What Trudeau’s Win Means for Canada’s Climate Policy
Trudeau's Liberal Party did not win a majority of seats in Canada's House of Commons, but it did win enough seats to form a government, The New York Times reported. According to the most recent live results from CBC News, Trudeau's Liberals control 157 seats, the opposition Conservative Party controls 121, the Bloc Québécois controls 32, the New Democratic Party (NDP) controls 24, and the Green Party controls three.
"Thank you, Canada, for putting your trust in our team and for having faith in us to move this country in the right direction," Trudeau tweeted after the election was called. "Regardless of how you cast your vote, our team will work hard for all Canadians."
Thank you, Canada, for putting your trust in our team and for having faith in us to move this country in the right direction. Regardless of how you cast your vote, our team will work hard for all Canadians.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 22, 2019
Trudeau will not choose permanent coalition partners, but will reach out to smaller parties to pass individual pieces of legislation, The Guardian explained. This will likely make the left-wing NDP an important ally on issues like health care and climate policy. Ahead of the election, Pembina Institute Director of Policy Isabelle Turcotte told Climate Home News that such a scenario could "see the potential for some pretty big moves on climate."
Immediately after the election, Greenpeace Canada moved to activate that potential by asking Canadians to spam Trudeau by phone, email and social media and demand he announce a "climate emergency response plan" within 48 hours. That plan would include zeroing out emissions before 2050, setting interim targets for 2025 and 2030, providing good jobs to all Canadians, ending fossil fuel subsidies and projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and putting indigenous rights before the interests of extractive industries.
.@JustinTrudeau, congrats on being re-elected Prime Minister. Now let’s get to work!— Greenpeace Canada (@GreenpeaceCA) October 22, 2019
We’re in a ⚠️#ClimateEmergency⚠️and you need to #ActLikeIt! We need an ambitious climate response plan...for yesterday.
You have 48 hrs to respond: https://t.co/SaOcLGLctF #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/jFKRHEDdeY
During his first term, Trudeau had a mixed record on environmental issues, as The Guardian explained. He instituted a carbon tax, but also purchased the Trans Mountain Pipeline and approved its expansion one day after Canada declared a climate emergency.
However, his pre-election platform upped his climate ambition and called for net zero emissions by 2050, with legally-binding five-year targets along the way. The Conservative Party, on the other hand, wanted to repeal the carbon tax and focus on funding technological solutions with green bonds.
Climate was a top-three issue for nearly 30 percent of Canadians this election, Global News reported. Despite this, the Green Party did not see a major uptick in votes, though it did have its best election yet.
University of British Columbia political science professor Kathryn Harrison said this was probably because the Liberal Party and the NDP also campaigned on climate.
"I think in part they stole the Greens' thunder," Harrison told Global News.
By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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