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Lyme disease, climate change, and public health
Lyme disease is on the rise in Canada, due in part to climate change. Warming temperatures are allowing blacklegged ticks - the species that can carry Lyme disease in central and eastern Canada - to move into new territories. Hear from the scientists, medical professionals, and citizens on the front lines of this infectious disease issue, and how we can prepare and protect our families and communities from this risk.
Health, Infectious Diseases
Predicting pollen levels in a changing climate
Anyone who has experienced seasonal allergies knows the suffering that comes with itchy eyes and blocked sinuses. Looking to the future, this discomfort may get worse, as Canadians are expected to face new allergens and higher levels. Climate change is bringing longer growing seasons, which means more pollen in the air. In this video, experts from Aerobiology Research Laboratories explain the increase in pollen they have seen in recent years, and how they are monitoring pollen levels to help Canadians respond and…
Health, Air Quality
Preparing an industry for the future
Aquaculture is just one of the ways that the Magdalen Islands’ residents make a living off the sea. Lisandre Solomon of the Merinov research centre explains how climate change is jeopardizing aquaculture, affecting species like oysters and scallops. But through research and development, Merinov is helping islanders adapt and move towards a sustainable future.
In March 2020, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) held its first National Climate Gathering on the traditional territory of the Ta’an Kwächän and the Kwanlin Dün in Whitehorse, YK. Over 300 First Nations experts, leaders, youth, women, knowledge keepers, and professionals gathered to discuss the urgent crisis of climate change. In 2019, the AFN passed a resolution declaring a First Nations Climate Emergency, and this Gathering was designed to bring together First Nations’ perspectives on climate impacts, risks,…
First Nations, Indigenous Knowledges
Farmers struggle with erratic weather
In Bradwell, Saskatchewan harvest has become difficult as weather is often either too wet or too dry. Grain farmer Terry Boehm harvests his fields between rain and snow storms hoping to get some decent grain. The weather patterns his family have relied on for their livelihood for generations have changed. Across the prairies, farmers are having to adapt their farming practices to increasingly erratic weather.
Offsetting emissions from agriculture
Agriculture is responsible for 8% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. “It’s part of the problem, but it’s also part of the solution,” says Kunbi Adetona, an energy systems researcher at the University of Calgary. In this video, Adetona talks about the potential of converting manure and other agricultural waste products into biogas, which can offset fossil fuel usage. But what’s really exciting is that researchers have now started converting manure into biochar — or more simply charcoal — which can be used to…
Native science and buffalo restoration
“The buffalo is the best environmentalist you can have,” Dr. Leroy Little Bear of Kainai First Nation says. In the Prairies, the buffalo is not only a keystone species, but a critical part of Blackfoot culture. A professor at the University of Lethbridge, Dr. Little Bear is a strong advocate for why it’s crucial to include Indigenous worldviews in environmental management. In this video, he discusses the environmental change he’s witnesses, and why buffalo restoration is critical for restoring ecological balance.
Take Action, First Nations, Indigenous Knowledges
Prairie cities are part of the solution
Charlie Clark, the Mayor of Saskatoon, speaks about the changing nature of cities, living in an era of global warming, and how the next generation of young people are demanding action. Despite being a “cold prairie city”, Clark believes Saskatoon’s sense of community will allow them to move quickly to “show leadership on environmental change”.
How climate change affects the health of Canadians
Did you know that the climate crisis is also a health crisis? Climate change impacts the health of Canadians - from increasing heat stroke to spreading new infectious diseases - and these impacts are getting worse. At the same time, there is a lot that we can do to protect ourselves and reduce climate pollution for healthier, safer futures.
Health, Mental Health, Heat-related Illness, Infectious Diseases, Air Quality, Take Action
The First Nations “climate lens” seeks to disrupt mainstream thinking -- that characterizes First Nations as vulnerable and passive to climate impacts -- and positions First Nations as leaders that are cultivating and scaling up urgent and transformative climate action within communities and across territories. Through interconnectivity and collaboration, a holistic approach to First Nations climate action emerges that redefines what solutions look like, and are grounded in knowledge and teachings that have been…
Indigenous Knowledges, First Nations
Like many Métis communities, hunting, trapping, and fishing are a way of life for the people of St. Laurent. But with climate change making winters shorter and ice less reliable, their season for ice fishing is shrinking, disrupting their land use and livelihoods. These Métis experiences demonstrate that both climate and culture are changing along the shores of Lake Manitoba.
