Researchers are just starting to learn about the two-metre, scale-free ragfish with cartilage skeleton and flabby flesh found in Alaskan waters, and the faceless fish found in Australian waters, whose eyes, gills and mouth are hidden. That we're still discovering new wonders in the oceans is even more reason to protect them. We have a long way to go, though.
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.
There's no going back to simpler times, but our survival does depend on respecting our place in this miraculous world. To heal the disconnection, we must reconnect. It's fitting, then, that the theme of this year's World Environment Day on June 5 is "Connecting People to Nature."
05/31/2017 10:51 EDT
There's no denying that oil, coal and gas are tremendously useful. The problems aren't the resources but our profligate use of them. Using them more wisely is a start. In many cases, we also have alternatives. Most plastics are also made from oil -- which presents another set of problems.
05/24/2017 10:40 EDT
Most people understand that human-caused climate change is a real and serious threat. True, some still reject the mountains of evidence amassed by scientists from around the world over many decades, and accepted by every legitimate scientific academy and institution. But as the physical evidence builds daily, it takes an incredible amount of denial to claim we have no reason to worry.
05/17/2017 12:24 EDT
Beyond helping break the cycle of constant consumption and allowing people to focus on things that matter -- like friends, family and time in nature -- a shorter work week would also reduce rush-hour traffic and gridlock, which contribute to pollution and climate change. It could help reduce stress and the health problems that come from modern work practices, such as sitting for long hours at computers. And it would give people more options for family care.
05/10/2017 11:46 EDT
As fossil fuel reserves become depleted, thanks to our voracious and wasteful habits, extraction becomes more extreme and difficult. Oilsands mining, deepsea drilling and fracking are employed because easily accessible supplies are becoming increasingly scarce. The costs and consequences are even higher than with conventional sources and methods.
05/03/2017 12:49 EDT
The May 9 election will give B.C. residents the opportunity to ask candidates if they will end the grizzly hunt if elected. So far, the B.C. NDP and Green Party say they would ban grizzly trophy hunting (but allow grizzly hunting for food), whereas the B.C. Liberals continue to defend and promote the trophy hunt as "well-managed," despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
04/26/2017 12:11 EDT
Those determined to advance industrial interests over all else often attack science. We've seen it in Canada, with a decade of cuts to research funding and scientific programs, muzzling of government scientists and rejection of evidence regarding issues such as climate change. We're seeing worse in the United States.
04/19/2017 09:17 EDT
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.
04/12/2017 01:56 EDT
The federal government recently created two marine protected areas in the Pacific region and has committed to increase ocean protection from one per cent to 10 by 2020. But will this be enough? Thinking of the ocean in square kilometres is just skimming the surface. Life thrives throughout the water column, top to bottom.
04/04/2017 09:33 EDT
Despite their efficiency and cost, fossil fuels aren't better energy sources than solar, wind and tide, even though renewables require separate storage for large-scale deployment. Fossil fuels pollute the environment, cause illness and death, accelerate global warming and damage or destroy ecosystems. They'll also eventually run out.
03/29/2017 03:26 EDT
As well as being a faulty assertion, pointing out the many uses for fossil fuels in an attempt to reject the need to reduce reliance on them is actually an argument in favour of burning less coal, gas and oil. Fossil fuels are useful for many purposes, so why extract, transport and burn them so rapidly and wastefully?
03/22/2017 05:44 EDT
Most Canadians have never been to the North, much less the remote Peel watershed, but many are enchanted by it, nourished even by the idea that we still have vast, unspoiled natural areas where wildlife and biodiversity continue to evade the touch of humankind. Places like the Peel are becoming increasingly rare as humans -- the most demanding species ever to live -- continue to erode the intact wilderness on which we depend for clean air, water and food.
03/15/2017 01:11 EDT
In this "post-truth" era, with a climate-change-denying U.S. administration, those who want to keep humanity wedded to outdated, polluting technologies have been emboldened. It's up to the rest of us to cut through the misinformation and help humanity get on track to a cleaner, healthier future.
03/09/2017 12:36 EST
Despite international initiatives like the 2015 Paris Agreement, based on decades of research and evidence from around the world about human-caused global warming, those who would risk human health and survival for short-term profits from a destructive sunset industry appear to have the upper hand -- for now.
02/28/2017 08:00 EST
Those monarchs travel thousands of kilometres, many from summer breeding grounds in Canada that once stretched from southern Saskatchewan to the Maritimes. As a child growing up in southwestern Ontario, I collected insects. Monarchs were abundant everywhere. The mass exodus through Point Pelee at summer's end was mesmerizing.
02/22/2017 05:49 EST
Water on First Nations reserves is a federal responsibility, but "severe underfunding" (in the government's own words) for water treatment plants, infrastructure, operations, maintenance and training has led to this deplorable situation. Canada has no federal standards or binding regulations governing First Nations' drinking water.
02/15/2017 07:43 EST
Seeing terms like "post-truth" and "alternative facts" gain traction in the news convinces me that politicians, media workers and readers could benefit from a refresher course in how science helps us understand the world. Reporting on science is difficult at the best of times. Trying to communicate complex ideas and distil entire studies into eye-catching headlines and brief stories can open the door to misinformation and limited understanding.
02/08/2017 04:17 EST
Nothing is more sacred than that which provides life and health: clean air, safe water, healthy soil, photosynthesis. Yet damaging natural systems on which those conditions depend is seen as irrelevant, external to economic considerations. Thoughtful, sensitive corporate executives can't let their love of children or nature affect their decisions because consequences like pollution and habitat degradation are simply the "costs of doing business."
02/01/2017 02:44 EST
It's absurd that so many people still work eight hours a day, five days a week -- or more -- with only a few weeks' vacation a year, often needing two incomes to support a household. Our economic system was developed when resources seemed plentiful if not inexhaustible, and physical infrastructure was lacking. We need an overhaul to meet today's conditions rather than those that existed decades ago when we were unaware of many of the potential negative consequences of our actions.
01/25/2017 07:05 EST
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more