million heat wave deaths between 1991 and 2018, and boosted the damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012 by at least US$8 billion, according to two separate attribution studies over the last couple of weeks.

Fracking Means More Frequent, Damaging Earthquakes in Northern B.C.

More damaging earthquakes can be expected more often in northern British Columbia as fracking oil and gas wells increases pressure underground, says newly published research.

Guyanese Court Case Seeks to Halt ExxonMobil Drilling in Caribbean

Two Guyanese citizens are taking their government to court, arguing that its pursuit of oil royalties violates a legal duty to protect present and future citizens from the climate crisis.

mental health

Action is the Antidote as Climate Anxiety Creates Mental Health Crisis

Climate change is driving a secondary—and badly under-addressed—crisis for hundreds of millions around the world: the brutalization of mental health.

Massive Tree Planting Brings Only Limited Climate Gain, Researchers Warn

What would happen if every single patch of farmland in the tropics, from Brazil through Congo, India and Indonesia, was abandoned overnight and left to turn back into forests? That’s the question three climate scientists investigated in what they describe as a “hypothetical and idealized experiment”—and the answer is sobering.

Nikayla Jefferson

The Future is Ours as We ‘Glue Ourselves Anew’, Sunrise Organizer Writes

After a year of compounded crisis, cultures and attitudes are shifting and a better future can emerge, writes Sunrise Movement organizer Nikayla Jefferson. “The world is alive,” she says, “coming out of its own dark winter and into a spring that felt distant and unlikely.”

coal power plant

G7 Environment Ministers Pledge to Stop Financing International Coal Projects

Environment ministers from the world’s seven biggest advanced economies have agreed to phase out international financing for coal projects by the end of this year, do the same for all fossil fuels over a longer time span, and deliver tough enough national climate targets to help keep average global warming to 1.5°C.

WMO Reports 40% Chance in Next Five Years that Warming Temporarily Exceeds 1.5°C

There’s a 40% chance that average global warming will temporarily exceed 1.5°C in at least one of the next five years, according to analysis published last week by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). But that doesn’t mean a long-term cap on warming is out of reach, according to at least one leading climate analyst.

Australian Court Affirms “Duty of Care” to Protect Youth from Climate Crisis

In a global first, Australia’s federal court has ruled that the country’s government is legally obliged to protect young people against future harms from the climate crisis.

Global Spending on Nature Protection Must Triple by 2030

About US$8 trillion will be needed over the next 40 years to restore and protect nature and safeguard the systems that sustain much of life on Earth, says a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). And in the scheme of things, that amount is “peanuts”, says the agency’s chief executive.

Climate Disasters in 2020 Displace Three Times More People than War

Some 30 million people around the world were displaced last year by floods, severe storms, and wildfires, making climate change the cause of three times more internal migration in 2020 than war, according to new data this week from the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

abandoned oil well

Alberta Landowners, Taxpayers ‘Left Behind’ by Cost of Abandoned Wells

The costs of Alberta’s growing stock of abandoned and inactive oil and gas wells are falling unfairly on landowners and taxpayers, says a report from the University of Calgary.

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Canadian Plastics Manufacturers Take Ottawa to Court over ‘Toxic’ Designation

Mere days after Ottawa designated their product as a toxic substance, plastics manufacturers are taking the Canadian government to court—but experts say they are likely to be disappointed.

Half of Carbon Offset Projects Don’t Deliver on Promises, New Analysis Finds

A UK start-up that rates the carbon offset efforts of private companies has found that nearly half of them fall short of their claims.

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Louisiana Forms Climate Task Force as Fossils Dig In

Louisiana is sending mixed signals on climate action, with Governor John Bel Edwards (D) setting up a task force in support of his pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 while legislators push to make the state a “fossil fuel sanctuary.”

Syrians in Rebel-Held Region Embrace Solar Panels as ‘Blessing from God’

An “unlikely solar revolution of sorts” is taking place in Idlib Governate, a rebel-held province in northwestern Syria, where local residents are turning to a cheap electricity source they can count on in the midst of a brutal, 10-year civil war.

Air conditioner

Desert Cities Tap into Waste Water from Air Conditioning Units

From the Negev Desert to the state of Texas, the private and public sectors are tapping into a previously overlooked source of water: condensate from air conditioners.

Outdoor dining, Church Street Marketplace

Restaurants Gain from Pedestrian-Only Streets, Study Finds

As America’s cities begin to reopen, a new Yelp analysis is putting economic weight behind calls to make the temporary “slow streets” that many cities put in place during the pandemic a permanent feature.

Economic Hit from Prairie Drought Could Be ‘Like Losing Ontario Auto Sector’

Farmers in parts of the Prairies are worrying about crop failures and water-deprived livestock, and communities are already facing local water restrictions and at least one forest fire, as the region enters a period of near-record dry conditions.

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B.C. Water Watcher Raises Alarm after Oil Tanker Crosses Risky Gulf Islands Pass

A shipping pilot’s recent decision to guide an oil tanker through British Columbia’s navigationally tricky Active Pass has highlighted a legal gap that may be putting the Salish Sea at risk—along with human lives.