Indigenous Knowledges, Métis
Supporting solar energy on Gabriola Island
On Gabriola Island, community members are beginning to notice the impacts of climate change. To reduce their ecological footprint, some residents started a non-profit organization called GabEnergy, which helps people order and install affordable solar energy systems on their homes. GabEnergy member Michael Mehta discusses the solar panels on his house and the potential for distributed, renewable energy systems across Canada.
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Energy, emissions and agriculture
Darrin Qualman is a writer and researcher – with extensive farming experience – and who has been doing some long-term thinking about agriculture, climate change and energy system. Given the large-scale and costly use of nitrogen fertilizer, fossil fuels and other inputs in agriculture, he has determined that it takes about 13.3 calories to make every calorie we eat. For Qualman, the solutions to climate change and the farm income crisis is to shift away from high-input, high-energy agriculture.
Climate, Drought and Extremes
Dendroclimatologist Dave Sauchyn studies tree rings to learn about climates of the past and what it means for the future. His research shows that there’s a “new normal” in the Canadian Prairies and that climate change is increasing the risk of extended and severe drought.
Climate Science, Forests
Gender, agriculture and climate change
Dr. Amber Fletcher grew up on a farm and has a strong appreciation for farmer knowledge and the importance of rural environments and communities. Now, as an academic at University of Regina, she studies how farmers are seeing and feeling the impacts of climate change in their fields and daily lives. She’s interested in the critical contributions that women make to farm life, especially during climate extremes such as floods and droughts.
Joanasie Karpik is one of Nunavut’s most respected Elders on climate change. In 2017, youth and Elders gathered together at Sannirut, a popular camping spot near the community of Pangnirtung, for a video and storytelling workshop. Joanasie shares, “I’ve lived two worlds now”, speaking to the changes he has seen to the weather pattern over nearly 80 years of observation in Cumberland Sound. These unprecedented changes are outside of local knowledges of Elders and Joanasie shares, “today, because of climate change,…
Indigenous Knowledges, Inuit
Environmentally responsible ranching
Livestock producers Troy Stozek and Don McIntyre – both from southwestern Manitoba – are on the frontlines of farming carbon. By practicing rotational grazing, they’re able to raise more cattle on less land, and in doing so they’re restoring the soil and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere at the same time. Their stories and farming practices show that animal agriculture can be an important part of the climate solution.
Small towns vs sea level rise
After a series of stronger-than-normal storms knocked out their main breakwater, the small town of Ferryland Newfoundland was left with no choice but to heavily invest in shoreline protection. Now, members of the community are left wondering whether the rising costs of living by the sea are sustainable for future generations.
Cities, Take Action
Renewables, culture, and community pride
The Métis village of Green Lake may seem small, but they have big ambitions. The community started a solar energy project and installed 96 solar panels on their community hall. As Mayor Ric Richardson describes, Métis people have “used the sun for generations,” so the opportunity for renewable energy development was warmly welcomed by community members. Through this Métis leadership, Green Lake generates cheaper and more reliable power, which creates connection to the land, educational opportunities for the…
Take Action, Métis
Solar Powered Farming
At FortWhyte Alive’s solar-powered farm, young people are coming together to fight climate change, restore habitat and encourage biodiversity.
Take Action, Agriculture
Combating Urban Heat Islands
Heat waves in cities are expected to be more frequent and intense under climate change. The City of Montreal is tackling urban heat islands head-on through city greening initiatives, in collaboration with Ouranos, a climate change research consortium.
Cities, Take Action
Rooftop greenhouses changing the way cities eat
LUFA farms in Montreal have built the world’s first commercial rooftop greenhouse and they’re changing the way the city eats. Their online market currently feeds 1% of Montreal’s population, with an on-demand system that has virtually no food waste. Using escaped heat from the building below and delivering fresh harvested food by electric car, LUFA are at the forefront of alternative food systems.
