"It was like a fire I've never seen before in my life."--Fire Chief Darby Allen
The damage is almost unimaginable.
Almost 100,000 people have been evacuated. Over 2,400 buildings and homes have been destroyed. People, entire families, are living in gyms, hotels, work camps...
Dear Premier Notley,
I support your government on a lot of things.
I was there the day it was sworn in, when thousands of people filled the legislative grounds. I was there when the first cabinet with full gender parity in Alberta's history...
Last month the world hit a worrying milestone.
For the first time in recorded history, perhaps the first time in the course of human history temperatures in the northern hemisphere passed 2 degrees C above 'normal'.
Two degrees is the absolute...
Last week, the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) came out and stated its unanimous opposition to the Energy East tarsands pipeline. The MMC's denial was on behalf of 82 municipalities, including Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, and 79 others. These municipalities represent 3.9 million people, which...
The road to justice is a long one.
I wish it weren't so but as the dust settles on COP21 we know that while historic steps have been taken, the demands of justice are still unfulfilled.
On the one hand, we now have...
Today was a beautiful day.
All around the world people took to the streets to help give the earth a voice.
From Mumbai to Australia, London to Berlin, Ottawa to Vancouver millions danced, sang, and marched to push our world's elected leaders, currently in Paris for COP21, to increase their...
Today people slowed the beast again, but this time we did it at the source.
After a string of pipeline victories and over a decade of campaigning on at least three different continents, the Alberta government has finally put a limit to the tar sands. They announced they will
Nelson Mandela once said, "It's always impossible until it's done."
Now that submissions to the Alberta government's climate change panel are in, the hard work really begins. The panel has the momentous...
Right now there are over 100 wildfires burning in Alberta, 24 are out of control.
Parkland County, Alberta has declared a state of agricultural disaster because moisture levels in some areas of the province are at their lowest levels in 50 years.
Recently, parts of southern Alberta were hit with...
Dear Premier Rachel Notley,
I wanted to start by commending you for supporting the call for an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. We have lost too many of our sisters, mothers, and friends with no explanation and I thank you for trying to shine the light...
Monday the G7 committed to eliminating the use of the fossil fuels by the end of the century. The commitment might have been stronger if it wasn't for the lobbying of Canada and Japan, who continue to be obstacles to progress on the climate.
There's no doubt about...
On Sunday I stood with thousands of other Albertans at the Alberta legislature building, the place of so many protests and rallies, to welcome our new government.
I cheered as the new cabinet was introduced. We now have a former teacher as the new Minister of Education. An outspoken, hard-working...
Yesterday talking about the urgent need to act on a growing climate crisis President Barack Obama said the statement above in his Earth Day speech.
President Obama's speech noted that we are already experiencing the...
On April 11th I will be in the streets of Quebec City.
I will be there with thousands of others, from different walks of life, that have come from coast to coast to coast to demand action on climate change.
The warning signs are all around...
In the fight against the tar sands there are good weeks and bad weeks and then there are weeks like this one where you can't help but feel that we might just win.
This week on both sides of the country tar sands pipeline pushers got a huge wake-up call.
Yesterday, four people, including myself, climbed the oil derrick that launched Western Canada's oil boom over 60 years ago. We did it to send a very simple message: it's time that we transitioned away from dirty energy sources and to the awe inspiring power of the sun, the wind, and other renewables.
We scaled the Leduc derrick at Edmonton's Gateway Park and hung a large banner that read: "Solar: 100% climate safe." For four hours we also created our own solar powered radio station playing sun-themed songs directly from the derrick.
While the action was a bit tongue-in-cheek the issue most definitely is not. Alberta is the most climate-polluting province in Canada, emitting more greenhouse gases than any other province in the country. Alberta is also home to the Canada's fastest growing source of climate pollution the tar sands.
Just two days ago the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest climate report. The report outlined the mounting human, environmental and economic risks of failing to act on the growing crisis as well as painting a clear pathway away from climatic collapse. The pathway entails keeping the vast majority of remaining fossil fuel reserves in the ground (at least 75 per cent) and an urgent shift to renewables and conservation efforts.
To put it simply we can't keep digging, we can't keep burning, and we need to transition and quick.
As oil prices continue to plummet tar sands projects are being shelved and the vulnerability of a fossil fuel based economy is starkly clear. The province needs to diversify and I'm sure most Albertans would like to see energy profits remain in the province rather than flowing down a pipeline out of it. With renewables not only to they create more jobs per dollar than fossil fuels do but the profits don't go to large multinational oil companies but remain with homeowners, farmers, ranchers and First Nation communities.
Luckily Alberta has the natural capital to make the transition. Alberta has the best solar and wind potential in all of Canada more than enough to power the entire province yet utilizes less than 1per cent of it.
Alberta also has a highly skilled, trained workforce. Alberta has the welders, it has the electricians, it has the engineers, the machinists, it has all the people power it needs to make the solar powered leap.
Finally, Alberta has more than enough reasons to do it. Beyond the economic benefits that a move to renewables would bring and the climate crisis demands such a move would solve many other problems as well. Health practitioners have warned us for years about the damaging effects fossil fuel development has on our communities. From asthma to cancer, a continued reliance on fossil fuels only means our communities are sicker. In addition to the reduced pollution, solar and wind are 100% spill free. They don't have the damaging effects pipelines and extractive industries do.
It's for all these reasons that we climbed the derrick and hung the banner. We risked arrest and our own personal freedoms because we can't afford to wait - science and our planet are telling us that. We need to act, we need to move, and it's time to reap the tremendous benefits that come with that transition.
Getting there is doable but it's not going to be easy. Powerful oil and coal interests stand in our way and won't go down without a fight.
That's why we're asking you to join us, to add your voice to the growing calls to Alberta's Premier.
Together we can make a difference, together we can transition again, and together we can rescue the planet from the brink.
So help us take another step on that journey our planet simply can't wait.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:...
On Tuesday, Greenpeace is embarking on an Alberta tour to two cities, three rural communities and two First Nations to talk about solutions.
Together with three speakers we will be sharing stories of hope, talking about solutions already being implemented around the world, and pushing the Alberta government to catch...
Dear Fossil Fuels,
I know you've been hearing a lot from me lately but I wanted to take a moment to say something that I haven't said enough -- thank you.
That's likely a message you didn't expect to hear from me but it's something that I want you to...
The fight against the tar sands is a big one.
We stand in defense of the land, water, climate and communities against the richest companies on the planet, and a federal and provincial government who are intent on extracting tar sands as quickly as possible regardless of the cost....