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NWT Communities Evacuate in Face of ‘Scary’ Mackenzie River Flooding

As extreme seasonal flooding hits riverside communities in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the region’s small towns are stepping up to help each other.

Underfunded Climate Adaptation Projects Aren’t Delivering What Communities Need

In 2019, an international climate fund approved a 10-year, US$9.3-million project to support communities in the drylands of Mozambique that are affected by frequent droughts. This money seems a lot, but it really is not much for a country also affected by other climate-related events such as cyclones. Indeed, the World Bank estimates Mozambique needs at least $400 million a year to protect itself from climate change.

Urban Food Forest Movement Tackles Food Insecurity One Community at a Time

The urban food forest in Browns Mills, Atlanta, is one of more than 70 such initiatives scattered across the United States: all the work of volunteers determined to fight food insecurity through urban agriculture.

Canadian physicist Louis Slotin

Canada’s Fatal Fission Attraction

Seventy-five years ago, Canadian scientists began a reckless romance with nuclear fission. Lessons from a tragic death, and a meltdown that destroyed a reactor, were not learned. Serious design flaws with the Candu nuclear reactor were never fixed. Today, Paul McKay writes, the tradition continues.

construction worker

‘We’re All Scared’, Worker Says, as Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine Becomes Alberta’s Biggest COVID Outbreak

Tar sands/oil sands workers in the midst of Alberta’s biggest COVID-19 outbreak at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Horizon bitumen mine say their living and working conditions are putting them at risk—but they can’t afford not to work, even if they’re feeling sick.

ransomware

Colonial Pipeline Pays Ransomware Demand as Panic Buying Grips Eastern U.S. Gasoline Users

Drivers across the southeastern United States have been getting a new sense of the vulnerability of their fuel supplies over the last week, and operators of the Colonial Pipeline ended up paying a ransom to regain control of their system, after a successful cyberattack took out a 5,500-mile pipeline network that runs from Houston to New Jersey and supplies the eastern U.S. with 45% of its fuel.

Coronavirus Creates Opportunity for Zero-Carbon Transportation

When discussing low-carbon transportation and the question of why cars play such a dominant role in our society, it is often tempting to fall back on a comfortable and familiar answer: We drive cars because we like them!

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U.S. Tribes Work to Advance Water Equity as Colorado Basin Drought Worsens

As a megadrought deepens across the Colorado River Basin, the Indigenous nations of the region are seeing hope for real change after decades of water inequity.

Biden Administration Mulls Controversial Climate Deal with Bolsonaro

Defenders of the rainforest are watching with trepidation—and, for some, horror—as the Biden administration contemplates a climate deal with Brazilian president and “climate-scoffing populist” Jair Bolsonaro, aka “Capitão Motoserra” (Captain Chainsaw).

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Campaigners Plan ‘Eviction’ Events, Ottawa Backs Enbridge as Line 5 Closure Deadline Arrives

Campaigners in Michigan planned two days of “eviction” events today and tomorrow, Governor Gretchen Whitmer threatened to seize Enbridge Inc.’s profits if the Calgary-based pipeliner ignored her closure order, and the Trudeau government filed a legal brief in the company’s defence as today’s deadline loomed to shut down operation of the 68-year-old Line 5 pipeline.

COVID Cases Sweep Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Thousands Arrive for Spring Maintenance Work

Tar sands/oil sands companies are stepping up protective measures as a spate of COVID-19 cases sweeps through the region at the same time that thousands of workers are being brought in for spring maintenance shutdowns at various plants.

air conditioning

More Than One Billion Lack Access to Cooling, Risk Illness and Heat Stress

As the pandemic drives up poverty rates, a lack of access to cooling technology has now put more than a billion people at increased risk of heat stress, food insecurity, job loss, and COVID-19 infection.

depression

Climate Crisis Produces Widespread Mental Health Risks, UK Survey Finds

Some 84% of UK citizens believe that the effects of the climate crisis will be as damaging to mental health by 2030 as unemployment or even the pandemic, a new survey shows.

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Arizona Politics Flips from Climate Denial to Ecofascism

From lawsuits in Arizona to promises by French politician Marine Le Pen to make her country “the world’s first ecological civilization,” the far right is weaponizing the climate crisis to advance its xenophobic agenda, The Huffington Post reports.

deciduous forest

Deciduous Trees May Act as ‘Brakes’ on Boreal Fire Feedback Loops

The deciduous trees that are replacing conifers in the northern boreal forest may help slow the dangerous feedback loop that is now fuelling intense Arctic fires.

UK Grocery Chains Prepare Brazil Boycott as Amazon Becomes Net Carbon Emitter

The Jair Bolsonaro government in Brazil is once again risking international boycotts in response to a rainforest-imperilling law, as a new study confirms that the Amazon has become a net carbon emitter for the first time in recorded history.

Michigan Calls Line 5 a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ with Closure Deadline Two Days Away

With Michigan’s deadline to shut down the Line 5 pipeline just two days away, the state and Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. are telling different stories about whether the leaky, 68-year-old line will still be operating Thursday morning.

