B.C.'s premier Christy Clark was right to walk away from a national energy strategy promoted by Alberta's Alison Redford at a provincial premiers' meeting in Halifax in late July. She just did it for the wrong reasons. Clark should have renounced the proposal because it's focused more on tar sands, pipelines, and markets than on getting Canada's greenhouse gas emissions under control.
Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 26 honorary degrees from universities around the world. He is familiar to television audiences as host of the long-running CBC television program The Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It's a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies. His written work includes more than 52 books, 19 of them for children. Dr. Suzuki lives with his wife, Dr. Tara Cullis, and family in Vancouver, B.C.
Canadians use between nine and 15 billion plastic bags a year, enough to circle the Earth more than 55 times, according to Greener Footprints. (U.S. citizens use about 100 billion a year!) Few plastic bags are recycled. Plastic bags are bad and for the most part unnecessary. Many of us older folks remember a time, only a few decades ago, when we didn't have them. Sure, they're convenient, but is that an excuse to damage the environment and the life it supports?
08/01/2012 12:14 EDT
Most people understand the concept of financial capital. We pay for things we find valuable. But how much is our natural capital worth? According to the David Suzuki Foundation's research, the 7,000-square-kilometre Ontario Greenbelt provides at least $2.6 billion in non-market benefits each year. We wouldn't let a bank get away with losing our life savings. We shouldn't let decision-makers off the hook when they allow our natural wealth to be squandered.
07/25/2012 12:19 EDT
Although Canada doesn't have a domestic market for asbestos, we actively support the industry and promote exports to other countries, especially India. And despite these times of government cutbacks, the Quebec government has even stepped in to keep the industry alive by agreeing to lend the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Quebec, $58-million to restart and expand.
07/18/2012 10:02 EDT
The federal government announced it will close the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area in Southern Ontario in 2013. It's an odd decision, especially considering that it costs just $2-million a year to operate -- one-tenth the cost of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's security detail and about the same amount the government spent during the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto to build a tourism pavilion with a fake lake.
07/11/2012 12:16 EDT
According to a recent study, little is known about leaks from the 680,000 waste and injection sites in the U.S., but structural failures are common. In Alberta, taxpayers are on the hook for any problems that might arise once the carbon has been stored. We don't really know what effect pumping millions of tonnes of CO2 into the ground will have on bacteria and other organisms below the surface.
07/04/2012 12:21 EDT
Ontario's endangered wildlife dodged a bullet when the provincial government reversed its decision to gut the province's world-class Endangered Species Act. With their vote of confidence, politicians in Ontario helped sustain one of the few outcomes of an important global environmental agreement in June at Rio+20.
06/27/2012 12:03 EDT
In all the political posturing and lobbying by corporations, there is simply no comprehension of what the real crisis is at Rio+20. While we should be talking about what we can do for the environment, we just have politicians signing watered-down documents and treaties, and doing nothing to implement them.
06/21/2012 05:46 EDT
A recent pipeline leak sent 475,000 litres of oil into Alberta's Red Deer River. Thanks to changes brought in under the federal government's Bill C-38, we'll no longer have to think about potential damage to the waterways and land along the pipeline route, unless they're home to "fish that are part of a commercial, recreational, or Aboriginal fisheries."
06/20/2012 04:34 EDT
I'm writing to thank you and the government for the decision to make the Rouge Valley a national park. But, I am still shocked each time I hear you on radio or television justifying what you are doing or not doing on the basis of the economic consequences. That's the Finance Minister's job. Yours is to protect the environment.
06/18/2012 01:00 EDT
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.
06/13/2012 12:29 EDT
On Saturday, May 26, Germany met half its midday energy needs with solar power. On the preceding Friday, a workday, it met a third of those needs, again with solar. Renewable energy solutions exist. We just need governments with as much foresight as Germany's to implement them.
06/06/2012 10:27 EDT
When I heard about the student protests in Montreal, I swallowed the line that Quebec's pampered youth pay lower fees than those in other parts of Canada but aren't aware that education costs money. And then I went to Quebec. There, I heard a different story.
05/30/2012 11:04 EDT
Over the past decade, researchers from diverse fields have realized what most of us know intuitively: Nature is good for our health and wellbeing. They have discovered countless links between time spent outdoors and cognitive, physical and emotional development.
05/23/2012 12:53 EDT
Many of the 1,200 known species of bats are in trouble. And we humans deserve much of the blame. A bat can eat more than 1,000 insects in an hour, and without the services of bats, the agave plant, from which we get tequila, might not survive. So, if you like tequila but not mosquito bites, you should view bats as your friends.
05/17/2012 03:06 EDT
We're asking all Canadians to join us to help preserve two core national values: nature and democracy. Let's keep Canada strong and free. Please visit the websites of your favourite environmental organizations on June 4th to add your voice.
05/09/2012 10:40 EDT
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.
05/02/2012 02:35 EDT
Recent federal budget changes to the environmental review process favour industry over the environment. Besides putting the environment and the human health that depends on it at risk, these changes to policy and regulation could actually make review processes more inefficient and time-consuming.
04/25/2012 12:51 EDT
Show someone a photo of a lush forest with a grizzly bear and ask what's in the picture. Most will answer, "a bear." Add a spotted owl to the scene, and the response might become, "a grizzly bear under an owl." What you are unlikely to hear is a description of the flora accompanying the charismatic fauna.
04/19/2012 12:30 EDT
There's been a lot of buzz around possible oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including a proposal to drill in the Old Harry area. We need to keep strong laws to ensure we protect these places that give us so much and help define us as Canadians. But how good are we at protecting what's at the core of our identity?
04/10/2012 04:30 EDT
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