Science Matters archives

  • Photo: Feed-in tariffs help renewable energy grow

    Feed-in tariffs help renewable energy grow

    June 16, 2016

    Burning finite fuels in huge plants to generate electricity is no way to power the future. Meeting global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming requires a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Feed-in tariffs are an effective way for governments to encourage that shift. More »

  • Photo: Oceans of reasons to protect what we love

    Oceans of reasons to protect what we love

    June 9, 2016

    June 8 marks World Oceans Day, but what if we celebrated oceans every day? Covering more than 70 per cent of Earth's surface, oceans, more than anything, define our small blue planet. We should celebrate their complex and vibrant ecosystems, life-sustaining services, calming effects and unimaginable diversity, much of which we have not yet even discovered. More »

  • Photo: Grassy Narrows' fight for clean water is a struggle for environmental justice

    Grassy Narrows' fight for clean water is a struggle for environmental justice

    June 2, 2016

    It's time for the provincial and federal governments to join with Grassy Narrows to clean up the Wabigoon River. No single act would go further to illustrate that a new era has dawned in our relationship with Indigenous peoples and our shared environment. More »

  • Photo: Feeding humanity in a warming world

    Feeding humanity in a warming world

    May 26, 2016

    We are part of nature, so harming it hurts us. The planet provides resources to feed us. We must learn to use them sustainably. More »

  • Photo: Eating less meat will reduce Earth's heat

    Eating less meat will reduce Earth's heat

    May 19, 2016

    Estimates of how much animal agriculture adds to greenhouse gases range widely, from about 14 to more than 50 per cent of total global emissions. Agriculture exacerbates climate change in a number of ways. Clearing carbon sinks such as forests to grow or raise food can result in net greenhouse gas increases. Farming, especially on an industrial scale, also requires fossil fuel-burning machinery, as does processing and transporting agricultural products. More »

  • Photo: Ain't nothing like the real thing -- but virtual reality comes close

    Ain't nothing like the real thing — but virtual reality comes close

    May 12, 2016

    Some proponents claim virtual reality will stimulate children to spend more time outside. But why bother when the virtual world seems better than the real one? I'm sure innovation and creativity will continue to drive the technology to new frontiers. I'm just as sure there will be enormous unexpected and damaging consequences if we aren't careful. More »

  • Photo: Divest from damage and invest in a healthier future

    Divest from damage and invest in a healthier future

    May 5, 2016

    Wastefully exploiting and burning fossil fuels is outdated. There's no reason to put money into industries that destroy the natural systems that make human life possible. But there are many reasons to stop giving them money. It's time to invest in a healthier future. More »

  • Photo: A healthy biosphere means healthier humans

    A healthy biosphere means healthier humans

    April 28, 2016

    Our health is tied to air, water and food from the soil. That means we should keep them clean, and stop dumping toxic wastes into them. Our health is also improved by exercise, which should be part of the way we live. Outdoor exercise is especially good. Caring for ourselves and the biosphere would pay many times over in improved health and happiness. More »

  • Photo: Shocking migratory changes bring electric rays to Canada's Pacific

    Shocking migratory changes bring electric rays to Canada's Pacific

    April 21, 2016

    The Pacific electric ray is just one of many marine canaries warning us of changing ecosystems. We’d be wise to listen to these signals. More »

  • 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 »