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Feeding humanity in a warming world

Science Matters | May 26, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: Feeding humanity in a warming world

(Credit Jan Buchholtz via Flickr).

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

Calculating farming's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is difficult, but experts agree that feeding the world's people has tremendous climate and environmental impacts. Estimates of global emissions from farms range widely. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency puts them at 24 per cent, including deforestation, making agriculture the second-largest emitter after heat and electricity.

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Ontario acknowledges climate urgency

Photo: Ontario acknowledges climate urgency

(Credit: Al_HikesAZ via Flickr)

By Gideon Forman; Climate Change Policy Analyst

In a recent Globe and Mail article, columnist Jeffrey Simpson attacked Ontario's climate plan, writing that it will be complicated and inflexible and will rely "on government to force-feed change." Putting aside the fact that the authorized version of the plan has not even been released yet — all we have at this point is a leaked document obtained by the Globe — the criticisms seem unfair. While some aspects of the plan are problematic, much of it appears highly beneficial.

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Volunteers in Action: Meet Estelle

Photo: Volunteers in Action: Meet Estelle

By Jennifer Rodriguez, Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Estelle loves to learn. A researcher since 2009, she's used tree rings as natural archives of forest disturbances such as wildfires and insect outbreaks to assist forest management. Her curiosity has also taken her to remote locations in North and South America, Europe and Australia, and to volunteer with the International Union for Conservation of Nature's forest conservation program.

Eager to learn more about marine ecosystems, Estelle joined the David Suzuki Foundation as volunteer archivist for the Healthy Oceans Program on the Sustainable Howe Sound campaign early in 2014. For two years, she researched the environmental and social history of the Howe Sound region, gathering key historical facts and creating a chronological timeline from the Pleistocene until today. Estelle also contacted local and regional libraries, museums and media outlets to access archive materials from the early 1900s until today and compiled a list of about 500 historical photographs and 200 other documents including maps, videos, newspaper articles, microfilm captures, research papers, reports and theses.

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Eating less meat will reduce Earth's heat

Science Matters | May 19, 2016 | 15 comments
Photo: Eating less meat will reduce Earth's heat

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

Will vegans save the world? Reading comments under climate change articles or watching the film Cowspiracy make it seem they’re the only ones who can. Cowspiracy boldly claims veganism is “the only way to sustainably and ethically live on this planet.” But, as with most issues, it’s complicated.

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An Open Letter to the Premier of B.C. and the Metro Vancouver Mayors' Council

Photo: An Open Letter to the Premier of B.C. and the Metro Vancouver Mayors' Council

(Credit: Martin Deutsch via Flickr)

The following letter was delivered to the Premier of British Columbia and the Metro Vancouver Mayors' Council on May 18, 2016 on behalf of the David Suzuki Foundation and 30 other stakeholders from around Metro Vancouver:

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Ain't nothing like the real thing — but virtual reality comes close

Science Matters | May 12, 2016 | 3 comments
Photo: Ain't nothing like the real thing -- but virtual reality comes close

By David Suzuki

The digital revolution is breaking new ground every day. Technology has a way of doing that. I remember when Hewlett-Packard introduced its first "laptop" computer, which stored a page and a half of writing. It revolutionized my life as a newspaper columnist, allowing me to write on planes or in a tent and submit articles through a phone. I never imagined the steady advances that would lead to today's powerful laptops, tablets and handheld computers.

Once while filming in a remote B.C. forest, I wanted to pan from the roots of a cedar tree along the trunk to the top in a single shot. After spending hours rigging wires and pulleys and struggling to keep the heavy camera from swaying as it rose, our crew gave up in frustration. Recently, we used a light GoPro camera mounted under a drone to get a spectacular high-definition shot in a few minutes!

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How to make dish soap

Queen of Green | May 10, 2016 | 5 comments
Photo: How to make dish soap

Add soap nuts to a jar of water and shake to make eco-friendly dish soap! (Credit: Lindsay Coulter)

A DIY dish soap recipe that really works was impossible to find...until now!

(Like me, many of you probably tried to use liquid castile soap or boil up soap granules without success.)

Queen of Green liquid dish soap recipe

Ingredients:

One handful soap nuts (a.k.a. soapberries)
1 L (4 cups) tap water

Directions:

Add ingredients to a glass jar with a tight lid. Shake the jar before each use. When you get bubbles, pour about 125 ml (½ cup) of the solution into your sink. Refill the jar with water. Use this solution until the soap nuts stop making suds or smell bad. Then throw them in the compost and start a new batch.

Personalize this recipe by altering ingredient ratios for desired results — success will depend on the hardness of your water and dish grime. You can even add the solution to a pump soap dispenser.

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