Jason Hosking via Getty Images
Have you heard of flupyradifurone? Probably not, unless you work for the federal government agency poised to approve this new pesticide for use in Canada. But take note: This new "F" word is bad news for bees.
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.
Level1studio via Getty Images
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.
Modern methods of controlling pests have consisted mainly of poisoning them with chemicals. But that's led to problems. Pesticides kill far more than the bugs they target, and pollute air, water and soil. Some fascinating research has found a way of dealing with bed bugs that may go back centuries.
We have much to learn by studying nature and taking the time to tease out its secrets. Biomimicry, a word coined by biologist and writer Janine Benyus, means to copy nature. It's a science that asks "What does nature do?" instead of "What's it for?" -- the question usually posed by human endeavour.
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.
A two-metre tower of bird excrement at an Ontario university has become an unlikely archive that may reveal the reasons for the declining population of the North American chimney swift, according to n...