The sharp decline of Alberta’s woodland caribou population has long been a concern. According to Mark Hebblewhite, associate professor of ungulate habitat biology at the University of Montana, compared the province’s previous attempts to resolve this situation by culling wolves – but not prioritizing habitat restoration – to shovelling sand. The University of Alberta agreed, and pointed to the fact these animals are “in an area with high levels of human disturbance resulting from forestry and oil and gas activity.” That changed this morning, the province of Alberta is extending its’ protection over an additional 1.8 million hectares of forest.
It has only been four months since a tentative agreement to “pursue efforts to” limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C was signed in Paris. After a decade of being virtually ignored, climate change became the central issue on Canada’s political stage. Yet even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other world leaders fly to ratify the Paris Agreement in New York, some ask is Canada really prepared to fight climate change?
Alberta is Stephen Harper’s home province, home to the oil sands and uses more coal fired electricity than all the rest of Canada combined. With oil prices dropping to $40 a barrel, people in Calgary and Fort McMurray are losing their jobs. This is not where one would expect much support for renewable energy, but a new poll from EKOS Research discovered most Albertans want cleaner energy.