Science Matters archives

  • Photo: Government must do more to address First Nations' water woes

    Government must do more to address First Nations' water woes

    February 16, 2017

    Clean drinking water on reserves is not just an Indigenous issue. It's a human right and it should concern all of us. More »

  • Photo: Understanding climate change means reading beyond headlines

    Understanding climate change means reading beyond headlines

    February 9, 2017

    Science is the most useful tool we have to adapt to climate change and avoid its worst outcomes. But it requires critical thinking and a big-picture perspective to ensure we consider all available evidence. With so many people scrolling through social media feeds for news rather than reading entire articles, facts and clarity can become elusive. It's up to us all — media and consumers alike — to dig deeper for the full story. More »

  • Photo: Indigenous people are fighting for us all

    Indigenous people are fighting for us all

    February 2, 2017

    We must enshrine nature as the source of our lives, livelihoods and happiness. Recent protests are about securing and protecting the most elemental needs of all people. Many Indigenous peoples are on the front lines, for everyone. I support them, with gratitude. More »

  • Photo: We need to work less to live better

    We need to work less to live better

    January 26, 2017

    A lot needs to be done to reform our economic systems and to address critical issues like pollution and climate change. Reducing work hours is one way to make substantial gains. More »

  • Photo: Anthropocentric view ignores crucial connections

    Anthropocentric view ignores crucial connections

    January 19, 2017

    For decades, scientists have warned that we're on a dangerous path. It stems from our delusion that endless growth in population, consumption and the economy is possible and is the very purpose of society. But endless growth is not feasible in a finite biosphere. Growth is not an end but a means. More »

  • Photo: We can learn so much from nature

    We can learn so much from nature

    January 12, 2017

    By learning how nature works and how to work within it, we can overcome many problems we've created by trying to jam our technologies on top of natural systems. Fossil fuels were formed when plants absorbed and converted sunlight through photosynthesis hundreds of millions of years ago, then retained that energy when they died, decayed and became compacted and buried deep in the Earth, along with the animals that ate them. Rapidly burning limited supplies of them is absurd, especially when they can be useful for so many other known and possibly yet undiscovered purposes. More »

  • Photo: It's time to heed warnings about humanity's collision course

    It's time to heed warnings about humanity's collision course

    January 5, 2017

    The longer we delay addressing environmental problems, the more difficult it will be to resolve them. Although we've known about climate change and its potential impacts for a long time, and we're seeing those impacts worsen daily, our political representatives are still approving and promoting fossil fuel infrastructure as if we had all the time in the world to slow global warming. More »

  • Photo: Tread lightly to lift the weight of the world

    Tread lightly to lift the weight of the world

    December 15, 2016

    How much stuff will you give and receive this holiday season? Add it to the growing pile — the 30-trillion-tonne pile. That's how much technology and goods humans have produced, according to a "study by an international team":http://anr.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/11/25/2053019616677743 led by England's University of Leicester. It adds up to more than all living matter on the planet, estimated at around four trillion tonnes. More »

  • Photo: Indigenous people hold the key to caribou survival

    Indigenous people hold the key to caribou survival

    December 8, 2016

    Policy-makers have ignored the wealth of knowledge that Indigenous peoples hold about caribou and ecosystems for too long. It's time for Indigenous peoples to share their stories of the land at decision-making tables and to play a leadership role in planning and implementing caribou habitat restoration efforts and other land- and water-management issues, with adequate resources to support them. That would be a big "win" all around — for the caribou, for Indigenous communities, for reconciliation efforts and for all of us who depend on nature for our well-being and survival. More »

  • Photo: Reconciliation requires recognizing rights-based fishing

    Reconciliation requires recognizing rights-based fishing

    December 1, 2016

    Indigenous peoples have been denied their share of marine resources for too long, watching as commercial and recreational fisheries profit from resources on their waters while their boats sit idle. For cultures built on sharing and selling those resources, it's a bitter pill and a threat to cultural survival. It's time for a new relationship built on co-management and equitable division of ocean resources, guided by a shared commitment to ocean conservation. Reconciliation in action would mean restoring the rights of the Nuu-chah-nulth and other Indigenous peoples to fish for a living. More »