Science Matters archives

  • Photo: The grisly truth about B.C.'s grizzly trophy hunt

    The grisly truth about B.C.'s grizzly trophy hunt

    April 27, 2017

    Grizzly bears venturing from dens in search of food this spring will face landscapes dominated by mines, roads, pipelines, clearcuts and ever-expanding towns and cities. As in years past, they'll also face the possibility of painful death at the hands of trophy hunters. More »

  • Photo: March for science, march for Earth Day, march for humanity!

    March for science, march for Earth Day, march for humanity!

    April 20, 2017

    Every day should be Earth Day, but it's good to have a special day to remind us of the importance of protecting the air, water, soil and biodiversity that we all depend on for health and survival. Politicians are supposed to work for the long-term well-being of people who elect them, not to advance the often short-sighted agendas of those who pay large sums of money to get their way regardless of the consequences. Standing together to make ourselves heard is one of the best ways to ensure they fulfil their responsibilities. More »

  • Photo: Citizen science and genetic testing yield positive results

    Citizen science and genetic testing yield positive results

    April 13, 2017

    More than 40 years later, in 2003, an international group of scientists sequenced the entire human genetic code. Researchers can now find a gene suspected to cause a disease in a matter of days, a process that took years before the Human Genome Project. As of 2013, more than 2,000 genetic tests were available for human conditions. Forty years ago, I never dreamed scientists would have the knowledge and manipulative capabilities that have become standard practice today. More »

  • Photo: Marine protected areas are one piece of a complex puzzle

    Marine protected areas are one piece of a complex puzzle

    April 6, 2017

    The federal government recently created two marine protected areas in the Pacific region and has committed to increase ocean protection from one per cent to 10 by 2020. But will this be enough? More »

  • Photo: Welcome to the 21st century: Brighter times or a new Dark Age?

    Welcome to the 21st century: Brighter times or a new Dark Age?

    March 30, 2017

    We're well into the 21st century. If humans want to make it to the 22nd, we must change course. Science offers great tools for understanding and innovating. We owe it to ourselves to at least understand how science acquires and integrates knowledge and what that means. We can't just keep digging up and burning non-renewable resources, polluting air, water and land and putting human health and survival at risk. Nor do we have to. We have better options. More »

  • Photo: Facts and evidence matter in confronting climate crisis

    Facts and evidence matter in confronting climate crisis

    March 23, 2017

    We recently highlighted the faulty logic of a pseudoscientific argument against addressing climate change: the proposition that because CO2 is necessary for plants, increasing emissions is good for the planet and the life it supports. Those who read, write or talk regularly about climate change and ecology are familiar with other anti-environmental arguments not coated with a scientific sheen. More »

  • Photo: Intact wilderness is a hedge against our ignorance

    Intact wilderness is a hedge against our ignorance

    March 16, 2017

    As we continue to alter the physical, chemical and biological properties of the planet by burning fossil fuels, intact nature is one of the only things that can save us. Pristine wilderness is a hedge against our collective ignorance. The diversity of our planet's ecosystems makes animals, including humans, resilient in the face of disruption. If protected, the Peel watershed would form the northern part of a proposed wildlife corridor that stretches all the way south to Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. It would be a refuge for wide-roaming species like caribou, moose, wolves and grizzlies to adjust their habitat needs as the planet warms. More »

  • Photo: Faulty logic fuels fossil fools

    Faulty logic fuels fossil fools

    March 9, 2017

    In this "post-truth" era, with a climate-change-denying U.S. administration, those who want to keep humanity wedded to outdated, polluting technologies have been emboldened. It's up to the rest of us to cut through the misinformation and help humanity get on track to a cleaner, healthier future. More »

  • Photo: Greatness comes from moving forward, not backward

    Greatness comes from moving forward, not backward

    March 2, 2017

    It's hard to fathom that so many people, especially in positions of power, can't see the many benefits of science and technological progress. It wouldn't be a battle if everyone accepted that clean air, fresh water, healthy agricultural soils and diverse ecosystems are critical to human health and survival. More »

  • Photo: Marvelous monarchs move Minister McKenna

    Marvelous monarchs move Minister McKenna

    February 23, 2017

    Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna had her mind blown recently. Remarkably, it had nothing to do with the political gong show south of the border. McKenna was visiting the hilltop monarch butterfly reserves in rural Mexico. There she saw millions of monarchs clinging to oyamel fir trees in mind-bogglingly dense clusters, surprisingly well-camouflaged for such colourful critters. She then wrote a heartfelt article calling on people in Canada to act before monarchs go the way of passenger pigeons and buffalo. More »