Faith communities providing solutions to the climate challenge
Near the end of the century, the City of Toronto could experience nearly two months of +30 °C days a year, according to climate projections. To address the growing risk of future heat waves, local faith leaders have created a network of cooling centres in churches, mosques, temples and synagogues, and are mobilizing their congregations to provide support for susceptible populations. For City Counsellor Gord Perks, this example of grassroots community resilience makes him hopeful about the future.
Cities, Take Action
Algal blooms, climate change, and human health
As summers become longer and hotter under climate change, many Canadians will be seeking relief at lake beaches. But hotter summers and changing precipitation make favourable conditions for algal blooms to grow in the water, which can produce toxins that are harmful to human health. Experts, Indigenous communities, and residents in the Lake Winnipeg area are all too familiar with the impacts of algal blooms on health, as they discuss in this video
Health, Infectious Diseases
Adapting to sea level rise
Indian Island First Nation is on a peninsula surrounded by water. Through a combination of traditional knowledge and scientific studies, it became clear to Chief Ken Barlow that his community would be underwater by 2100. Barlow and his community are in a race against time to protect homes, raise roads, and potentially even relocate the graves of their ancestors.
Take Action, Indigenous Knowledges, First Nations
Community-based solutions rooted in decolonization
“Real climate solutions are rooted in a return to the land - a return to and of the land - and are rooted in decolonization,” says Eriel Deranger, Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) and member of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. ICA is a network of Indigenous peoples framing the ideas and actions regarding climate change in traditional knowledge and community-based solutions. These grassroots actions, Eriel explains, will support the transition to renewable energy while also ensuring social…
First Nations, Indigenous Knowledges
Featuring Siila Watt-Cloutier, Kluane Adamek, & Cassidy Caron
In 2022, the Climate Atlas of Canada team -- in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Métis National Council (MNC), and numerous Indigenous collaborators -- launched Indigenous-focused data, knowledge, and resources developed by, with, and for Métis, First Nations, and Inuit communities. This launch made public climate data for all 634 First Nations communities, all 53 Inuit communities, and projects across the Métis homeland as well as new videos and resources to support Indigenous-led climate…
Indigenous Knowledges
Featuring François Paulette
The circumpolar North is on the frontlines of climate change: the land, lakes, and lifeways of human and non-human species are rapidly changing. François Paulette, a Denesuline and member of Smith’s Landing Treaty 8 First Nation, has been a witness to these changes across his homeland. Through relationship building, trust, and balance between traditional knowledge and science, Paulette believes that important climate solutions are possible.
Indigenous Knowledges, First Nations
This video documents the impacts of climate change from an Inuvialuit perspective. On Banks Island in Canada's High Arctic, the residents of Sachs Harbour have witnessed dramatic changes to their landscape and their way of life. Exotic insects, fish and birds have arrived; the sea ice is thnner and farther from the community, carrying with it the seals upon which the people depend for food; the permafrost is melting, causing the foundations of the community's buildings to shift and an inland lake to drain into the…
Inuit, Indigenous Knowledges
Told through the voices of 24 people from Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Lament for the Land weaves together the voices and wisdom of Labrador Inuit with stunning visual scenery to tell a powerful story of change, loss, and hope in the context of rapid climate change in the North. A collaboration between researcher Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo and the five communities of Nunatsiavut, this film brings attention to some of the most pressing climatic and environmental issues of our time, and the resulting mental, emotional, and…
Inuit, Indigenous Knowledges
From oil and gas to geothermal
84-year-old Daniel Claypool worked in Alberta’s oil and gas industry for over forty years. Now, he’s at the forefront of the energy transition, and is spearheading an innovative project that will convert a decommissioned oil and gas well to produce geothermal energy. Claypool’s work shows that Alberta’s rich history - as an energy producing province - can play an important role in bridging to a sustainable future.
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Reconnecting through land-based education
For many years, the community of Lubicon Cree Nation has gathered on the land for a culture camp, which brings people together to share leadership, traditional knowledge and skills like drying meat and drum and bow and arrow making. Land-based education and teachings strengthens the community’s connection to their territory, ancestors, culture, and Indigenous values in the face of a changing climate. “It’s a type of re-empowerment and reconnection to who we are as Indigenous people,” says community member Melina…
Indigenous Knowledges, First Nations
Cutting emissions by cutting waste
In Quebec’s remote Magdalen Islands, waste is responsible for a lot of fossil fuel emissions. The Matériauthèque is trying to change that. This innovative social enterprise project recuperates and promotes usable building materials to prevent them from going to the landfill. Join Mayka Thibodeau, from the Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et maritimes (CERMIM), as she gives us a tour.
