Let’s not forget we’re choosing our politicians while the world burns down around us

“To be clear: It is the responsibility of high-office holders to put policies in place that will facilitate positive systemic change; it’s also their responsibility to hold large polluting companies to account. If Canada were anywhere close to meeting its own climate targets, Wilkinson’s support of Shell’s advertising ploy might have been forgivable. But we’re not. And until we are, the only message we should be hearing from politicians like Wilkinson or companies like Shell is what they are doing to decarbonize. That being said, let’s not forget who’s been choosing our politicians while the world burns down around us.”

Arno Kopecky – The Narwhal – August 2021


Roberts Bank Terminal 2 would make Fraser River estuary a ‘giant parking lot,’ observers warn

“The existing terminal at Roberts Bank, Deltaport, juts across an eelgrass bed that provides shelter for migrating juvenile salmon. The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project would double the size of Deltaport, creating an artificial island about the size of 150 football fields. The Fraser estuary has already lost 70 per cent of its salmon habitat, and the proposed project would deplete an additional 177 hectares.”

Stephanie Wood – The Narwhal – June 2020

The art of turning fish into leather

“Chang peels a folded salmon skin from one of the bags and flattens it on the table. ‘You can really have at her,’ she says, demonstrating how to use the edge of the stone to rub away every fiber of flesh. The scales on the other side of the skin will have to go too. On a sockeye skin, they come off easily if scraped from tail to head, she adds, ‘like rubbing a cat backwards.’ The skin must be clean, otherwise it will rot or fail to absorb tannins that will help transform it into leather.”

Chloe Williams – Hakai Magazine – April 2020

Is recycling futile?

“We Albertans find it hard to resist the allure of produce perfectly packaged in plastic clamshells. The containers are convenient—the strawberries, cherry tomatoes and blackberries are gloriously free of grubby-finger jabs and travel-induced bruising. But when the berries are gone and the clamshells sit yawning and empty, they cause real headaches for the people tasked with recycling them.”

Niki Wilson – Alberta Views – March 2020

Testing the Waters

“Still committed to the cause, Jesse tweets out pictures of their attempt to avoid oil-based products like plastic. Boe celebrates the effort on Facebook. ‘Hope you walked and didn’t drive your car,’ someone comments, snarkily. Boe fires back: ‘Can I walk around naked then? Because even our clothing is made using oil.'”

Lauren Kaljur – Maisonneuve – February 2020

‘The border is this imaginary line’: why Americans are fighting mining in B.C.’s ‘Doughnut Hole’

“On a clear, cold day in late October, Paul Berntsen stands on the wooden foundation of a yurt he built himself, watching as his dreams of a non-motorized tourist destination in the Skagit River headwaters go up in flames. In the valley below, slash piles from recent clearcut logging on East Point Mountain are being burned by forestry company contractors, sending great plumes of smoke into the sky. Through the haze, a vast clear-cut is visible on the flanks of the mountain, which is carved into blocks by a network of new logging roads.”

Christopher Pollon – The Narwhal – January 2020

The Vulture Watcher

“Manning is 75, and his perilous forays here at Oak Bluffs Park occurred as recently as three years ago. ‘I’ve slidden down, had a couple of close calls,’ he says, as we watch an afternoon wind hurry currents across a shimmery Salish Sea. ‘I got all scraped on the blackberries and the rocks and everything else. I wouldn’t try it now with my bad knee and back. I’m a little too old to be dancing around in remote areas.'”

Larry Pynn – Hakai Magazine – December 2019

A mine in the middle

“We fly out of the Liard River in a float plane operated by a man named Doug. The plane glides up over the boreal forest and bogs of the seemingly endless Liard Plains, until the landscape swoops skyward like a calligraphic flourish at the end of a long, unbroken sentence. The flourish is the MacKenzie mountain range, forming part of the boundary between the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The mountain ridges are wide, wider than freeways, and I gape at the contours of the rocky slopes. Rivers below us meander like loosely coiled ropes, their origins drooling rivulets rolling down the slopes of now snowless mountains. And then we see it. The Nahanni.”

Sharon J. Riley – The Narwhal – December 2019

We’re Doomed. Now What?

“[C]limate change is not an ‘environmental issue’ in the sense that term has come to mean. It is not a discrete ecological phenomenon that can be contained by symbolic declarations, nonbinding agreements, top-down regulations, and hair-shirted personal sacrifice—which, taken together, deliver maximum pain for far too little gain. Climate change is rather, at its core, about life’s most basic necessity: energy.”

Chris Turner – The Walrus – November 2019

Elizabeth May Fights by Her Own Rules

“While she remains intent on the papers in front of her, her frequent glances at the Speaker make it clear she is listening. Being the Green Party leader doesn’t mean much without official party status. That would entitle her to a slate of privileges, including a research budget and automatic membership on committees. As it stands, she has equivalent status to an independent, limited by tightly prescribed protocols that govern, among other things, who speaks, in what order, and for how long. She can claim only one question per week during question period, the final slot. She comes last in the speech rotation when legislation is debated, sharing the spot with the four Bloc MPs.”

Susan Harada – The Walrus – May 2012