Every September the Red Deer River Naturalists(RDRN) have a banquet with a guest speaker. This gets the naturalist group off to a start for the year and members have a chance to socialize.
This year our speaker was Ed Struzik who wears many hats but mostly he is a writer and news paper reporter. Ed has specialized on northern issues and he has the experience to back it up. He is an avid canoeist and has canoed most northern rivers. He has managed to get himself on various research projects so he gains a hands on experience.
Ed began his well illustrated talk with pictures of northern animals, rivers, lakes and topography. He then went on to give a brief history of the arctic and the people. He went to great detail on climate change in the arctic and what might or might not happen to the animals and rivers he showed us in the introduction. He also informed us that the Harper government has been cutting funds to scientific research so that tabs cannot be kept on climate change and studies are not being done so that we can meet the challenges of coping with climate change.
As a result of his many trips he has some fascinating stories. One that brought the house down was when they put a tag on a beluga whale so that it could be followed. Another story was when he was in a steel cage and had a polar bear try to get into the cage.
Ed closed with a hope that most things would survive in some fashion. They will adapt. He was also adamant that the aboriginal populations had to be in control for success to occur. The aboriginals have the knowledge and ownership so that it is important for them to succeed.
Ed certainly informed the RDRN members on a topic which they are keenly concerned about.