Why the people of Grassy Narrows continue to eat the fish

a woman by a fireGrassy Narrows elder Judy Da Silva says that fish has always played a vital role in Anishinaabek natal traditions. (Jon Thompson)

The people of Grassy Narrows First Nation know that the fish in nearby rivers and lakes contain mercury, which can cause serious health problems. So why is walleye still a mainstay of their diet? Jon Thompson outlines the cultural, political, and economic issues that have contributed to this community’s crisis. Read more.

 

 

‘We Have Not Come Here to Beg World Leaders to Care,’ 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. ‘We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming’

“We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules,” says Greta Thunberg, “because the rules have to be changed.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres seated next to 15-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who explained that while the world consumes an estimated 100 million barrels of oil each day, "there are no politics to change that. There are no politics to keep that oil in the ground. So we can longer save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed." (Photo: UNFCC COP24 / Screenshot)UN Secretary General António Guterres seated next to 15-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who explained that while the world consumes an estimated 100 million barrels of oil each day, “there are no politics to change that. There are no politics to keep that oil in the ground. So we can longer save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.” (Photo: UNFCC COP24 / Screenshot)

Striking her mark at the COP24 climate talks taking place this week and next in Poland, fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden issued a stern rebuke on behalf of the world’s youth climate movement to the adult diplomats, executives, and elected leaders gathered by telling them she was not there asking for help or demanding they comply with demands but to let them know that new political realities and a renewable energy transformation are coming whether they like it or not.

“Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago,” said Thunberg, who has garnered international notoriety for weekly climate strikes outside her school in Sweden, during a speech on Monday. MORE

5 takeaways from the COP24 global climate summit

The deal’s main accomplishment is that the whole world signed up, but campaigners fear it does too little to slow global warming.

KATOWICE, Poland — The point of a compromise is that all sides have to give up something to reach a deal.

The 133-page final text of the COP24 climate summit is no exception. The major accomplishment was that 196 governments agreed on arulebook to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement, but the result left bruised feelings all around.

The poorest and most vulnerable countries felt that it demanded too little of industrialized countries, developing countries had to agree on common reporting requirements to bring their climate promises into line with those of more developed countries, and the richest countries have to be more open about their financial support to those most affected by global warming.

“You cannot cut a deal with science, you cannot negotiate with the laws of physics”— Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives

And the answer to the biggest question of all — will the agreement actually help the world avoid catastrophic climate change? — is mixed at best. MORE

Unions Should Go Big on a Green New Deal for Canada

On climate change, workers shouldn’t be left behind — they should lead the way.

New-Green-Deal.jpg
The Green New Deal, catching fire in America, is the kind of policy plan that Canadian unions could loudly champion. Photo via the Sunrise Movement.

Canada’s unions need to play a much larger leadership role on climate change, not just because it’s also about economic policy that directly affects the livelihood of their members, but also because there’s a good chance we won’t get where we need to go without them helping to get things done.

Recent job losses in Oshawa and Alberta share a common denominator — the internal combustion engine. It’s a marvellous invention that powers our society, but turns out it’s also driving our life-support systems to their breaking point. We have no choice but to replace it, and fast. MORE

California Requires New City Buses to Be Electric by 2029

California on Friday became the first state to mandate a full shift to electric buses on public transit routes, flexing its muscle as the nation’s leading environmental regulator and bringing battery-powered, heavy-duty vehicles a step closer to the mainstream.

Starting in 2029, mass transit agencies in California will only be allowed to buy buses that are fully electric under a rule adopted by the state’s powerful clean air agency.

The agency, the California Air Resources Board, said it expected that municipal bus fleets would be fully electric by 2040. It estimated that the rule would cut emissionsof planet-warming greenhouse gases by 19 million metric tons from 2020 to 2050, the equivalent of taking four million cars off the road. MORE