UN Urges 45% Methane Cut This Decade to Reduce Warming, Protect Health

Countries can and must reduce methane emissions 45% this decade to avoid nearly 0.3°C of additional global warming by 2045, keep a relatively climate-safe future within reach, and prevent 260,000 premature deaths per year, according to a landmark Global Methane Assessment released last week by the Climate and Clear Coalition and the UN Environment Programme.

Alberta Hands Fossils a Price Break on Tar Sands/Oil Sands Cleanup Fund

Last year’s dive in oil prices has caused Alberta to change the way it calculates payments due from tar sands/oil sands mines make to ensure there’s enough money to clean up the mess they leave behind.

Children Face Future Wars for Water and Food Unless Adults Embrace Climate Action, Timmermans Warns

Policy-makers must do better at persuading adults to embrace the change the climate crisis demands, rather than fearing it, or “today’s children will face a future of fighting wars for water and food,” says the EU’s deputy chief.

Biden’s Infrastructure, Conservation Plans Not (Necessarily) in Conflict

U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent pledge to protect 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030 need not clash with its earlier promise to reduce emissions by expanding the country’s wind and solar farms—as long as those implementing renewable energy policy do so with an eagle eye on sustainability.

New Study Shows Small Farms Delivering Higher Yields, Better Biodiversity

While much of the world’s food is produced on large farms, a recent review has found that smaller operations tend to have higher yields and biodiversity while being no less profitable or efficient—making them a fund-worthy lynchpin of sustainable development.

Ring of Fire Access Road Crosses Ontario’s ‘Thin Green Line’, Sierra Club Warns

The proposed “Ring of Fire” mineral development in northern Ontario is equivalent in destructive capacity to Alberta’s tar sands/oil sands, say two researchers from Sierra Club Canada.

U.S. Cities at Risk for ‘Deadliest’ Heat Wave-Power Failure Combo

Millions of urban Americans will be put at serious risk of heat exhaustion this summer if any heat waves coincide with power failures—a deadly conjunction that is increasingly likely, says a new study.

UK Must Protect, Rewild Its Oceans to Meet Its Carbon Strategy

A new report is urging the United Kingdom to develop a marine-centred climate mitigation plan to restore and “rewild” degraded marine habitats and develop low-carbon fisheries, noting that the UK’s coastal waters store four times the carbon of its forests.

Leadership Failures from COVID-19 Hold Lessons for Climate

With COVID-19 devastating the Indian state of Maharashtra, where he grew up, Bloomberg Green columnist Akshat Rathi is pointing to good governance as a factor that is mitigating the impact of the pandemic in some countries, and could do the same for the climate crisis.

Chinese Banks Rank Second as Financiers for Tropical Deforestation

China now ranks second in the world as a financier of industries linked to tropical deforestation—and a new report shows the country’s banks hold the keys to a better path.

Wilkinson Orders Federal Environmental Review for Ontario Highway 413

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has announced a federal environmental assessment of the Ford government’s contentious, C$6-billion plan for a new highway through the northwestern part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), citing “clear areas of federal concern related to this project.”

Law Profs See Environmental Racism Bill as ‘Catalyst for Transformative Change’

This past winter, COVID-19 outbreaks at two Coastal GasLink work camps in northern British Columbia spilled over into neighbouring Wet’suwet’en communities, according to media reports. The spread of disease to Indigenous communities through industrial projects is an example of environmental racism—when government policies discriminate against racialized communities by disproportionately exposing them to harms from industrial and other toxic activities.

Victoria LNG Project Gets Swept Away in Australian Renewable Energy Surge

As Australian energy provider AGL officially pulls the plug on its proposed Victoria coast LNG import terminal, a new report predicts a surge in renewables could leave natural gas delivering as little as 1% of the country’s power mix by 2030.

Dakota Access Pipeline Won’t Shut Down During Environmental Review

The Dakota Access Pipeline will be allowed to operate without a key federal permit while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes a new environmental review, the Biden administration announced earlier this week.

Low Pay, Hiring Gaps Haunt U.S. Forest Service Wildfire Program

In an oversight hearing late last month before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands a former U.S. Forest Service firefighter spoke truth to power, Wildfire Today reports.

10 Years After Fukushima, Japan Finally Begins Push for Renewables

A decade after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, an entrenched reluctance to embrace renewable energy—fostered in part by utilities anxious to maintain their dominance—may be giving way, slowly, to a new dawn for green energy in Japan.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Line 5 Pipeline Battle Intensifies as May 12 Closure Date Looms

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is less than 10 days away from implementing a momentous decision to shut down a 68-year-old, underwater pipeline that her administration and many of her constituents consider an environmental hazard and an affront to Indigenous rights, but that Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan has declared a “non-negotiable” irritant in bilateral relations.

Biden Connects Climate to Jobs as Coal Miners Hold Out for Results

With a US$2-trillion infrastructure plan on offer, and a $1.8-trillion American Families Plan backing it up, U.S. President Joe Biden took advantage of his first address to a joint session of Congress to reprise a central theme from his election campaign: that climate action and job creation go hand in hand.

