Science Matters archives

  • 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 »

  • Photo: Better discourse for a kinder world

    Better discourse for a kinder world

    November 24, 2016

    The U.S. election was a chilling illustration of the atrocious state of public discourse. It doesn't bode well for a country once admired for leadership in education and science. More »

  • Photo: Hard work and love trump fear and hate

    Hard work and love trump fear and hate

    November 17, 2016

    We mustn't let fear overcome us. It's time to stand together to work for justice and human rights, for equity, for liberty, for a cleaner environment, for governments that serve the people rather than corporations — for the values the United States of America was supposedly founded on. We must listen to each other and promote dialogue rather than debate. More »

  • Photo: Extinction crisis signals that it's time to change course

    Extinction crisis signals that it's time to change course

    November 10, 2016

    Clean air, water and soil to grow food are necessities of life. So are diverse plant and animal populations. But as the human population continues to increase, animal numbers are falling. There's a strong correlation. A comprehensive report from the World Wildlife Federation and the Zoological Society of London found that wild animal populations dropped by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, and will likely reach a 67 per cent drop by 2020 if nothing is done to prevent the decline. More »

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    "World class" may not mean much when it comes to oil spill response

    November 3, 2016

    Spills and disasters illustrate the immediate negative impacts of our overreliance on fossil fuels. Climate change shows we can't continue to burn coal, oil and gas, that we have to leave much of it in the ground. If we get on with it, we may still have time to manage the transition without catastrophic consequences. But the longer we delay, the more difficult it will become. More »

  • Photo: Heated debates ignore an overheating planet

    Heated debates ignore an overheating planet

    October 27, 2016

    Considering the magnitude of the threat, you'd think global warming would merit an entire debate between the two contenders for president of what is still the world's most powerful and influential country. At the very least, it's significant enough to warrant numerous questions from debate moderators and thorough policy discussions from the candidates. More »

  • Photo: Food security is important for humans and other animals

    Food security is important for humans and other animals

    October 20, 2016

    We produce more than enough to feed all people on the planet. Surely it's one of the fundamental challenges of our time to focus our considerable intelligence on altering our consumption and harvesting patterns so that all who share this small blue Earth — two-legged, four-legged, winged and finned — can enjoy food security. More »

  • Photo: We can't dig our way out of the fossil fuels pit

    We can't dig our way out of the fossil fuels pit

    October 13, 2016

    I've often thought politicians inhabit a parallel universe. Maybe it's just widespread cognitive dissonance, coupled with a lack of imagination, that compels them to engage in so much contradictory behaviour. Trying to appease so many varying interests isn't easy. More »

  • Photo: Confronting the crisis of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada

    Confronting the crisis of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada

    October 6, 2016

    The inquiry into the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls is long overdue and is a testament to the hard work and leadership of Indigenous women and communities who have spent decades calling for an inquiry. It will proceed over the next few years and will make recommendations to governments, police and other agencies. We must also take personal action to end violence by participating in initiatives like the Moose Hide Campaign, which bring people together to promote healing. These are important steps for all Canadians to embrace if we are to advance reconciliation. More »

  • Photo: Carbon dioxide: Pollutant or plant food?

    Carbon dioxide: Pollutant or plant food?

    September 29, 2016

    The evidence is clear and overwhelming: Rapid increases in CO2 emissions are not beneficial. It's past time we started conserving energy and shifting to cleaner sources. More »