The Local Climate – On Mining, Part 2

How, then, to reconcile the uncomfortable realities of modern mining with those of climate change, environmental integrity and the rights of Canadians to health and natural beauty? It’s a messy maze at best, but Jamie Kneen of MiningWatch Canada, a coalition of sorts concerned with the shortcomings of Canadian mining nationally and abroad, had plenty...

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The Local Climate – On Mining (Part 1)

About 370 million years ago, when Nova Scotia was in the act of mountain building, our planet’s tumultuous crust permitted the escape of two elements which, to this day, are found concentrated together in our province’s bedrock. These were arsenic and gold which, eons later, would be respectively shunned and sought by a curious primate,...

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The Local Climate – Chilling Heat

You should know that, while writing this, I’m very freezing. I had too much faith in public buildings and their ability to combat the coldest couple days of the year. My legs and shoulders are signaling their slow surrender and I’m in no way enjoying it. Please understand I’m a fan of neither cold nor...

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The Local Climate – Chemistry and Morality

Carbon dioxide (CO2) comes up a lot these days, in politics, in media, and increasingly in daily life, a trend I hope continues as the urgency of global warming overwhelms our inaction, but just how we perceive this CO2 and its climatic counterweight, oxygen, is very nuanced, and very important. CO2 is not merely a...

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The Local Climate – The Mighty are Falling

The Eastern hemlock is a force of nature in Nova Scotia. Not only is it among the most common trees in the province, it’s invariably the oldest. It was routinely ignored by foresters past and present in favour of more valuable species like red spruce, white pine and hardwoods more generally. As a consequence the...

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The Local Climate – A Question of Legitimacy

The sanctity of Nova Scotia’s protected areas has taken a beating in recent years, especially those of the Eastern Shore, their significance dragged through either corporate or political mud in order to justify their dismantling, a sharp contrast to the multitudes of money and time once invested in their longevity. By now you’ve heard of...

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The Local Climate: An ode to iNaturalist

Our appreciation for the natural world is limited by our understanding thereof. That’s been my mantra for the better part of a decade now and research has since vindicated me, demonstrating that an individual’s concern for local biodiversity is directly proportional to the amount of time they spend exploring and understanding it. Go figure. While...

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The Local Climate – Lights Out

Hurricane Dorian struck down a great many power lines this past September, including the one which electrified my house, saddling me with the indignity of a small generator while some neighbours had to abandon their homes altogether, seeking warmth and water where the grid hadn’t yet failed. This was the case for hundreds of thousands...

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The Local Climate – Bison Blunder

Newfoundland once qualified as a “remote island,” its ecosystem forming more or less free of the continent, largely lacking in mammals and catering heavily to birds and marine life. In the absence of predators these animals of wing and fin flourished, giving rise to the feathered kingdom described by some of our earliest explorers. But...

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