Category Archives: Environment

Storms of a Century: Fiona (2022) & Five (1923)

      No Comments on Storms of a Century: Fiona (2022) & Five (1923)

Alan MacEachern Rarely have I wanted so much to be on Prince Edward Island; never have I been so glad not to be there. It’s been hard to watch from a distance the disaster of Hurricane Fiona as it has unrolled slowly, then suddenly, then slowly again. Meteorologists warned days in advance that at landfall it would likely have the… Read more »

Carving out a Collective Identity

      No Comments on Carving out a Collective Identity
U.S. ship Frances sailing near Peru with the common sailor’s saying below ("Death to the living, long life to the killers, success to sailors wives, & greasy luck to whalers") engraved on scrimshaw.

Henry Jacob When artists exist outside of the canon, their names sometimes remain unknown. However, even if their personal identities fade, they may create objects that encourage future generations to better understand the time in which they lived. Occasionally, their artwork can also empower later viewers to reflect upon the collective identity of their own era. The object of this… Read more »

Catastrophic Rhetoric: False Enchantments and ‘Unprecedented’ Disasters in British Columbia’s Punishing 2021

Pine and grass ecology Nlaka'pamux land

This article is reposted, in slightly edited form and with permission, from the first issue of Syndemic Magazine: “Neo-liberalism and Covid-19.” Syndemic Magazine is a project of the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University. Its second issue, “Labour in a Treacherous Time,” is also now available. By Mica Jorgensen It came suddenly, violently tearing up lives and landscapes, subjecting countless British Columbians… Read more »

Making Private Property in Rural Britain and Canada

Robin Ganev Recently the government of Saskatchewan strengthened existing trespassing law to the benefit of farmers and to the detriment of Indigenous people. The new laws took effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Under previous legislation, land owners had an obligation to put up posting if they wanted to limit access to their land. Now it is the responsibility of “trespassers”… Read more »

Rescuing Historical Data for Climate Science

      No Comments on Rescuing Historical Data for Climate Science

Emily Manson [T]hose log books give the wind and weather every hour… spread over a great extent of ocean. What better data could a patient meteorological philosopher desire? – Francis Beaufort to Richard Lovell Edgeworth, 1809[1] Captains of nautical vessels have been keeping logbooks for centuries, for a variety of purposes. In the early modern period, captains described their travels… Read more »

E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class, Industrial Capitalism, and the Climate Emergency

This is the eleventh post in the series Historians Confront the Climate Emergency, hosted by ActiveHistory.ca, NiCHE (Network in Canadian History & Environment), Historical Climatology, and Climate History Network. By Jim Clifford “If you are a historian, your work is about global warming.” Dagomar Degroot. A few weeks ago Dagomar Degroot provided an overview of the excellent work done by historians of science,… Read more »

Towards a History of Canadian Climate Diplomacy

      2 Comments on Towards a History of Canadian Climate Diplomacy

Daniel Macfarlane In 2013, Canada was bestowed the satirical “Lifetime Unachievement” Fossil award by Climate Action Network International in recognition of the country’s record of obstructing global climate change talks. This dubious distinction was well-earned by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. But its Liberal predecessors and successors didn’t do much better when it came to actually reducing the country’s greenhouse gas… Read more »

John E. “Jack” Hammell and the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame

By Matthew Corbeil In January 2007, Canadian mining giant Teck Cominco (since rebranded Teck Resources) donated $10 million to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in what was “the largest corporate gift in the museum’s history.” The donation went toward the creation of three new earth science galleries, allowing the museum to double the number of minerals and gems it could… Read more »

A Reluctant Steward: Alberta and Its Parks

      No Comments on A Reluctant Steward: Alberta and Its Parks

By Jessica DeWitt [We are publishing this in partnership with the Network in Canadian History & Environment.] This past week the Alberta Provincial Government announced it’s plan to ‘optimize’ its park system. This includes: The full or partial closure of twenty parks. Shortened operating seasons. Fewer groomed cross-country tracks Closures of a few visitor information centres Service fee increases A proposal to partner… Read more »

Half Oil and Half Green: The Southern Roots of the Prairie West’s Anti-Environmental Rhetoric

Louis Reed-Wood This past autumn, Aatash Amir, a Vancouver man concerned about emissions caused by gas-powered leaf blowers, circulated an online petition to have them banned in his hometown of Saskatoon. Upon posting the petition to a local Facebook group, he quickly received a flood of hateful comments, ranging from racist remarks, threats of violence, and calls for Amir to… Read more »