Biden’s 2022 Budget Earmarks $220 Million for Climate Health Preparedness

President Biden’s budget blueprint for 2022 is looking to prepare the U.S. for future climate impacts by earmarking at least US$220 million for federal climate and health research and an expanded framework to help states and cities generate adaptation plans.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

B.C. First Nation Calls for Federal Environmental Review of Alberta Coal Mine Plan

A British Columbia First Nation has joined calls for the federal government to step in on the environmental review of a proposed open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

Study of Climate Tipping Points Shows Need for Rapid Carbon Cuts

A new study concludes it may still be possible to temporarily exceed the environmental “tipping points” that would signal a drastic deepening of the climate crisis—but only with rapid action to address those impacts and drive down the greenhouse gas emissions at the root of the problem.

Ford’s New Appointee Will ‘Actively Wreck Things’ as Greenbelt Council Chair, Critic Warns

The new chair of Ontario’s Greenbelt Council is a former Mike Harris-era cabinet minister who voted against the Greenbelt itself when it was established in 2005.

Cuts to UK Global Resilience Funding Undermine Cities’ Response to Fire, Floods

The UK’s decision to gut the budget for a key global disaster resilience research hub is putting millions of poor and vulnerable city-dwellers in developing countries at a greater risk of climate impacts like flooding and wildfire.

Greening Arctic Brings Added Danger, Uncertainty to Labrador Communities

Residents of northern Labrador are having to tackle a new set of miseries as climate change delivers fog, gale-force winds, exploding black fly and mosquito populations, reduced berry crops, and even new sources of camouflage for dangerous bears.

U.S. Food Publication Epicurious Takes Beef off the Table

Wondering what makes a steak tartare anything other than raw meat? If you’re looking for the answer in Epicurious, you’ll have to stick to the back issues—because the beloved foodie publication has formally declared that beef is no longer on its menu.

Child cycling with a mask

‘Globally Remarkable’ German Court Decision Enshrines Climate Protection as Human Right

In what Clean Energy Wire calls an “unexpected decision widely hailed as historic,” Germany’s Constitutional Court has declared the country’s 2030 emission reduction targets are insufficient, lacking in detail, and therefore violate the fundamental rights of citizens—including the nine youth climate campaigners who originally launched the case.

Borealis Lodge man camp Fort McMurray

Fort McMurray Reels Under 1.5% Infection Rate as Third Wave of COVID-19 Hits Alberta Oilpatch

The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the Alberta tar sands/oil sands hard, with 12 active outbreaks at man camps and mining sites across the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, 738 active cases, and a total of 2,054 workers who’d tested positive as of Tuesday.

Studies Call for Urgent Methane Reductions as U.S. Senate Reinstates Obama-Era Regulation

Rapid action to curb methane could cut emissions of the climate-busting greenhouse gas in half by 2030 and slow global warming by 30%, new research concludes this week, just days ahead of a United Nations report that will call for urgent methane reductions to keep the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement within reach.

Climate Scientists Explain Why Net-Zero is a ‘Dangerous Trap’: Part 1

In a searing historical account of the various technological fixes on the road to net-zero emissions, veteran climate scientists James Dyke, Robert Watson, and Wolfgang Knorr conclude the whole effort has been a “dangerous trap”. In Part 1 of this two-part series, they explain how early climate modelling replaced critical thinking, and carbon capture schemes gained traction against real carbon reductions.

UN Declares ‘Make or Break Moment’ on Forest Protection

Humanity is at a “make-or-break moment” to protect the forests we all depend on, United Nations leaders are warning.

North America Hit Hardest as Glacier Melt Doubles over 20 Years

A new study has used millions of satellite images to generate the clearest picture yet of the world’s glaciers and concludes they’re getting smaller, faster.

Canada Must Tie Budget 2021 Spending to Community-Based Action: Op-Ed

While the “serious coin” directed to climate action by Canada’s 2021 budget is most welcome, two experts are urging policy-makers at all levels to double down on community-based climate policies that integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Judge Denies Wet’suwet’en Challenge to Coastal GasLink Permit

The British Columbia Supreme Court has rejected a bid to quash the extension of the environmental assessment certificate for the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the project at the centre of countrywide protests in February last year.

Nesting Hummingbirds Pause Trans Mountain Pipeline Construction through Mid-August

Environment and Climate Change Canada has ordered a halt to construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline through a forest in Burnaby, British Columbia until the end of bird nesting season.

Think Tank Mulls Looser Rules for Transferring Abandoned Wells to New Owners

A western Canada think tank is calling on Alberta to lower regulatory barriers that it says discourage businesses from reusing abandoned and unreclaimed oil and gas well sites. Observers say the scheme could allow fossils to hand off many billions of dollars in environmental liabilities.

Alberta Pauses Rocky Mountain Coal Exploration as Public Pressure Mounts

The Alberta government bowed to public pressure late last week and paused coal exploration in the most sensitive areas of the Rocky Mountains while it continues to gather public feedback about mines.

