Blog Archives

Indigenous elders at national gathering warn of dire need to react to environmental disasters

‘We want to practise our traditions but our medicines, the animals, the environment is affected,’ says elder

rita-and-tommy-monias

Rita and Tommy Monias travelled to the gathering from Cross Lake, Man. (Brandi Morin)

By Brandi Morin, CBC News, September 15, 2017

Some Indigenous elders who live traditional lifestyles that include hunting, fishing and trapping on lands and waters long utilized by their ancestors say they have noticed a rapid shift in the environment over the last several decades — a shift some attribute to climate change. Read the rest of this entry

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Highway closures in B.C. raise concerns about local food security during disaster

coquihalla-highway-snow-snowfall-congestion

Coquihalla Highway closed in February 2017 due to heavy snowfall, leaving transport trucks and private vehicles stuck on the highway overnight.

Experts say communities have between 3-5 days of supplies before more needs to be shipped in

By Andrew Kurjata and Ash Kelly, CBC News, Feb 15, 2017

A series of highway closures has highlighted how dependent B.C. communities are on regular shipments of food and supplies and raised questions about what would happen to that supply chain during a prolonged emergency. Read the rest of this entry

Arviat, Nunavut Young Adults Are Learning To Grow Their Own Produce

o-ARVIAT-GREENHOUSE-570by Emma Prestwich, Huffington Post, May 19, 2016

Vegetables aren’t hugely popular in the northern community of Arviat.

The hamlet of just over 2,000 people on the shores of Hudson Bay has two grocery stores, and fresh food, which has to be flown in from southern Canada, is pricey.

Many vegetables, like lettuce, also don’t keep for very long, and community educator Shirley Tagalik says this makes them even less appealing.

“If you buy something and it’s wilted and goes bad the next day, [you] don’t want to waste your money,” Tagalik tells The Huffington Post Canada. Read the rest of this entry

Fort Mac Blaze: Brace for New Era of Infernos

Tar Sands Ft McMurray burned homes

Homes and cars burned in Fort McMurray, May 2016. Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Images

What’s turning northern forests into tinder? Biggest reason is climate change, but that’s not all.

By Ed Struzik,  TheTyee.ca, May 7, 2016

A sudden shift in the wind at a critical time of day was all it took to send a wildfire out of control through Fort McMurray, forcing more than 80,000 people out of their homes in what has become the biggest natural disaster in Canadian history.

Earlier this week, Darby Allen, the regional fire chief for the area, minced no words when he was asked what might happen now that more than 1,600 homes have been destroyed. Read the rest of this entry

Tree-ring data suggest B.C. is facing harshest droughts in 350 years

New study predicts significant declines in B.C. native fish catches due to climate change

World’s lakes are warming surprisingly quickly due to climate change

toledo-water-problems

Lakes around the world are warming, and that’s expected to lead to an increase in algae blooms like this one on Lake Erie in 2011, which made tap water undrinkable in places like Ohio. (NOAA/Associated Press)

Canadian lakes, including those that are ice-covered in winter, are warming twice as fast as others

By Emily Chung, CBC News, Dec 17, 2015

Lakes around the world are warming surprisingly quickly due to climate change, threatening the global water supply. And lakes in Canada are some of the fastest-warming in the world, a new study shows. Read the rest of this entry

‘We are moving into unchartered territory at a frightening speed’: Greenhouse gases hit new high

In this Nov. 24, 2014 file photo, smoke streams from the chimneys of the E.ON coal-fired power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The U.N. weather agency says levels of carbon dioxide and methane, the two most important greenhouse gases, reached record highs last year.  Martin Meissner/ Associated Press

In this Nov. 24, 2014 file photo, smoke streams from the chimneys of the E.ON coal-fired power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The U.N. weather agency says levels of carbon dioxide and methane, the two most important greenhouse gases, reached record highs last year. Martin Meissner/ Associated Press

by The Washington Post, November 9, 2015

Greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere reached another grim milestone earlier this year as carbon dioxide levels surpassed the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million across much of the planet, the premier global meteorological association confirmed in a report to be released Monday.

Figures compiled by the World Meteorological Organization showed strong growth — and new records — in the concentrations of all three of the most important heat-trapping gases, continuing a long-term trend with ominous implications for climate change, the group said. Read the rest of this entry

Situation ‘Dire’: Low Coho Salmon Returns Close Quinault Fisheries

Coho salmonby Indian Country Today, Oct 29, 2015

Low returns of wild coho salmon are prompting the Quinault Indian Nation to close all its fisheries in Grays Harbor and Queets River and to declare an economic disaster because of the resulting hardship on fishermen and their families.

The tribe attributed the low returns to the so-called Godzilla El Niño that is under way in the Pacific, exacerbated by a “blob of warm water off the coast,” the Quinault said in a statement describing what it called a dire situation. Read the rest of this entry

Fires, Drought, Melting Glaciers: Tribal Climate Experts Hope We Haven’t Passed the Tipping Point

The County Line 2 Fire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon has burned 100 square miles, or 64,438 acres—and is the smallest of the fires plaguing Indian country in the Northwest at the moment. (Photo: Peter Mackwell/InciWeb)

The County Line 2 Fire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon has burned 100 square miles, or 64,438 acres—and is the smallest of the fires plaguing Indian country in the Northwest at the moment. (Photo: Peter Mackwell/InciWeb)

Richard Walker, Indian Country Today, August 24, 2015

Mother Earth is teaching a lesson. Or giving us a scolding.

The message, according to those working for climate change solutions: We have to change the way we live, the way we use the land and waters.

In the drought-stricken west, more than 1.3 million acres of parched wildlands are being consumed by fire. Year-to-date, the total number of acres consumed by wildfire—a record 7,210,959—exceeds the 10-year average by 2.2 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Read the rest of this entry