Science Matters archives

  • Photo: Life altering planetary experience

    Life altering planetary experience

    October 2, 2009

    Insurance companies, politicians, and businesspeople often use the expressions "natural disaster" or "act of God" to deflect responsibility for events beyond our control. Today, human activity and technology have become so powerful that we are contributing to what were once natural disasters. More »

  • Photo: More science needed on effects of genetically modifying food crops

    More science needed on effects of genetically modifying food crops

    September 23, 2009

    In gearing up for the 2010 release of its super-genetically modified corn called "SmartStax", agricultural-biotechnology giant Monsanto is using an advertising slogan that asks, "Wouldn't it be better?" But can we do better than nature, which has taken millennia to develop the plants we use for food? More »

  • Photo: It's time to rethink our approach to garbage

    It's time to rethink our approach to garbage

    September 18, 2009

    In Mexico City, politicians recently banned the ubiquitous plastic bags that citizens use for everything from groceries to soft drinks. But that will only go part way to reducing the 12,000 tonnes of garbage the city produces every day. Only six per cent of Mexico City's garbage gets recycled now, but the government has an ambitious plan to recycle, compost, or burn for energy 85 per cent of it by 2013. More »

  • Photo: Outdoor schooling has many benefits

    Outdoor schooling has many benefits

    September 11, 2009

    As our children and grandchildren head back to school it's important to consider not just what we are teaching them but how we are teaching them. After all, the world... More »

  • Photo: Tiny Township victory sets a big example

    Tiny Township victory sets a big example

    September 4, 2009

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead More »

  • Photo: Uncovering the mystery of B.C.'s disappearing sockeye

    Uncovering the mystery of B.C.'s disappearing sockeye

    August 28, 2009

    The Fraser River's sockeye salmon are in trouble. And when the salmon are in trouble, we're all in trouble. More »

  • Photo: It's time for a new economic paradigm

    It's time for a new economic paradigm

    August 21, 2009

    I've heard economists boast that their discipline is based on a fundamental human impulse: selfishness. They claim that we act first out of self-interest. I can agree, depending on how we define self. To some, "self" extends beyond the individual person to include immediate family. Others might include community, an ecosystem, or all other species. More »

  • Photo: Saving the berries for pickers and bears

    Saving the berries for pickers and bears

    August 14, 2009

    One of my favourite summer activities is picking wild blueberries with my family at our cabin in northern B.C. The waning weeks of summer are the best time to be... More »

  • Photo: Carbon offsets: a tool in the fight against global warming

    Carbon offsets: a tool in the fight against global warming

    August 7, 2009

    The science is clear: human-caused global warming is a reality. Now it's time to focus on solutions. We need strong leadership from our governments in setting firm greenhouse gas reduction... More »

  • Photo: G8 moves forward on climate change - but is it enough?

    G8 moves forward on climate change — but is it enough?

    July 31, 2009

    The world's richest countries appear to be taking climate change seriously. At their recent meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, G8 countries agreed that global warming should not exceed two degrees Celsius,... More »