Complete List of Ontario MLAs

JAndrew-QP@ndp.on.ca; tarmstrong-qp@ndp.on.ca; IArthur-CO@ndp.on.ca; DBegum-QP@ndp.on.ca; JBell-QP@ndp.on.ca; RBerns-McGown-CO@ndp.on.ca; gbisson@ndp.on.ca; GBourgouin-QP@ndp.on.ca; JBurch-QP@ndp.on.ca; cfife-qp@ndp.on.ca; JFrench-QP@ndp.on.ca; wgates-co@ndp.on.ca; fgelinas-qp@ndp.on.ca; CGlover-CO@ndp.on.ca; LGretzky-CO@ndp.on.ca; JHarden-CO@ndp.on.ca; FHassan-CO@ndp.on.ca; PHatfield-QP@ndp.on.ca; ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca; BKarpoche-CO@ndp.on.ca; TKernaghan-CO@ndp.on.ca; LLindo-CO@ndp.on.ca; SMamakwa-CO@ndp.on.ca; mmantha-qp@ndp.on.ca; pmiller-qp@ndp.on.ca; JMonteith-Farrell-CO@ndp.on.ca; SMorrison-QP@ndp.on.ca; tnatyshak-co@ndp.on.ca; TRakocevic-CO@ndp.on.ca; Psattler-qp@ndp.on.ca; SShaw-QP@ndp.on.ca; GSingh-QP@ndp.on.ca; SSingh-QP@ndp.on.ca; JStevens-QP@ndp.on.ca; MStiles-CO@ndp.on.ca; tabunsp-co@ndp.on.ca; mtaylor-co@ndp.on.ca; jvanthof-co@ndp.on.ca; JWest-CO@ndp.on.ca; KYarde-CO@ndp.on.ca; mflalonde.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; kwynne.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; NDesRosiers.mpp.CO@liberal.ola.org;mgravelle.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; Jfraser.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; mhunter.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; mcoteau.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org; Mschreiner@ola.org; jill.dunlop@pc.ola.org; vincent.ke@pc.ola.org; amanda.simardco@pc.ola.org; randy.pettapiece@pc.ola.org; michael.parsa@pc.ola.org; stephen.crawford@pc.ola.org; natalia.kusendova@pc.ola.org; gila.martow@pc.ola.org; merrilee.fullertonco@pc.ola.org; christina.mitasco@pc.ola.org; prabmeet.sarkaria@pc.ola.org; lisa.macleodco@pc.ola.org; jane.mckenna@pc.ola.org; christine.elliott@pc.ola.org; steve.clark@pc.ola.org; jim.wilson@pc.ola.org; donna.skelly@pc.ola.org; lorne.coeco@pc.ola.org; john.yakabuski@pc.ola.org; andrea.khanjin@pc.ola.org; dave.smith@pc.ola.org; sylvia.jonesco@pc.ola.org; roman.baberco@pc.ola.org; sheref.sabawy@pc.ola.org; willem.bouma@pc.ola.org; kinga.surma@pc.ola.org; ernie.hardeman@pc.ola.org; sam.oosterhoff@pc.ola.org; belinda.karahalios@pc.ola.org; ted.arnott@pc.ola.org; paul.calandra@pc.ola.org; mike.harris@pc.ola.org; toby.barrett@pc.ola.org; daisy.waico@pc.ola.org; doug.downey@pc.ola.org; peter.bethlenfalvy@pc.ola.org; lindsey.parkco@pc.ola.org; rudy.cuzzettoco@pc.ola.org; billy.pang@pc.ola.org; stephen.lecce@pc.ola.org; lisa.thompson@pc.ola.org; aris.babikian@pc.ola.org; goldie.ghamari@pc.ola.org; doug.ford@pc.ola.org; raymond.cho@pc.ola.org; david.piccini@pc.ola.org; stan.cho@pc.ola.org; logan.kanapathico@pc.ola.org; monte.mcnaughton@pc.ola.org; jim.mcdonell@pc.ola.org; daryl.kramp@pc.ola.org; vijay.thanigasalam@pc.ola.org; laurie.scottco@pc.ola.org; bob.bailey@pc.ola.org; todd.smithco@pc.ola.org; robin.martinco@pc.ola.org; caroline.mulroney@pc.ola.org; deepak.anandco@pc.ola.org; amarjot.sandhu@pc.ola.org; kaleed.rasheed@pc.ola.org; amy.fee@pc.ola.org; greg.rickfordco@pc.ola.org; rick.nicholls@pc.ola.org; michael.tibollo@pc.ola.org; christine.hogarth@pc.ola.org; norm.miller@pc.ola.org; rod.phillipsco@pc.ola.org; effie.triantafilopoulos@pc.ola.org; vic.fedeli@pc.ola.org; parm.gillco@pc.ola.org; ross.romano@pc.ola.org; jeff.yurek@pc.ola.org; jeremy.roberts@pc.ola.org; bill.walker@pc.ola.org; nina.tangrico@pc.ola.org; randy.hillier@pc.ola.org

COP24 delivers progress, but nations fail to heed warnings of scientists

UN conference reaffirms Paris Agreement commitments, leaving Canada and other countries with a lot more to do at home

[KATOWICE, Poland] (December 15, 2018) – The annual United Nations climate change conference in Katowice (COP24) ended today, making progress on some issues but putting the real work of addressing climate change squarely on the plates of national governments.

The conference took place in the wake of the IPCC’s latest report, which warned the world of the dangerous impacts should global warming exceed 1.5˚C, including more devastating wildfires, floods and famine. Like many countries, Canada is far from a trajectory that is compatible with a 1.5˚C world, and needs to commit to getting on track now….

Yet Canada failed to reiterate its earlier signal that it will increase the ambition of its climate pledge ahead of 2020, as other countries have done. This represents a missed opportunity to show leadership on the world stage. It is critical that Minister McKenna shows this leadership when she returns home, by announcing that Canada will have a process in 2019 to put the country on track to a 1.5˚C-compatible climate pledge. MORE

The battery that could make mass solar and wind power viable

Renewable energy is a growing market, but even if they could some day replace fossil fuels, there’s a problem: that energy needs to be stored. Currently battery tech isn’t up to the task, but the solution to one of the world’s most pressing  problems might just be sitting in Marlborough, Mass. MORE

The Stakes Could Not Be Higher

Writing in the National Observer, Graham Saul asks two important questions: Why is the world so slow to realize that we are facing a life-threatening planetary crisis? And what would it take to galvanize us into action? Graham is a Metcalf Innovation Fellow and the Executive Director of Nature Canada. His recent paper challenges us to identify what we climate activists and environmentalists are fighting for. We all know the stakes could not be higher.

 Stuck Between Fear and Hope

In his interview on The Agenda, Graham Saul talks about the importance of how the climate story gets told. The lack of moral and ethical clarity in our attempt to solve climate change leaves us stuck between fear and hope. MORE

Judge rules Unist’ot’en gate must come down for pipeline

An Indigenous camp was ordered Friday to remove a gate that’s blocking a bridge in northwestern B.C. and holding up a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project.

Judge Marguerite Church of the B.C. Supreme Court sided with Coastal GasLink, a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., which filed an injunction to get construction going on the $40-billion LNG Canada build.

“People were crying but I feel emboldened because we are getting so much support,” said Warner Naziel of the Indigenous Unist’ot’en Camp – a land-based healing centre on Wet’suwet’en traditional territory south of Houston, B.C. MORE