General

Proponents of Renewable Energy Will Own the 21st Century, Say Leaders at World Congress

Vancouver city council’s unanimous decision to commit to running on 100 per cent renewable energy is the kind of political leadership the world desperately needs says Jørgen Randers, professor of climate strategy at the Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway.

Despite the looming catastrophe of climate change the market will choose to do nothing,” Randers said in the keynote speech at the ICLEI World Congress 2015, the triennial sustainability summit of local governments in Seoul, South Korea.

Nor will voluntary actions on climate be enough. Strong legislation, intelligent policy and collective action are the only ways to keep humanity from a nightmare future, said the former business executive who still sits on boards of major corporations.

Introducing DeSmog Canada’s New Executive Director

Emma Gilchrist, Executive Director DeSmog Canada

A year ago, DeSmog Canada excitedly welcomed Emma Gilchrist to the role of Deputy Editor. As amazing as it has been to have Emma working tirelessly to bring the best out of our writers, digging into editing like it’s fun (really) and breaking news stories of national importance, we just can’t seem to contain all of her incredible talents in her part-time deputy position.

That’s why today we are beyond delighted to announce Emma’s new role as DeSmog Canada’s Executive Director.

Most of you will know Emma has incredible talent as a writer and, as we here at DeSmog know, she pretty much performs magic as an editor, but she also has a bold vision for independent media in Canada.

The Great Bear Wild: A Photographer’s Battle for One of the “Last Conservation Frontiers on Planet Earth”

Great Bear Wild, Ian McAllister

None have captured the unique beauty and wildlife of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest like acclaimed photographer Ian McAllister.

A resident and long-time conservationist of the unique coastal wilderness, McAllister has intimately documented the region and its iconic species, like the spirit bear, for over 25 years. Much of the landscape — renowned for its biodiversity, including intricate networks of salmon, bears and wolves — is now endangered as energy projects threaten to transform the very existence of the ecosystem, McAllister explains.

Canada supports the longest coastline in the world and yet we have only protected one per cent of its marine waters,” McAllister said. “And now we have oil and gas projects being proposed that have the ability to destroy everything here in a single event.”

There is no question that the battle to protect our oceans remains among the last conservation frontiers on planet earth. And our very survival depends on how successful we are in the coming years.”

Why Support DeSmog Canada? Here Are Six Reasons It’s Totally Worth It

DeSmog Canada team

As many of our readers have already seen, DeSmog Canada recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign where we raised $50,000 from our generous supporters. Even though we're on the other side of that fundraiser, we still rely on support from readers like you. That's why we make it easy to contribute to DeSmog Canada at anytime through PayPal

If you are wondering why DeSmog Canada deserves your support, here's a list of our top reasons: 

Climate Changes Everything in Canada Too: Naomi Klein Says DeSmog Canada “Indispensible Tool” in Her Work

In her new book, This Changes Everything, Canadian author Naomi Klein positions climate change as a form of social disaster, which, like a lot of other disasters cannot be gazed upon for too long.

We are constantly finding ways and reasons to “look away,” she writes, “or maybe we do look – really look – but then, inevitably, we seem to forget.”

Climate change is like that; it’s hard to keep it in your head for very long. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything.”

And we are right.”

Part of the strategy of this forgetting or looking away, as Klein frames it, is in the myriad technical, lifestyle or personal ‘solutions’ to a warming globe that refuse to question the deeper roots of the climate crisis, the structural and socio-economic logic both creating the problem and masquerading as its solution.

David Suzuki Headlines DeSmog Canada's Kickstarter Campaign to Clean Up Canada's Climate and Energy Debate

DeSmog Canada is excited to announce the launch of our new crowdfunding campaign: “Let’s Clean Up Canada’s Climate and Energy Debate.”

For the past 18 months, DeSmog Canada has delivered cutting-edge investigative journalism to clean up Canada's polluted public square and foster science-based debate on climate and energy issues. Now, we are ready to take it to the next level.

