Andrew Nikiforuk on the Mountain Pine Beetle

Andrew Nikiforuk joins us to tell the story of a tiny beetle with a very big appetite and a game-changing capacity for ecological destruction. Did you know that they credited the beetle with the invention of the wheel and the chain saw?

This is a special edition of The Current coming to you from Calgary.

Part Three of The Current

Andrew Nikiforuk on the Pine Beetle

We started this segment with the less than pastoral sounds that have become the soundtrack to daily life in much of the Canadian boreal forest. In part, that's because of an ambitious insect no bigger than a grain of rice. The mountain pine beetle has laid waste to millions of acres of boreal forest - one of the biggest and most important ecosystems on Earth. The mountain pine beetle is just one of a number of bark beetles that consider the boreal forest their buffet, and in British Columbia, the results have been devastating

Award-winning journalist Andrew Nikiforuk details the mountain pine beetle's relentless march in his new book, Empire of The Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug are Killing North America's Great Forests. Andrew Nikiforuk joined Anna Maria in Calgary this morning, as part of our project Game Changer.

Last Word - Oil Sands

The Current will be broadcasting from Calgary again tomorrow. And as part of our project Game Changer, we'll be looking back at a pivotal decision made half-a-century ago, to take a huge gamble on oil sands development.

We'll look at how that decision has changed the face of Alberta since then. And The Current's Elizabeth Hoath will ask the question, what if Alberta hadn't taken the oil sands plunge? She got the last word this morning.

Other segments from today's show:

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