Food Sovereignty in northern Manitoba
The Meechim project follows the story of Garden Hill First Nation – a northern Manitoba community that is only accessible via air and ice roads – and its journey to build a self-sustaining farm. Through a combination of both Indigenous and farm knowledge, the community’s efforts to attain food sovereignty show that climate resilience can lead to better social, economic, health and environmental outcomes for all.
Agriculture, First Nations, Indigenous Knowledges
The unique and rich knowledge of Métis people is linked to their history, homeland, and holistic experience and understanding of the environment. With intergenerational insights regarding resilience and adaptability, Métis people are sharing these teachings and thereby contributing meaningful solutions and hope in a warming world.
Indigenous Knowledges, Métis
Métis people have a deep connection to the ecosystems within their homeland that endures. With climate change, the Métis are seeing impacts on animals, medicines, water, and extreme events that affect the health and wellness of communities. Conserving and sustaining species and territories in an era of climate change is a responsibility that is critically important to Métis citizens. From renewable projects and land-based education to Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs), Métis are leading the way on…
Indigenous Knowledges, Métis
Connecting with Traditional Land Stewardship
Working in a sea of trees within a tidal wave of energy -- known as a wildfire -- wildland firefighters have one of the most dangerous and important jobs on the planet. Protecting both the land and people’s property comes naturally to Métis wildland firefighters, connecting them deeply with the land and ecosystems, across the Canadian Prairies. Métis cultural knowledge amongst these wildland firefighters -- rooted in values of respect, stewardship, and equity -- helps us all understand how climate change is…
Indigenous Knowledges, Métis, Forests
Using data to make smart climate change decisions
Dominique Paquin of Ouranos specializes in climate data, modelling & projections. Decision-makers and everyday Canadians need to understand how these highly technical tools can be used to facilitate real change. In this video, Dominique breaks down the different parts of a model and explains how her work can help us understand and prepare for the future.
Climate Science, Cities
Community Owned and Operated Solar Company
As their oil wells began to dry up, the small community of Montana First Nation was faced with an unemployment crisis. That’s when the idea of solar energy came up and the Nation founded Green Arrow, western Canada’s first Indigenous-owned and operated community solar energy company. Green Arrow’s team of trained community members is now installing solar panels across all of Alberta.
Take Action, First Nations, Indigenous Knowledges
How will climate change affect agriculture?
Warmer temperatures could bring some benefits to farming in Canada, but climate change will also likely lead to new risks that farmers haven’t seen before. Anne Blondlot of Ouranos breaks down some of the key changes the agricultural community could be facing.
An innovation in low-impact agriculture
The community of Brant Colony in southern Alberta has built a barn unlike any other in Canada. This barn produces 13,000 eggs per day, and at the same time balances the energy it makes and uses so that it doesn’t create any emissions - so called “net-zero”. The community and project partners hope the barn will be a model for learning and inspiration across the agricultural sector.
Winter Roads in a Warming Climate
Ice roads are critical for many communities – especially Indigenous ones – living in remote regions in northern Canada. These cold weather dependent routes allow essential supplies – including food and building materials – to be trucked in at a lower cost than by plane. However, in a warming climate, these connections are literally melting away.
What does climate change mean for Canada?
Earth has warmed by 1 °C in just over 100 years. Damon Matthews, a climatologist from Concordia University, describes how this change in temperature is both human-caused and unparalleled in geologic history. Taking us through the evidence of our warming climate, Matthews discusses what these changes mean for Canada and suggests that the case for a dramatic policy response is very clear.
Climate Science
On the frontier of making land sustainable for long term productivity
In oil-rich Oxbow, Saskatchewan, 101-year-old retired farmer, Frank Cushon has been watching the weather. He says it’s been warming and farmers have to adapt. Observing how soil and crops are affected by conventional farming practic