Latest posts in Science Matters
If a home is not cleaned and cared for, it will become rundown and less habitable or even unlivable. It's no different with our broader surroundings, from the immediate environment to the entire planet.
If we disconnect from the natural world, we become disconnected from who we are — to the detriment of our health and the health of the ecosystems on which our well-being and survival depend.
Understanding that we're part of nature and acting on that understanding makes us healthier and happier, and encourages us to care for the natural systems around us. A growing body of science confirms this, including two recent studies that explore the ways nature benefits human health.
Jode Roberts has spent a lot of the summer checking out ditches and fields along the sides of roads, railways and trails. At first, he didn't like what he was seeing. Roberts, who is leading the David Suzuki Foundation's effort to bring monarchs back from the brink, was searching for signs that the butterflies had visited patches of milkweed plants. Despite the bleak start, he recently hit the jackpot: a half-dozen eggs and a couple of monarch caterpillars, calmly munching on milkweed leaves.Continue reading »
It was a dramatic image: millions of cubic metres of waste cascading from the Mount Polley mine breach into the Quesnel watershed in B.C.'s Interior. Besides destroying a nine-kilometre creek and endangering salmon and the neighbouring community of Likely, the catastrophe damaged the mining industry's reputation. In the months following, fingers pointed, independent panels weighed in and committees were struck. One year later, the Mount Polley mine is operating again, this time with a conditional permit and no long-term plan to deal with excess tailings.Continue reading »
A beloved animal, tagged for tracking by researchers, crosses the invisible boundary between protected and unprotected area and is killed by a hunter who has paid tens of thousands of dollars for the "experience". That was the fate of Zimbabwe's Cecil the lion, whose killing sparked torrents of online and on-air outrage. But it also happens around the world every day, including in my home province of B.C.Continue reading »
In fall 2011, politicians, farmers, environmentalists and local advocates met in Toronto to get the ball rolling for Canada's first urban national park, in the Rouge watershed on the city's east side.
It was a remarkably diverse gathering. Senior federal government members, including then Environment Minister Peter Kent, and provincial and municipal politicians from across party lines sat with representatives of farming and environmental groups, and local advocates who have fought for more than 30 years to protect wetlands, farms and forests stretching from the greenbelt to Lake Ontario.Continue reading »