big story

The Narwhal teams up with The Big Story podcast for a week of climate conversations

Tune in from Nov. 14 to 18 as The Narwhal’s Fatima Syed guest hosts a week of chats with our reporters across the country about everything from flood woes to an extinction crisis — and the solutions on the table

What’s a close-knit bond between industry lobbyists and government officials to the worsening climate crisis? A lot, evidently. Those relationships are not easy to keep track of, or even explain — so The Narwhal’s climate investigations reporter Carl Meyer hopped on-air with Ontario reporter Fatima Syed to make sense of it all.

Oh, that’s right — our friends at The Big Story podcast invited us to come talk about this year’s, um, biggest stories from The Narwhal for a week’s worth of episodes from Nov. 14 to 18!

The Big Story podcast breaks down complex stories, or ones you might not come across easily, for thousands of listeners every day. Take it from Fatima, who said she was trying “not scream into the microphone” as she learned about how lobbying impacts climate policy.

“That’s exactly why I’m so excited to share our national coverage on the climate emergency we do on a daily basis with The Big Story’s audience,” Fatima, who will be filling in as host, told me.

An older couple pose in front of a trailer in Lehigh, Alta
Prairies reporter Drew Anderson will chat about his coverage of Lehigh, Alta. — a community along the Red Deer River that will eventually be inundated with floodwater. Photo: Leah Hennel / The Narwhal

The worsening climate crisis shows up in different ways in Canada — from the loss of housing in flood-prone communities to a biodiversity crisis that has hundreds of species on the brink of extinction.

And at The Narwhal, we’re a bunch of nerds who are determined to find solutions across the country and bring them to you — and that’s why this Big Story week is so exciting.

Not all of the crew is new to the show; northwest B.C. reporter Matt Simmons spoke with show host Jordan Heath-Rawlings this summer about the ongoing conflict on Wet’suwet’en territory.

Coming up on a year after photojournalist Amber Bracken’s arrest, Matt will share what it’s like covering the tensions today — including his own experience of being threatened with arrest.

So, from Nov. 14 to 18, we’ll bring you in-depth discussions about the natural world from Ontario to B.C. — tune in on your favourite podcast app or come back to this page next week, when we’ll be posting fresh episodes every day.

Nov. 18: A first-hand view of rising tensions on Wet’suwet’en territory

You’ve heard of Coastal GasLink: it’s the name of a fracked-gas pipeline under construction in northern B.C. The project, spearheaded by Calgary-based TC Energy, spans 670 kilometres and crosses mountain passes, salmon rivers and Indigenous lands. Those lands include around 190 kilometres of Wet’suwet’en territory, where Hereditary Chiefs have long opposed this project that’s being built without their consent. A year after the RCMP conducted raids and arrested more than 30 land defenders and two journalists, TC Energy is now drilling and laying pipe under a sacred Wet’suwet’en river — and tensions are as high as ever. Northwest B.C. reporter Matt Simmons shares his first-hand view of what’s happening on the ground.

Nov. 17: The key to saving the world’s biodiversity

Indigenous Peoples have long taken care of the land — in fact, they still steward 80 per cent of remaining global biodiversity. With the world facing an extinction crisis, one solution gaining momentum is the creation of more Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas. As Montreal prepares to host COP15, the United Nations conference on biodiversity, experts say Canada has a responsibility to take the lead on implementing Indigenous-led conservation practices. Will it? B.C. reporter Steph Wood and biodiversity reporter Ainslie Cruickshank dig deep.

Nov. 16: Can Canada learn to live underwater?

More than 200 million people could be displaced from their homes worldwide in the next few decades as extreme weather events become more frequent and intense. The biggest climate change risk in Canada? Flooding. Just last year, floods in B.C. wiped out roads, killed five people and left thousands stranded without food and water. In the Prairies, reporter Drew Anderson talked to people in the tiny, flood-prone community of Lehigh, Alta., who are being bought out of their homes before rising waters destroy them. Government reports say that Canadians need to learn to live with water — but what exactly does that mean?

Nov. 15: How corporate lobbying is delaying climate action in Canada

For decades, Canada’s environmental policy has been greatly influenced by the interests of oil, gas and mining industries. And the close-knit bonds between these companies and government officials have been detrimental to climate action — they’ve successfully persuaded governments to weaken emissions regulations and commit billions toward pipeline projects. Oh, and both fossil fuel companies and Canada’s banks are pushing to delay climate transparency rules, climate investigations reporter Carl Meyer tells Fatima. So how do we make sense of this dark underbelly of Canadian politics? Tune in to find out.

Nov. 14: Why is Doug Ford slicing up Ontario’s Greenbelt?

Ontario Premier Doug Ford just broke his promise to not open up the protected Greenbelt to development. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bleak news these days for the province’s environmental protections: conservation authorities are being gutted, flood-mitigating wetlands are at risk and citizens are losing their voice at the table. Plus, cities that don’t want sprawl are being ordered to grow beyond their boundaries. So what’s driving Ford’s decision-making? In a word: housing. Fellow Ontario reporter Emma McIntosh joins Fatima to discuss the details.

We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?
We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?

See similar stories

Conservation chronicles: Sarah Cox dives into the heart of wildlife protection in her new book

In her new book Signs of Life: Field Notes from the Frontlines of Extinction award-winning journalist Sarah Cox takes readers on a journey across Canada:...

Continue reading

Recent Posts

Thousands of members make The Narwhal’s independent journalism possible. Will you help power our work in 2024?
Will you help power our journalism in 2024?
That means our newsletter has become the most important way we connect with Narwhal readers like you. Will you join the nearly 90,000 subscribers getting a weekly dose of in-depth climate reporting?
A line chart in green font colour with the title "Our Facebook traffic has cratered." Chart shows about 750,000 users via Facebook in 2019, 1.2M users in 2020, 500,000 users in 2021, 250,000 users in 2022, 100,000 users in 2023.
Readers used to find us on Facebook. Now we’re blocked
That means our newsletter has become the most important way we connect with Narwhal readers like you. Will you join the nearly 90,000 subscribers getting a weekly dose of in-depth climate reporting?
A line chart in green font colour with the title "Our Facebook traffic has cratered." Chart shows about 750,000 users via Facebook in 2019, 1.2M users in 2020, 500,000 users in 2021, 250,000 users in 2022, 100,000 users in 2023.
Readers used to find us on Facebook. Now we’re blocked
Overlay Image