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With the help of citizen scientists, genetic testing can offer a powerful approach to righting environmental wrongs. Combining crowd-sourced scientific data, public policy reform and consumer activism is already showing positive results. The same approach could work in areas such as testing for antibiotics, pesticide and mercury residues and more.
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Although mountains are always moving imperceptibly, what happens in a national mountain park -- when the earth moves under your feet? The series of earthquakes in Central Italy beginning in August 201...
Clean air, water and soil to grow food are necessities of life. So are diverse plant and animal populations. But as the human population continues to increase, animal numbers are falling. Habitat degradation and destruction, hunting and overfishing, the illegal wildlife trade, invasive species, disease, pollution and climate change are causing an extinction crisis unlike any since dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago.
There's nothing like the potential loss of Earth's rich biodiversity and planetary life support systems to make one feel, well, a little overwhelmed. Our individual actions can seem like small roles on a very big stage. But it's important to remember that our current crisis of biodiversity loss didn't result from one catastrophic event.
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At this juncture in our planet's history it may be worth pausing and contemplating that the well-being of human species depends on the well-being of the biosphere. Earth has provided optimal conditions for life's evolution, but human activities are offsetting the balance.
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Microbes in the air and soils of natural environments can be unique. Microbial differences on the skin of those living in close proximity to more diverse vegetation may directly influence immune function throughout the body and may even influence mood.
Every second of every day, over 2,400 land animals are killed for food. To add insult to injury, animal agriculture is one of the most significant contributors to climate change.
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Under no net loss, the loss of one acre of habitat displaced by development is replaced with one acre of the same habitat. In theory, we should end up with the same features and functions as we had before, and have no loss. Unfortunately, no net loss rarely works this way.
Without the forest and the economic activity it generates, the North Shore, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and all the other forest regions of Quebec would not have experienced the same level of economic development that has benefited all Quebecers. However, forestry activity could fall sharply in the fairly near future.
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We need to protect as much land as possible from all human activities so remaining wildlife populations have the space and resources needed to respond to predation and food supply challenges. The cost of restricting industrial development in B.C.'s forests would be expensive in terms of lost revenue, but it would save us having to micromanage every dwindling species.
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All you have to do is bring Mather Nature indoors in the form of plants. For many Canadians, this isn't entirely a new concept. For decades, plants have been brought into the home and office to brighten up the mood and add some colour to an otherwise drab atmosphere. But the benefits are far greater than aesthetics.
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If we disconnect from the natural world, we become disconnected from who we are -- to the detriment of our health and the health of the ecosystems on which our well-being and survival depend. Understanding that we're part of nature and acting on that understanding makes us healthier and happier, and encourages us to care for the natural systems around us.
Any mountain meal in Europe is likely comprised of some local ingredients. Taking it one step further, the Monti Sibillini National Park in Central Italy is offering a pure mountain taste. The project called "Menu of the Sibillini" has challenged restaurants in the park to create a dish whereby every single ingredient is from the park.
In Montefortino, a gloriously beautiful mountain village in Central Italy, Alice Alessandrini started a mountain food label in 2012. Her pasta making business Regina dei Sibillini produces wheat in the foothills and also at 1000 meters altitude in the Monti Sibillini National Park.
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Someone recently asked me how I would invest a million dollars to help conserve Lake Erie. When I really thought about it, the answer became clear: if I had a million dollars to spend on Lake Erie, I'd hire a public relations firm to remake our collective perceptions and rebrand the world's 11th largest lake.
We've become impatient. We're so demanding that we're unwilling to slow down and ensure our major projects are sustainable for human society and the biosphere. Over the past century, we've burned increasing amounts of finite fossil fuels that were stored and compressed over millions of years, exacerbating conditions that lead to climate chaos.
The New York Declaration on Forests represents an unprecedented effort by developed and developing countries to partner around a shared goal of ending global forest loss and committing to a concrete timeline to realize their goal to accomplish this goal.
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Most of us want to do something good for the environment. An easy way is to spend a few dollars buying carbon offsets, perhaps to make us feel less guilty about that long-haul flight we're planning. Turns out those offsets could be more valuable than we thought.
In terms of statistics, 12 per cent grew antibiotic resistance and became marginalized from others. Twenty-eight per cent of the population chose a wealthy style, happily living in their gated biofilms. Half of all the bacteria decided to take a middle-class lifestyle, choosing an easy nutrient source and never engaging in any extreme activity.
Bees may be small, but they play a big role in human health and survival. Some experts say one of every three bites of food we eat depends on them. The insects pollinate everything from apples and zucchini to blueberries and almonds. If bees and other pollinators are at risk, entire terrestrial ecosystems are at risk, and so are we.
Every one knows about the importance of biodiversity, but how many of us have a one-to-one personal experience with a rare species? For myself, like most readers I suspect, biodiversity was a global i...
The rainbow was once widely distributed and common in many rivers and creeks in southern Ontario. Today it is extremely rare. While we did our part in obliterating the rainbow by polluting its river home, today, the number one threat to this species is invasive, non-native zebra mussels.
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I'm tired of being ashamed of being an environmentalist. Why is the conversation of global warming, and water rights, so "boring"? Personally, I'd rather be perceived as a so-called "boring" environmentalist and communicate about the importance of water.
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Biodiversity conservation is no longer a topic reserved for scientists. It's an issue that affects all Canadians. But how do we move people beyond just knowing this fact to caring, and beyond that, to acting?
Improving the way we fish and grow seafood is critical to the survival of some of our planet's most threatened marine and freshwater species and environments. But a national sustainable seafood day is also a critical reminder that even through our everyday choices in what food we buy, we can have a profound impact on the future of life on our planet. And nowhere is that more true than at our fish counters.
When I was a young girl, seeing monarchs flit around was as common as hearing the songs of the meadowlarks and the chipping of ground squirrels. I was fortunate to grow up on the edge of suburban Winn...
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Recently, I was interviewed about the discovery of a little flowering plant -- one of the rarest in my home province and a federally listed species at risk. You most likely may not have heard of it be...
Corporate globalization entrenches parasitical monopoly capitalism. In agriculture, for example, large agribusiness monopolies, often funded by international banking institutions, push out smallholders -- thereby reducing economic diversity -- so that they can grow monoculture cash crops for export.
For much of human history we lived close to the natural world. As civilization evolved we became increasingly urbanized, and most of us now live in cities. As we've moved away from nature, we've seen a decline in other forms of life. Biodiversity is disappearing.
Population explosion is already having detrimental consequences on many environmental and social aspects, but for the purposes of this article, I'll focus on the loss of biodiversity, specifically the tragic loss of wildlife fueled by demand for their body parts in Asia, especially in China.
Three biohackers from California have hijacked the Kickstarter machinery -- they have made Kickstarter the conduit for a nationwide release of untested, unregulated and unmonitored bioengineered organisms.
Canada's environmental laws are under attack by both the federal and Ontario governments. In Ottawa, the government introduced Bill C-38 to implement far-reaching measures announced in its budget. The 420-page Bill C-38 will gut a raft of federal laws passed over the years to ensure that our air, water, and most vulnerable wildlife populations are protected.