One year ago on April 24, the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, crushing the life out of more than 1,100 people. The disaster prompted huge outcry on the streets of Bangladesh, and around the world. As a society of shoppers, we did demand the rock-bottom prices that helped create the demand for cheaper and cheaper labour. I've never felt more culpable than when standing in the ruins of Rana Plaza last week.
Most scientists would agree that humpbacks are "recovering," but few would agree they are "recovered." It is this issue that is causing the disagreement over whether the decision to down-list the B.C. population was premature, and not based on enough evidence of recovery within B.C.
A month ago, we went to the most expensive Bat Mitzvah celebration I ever attended. It was expensive -- for us -- because somewhere in the middle of a Grand Ballroom at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, my husband lost one of his hearing aids.
Doing nothing isn't an option. That would lead to a significant increase in global average temperatures and extreme weather-related events. Because we've stalled so long, thanks largely to deceptive campaigns run by a small but powerful group of entrenched fossil fuel industry interests and the intransigence of some short-sighted governments, we must also consider ways to adapt to climate change that's already occurring and that we can't stop. Considering the costs and losses climate change and extreme weather impose on our cities, communities and food systems, we can't afford not to act.
When the announcement was made that humpback whales would no longer be protected as a "threatened" species in Canada, the public was furious. To many, this represented positive proof that the federal government would do anything to promote the Northern Gateway pipeline -- including meddling with the protection of humpback whales to get them out of the way of development. Our government has a lot to answer for in the area of environmental management, but the outcry in this case is misguided.
One year ago this week, a girl named Tahmina went to work. That morning, the Rana Plaza factory where Tahmina worked collapsed. She survived, but her supervisor and over 1,100 other workers were killed in one of the worst industrial disasters in history. We all want to know what we can do -- individually and collectively -- to prevent a future tragedy.
Dr. Warren Bell, a British Columbia GP, addressed the Joint Review Panel hearings on the Enbridge pipeline on January 28, 2013. Bell, who has training in psychology, said the toxic Enbridge controversy is a symptom of "structural pathology" at the heart of Canada's government.
It would be too easy to wash one's hands and blame politicians for their failure to address climate change. Any failure would be collective. Responding to climate change is everyone's responsibility.
Buying into gender differentiation means that a profit-driven media can easily hook you into buying gender-differentiated products because they know you believe it to be true.
This April marks the 20th commemoration of the genocide in Rwanda -- where we both trace our roots. As we take time this month to remember the events of 1994, honour the lives lost, and reaffirm our commitment to never again stand by and let another genocide take place, a troubling situation is unfolding in Burundi that appears frighteningly reminiscent of Rwanda pre-1994.
This month, Canadian students finish exams and begin hunting for summer jobs. A student working the counter at Taco Bell for minimum wage would have to work eight hours a day, seven days week, for almost the entire summer to cover tuition, never mind the cost of specialized or technical degrees. Students have a responsibility to work and pay for at least some of their education. Also a responsibility, when choosing their college or university program, to think about whether they are choosing a field of study where there is a real demand for jobs.
In railing against everything from bike lanes to transit spending, pundits and politicians often raise the spectre of a "war on cars." Of course, there is no war on cars -- but there should be. Combatting pollution and climate change, reduced dependency on private automobiles will lead to healthier people, fewer deaths and injuries and livable cities with happier citizens. And that's worth fighting for!
While being selected to be in Advanced Placement courses saved me, it always made me wonder how many more "at risk" kids these classes could help? What if students who had the ability were offered to take classes that were so rigorous that it forced them to be engaged?
Cities rely on nature for their very well-being. Nature in cities reduces energy bills, cleans the air and protects us from floods. There is a growing body of evidence that nature makes us better people and builds better communities.
What would you think if your doctor handed you a prescription that recommended filing your tax returns or applying for food or income benefit programs instead of the usual medicines for high blood pressure or diabetes? You'd probably say the physician was nuts. Tax refunds? Food? What do they have to do with making you healthier?