Welcome to EcoWest News, a weekly round-up of news and resources that you can put to use in addressing environmental issues and protecting the wild in your community.

Across the West

Alberta can invest in clean energy and grow jobs, while simultaneously preparing for an eventual slowdown in global oil demand. [Pembina]

The oil sands and fracking consume large quantities of water in a time when Alberta faces a possible severe drought. Water used for fracking has increased by 252% in the last 10 years, and 70% of this water is permanently removed from the water cycle. [The Narwhal]

A long-standing concern about water pollution downstream of coal mines in the East Kootenays will now be addressed by an international inquiry. [The Narwhal]

A northern Alberta Indigenous community is suing the Alberta Energy Regulator for the effects of an ongoing environmental disaster at an Imperial Oil tar sands mine. [DeSmog]

Transforming abandoned oil wells into solar farms makes sense – replacing lost revenue, reusing existing infrastructure, and making use of a brownfield site – but it’s hampered by unfriendly regulations and red tape. [Green Energy Futures]

A leaked document reveals that BC Ministry of Forests’ officials “have rejected more than half of the proposals made … to defer logging of some of the biggest and best remaining old growth trees in the province, a move that clearly favors the logging companies that the ministry regulates.” [CCPA]

Prolonged drought is putting extra pressure on the Prairie’s greater sage-grouse that are already few in number due to declining habitat. [CBC]

Across Canada

A pair of bald eagles is nesting in Toronto for the first time in the city’s recorded history, a sign that the municipality’s ecological restoration work is paying off. [The Guardian]

“Schools are the heart of their communities … The ripple effect of bold school climate action has huge potential,” says the co-founder of DoorNumberOne, a registered charity that helps schools create climate plans. [The Energy Mix]

Around the World

Sufficiency has been defined as “a set of policy measures and daily practices which avoid the demand for energy, materials, land, water, and other natural resources, while delivering wellbeing for all within planetary boundaries.” The concept is now part of a UN Ministerial Declaration that provides a concrete definition of sufficiency for builders and planners. [Lloyd Alter]

Using AI to help people envision greener cities: “When Americans see vivid, realistic images portraying car-free versions of familiar streets they become more enthusiastic about sustainable transportation policy.” [Anthropocene]

Making a Difference

Bottom contact fishing has been banned from the "first and only" known live coral reef in Canada's Pacific and the most northern known coral reef in the entire Pacific Ocean. [CBC]

Before you can dismantle and recycle the millions of mattresses thrown away each year, you need to know what they’re made of. One mattress company is introducing a digital product passport that will let consumers and recyclers know what they contain. [BBC]

By planting a tree in your yard, you contribute to the urban forest. Think about location, species of tree, and planting the tree so it will have the best start possible. [Rewilding]

Nature’s Wonders

Jellyfish are some of the oldest inhabitants of the planet. With their decentralized nervous system, their ability to regenerate limbs, and their bioluminescence, jellies have much to teach us. [The Tyee]

Insects aren’t very popular – in our homes or at the picnic table – but maybe it’s time we started appreciating the beauty they bring to the world. [Smithsonian Magazine]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/21934370139

EcoFriendly West informs and encourages initiatives that support Western Canada’s natural environment through its online publication and the Nature Companion website/app. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Mastodon, or subscribe by email.