Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs, and the Improbable World of Peat
Peatlands cover around 4% of the earth and yet they store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests. But these remarkable landscapes are being systematically drained and degraded, with peat burned for fuel and bogs, fens, swamps and marshes destroyed to make way for oilsands, mines, farms, hydroelectric projects, and soil conditioners. If the world’s frozen peatlands continue to thaw and release carbon, these ecosystems will accelerate climate change rather than mitigate it.
Effective solutions to the conservation of these lands does exist and can even be done relatively inexpensively as scientists in Great Britain and the European Union are demonstrating. But the path forward in North America requires government support, industry partnerships and public engagement. In this presentation, Edward Struzik, journalist and fellow at Queen’s University’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, will engage the audience around the vitality, diversity, and resilience of peatlands. Struzik will share elements of his global journey as he explores the often-overlooked landscapes. He’ll explain why we need to take peatlands more seriously and how we can do that.