Latest posts in Science Matters

Commissioner's report shows Canada must do more for environment

October 16, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Commissioner's report shows Canada must do more for environment

(Credit: Prayitno via Flickr)

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

Canadians expect to have our environment protected, and to know how it's being protected. A report from Canada's Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development shows we're being short-changed.

"In many key areas that we looked at, it is not clear how the government intends to address the significant environmental challenges that future growth and development will likely bring about," commissioner Julie Gelfand said of the report, which used government data, or lack thereof, to assess the government's success or failure to implement its own regulations and policies.

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Let's slow down, for the sake of ourselves and our planet

October 9, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Let's slow down, for the sake of ourselves and our planet

Films of tropical forests don't accurately reflect the reality of the ecosystems. They're skillfully edited shots acquired over many months. Our media-nurtured impatience and urgent sense of time often prevent us from seeing how life truly unfolds. (Credit: Floyd Stewart via Flickr)

By David Suzuki

The Amazon rainforest is magnificent. Watching programs about it, we're amazed by brilliant parrots and toucans, tapirs, anacondas and jaguars. But if you ever go there expecting to be overwhelmed by a dazzling blur of activity, you'll be disappointed. The jungle has plenty of vegetation — hanging vines, enormous trees, bromeliads and more — and a cacophony of insects and frogs. But much of the activity goes on at night or high up in the canopy.

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Site C proposal puts treaty commitments to the test

October 2, 2014 | 1 comment
Photo: Site C proposal puts treaty commitments to the test

(Credit: Gerry via Flickr)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Ontario and Northern Canada Director-General Faisal Moola.

B.C. First Nations chiefs recently travelled to Ottawa to urge the federal government to pull the plug on the costliest infrastructure project in the country. At an estimated $7.9 billion and growing, the proposed Site C Dam on the beautiful Peace River in northeastern B.C. has been criticized for spiralling costs, questions about whether the electricity it would produce is even needed, and concerns about the environmental and social impacts of flooding thousands of hectares of prime farmland, irreplaceable cultural sites and wildlife habitat. The government is expected to make a decision in October.

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Blue Dot Movement rolls across Canada

September 25, 2014 | Leave a comment

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

As an elder, I've watched Canada and the world change in many ways, for better and worse. Thanks in part to cheap energy and technological growth, the human population has more than tripled, from 2.2 billion in 1936 when I was born to about seven billion today. As a boy, I could drink from streams and lakes without worrying about getting sick. My father took me fishing for halibut, sturgeon and salmon on the Vancouver waterfront. Pretty much all food was organic.

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Learning in nature is good for teachers and students

September 18, 2014 | 1 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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