Science Matters archives

  • Photo: Wild Pacific salmon face an upstream battle for survival

    Wild Pacific salmon face an upstream battle for survival

    September 22, 2016

    Salmon are resilient and have survived ice ages and other challenges over millions of years. They've survived having their streams paved over. They've survived toxins dumped into their environments. The question is, can they — and the ecosystems that depend on them — survive climate change and fish farms and all the other stressors humans are putting on them? More »

  • Photo: Airline emissions are flying too high

    Airline emissions are flying too high

    September 15, 2016

    In July, Solar Impulse 2 became the first airplane to fly around the world without using fuel. At the same time, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been working on electric planes. These developments mean air travel and transport could become more environmentally friendly, with less pollution and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and planes would be quieter. More »

  • Photo: The simple-minded nature of human super predators

    The simple-minded nature of human super predators

    September 8, 2016

    Predators usually kill for sustenance. For millennia, Indigenous peoples have also relied on hunting to maintain traditional ways of life. But with trophy hunting, the government's impetus is to make money. Governments that allow continued resource extraction in imperilled caribou habitat are using predator control as a stopgap measure to keep caribou alive. More »

  • Photo: In diversity, there is strength

    In diversity, there is strength

    September 1, 2016

    It's been shocking to watch news of the Brexit vote in Britain, Donald Trump's promise to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and the ongoing threats and violence against ethnic minorities in many parts of the world. I'm not a political or social scientist, but my training as a biologist gives me some insight. More »

  • Photo: How much food can cities produce?

    How much food can cities produce?

    August 25, 2016

    Cities needn't be wastelands of car-choked roads and pavement. Incorporating food production into ever-expanding urban areas makes cities more liveable and enhances the natural systems that keep us alive and healthy. More »

  • Photo: Clyde River Inuit fight to protect territory and livelihoods from big oil

    Clyde River Inuit fight to protect territory and livelihoods from big oil

    August 18, 2016

    Although the area is crucial to Inuit for hunting and other traditional activities, the federal government has approved underwater seismic blasting by a consortium of energy companies. They plan to fire underwater cannons from boats to map the ocean floor for oil and gas deposits, in preparation for offshore drilling. More »

  • Photo: Let's push the prime minister to get moving on climate

    Let's push the prime minister to get moving on climate

    August 11, 2016

    Unless the current round of targets is withdrawn and replaced by more ambitious actions — something called for in the Paris Agreement as "ratcheting up" — we'll lose any chance of keeping Arctic ice at the pole, which will set off feedback loops that will accelerate global warming. Cascading events of greater severity will become unavoidable. More »

  • Photo: Half measures aren't enough to save caribou

    Half measures aren't enough to save caribou

    August 4, 2016

    Provincial governments must uphold their responsibility to recover caribou by ensuring healthy ecosystems are maintained and restored. Half measures that keep caribou alive through human interventions while further degrading their homes won't suffice. More »

  • Photo: Will growing our fuels drive us to a cleaner future?

    Will growing our fuels drive us to a cleaner future?

    July 28, 2016

    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? More »

  • Photo: Industrial damage threatens Blueberry River's way of life

    Industrial damage threatens Blueberry River's way of life

    July 21, 2016

    No one should have to put up with such high levels of destructive industrial activity, especially when they aren't given a say in decisions. More »