Over the next thirty days, we need your help to raise $50,000 to fund our upcoming work that will focus on three priorities:

  • leading in-depth investigations of government and industry spending on multi-million dollar ad campaigns to sell oil development and pipelines instead of clean energy solutions,
  • shining a light on fake grassroots groups designed to confuse the public debate,
  • exposing Canada’s war on science and the scientists who are prevented from sharing critical information with the public.


Climate and energy debates have never been more important to setting the course for Canada's future. Yet conversations about Canada’s energy have never been more polarized, divisive and polluted with misinformation.

The stakes have never been higher.

DeSmog UK Launches To Combat Climate Denial in Europe Ahead of Paris Climate Talks

A welcome message from DeSmogBlog executive director Brendan DeMelle.

We’re pleased to introduce DeSmog UK, a brand new investigative journalism and research outlet dedicated to clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science and exposing the individuals and organizations attacking solutions to global warming.

Building a Popular Front Against Climate Change

German Energy Transition climate movement DeSmog Canada

This is the third part of three-part series exploring the German Energy Transition or Energiewende, by David Ravensbergen. In Part 1, The Land of Wind and Solar, Ravensbergen describes how decentralized, small-scale changes can amount to a broad energy revolution. In Part 2, Is the German Energy Transition Everything It's Cracked Up to Be?, he takes a closer look at the promise and the reality of the German response to climate change along with energy researcher Tadzio Müller. In this third and final installment, Ravensbergen asks what the German experience can teach North Americans looking to make the transition away from fossil fuels.

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In Canada, hopes of implementing a national strategy on climate even remotely equivalent to the German Energiewende are continually sabotaged by the federal government’s unwavering commitment to propping up the fossil fuel sector. For Canadian climate activists struggling against the expansion of tar sands pipelines and Harper’s Paleolithic energy policies, one big question looms: how do the Germans do it?

According to Tadzio Müller, the explanation is simple. “What the German government has done was the result of 35 years of social struggle by movements.” While it may be tempting to chalk up the change to a healthier public discourse or more reasonable elected officials, Müller insists it wouldn’t have happened without the tireless work of activists. “The laws that were passed were fought for by movements. The government has done only what it has been forced to do.”

Nowhere is this lesson more visible than in Chancellor Merkel’s 2011 decision to completely shut down German nuclear power in the wake of Fukushima. Müller notes that Merkel’s government at the time was “a conservative-neoliberal coalition that had being in favour of nuclear power as one of its key brand elements.”

Influence in America: A Report on TransCanada Corporation's Keystone XL Lobbying Activities

According to a new white paper by DeSmog Canada, TransCanada Corporation, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, has spent more than $4 million lobbying U.S. federal lawmakers and government department staff since 2010.  

The results can be found in a new white paper released today by DeSmog Canada that you can view here: Influence in America: A report on TransCanada Corporation's Keystone XL Lobbying Activities [PDF].

(or click on the image below to download the white paper)

Is the German Energy Transition Everything it’s Cracked Up to Be?

This is Part 2 of David Ravensbergen's series on the Germany Energy Transition. Read Part 1, In the Land of Wind and Solar and Part 3, Building a Popular Front Against Climate Change.

In the bleak realm of climate politics, Germany's progress on renewable electricity has been hailed as proof that another world may still be possible. In countries like Canada, addressing the energy crisis at the heart of climate change is something to be talked about now but accomplished later, once the economy has been adequately strengthened.

But economic growth is never sufficient: the goalposts are always moving, and there will always be more sacrifices to be made to ensure that the GDP continues to rise. As long as there’s bitumen in the ground, Canadians will be told that investment in clean energy will have to wait.

Things seem to work a bit differently in Germany, at least when it comes to electricity. Of course, Germany is just as committed as Canada to the sacred mission of securing economic growth. But this heavily industrialized exporter of high-quality manufactured goods has managed to maintain the world’s fourth-largest economy while undergoing a major transformation away from nuclear and fossil fuels. In this second installment in DeSmog Canada’s series on the German energy transition, we’ll take a closer look at the promise and the reality of the German response to climate change along with energy researcher Tadzio Müller.

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