Heck yas!

Heck yas! r1 ... Subscribe to this newsletter narwhal logo BECOME A MEMBER Managing editor Carol Linnitt holding a Narwhal-branded surfboard It’s that time of year when just about every newsletter begins with some sort of grand statement about “our times” and what the last year has brought, taught and taken.

And 2020 — the tragic, tumultuous year it’s been — is likely to draw out some of the strangest and most harrowing observations about humanity and our current state of affairs to date.

But when I started pondering what The Narwhal’s look-back would entail and began digging through our 2020 archive, I discovered something unexpected and wonderful: we’ve published more solutions and good news stories this year than ever before.

And these aren’t just lower-case “yay” good news stories. Many of these are in-depth stories marking breakthrough moments of ecological healing, Indigenous cultural resurgence, transformations to our energy systems and the very way we think about and enact conservation.

In effect, these are all-caps HECK YAS stories.

In these times of climate crisis, corporate monopolization and political polarization, there are small groups of scientists hand-harvesting hundreds of thousands of endangered pine tree seeds; there are First Nations providing 24-7 armed security to pregnant caribou cows and their baby calves; there are rivers where the salmon are returning; there are enormous Indigenous-led solar farms being built in remote places; there are new parks being created that don’t follow the colonial mentality and instead put Indigenous communities at the forefront of stewarding their own lands.

And that’s not all.

There are farmers transforming the way their cattle graze to protect disappearing native grasslands. There are family woodlot owners choosing to protect rather than log a carbon-rich forest. There are First Nations bringing back the art of cultural burning to harness Traditional Knowledge in the fight against wildfires.

There are too many of these full-bodied, good news stories to easily tell in one place. But we made a list of 20 for you to say sayonara to 2020. That’s a good riddance, ma’am, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

In addition to the real, truly good news happening out there all across Canada, it’s also been a good year for our team here at The Narwhal. We had our biggest year ever for the growth of our readers, newsletter subscribers and monthly members. All of you are the why and the how of what we do here.

You all are also the reason that in addition to telling some of the biggest and most meaningful solutions stories of the year, we’ve also been able to carry on with the dark side of our work, exposing workplace abuse, dangerous radioactive fracking waste, secrecy surrounding the Site C dam, the push for new industrial facilities in a city already besieged by cancer and how B.C. is truly freaky in the way it monitors hazardous waste.

Thanks for joining us on this bonkers journey of 2020 and helping us really make something of it.

We fa la la la love all of you. Merry festivities and Christmas and happy all the things. We hope whatever you’re celebrating — or bidding good riddance to — over these holidays will fill your soul and rejuvenate you for the new year.

Stay safe and don’t forget to water your positivity gardens,

Carol Linnitt
Managing editor

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. BECOME A NARWHAL This week in The Narwhal

2020 has been one helluva year. Here’s what The Narwhal made of it

forester and ecologist, Sybille Haeussler smiling outdoors By Carol Linnitt

A surprising thing happened at The Narwhal during the very-bad-not-at-all-good year of 2020: we wrote more good news and solutions-focused stories than ever before. Read more.

The rise of the land salmon

illustration of american flag made up of salmon filet By Sarah Cox
A U.S. farm is raising market-ready salmon that have never dipped a fin into the ocean. One company, Atlantic Sapphire, offers a shining, even glaring, example of what B.C.’s salmon farming industry says it cannot do — raise commercially viable salmon on land instead of the sea. Read more.

Alberta is planning new mountaintop-removal coal mines. Here’s what that looks like

aerial shot of mountaintop-removal By Sharon J. Riley
Debate has swirled as Alberta opens up a large swath of the Rocky Mountains’ eastern slopes to new coal mining. B.C.’s Elk Valley offers a preview of what may come next. Read more.

What’s next for Alberta’s oil sector? Reflecting on a year of layoffs, writedowns and consolidation

oilsands facility in winter By Ainslie Cruickshank

As the industry faces new challenges from COVID-19, experts warn there’s no ‘silver bullet’ to replace jobs lost in the oilpatch. Read more.

What we’re reading When you want to make the best out of a sorta-kinda-really-terrible year, r33

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