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For peat's sake

22 Mar 2023 | News Roundup

In the wide, wide world of climate, all news is bad. Thus we mentioned last week that climate change will supposedly derail Canada’s largely imaginary governmental “Canadian Northern Corridor” of roads, hydro lines etc. to open up our Arctic and sub-Arctic, which is bad. But then, on the subject of Canada’s north, global warming and infrastructure, Global hyperventilates that Canada’s peat bogs are secretly saving us from climate change though they’re not, but evil companies will soon rip them up in a frenzied fit of greed involving, um, building roads and hydro lines or something which is bad. So roads bad, no roads bad, everything bad, government good.

Global does find some good news about peat before roasting it and us:

“Peatlands are ancient ecosystems that cool the planet by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and trapping it deep underground. But despite its [sic] natural ability to stall further climate warming, Canada’s peatlands are often overlooked.”

Why are they overlooked? Well, one obvious reason is that because all the models say further warming is inevitable and must be stopped, Canada’s peatlands are clearly not able to stall it. And in fact, since math am hard like grammar:

“Canada has one-quarter of the world’s peatlands. Together, they store more carbon than the Amazon rainforest and amount to the largest land carbon stock in the world. The latest research estimates Canada is responsible for 150 billion tonnes of carbon sequestered underground – the equivalent to 11 years of current global greenhouse gas emissions.”

But already sequestered so no use going forward, right? Unless there’s some plan to expand them further, bringing others the joys of “stunted black spruce trees that dot the watery landscape” and “the constant buzzing of mosquitoes and black flies” a-pickin’ our bones.


“There’s a palpable sense of urgency. The [research] collective is trying to keep pace with a well-funded and extremely motivated foe: mining companies. Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s dogged support of mineral extraction has led to a boom in exploration activity in an area deemed ‘the Ring of Fire.’ As of last year, more than 26,000 mining claims cover 5,000 square kilometres of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, an area roughly the size of Prince Edward Island.”

And when world ends, women and minorities are hardest hit, so local aboriginals get it coming and going. Thus:

“the stakes are highest for the tens of thousands of Indigenous people who live in this region. Struggling to adapt to a rapidly warming climate, the vital infrastructure they need comes tied to an industry that threatens their traditional way of life.”

The whole piece is that ungrammatical, since it’s not the vital infrastructure that’s struggling to adapt to a rapidly warming climate. Nor of course is it local aboriginals, who live in a place it’s so cold trees can’t grow meaning warming would improve the situation if, in fact, it were happening which the piece merely asserts rather than documenting. As it asserts that “tens of thousands” of Ontario’s roughly 375,000 people with some aboriginal ancestry, only 32% of whom are “rural” in any sense, actually live in this bleak region west of James Bay. (Of the 10 communities listed, one has 280 inhabitants.)

OK, to be fair, it quotes a wise elder teaching youth to learn the ways of the ancestors who says “What used to take a thousand years to change, it’s happening in decades now”. So evidence is superfluous, right?

Oh, and there is no infrastructure:

“The Ring of Fire remains largely inaccessible. Three roads need to get there; two are under environmental review and one is still in the planning stages.”

But if there were, it would be struggling to adapt.

One comment on “For peat's sake”

  1. What disturbs me is this constant barage of misinformation for political ends that panders to those weak minded woolyheaded liberals who through their supposed sensitive nature are being given the keys to the kingdom, to do as they wish. What to do. Yet perhaps what is most disturbing is why the rest of us do not take back the higher ground.. where the Truth lay.

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