Science Matters archives

  • Photo: Nature calms the brain and heals the body

    Nature calms the brain and heals the body

    April 14, 2016

    Spending time in nature regularly is not a panacea for mental health but it's an essential component of health and psychological resilience. Nature helps us withstand and recover from life's challenges. Even city dwellers can find nearby nature — a garden, local park or trail — to give their overworked brains a break. More »

  • Photo: Got milkweed? Monarchs still need your help

    Got milkweed? Monarchs still need your help

    April 7, 2016

    Although milkweed is spreading and monarch numbers have bounced back from historic lows, the population remains more than 80 per cent lower than 20 years ago. This summer, the great-grandkids of butterflies we welcomed last year will return to Canada. I encourage you to continue bringing them home, one milkweed plant at a time. More »

  • Photo: Geothermal: Tapping Earth's abundant energy

    Geothermal: Tapping Earth's abundant energy

    March 31, 2016

    Rapid advancements in renewable-energy and power-grid technologies could put the world on track to a mix of clean sources fairly quickly — which is absolutely necessary to curtail global warming. Geothermal energy should be part of that mix. More »

  • Photo: Environmental deficit tarnishes Canada's rights record

    Environmental deficit tarnishes Canada's rights record

    March 24, 2016

    Many Canadians see our country as a human rights leader, but a United Nations committee says we should do better. In early March, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights concluded that Canada's lack of environmental protection and climate action mars our rights record. More »

  • Photo: World Water Day reminds us not to take clean water for granted

    World Water Day reminds us not to take clean water for granted

    March 17, 2016

    Earth's oceans, lakes, rivers and streams are its circulatory system, providing life's essentials for people, animals and ecosystems. Canada has one-fifth of the world's freshwater, a quarter of its remaining... More »

  • Photo: Change is in the air

    Change is in the air

    March 10, 2016

    We only recognize the significance of events in the context of history. I recently had a day like any other except it made me wonder if we're on the verge of historical change. More »

  • Photo: Will cap-and-trade slow climate change?

    Will cap-and-trade slow climate change?

    March 3, 2016

    The David Suzuki Foundation and others have long argued that provinces and the federal government should put a price on carbon, through carbon taxes, cap-and-trade or a combination of both. The urgent need to address global warming means provinces that have adopted cap-and-trade need to strengthen it by ensuring emissions drop faster and polluters pay a price that truly reflects the damage caused by carbon pollution. More »

  • Photo: Love bees -- especially the wild ones!

    Love bees — especially the wild ones!

    February 25, 2016

    Public attention in Canada has largely focused on domesticated European honeybees, but research indicates the honeybee crisis is part of a wider problem affecting hundreds of lesser-known but crucially important wild bee species. More »

  • Photo: Energy storage gives renewables a jump-start

    Energy storage gives renewables a jump-start

    February 18, 2016

    With the urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, governments need to provide incentives for rapid renewable energy development and deployment. Considering how quickly computer technology and other human inventions have advanced, it's easy to see that barriers to a clean-energy shift are more political and psychological than technological. More »

  • Photo: It's time to protect the Great Bear Rainforest's grizzlies

    It's time to protect the Great Bear Rainforest's grizzlies

    February 11, 2016

    The agreement between government, industry, First Nations and environmental groups to protect much of the Great Bear Rainforest should be celebrated. However, while the agreement helps protect grizzly bear and other wildlife habitat, it doesn't protect the bears themselves, contrary to B.C. Premier Christy Clark's claims at a news conference. Hunting grizzly and black bears in the Great Bear remains legal. More »