Don’t Fall for Fossil Industry Spin, NAACP Warns U.S. Communities of Colour

The NAACP is warning its regional chapters not to fall for fossil industry manipulation by outlining the key tactics through which Big Oil advances its own interests in U.S. communities of colour.

Research Team Aims for Full Accounting of Canada’s Natural Ecosystems

A team of Canadian scientists is about to embark on a five-year attempt to calculate just how much the country depends on the natural world—in economic terms, and in ways that are far less tangible.

California Pitches 2024 Fracking Ban, 2045 Oil Phaseout as Campaigners Urge Faster Action

California climate campaigners marked a moment of progress Friday while urging Governor Gavin Newsom to pick up the pace, after the state that calls itself the world’s fifth-biggest economy moved to ban new oil and gas fracking projects by 2024 and phase out oil extraction by 2045.

Climate Impacts Could Cost Canada $140 Billion by 2050, Insurance Giant Warns

Canada will be more than $100 billion poorer by 2050 if the world doesn’t work harder to fight climate change, says one of the world’s largest insurers.

Some Countries Commit, Others Deflect as White House Pushes for Faster Carbon Cuts

The Biden-Harris Leaders’ Summit on Climate was scheduled to open with statements from leaders of more than two dozen countries, in what the White House signposted as “an opportunity for leaders to highlight the climate-related challenges their countries face and the efforts they are undertaking”.

International Climate Finance Promise Puts U.S. ‘Back in the Game’ but Campaigners Demand More

The Biden-Harris administration’s agenda for yesterday’s Leaders Summit on Climate included a new international climate finance plan that puts billions of new dollars on the table, but not enough to shore up the United States’ credibility as a source of global leadership on climate action.

Over 100 Nobel Winners Call for Global Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

One hundred and one Nobel laureates—including peace activists, economists, medical experts, chemists, and physicists—have released an open letter urging world leaders to sign a treaty for fossil fuel non-proliferation.

New International Forest Protection Fund a ‘Game Changer’, Says EDF

The United States, United Kingdom, Norway, and nine corporate heavyweights came together at this week’s Climate Leaders’ Summit with a joint commitment to mobilize at least US$1 billion before the end of this year to prevent tropical deforestation.

Small Temperature Shifts Can Drive ‘Chaotic’ Changes to South Asian Monsoon

As the world warms, monsoon changes are set to cause havoc across a huge and densely populated swathe of the planet, with the great South Asian summer monsoon becoming both stronger and less reliable.

Rising Temperatures Could Have Major Impacts on Ocean Circulation

If you’ve ever been seasick, “stable” may be the last word you associate with the ocean. But as global temperatures rise, the world’s oceans are technically becoming more stable.

Federal Budget Puts $17.6 Billion into Green Recovery, Tips 36% Emissions Cut by 2030

The federal government is getting decidedly mixed reviews for a 2021 budget that announces but doesn’t quite spell out C$17.6 billion in green recovery spending over the next five years, while tipping a 2030 emissions reduction goal of 36% that may be superseded within days by a more ambitious government target.

Ottawa Offers $40,000 Interest-Free Loans for Deep Energy Retrofits

The federal government is hoping a budget provision for C$40,000 interest-free loans will be sufficient incentive to encourage 200,000 Canadian households to undertake deep retrofits on their homes.

Federal Budget Directs Dollars to Farm Climate Solutions, Forest Bio-Economy, Protected Areas

Nature-based climate solutions show up at several points in this week’s federal budget, with funds set aside for emission reductions on farms, the forest-based bio-economy, and a continuing, multi-billion-dollar effort to extend Canada’s network of protected areas.

Over 50 Million People ‘Doubly Hit’ by Pandemic, Climate Disasters: WMO

The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic had no effect on the “relentless” increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases, but made the impacts of the climate crisis worse for tens of millions of people around the world, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) concludes in a report released this week.

EU Defers Decision on Green Label for Nuclear, Natural Gas

The European Union was expected to defer a decision on whether its new green finance rules, due to be published today, would list nuclear and gas-fired power plants as sustainable investments, according to leaked documents obtained last week by Euractiv.

‘Checking the Boxes’ in Federal Climate Plan Won’t Deliver on Canada’s Paris Targets, Researchers Warn

Two veteran public interest researchers have come up with a troubling equation they say is at the heart of the federal government’s climate strategy: Carbon Pricing + Hydrogen + Carbon Capture + Nuclear = Paris 2030 and beyond.

Federal Budget-Watchers Expect ‘Pivotal Moment’ for Canadian Climate Action

From transit to home energy retrofits, from natural climate solutions to green innovation funding, the federal budget tabled today by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will put an end to months of lobbying, advocacy, and speculation from climate policy advocates looking for a solid federal commitment to climate action.

UK Seabed Has More Economic Value Than Oil Beneath It, Study Finds

Official estimates from the United Kingdom are showing that the carbon sequestration capacity of the country’s seabed is more valuable than the oil and gas reserves that lie beneath it.

Florida Takes Climate Adaptation Funds Out of Affordable Housing Budget

Two recent bills passed in Florida are sending hundreds of millions of dollars toward improving climate resiliency in the state—at the expense of established funding for affordable housing.

