Latest posts in Notes from the Panther Lounge
One of the most celebrated films in the history of French-Canadian cinema, Mon oncle Antoine, opens with shots of an asbestos mine in Black Lake (now Thetford Mines) in the 1940s. Beginning in the late 19th century, the Thetford Mines and asbestos regions of Quebec progressed and grew richer thanks to this group of minerals, the health risks of which were little understood at the time. The heat-resistant properties of asbestos made it useful for many industrial applications, including brake pads, handles for pots and pans and residential construction, among others. As the years went by, asbestos was everywhere. It was used domestically and exported. It surrounded us, like a bear hug leading to a slow death.Continue reading »
Natural versus artificial: Which is greenest?
If you answered natural, congratulate yourself. A local natural tree is more ecologically friendly than an artificial tree, unless you keep the artificial one for more than 20 years, according to a 2009 Quebec study. This life-cycle analysis compared a spruce tree growing 150 kilometres from Montreal to a plastic tree imported from China. Greenhouse gas emissions and raw materials were the main determinants of this conclusion. Artificial trees can also release volatile chemicals called phthalates, which disrupt our hormones (endocrine disruptors).Continue reading »
One of the best ways to tell government to protect the environment is writing a letter to the editor. The letters page is one of the most popular parts of a newspaper — and it's not just your friends and neighbours who read it. Local members of Parliament, provincial legislators and city councillors keep an eye on it to stay abreast of their constituents' concerns.Continue reading »
This has been a rough year. We lost pop culture icons Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Prince and Muhammad Ali. And, according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, monarch butterflies may not be far behind.Continue reading »
A year ago, the David Suzuki Foundation published a Sustainable Diversity Report based on our work to reach "beyond the choir." After that, 45 people from all walks of life came together to discuss the report's key findings and to strategize about next steps.
As a result of this initial gathering, 11 people came together to form the Sustainable Diversity Network. Its mandate was described as follows:
Our goal is to mix cultural inclusiveness with environmental stewardship. We aim to advance our understanding of sustainability and expand the environmental movement by celebrating voices and stories that are often unheard or unacknowledged.Continue reading »