Latest posts in Science Matters
If people keep rapidly extracting and burning fossil fuels, there’s no hope of meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement climate change commitments. To ensure a healthy, hopeful future for humanity, governments must stick to their pledge to limit global warming to 1.5 or 2 C above pre-industrial levels by 2050. Many experts agree that to meet that goal, up to 80 per cent of oil, coal and gas reserves must stay in the ground. That makes fossil fuels a bad investment — what analysts call “stranded assets”.
Putting money toward things that benefit humanity, whether investing in clean energy portfolios or implementing energy-saving measures in your home or business, is better for the planet and the bottom line than sinking it into outdated industries that endanger humanity.Continue reading »
Imagine if scientists came up with an inexpensive, easily administered way to decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and obesity by 25 to 35 per cent. It would create a sensation and, if patented, would be worth billions. But there’s already a free and simple way to achieve this: exercise.Continue reading »
Gary Krause was mystified by an unusual fish he caught in his trawl net off B.C.’s Pacific north coast in October. It was a Pacific electric ray, named for a pair of organs behind its head that can knock a human adult down with a powerful shock.Continue reading »
For the most part, our brains didn’t evolve in cities. But in a few decades, almost 70 per cent of the world’s people will live in urban environments. Despite the prosperity we associate with cities, urbanization presents a major health challenge. Cities, with their accelerated pace of life, can be stressful. The results are seen in the brains and behaviour of those raised in cities or currently living in one.Continue reading »
Three years ago, the eastern monarch butterfly population plummeted to 35 million, a drop of more than 95 per cent since the 1990s. More than a billion milkweed plants, which monarchs depend on for survival, had been lost throughout the butterfly's migratory range — from overwintering sites in Mexico to summer habitat in Canada.
We needed more milkweed in the ground, quickly. But many provinces and states listed the plant as "noxious", and few nurseries and garden centres carried local "weeds".
A lot has changed in three years. The David Suzuki Foundation launched its #gotmilkweed campaign in April 2013 to encourage Toronto residents to plant milkweed in yards and on balconies. Foundation volunteer Homegrown Park Rangers also planted milkweed in local parks and schoolyards. The Ontario government pulled the plant from its naughty list and media stories about the monarchs' plight took flight.Continue reading »