Canada Must Show Up at Biden Summit with ‘More than Just Words’ , International Experts Warn

With the new U.S. administration taking real action on climate change, both domestically and internationally, Canada will have to show up next week at President Joe Biden’s climate leadership summit with more than just words, former Irish president Mary Robinson said Wednesday.

U.S Global Intelligence Report Presents Stark Climate Vision for 2040

The latest Global Trends report from the U.S. National Intelligence Council offers harrowing projections alongside glimmers of hope in its visioning of how the post-pandemic world may—or may not—respond to the climate crisis by 2040.

Here’s What it Would Take to Decolonize ‘British Columbia’

This summer will mark 150 years since British Columbia joined Canada. While some will celebrate a landmark anniversary, Dogwood’s Kai Nagata and Christina Smethurst say decolonizing the province begins with acknowledging the true history of how it came to be.

Melting Greenland Ice Sheet ‘Like a Book of History Being Erased’: Op-Ed

The slow erasure of Greenland’s vast ice sheet—an archive of planetary and human history made of air bubbles and frozen water molecules—is a devastating loss of potential knowledge, says an expert in such memory traces.

Oregon Forest Partnership Shows Blueprint for Building Common Ground

The town of John Day, Oregon, once the site of a “venomous” battle between loggers and environmentalists, has been saved by a shared determination to act with humility and empathy.

Wildfire

U.S. Prepares for Another ‘Devastating’ Fire Season

From California to Wisconsin, U.S. policy-makers are putting dollars into pre-emptive action and more “boots on the ground” as a lower-than-normal snowpack portends a fierce fire season.

B.C. Wood Pellet Industry Feeds on Whole Trees, Not Waste Wood

Environmentalists and loggers are crying foul after revelations that British Columbia’s thriving wood pellet industry is sourcing its feedstock not from wood waste, but from forests—and employing scant few workers in the process.

Alberta Researchers Land $2.9-Million Federal Grant to Produce Jet Fuel from Ag Waste

A research team at the University of Alberta has received a C$2.89-million grant from Natural Resources Canada to produce jet fuel from waste fats and oils.

Drastic Ridership Drop During Pandemic Prompts TTC to Speed Up Subway Maintenance

Toronto transit users can expect to return to a much-improved subway network once the COVID-19 pandemic begins to subside, after the Toronto Transit Commission took the opportunity to speed up its maintenance and upgrades to tracks, stations, and vehicles.

U.S. Army Corps Declines to Close Dakota Access Pipeline Despite Missing Permit

Indigenous leaders and progressive Democrats are urging the Biden administration to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ignoring a weighty, Indigenous-led petition, declined to do so.

Site C Man Camp Makes Good Use of Waste Food on Project Meant to Inundate Prime Farmland

A B.C. man camp operator’s well-intentioned plan to keep waste food out of the nearest landfill is colliding with the permanent food security impact of the hydro dam the camp was built to serve, raising tough questions about how socially responsible a contractor can be when the bigger-picture impact of the project is far beyond their control.

Thinning Sea Ice, Changing Weather Strain Inuit Communities in Labrador

The psychological scars of cabin fever and adaptation fatigue are adding to the immediate physical dangers for Indigenous people in Labrador of pursuing a traditional life on the thinning sea ice.

Inuit Party Election Win in Greenland Casts Doubt on Rare-Earth Mining Project

Greenland’s plans for a massive rare-earth metals mine have been thrown doubt with the recent election victory of Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), a party firmly opposed to the project.

Albertans Demand Federal Impact Assessment for Controversial Coal Mine Plan

A fourth request has been made to the federal government to get involved in the environmental review of a coal mine proposed for Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

Pandemic Disrupts Alberta Fossils’ Maintenance Plans with Nine Sites Reporting Outbreaks

Canadian tar sands/oil sands operators are having trouble lining up the skilled work force they need for a busy period of essential scheduled maintenance, with nine facilities fighting COVID-19 outbreaks as the country lurches through a third wave of the pandemic.

70 Missing, 150 Dead as Cyclone Seroja Hits Indonesia, East Timor

Catastrophic landslides driven by climate change and deforestation have killed at least 150 and displaced thousands after Tropical Cyclone Seroja hammered remote islands in Indonesia and East Timor last week.

Global Forest Loss Accelerates Despite Pandemic Restrictions

Two recent studies are offering new evidence that the carbon-sequestering forests required to hold average global warming to 1.5°C are in peril.

New Start-Up Aims to Build U.S. Energy Equity One Neighbourhood at a Time

To be poor and a person of colour in the United States all too often means living with energy poverty and its associated health effects. A Brooklyn-based business founded by the son of Guyanese immigrants is working to change that reality, one building at a time.

Climate Impacts Wipe Out Seven Years of Food Production Growth as Big Ag Blocks Climate Action

Climate change has caused global food productivity growth to drop more than 20% since the 1960s, despite the billions of dollars Big Ag has funnelled into production technologies. Meanwhile, some of the world’s biggest meat and dairy producers have been spending further billions to undercut climate action.

