Olympics earn a bronze for climate action says Suzuki Foundation

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics have made the podium with a bronze medal for their efforts to reduce the event’s climate impact, according to a climate scorecard released by the David Suzuki Foundation. Achievements of the 2010 Olympics include building energy efficient venues, using clean-energy sources, relying on public transit during the Games and offsetting part of the Games’ emissions.

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Marvellous monarchs move Minister McKenna

SCIENCE MATTERS
by David Suzuki

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.

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We can learn so much from nature

SCIENCE MATTERS
by David Suzuki

If you fly over a forest and look down, you’ll see every green tree and plant reaching to the heavens to absorb the ultimate energy source: sunlight. What a contrast when you look down on a city or town with its naked roofs, asphalt roads and concrete sidewalks, all ignoring the sun’s beneficence! Research shows we might benefit by thinking more like a forest.

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Food security – It’s important for humans and other animals

photo of David Suzuki

SCIENCE MATTERS
by David Suzuki

As leaves change colour and drop from trees, and a chill in the air signals the approach of winter, many of us are thinking of the hearty soups and dishes that will warm our bellies.

Not everyone is lucky enough to enjoy such thoughts. About four million Canadians – including more than a million children – lack food security, defined as reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. In Canada, people from low-income households and Indigenous communities are the most likely to suffer from food insecurity.

Speaking of the environment

photo of Vesanto Melina

NUTRISPEAK
by Vesanto Melina

» A decade ago, climate change and global warming seemed somewhat theoretical to some of us, but evidence is now showing up in our everyday lives. In many parts of the world, these changes are being linked with the rising frequency and severity of extreme weather events: floods, storms and droughts. Warmer temperatures tend to produce more violent weather patterns. Events of concern in BC include heavy rainfall and snowfalls, heat waves and drought. These have led to floods, landslides, water shortages, forest fires, reduced air quality, damaged property, and illness and mortality. Since 1983, payouts by Canadian insurance companies for damages resulting from natural disasters have doubled every five years.

The predator we need to control is us!

photo of David Suzuki

SCIENCE MATTERS
by David Suzuki

• Humans are the world’s top predator. The way we fulfil this role is often mired in controversy, from factory farming to trophy hunting to predator control. The latter is the process governments use to kill carnivores like wolves, coyotes and cougars to stop them from hunting threatened species like caribou – even though human activity is the root cause of caribous’ decline.

Predation is an important natural function. But as the human population has grown, we’ve taken over management of ecosystems once based on mutually beneficial relationships that maintained natural balances. How are we – a “super predator” as the Raincoast Conservation Foundation dubs us – aligning with or verging from natural predation processes that shaped the world?

Food production in the city is good for people and the climate

SCIENCE MATTERS by David Suzuki

•  Humans are fast becoming city dwellers. According to the United Nations, “The urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014.” Sixty-six percent of us will likely live in urban environments by 2050. The number of mega-cities (more than 10 million inhabitants) is also skyrocketing, from 10 in 1990 to 28 in 2014 –home to more than 453 million people – and is expected to grow to 41 by 2030.

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Behind the Smile and You’re an Idiot

A Tale of Two Books
READ IT by Bruce Mason

• I just finished reading a couple of current, timely, best-selling BC books back to back – make that back and forth – that speak volumes about our worrisome future. They also cry out for comparison. The first book focuses on the life and times of our premier, the second, on the result of a five-year global mission to answer a question from David Suzuki, “Why aren’t people demanding action on environmental issues like climate change, despite the overwhelming evidence?”

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