Latest posts in Science Matters

Will growing our fuels drive us to a cleaner future?

July 28, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: Will growing our fuels drive us to a cleaner future?

(Credit: Sweeter Alternative via Flickr)

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

The shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy is occurring mainly at the power plant level. But what about transportation? Can we significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by switching to cleaner fuels? Or is this just an attempt to keep 20th century technology chugging along while trading one set of environmental problems for another?

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Industrial damage threatens Blueberry River's way of life

July 21, 2016 | 3 comments
Photo: Industrial damage threatens Blueberry River's way of life

Within Blueberry River First Nations traditional territory, there are 9,435 oil and gas facilities, primarily test facilities (6,210) and battery sites (1,120).
(Photo Credit: 2016 Atlas of Cumulative Landscape Disturbance)

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Science Projects Manager Rachel Plotkin.

Industrial activity has profoundly affected the Blueberry River First Nations in northern B.C. A recent Atlas of Cumulative Landscape Disturbance, by the First Nations, the David Suzuki Foundation and Ecotrust, found 73 per cent of the area inside its traditional territory is within 250 metres of an industrial disturbance and 85 per cent is within 500 metres.

In other words, in much of the territory, which once supported healthy moose and caribou populations, it's difficult if not impossible to walk half a kilometre before hitting a road, seismic line or other industrial infrastructure. Local caribou populations are threatened with extinction mainly because of habitat disturbance caused by industrial activity and ensuing changes to predator-prey dynamics.

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The future of hydro in a warming world

July 14, 2016 | 1 comment
Photo: The future of hydro in a warming world

The Hoover Dam on the Colorado River is operating at 30 per cent capacity, and new turbines have to be installed at lower elevation because of low precipitation and drought. (Credit: Allan via Flickr)

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

People have harnessed energy from moving water for thousands of years. Greeks used various types of water wheels to grind grain in mills more than 2,000 years ago. In the late 1800s, people figured out how to harness the power to produce electricity. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, hydropower has expanded, producing about 17 per cent of the world's electricity by 2014 and about 85 per cent of renewable energy — and it shows no signs of slowing.

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Dark earth could herald a bright future for agriculture and climate

July 7, 2016 | 8 comments
Photo: Dark earth could herald a bright future for agriculture and climate

(Credit: Eden Graham via Flickr)

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

Feeding more than seven billion people with minimal environmental and climate impacts is no small feat. That parts of the world are plagued by obesity while starvation is rampant elsewhere shows part of the problem revolves around distribution and social equity. But agricultural methods pose some of the biggest challenges.

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Broken records define the climate crisis

June 30, 2016 | 6 comments
Photo: Broken records define the climate crisis

(Credit: Gerard Van der Leun via Flickr)

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

We’re living in a time of records. More renewable energy came on stream in 2015 than ever — 147 gigawatts, equal to Africa’s entire generating capacity — and investment in the sector broke records worldwide. Costs for producing solar and wind power have hit record lows. Portugal obtained all its electricity from renewable sources for four straight days in May — the longest achieved by any country — and Germany was able to meet 90 per cent of its electricity needs with renewable power for a brief period. Clean energy employment and job growth now outpace the fossil fuel industry by a wide margin.

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