Biden Jobs, Infrastructure Plan Aims to ‘Turbocharge the Transition’ Off Fossil Fuels

U.S. President Joe Biden travelled to Pittsburgh last Wednesday to unveil a US$2-billion jobs and infrastructure plan that includes a 10-year, $650-billion commitment to a U.S. clean energy transition, with big allocations for building energy retrofits, electric vehicle infrastructure, grid modernization, public transit, and union jobs cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells and mines.

Indigenous People Are Best Guardians of Amazon Rainforests, Study Finds

Securing Latin America’s rainforests from further degradation will be critical to fighting the climate crisis and protecting biodiversity. And according to a recent United Nations report, Indigenous peoples in the region are already the best at forest guardianship, and should be paid for their stewardship.

Ottawa City Committee Flags Concerns, Declines to Oppose Upriver Nuclear Waste Site

An Ottawa city council committee has stopped short of opposing plans for two new nuclear waste disposal sites less than 200 kilometres upriver, but will ask privately-owned Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) to refrain from accepting waste from outside Ontario and take steps to protect the Ottawa River, on which the community depends for its drinking water.

Furey, O’Regan Reject Chrétien Pitch for Labrador Nuclear Waste Dump

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey says he rejected an idea last summer from former prime minister Jean Chrétien to store international nuclear waste in Labrador.

Leaked Fossil Documents Reveal 50 Years of Suppressed Air Pollution Science

Leaked memos make it clear that Big Oil has known about the links between air pollution and fossil fuel combustion for at least 50 years—and, in a familiar pattern, has for decades been doing everything it can to bury the threat to its bottom line.

Planned Plastics Plant in Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’ Fails to Pass Economic Muster

Yet another behemoth plastics complex planned for Louisiana’s infamous “Cancer Alley” is running into headwinds as a new report declares it economically unviable and suggests it be abandoned.

Protecting Half of the World’s Oceans Could Deliver Massive Global Gains

Protecting 45% of the world’s oceans would deliver a “triple win” of increased biodiversity, restored fisheries, and a greater capacity to sequester carbon, says a new report just published in the journal Nature.

Central Banks See Climate Impacts Driving Permanent Shifts in Monetary Policy

An era of climate-driven extreme weather will force governments to keep interest rates low and usher in a new era of monetary policy, the world’s oldest central bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, warned last week.

Wildfires, Toxic Gases Lead to Mass Bird Deaths in West-Central U.S.

The 2020 wildfire season caused a mass die-off of birds in the western and central United States, according to crowdsourced science and weather location data summarized in a new study in the journal GeoHealth.

Reliable Solar Can Support Vaccine Distribution in Africa

The struggle to acquire and distribute COVID-19 vaccines in many African countries is only the latest iteration of a long-standing problem: poor electricity access. Reliable and easy to install, distributed solar may be the answer for the world’s rural health clinics.

Capping Warming at 1.5°C Could Cut Expected Deadly Heat Stress by Half

Limiting global warming to 1.5°Cwill reduce the exposure of hundreds of millions of South Asian people to lethal heat events by half, in turn preventing economy-destabilizing drops in labour productivity, says a new study by an international climate science institute.

New Study Reveals Mega-Tornadoes More Common than Previously Believed

Meteorologists have long used infrastructure damage to calculate tornado wind speeds, but that metric underestimates the real number of truly terrifying storms by as much as a quarter, a new study suggests.

Bigfoot Director Thanks Alberta’s ‘Ludicrous’ Fossil War Room for Big Publicity Boost

The director of a children’s movie about Bigfoot wants to thank the Alberta government’s energy centre for starting a “ludicrous” fight over the film.

Youth Declare ‘Historic Legal Victory’ as Ontario Court Sends Climate Case to Full Hearing

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is now 0 for 2 in its bid to stop a youth-led climate lawsuit from going to a full court hearing.

Water Contamination Nets Record Fine for Teck Mine as Conservationist Questions Long-Term Impacts

Teck Coal is facing the largest fine ever imposed under the federal Fisheries Act after pleading guilty to contaminating waterways in southeastern British Columbia.

Fragile Labrador Sea Ice Arrives Five Weeks Late, 85% Thinner

The sea ice was five weeks late to arrive along the north coast of Labrador this year—and is still 85% shy of its typical thickness. The Inuit communities that rely on that ice are rallying as best they can under conditions that pose both immediate dangers and long-term peril.

Devastating Australian Floods Show ‘Tricky’ Connections to Climate Change

Pounding rain arriving on the heels of an unseasonably wet summer has displaced thousands of people and inundated hundreds of kilometres of Australia’s southeast coast. Scientists say the answer on whether climate change is the culprit…is complicated.

New Legislation Requires Massachusetts to Reach Net-Zero by 2050

Two months after he vetoed a landmark climate bill, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) has signed something very similar, with a 2050 net-zero target and raft of measures that include more offshore wind, new building codes, and benchmarks for electric vehicle adoption.

