Birds have long been the "canaries in the coal mine" for our destructive ways. Extinction of the passenger pigeon sparked the first large environmental movement in the U.S., and led to restrictions on hunting, as well as federal and international regulations to protect migratory birds. Now, birds face a range of new problems, most caused by humans and many serving as further warnings about our bad habits.
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.
The America that set me on my path would never deny the reality of a scientifically proven problem, or claim nothing can be done about it or that meeting the challenge will destroy the economy. By committing to seek solutions, we will reap benefits -- expected and unexpected. It's time to revive the American know-how and gung-ho enthusiasm that has long characterized this great nation.
We cannot see with the naked eye that Canadian children are born pre-polluted, but our latest results demonstrate just that. Our new report shows that even in the mothers' womb, the developing fetus is exposed to a slew of dangerous chemicals -- chemicals that might have health effects like cancer, lower IQ or thyroid problems later in life.
This emphasis of economy over environment, and indeed, the separation of the two, comes as humanity is undergoing dramatic changes.So we create departments of forests, fisheries and oceans, and environment whose ministers are less concerned with the health, and well-being of forests, fish, oceans than with resources, and the economies that depend on them.