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More research needed on northeast B.C.'s shale gas boom

Climate & Clean Energy | September 19, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: More research needed on northeast B.C.'s shale gas boom

(Credit: Google Earth)

By Niki West, energy policy analyst

When you think about northeastern British Columbia, what pops into your head? Maybe a vague notion of pristine wilderness, boreal forest, caribou, grizzly bears and lots of snow? Would you be surprised to learn that the 20.5-million hectares of northeast B.C. extending from the B.C.-Alberta border to the northern Rocky Mountains and stretching from Tumbler Ridge in the south to the Yukon and Northwest Territories border in the north (pdf) is dotted with tens of thousands of oil and gas wells, and criss-crossed by pipelines, seismic lines and access roads? On average, every seven square kilometres has one well. Some areas are fragmented by grids of wells spaced every 200 metres.

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Learning in nature is good for teachers and students

Science Matters | September 18, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Learning in nature is good for teachers and students

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Connecting Youth With Nature Project Lead Rachelle Delaney.

Children belong outdoors. We know this intuitively, but now an extensive and ever-growing body of research supports it. Kids who spend time outside every day are healthier, happier, more creative, less stressed and more alert than those who don't. Several recent studies even show time in nature or green space helps reduce ADHD symptoms.

But what about teachers who take children outdoors, contributing to their learning and growth? More alert, calm and creative students are a plus to them as educators. Could they also benefit as individuals from taking students outside every day?

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Canada should embrace diversity, the economy is no exception

Climate & Clean Energy | September 17, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Canada should embrace diversity, the economy is no exception

By Ryan Kadowaki, Science and Policy Specialist

The David Suzuki Foundation is co-hosting a sold-out public event in Vancouver on September 18th to explore the largely untold success story of Canada's clean technology sector. Tune in to the live webcast starting at 4:30 p.m. PDT.

Population science extols the importance of diversity. A genetically diverse population can adapt more easily to environmental change or withstand the introduction of disease. A complexity of traits allows a population to evolve in advantageous ways over time, making it more resilient and effective.

Economies also benefit from diversity. Diverse economies can cope better with change than those focused on a single industry or commodity. Acknowledging this becomes crucial as climate change threatens major disruption with particularly harsh impacts on major sectors like forestry and agriculture. Canada's history as a resource-based economy is littered with examples of sectors and communities facing perilous situations when environmental or market conditions become unfavourable. Canada will always depend on natural resources as part of its economic strategy, but focusing too greatly on a handful of industries is akin to limiting your gene pool.

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Notes from the Edge: Take back Canada with the Blue Dot Tour

Photo: Notes from the Edge: Take back Canada with the Blue Dot Tour

By Severn Cullis-Suzuki

I have lived in B.C. all my life. As a child of activist parents, I participated in and witnessed many environmental battles on the coast: Clayoquot Sound, Stein Valley, Carmanah, South Moresby. I remember my childhood energy and excitement during the environmental activism and momentum of the 1980s, when many ecosystems were protected from logging. Some have been preserved since, like the Great Bear Rainforest. But now, living on Haida Gwaii in the northern part of British Columbia, I'm aware that the list of successes is dwarfed by energy and mining projects all across the north of our province.

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How to host a repair café

Queen of Green | September 15, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: How to host a repair café

A repair café is one way neighbours can help neighbours keep things out of the landfill! (Credit: Wai Chu Cheng)

Recently I stumbled on the repair café model. I asked Wai Chu of Toronto's Repair Café how people like you and me can fix household items instead of tossing them and buying new:

Why do we need repair cafés?

Household items have become cheaper to replace than to repair. And the list of companies that refurbish items or recycle broken appliances is short.

What is a repair café?

It's part of a growing international network that began in the Netherlands — now in 200 Dutch cities and towns, as well as 13 countries in Europe, North and South America and Australia.

Repair cafés enlist volunteer fixers to help fix broken household items and teach basic repair skills. They help shift us from a throw-away to fix-it society! (I know many of you have been hungry for this type of solution.)

Most of the fixers are hobbyists who enjoy helping others and want to keep items out of the landfill. Fixers can repair computers, toasters, lamps, chairs, clothes, jewellery, books and more!

Is there a repair café in my city?

Meet Repair Café Toronto @RepairCafeTO, Calgary @RepairCafeYYC, Peterborough and Nanaimo!

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Prescription for health: fight global warming

Science Matters | September 11, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Prescription for health: fight global warming

On September 21, more than half a million people are expected to gather in New York for the People's Climate March. (Peter Blanchard via Flickr)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington.

What if we could reduce worldwide deaths from disease, starvation and disaster while improving the health of people everywhere? According to the World Health Organization, we can.

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My Canada, my blue dot

Queen of Green | September 8, 2014 | 3 comments
Photo: My Canada, my blue dot

Will you stand up for the people and places you love?

I live on a blue dot.

Actually you, me, the guy who sneezed on you on the bus and the barista who knows your order — we all live on the same blue dot.

Since we're practically roommates, I don't feel awkward asking you to stand with me and tens of thousands of other Canadians asking our governments at all levels to recognize our right to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat healthy food.

How exactly are we going to do this? We have a plan. It begins with The Blue Dot Tour!

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