The federal government is receiving a loud, public request this week that it rejoin the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
It’s already the country’s leading cause of work-related death, killing more than 2,000 Canadians per year and more than 107,000 people around the world. And because it can take up to 50 years to develop, new cases are expected to accumulate for decades to come.
The week was scarcely half over by the time three provincial governments or their advisors had weighed in on Canada’s emerging climate strategy. The stark differences in approach—from a visionary, ambitious program in Ontario, to outright climate denial in Saskatchewan—point to the challenges ahead in the effort to forge an effective, pan-Canadian response to climate change.
The inanimate world is smarter than we think, says U.S. botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer, Ph.D., in a recent edition of the On Being podcast: Before we get too impressed with the dominance of human structures over natural systems, she notes, let’s not forget that humans can’t even photosynthesize!
Right now, tens of thousands of people from Fort McMurray and surrounding communities have fled the raging fires overtaking and threatening their neighbourhoods, their homes, their treasured keepsakes and memories, and their most basic sense of safety.
You have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leave your mark and push Canada towards a strong climate strategy – right now.
For a chilling view of Canada’s possible future, look no farther than the shamelessly brazen, $15-billion lawsuit that TransCanada Corporation launched against the United States government, after President Barack Obama had the temerity to refuse a permit for the company’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
Whether in an urban landscape like Montreal, agricultural zones when he lived in the Netherlands, or on James Bay where he works now, he thrives on the challenge of coming up with solutions that help nature and people co-exist.
The clock is ticking on the next opportunity to introduce state-of-the-art national and provincial/territorial building codes that support the push to a post-carbon economy.