Kenney Under Fire After Documents Show Roadbuilding for Coal Exploration Exceeds Legal Limits

Road-building approvals for coal exploration already exceed legal limits in some parts of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and foothills, suggest documents from the province’s energy regulator.

GNL Québec Project Risks Far Outweigh Benefits, Government Review Panel Concludes

Quebec’s environmental review board says the risks associated with GNL Québec’s proposed Saguenay gas terminal project far outweigh its benefits.

Alberta Eased More Environmental Rules During COVID than Any Other Canadian Government

Alberta relaxed more environmental rules in response to the COVID-19 pandemic than any other government in Canada, says a study from the University of Calgary.

Canadian Environmental Racism Bill Addresses ‘Toxic Divide’

Aamjiwnaang First Nation near Sarnia, Ontario, is ringed by some 60 toxin-spewing petrochemical plants, more than any other community in Canada. That kind of environmental racism is the motivation for a private member’s bill currently before the House of Commons that calls for a national program to help communities measure the impacts they face.

U.S. Fracking Counties Face Economic Crunch as Coal Country Looks to Diversify

As the energy transition picks up across the United States, fossil-dependent states like Pennsylvania are struggling with the devastating financial and environmental price of betting the farm on oil, gas, and coal. But a policy brief published late last year offers some hints on how to build back better.

Wild Spaces Left Undeveloped Have Higher Dollar Value, Scientists Calculate

British scientists have once again made the commercial case for conserving wilderness. They have demonstrated that in its pristine state—mangrove swamps, wetlands, savannahs, forests, and so on—nature left alone is of more value to humankind than as exploited real estate.

Canada’s Opposition to Line 5 Closure Flies in the Face of Science, Courts Disaster, Ex-IJC Chair Warns

In announcing its “non-negotiable” opposition to the closure of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, the Canadian government has seemingly kicked to the curb a longstanding cross-border commitment to protect the Great Lakes from harm, says an experienced U.S. advisor.

New Report Counts 600+ Cities in 72 Countries with 100% Renewable Energy Plans

The latest global status report on renewable power in cities shows that 2020 was a good year for the development of targets and policies at the municipal level, with more than 610 municipalities in 72 countries setting 100% renewable energy targets by year’s end.

Deep Ocean Trawling Produces a Billion Tonnes of Carbon Pollution Per Year, Study Concludes

A new study is calling for countries’ greenhouse gas emission inventories to include deep ocean trawling that accounts for a billion tonnes of carbon pollution per year, more than the total produced by Germany and about the same as the global airline industry.

Nuclear Fuel ‘Recycling’ in New Brunswick Could Drive Weapons Proliferation, Analysts Warn

Two veteran safe energy campaigners are raising the alarm after the federal government announced a C$50.5-million subsidy to a New Brunswick company that wants to build a new 300-megawatt small modular nuclear reactor at the site of the current Point Lepreau nuclear station by the early 2030s.

U.S. Lawmakers to Vote on Groundbreaking Environmental Justice Bill

A landmark bill currently in front of the U.S. Congress could change the game for environmental justice in the country. Two key provisions: an annual US$75 million in funding to improve public health in disadvantaged communities, and taxing the fossil sector in order to support fossil-dependent workers and communities in the transition to green jobs.

10.3 Million Displaced by Climate Disaster from September 2020 to February 2021

In just a six-month period over the past year, climate disasters sent more than 10 million people fleeing from their homes, adding to trauma already levied by the pandemic. Now, the world’s largest international aid network is pleading for compassion, and for funds.

Nature Destruction Has Humanity Playing ‘Russian Roulette with Pathogens’ Like COVID-19

The trillions of dollars being spent worldwide on health care and pandemic recovery will ultimately be for naught if governments fail to tackle the destruction of nature as the root cause of emerging zoonotic pathogens like COVID-19, says a new international coalition of health and environmental groups.

Unchecked Climate Change Could Mean $270B Per Year in Higher Interest Costs for Countries, Businesses

More than 60 countries could see their credit ratings downgraded by 2030, while countries and businesses could be in line for as much as US$270 billion per year in higher interest costs by 2100, without tough policies to get climate change under control, according to a study released last week by three United Kingdom universities.

Don’t Let Nuclear Boosterism, ‘Hydrogen Hype’ Distract from Practical Renewable Alternatives, Analyst Urges

Nuclear boosterism and “hydrogen hype” mustn’t distract countries from the renewable energy technologies that can actually deliver on a 2050 target for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, @Forum4theFuture founder Jonathan Porritt argues in an opinion piece last week for The Guardian.

Consultations Will Let Albertans Say ‘No’ to Rocky Mountain Coal Mining, Minister Promises

Alberta’s energy minister has promised people will be able to say “no” to coal mining in the Rocky Mountains during upcoming consultations.

Canada’s Pandemic Bike Lanes Boost Accessibility, Should Be Made Permanent, Advocates Say

A recent study in shows that new bike lanes set up during the pandemic made the city more accessible for all, prompting cycling advocates to urge policy-makers to make the lanes permanent.

2/3 of Tropical Rainforests Destroyed or Damaged by Logging, Farming