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Plastic straws suck

Science Matters | July 20, 2017 | 1 comment
Photo: Plastic straws suck

Credit: Stephen Dyrgas via Flickr)

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

Of all the plastic products we use and take for granted, plastic drinking straws are among the most unnecessary. Designed to be used once and discarded, their only real purpose is to keep your mouth from touching a glass or ice. It made more sense in the days when contaminated vessels were more of an issue.

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Nelson, B.C. saves money with Canada's first community solar garden

Photo: Nelson, B.C. saves money with Canada's first community solar garden

Credit: Dave Borins

By Gideon Forman, climate change and transportation policy analyst

"There's more sunshine in southeastern British Columbia than in Germany or Ontario," energy-efficiency expert Carmen Proctor says, referring to European and Canadian solar power leaders.

So the late-June launch of this country's first "community solar garden" in Nelson, B.C. — a city of 10,000 a seven-hour drive east of Vancouver — made good economic sense.

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Butterflyways blooming throughout the land

Science Matters | July 13, 2017 | Leave a comment
Photo: Butterflyways blooming throughout the land

(Credit: Suzanne Schroeter via Flickr)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Strategist Jode Roberts.

Pollinator pathway. Bumblebee highway. River of Flowers. Bee Line. These have all described habitat corridors created to help pollinators like bees and butterflies. We can add Butterflyways to the list.

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Grassy Narrows stands up for Mother Earth

By Paula Hill, Public Engagement Specialist

I was honoured to be a part of the David Suzuki Foundation team that attended Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek Grassy Narrows First Nation territory on June 28, 2017, the day after the provincial government committed $85 million to clean up mercury contamination in Grassy's Wabigoon River.

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Orca survival depends on protecting chinook salmon

Science Matters | July 6, 2017 | 2 comments
Photo: Orca survival depends on protecting chinook salmon

(Credit: VIUDeepBay via Flickr)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Research Scientist Scott Wallace.

Two of British Columbia's most iconic species, chinook salmon and southern resident killer whales, are in trouble. The whale depends on the salmon for survival. Is it time to manage chinook fisheries with killer whales in mind?

In marine ecosystems, cause and effect is a challenge. It's almost impossible to claim with certainty that depletion of one species is caused by abundance or lack of another. The general rule is that big things eat smaller things, so any given species will eat dozens of others, even their smaller kin. The southern resident killer whales, also known as orcas, are an exception. Despite their immense intelligence, or perhaps because of it, their diet consists almost entirely of chinook salmon, with only traces of other salmon, and virtually no other fish species.

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Road safety more important than speed, new poll suggests

Photo: Road safety more important than speed, new poll suggests

Bells on Bloor (Credit: Daragh Sankey)

By Gideon Forman, Transportation Policy Analyst

A new Angus Reid Forum poll of 802 Torontonians shows 80 per cent support a "safe network of bicycle lanes" across the city.

That's a hugely encouraging statistic, especially because strong majority support runs throughout the metropolis. In the old City of Toronto, approval is at 84 per cent, but even in the inner suburbs of Etobicoke and Scarborough — where car use is more widespread — it's at 71 and 76 per cent, respectively. Uptown or downtown, it seems, people see the value of bike lanes even if they aren't cyclists themselves.

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Nature offers the best defence against flooding

Science Matters | June 29, 2017 | 1 comment
Photo: Nature offers the best defence against flooding

(Credit: Kurt Bauschardt via Flickr)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Communications Specialist Theresa Beer.

Spring flooding in Canada this year upended lives, inundated city streets and swamped houses, prompting calls for sandbags, seawalls and dikes to save communities. Ontario and Quebec's April rainfall was double the 30-year average. Thousands of homes in 130 Quebec municipalities stretching from the Ontario border to the Gaspé Peninsula flooded in May. Montreal residents raced to protect their homes and families as three dikes gave way and the city declared a state of emergency. The Ontario government had to boost its resources for an emergency flood response.

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