Fishing is as emblematic to Canada as ice hockey. It’s also a way of life with a long tradition in coastal Indigenous communities. But since European contact, it’s been all but eliminated as an economic development opportunity for them.
Browsing: David Suzuki
Now what? Many people in the United States and around the world are dismayed that a bigoted, misogynistic, climate change denier has been elected to the highest office in what is still the world’s most powerful nation. His party controls the House and Senate, meaning pro-fossil-fuel, anti-climate-action representatives who reject overwhelming and alarming scientific evidence will hold the reins. It will be a government firmly in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry. But global warming isn’t going to pause for four years. It’s going to accelerate. Do we give up?
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. There’s a strong correlation. A comprehensive report from the World Wildlife Federation and the Zoological Society of London found that wild animal populations dropped by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, and will likely reach a 67 per cent drop by 2020 if nothing is done to prevent the decline.
In July, a pipeline leak near Maidstone, Saskatchewan, spilled about 250,000 litres of diluted oil sands bitumen into the North Saskatchewan River, killing wildlife and compromising drinking water for nearby communities, including Prince Albert. It was one of 11 spills in the province over the previous year.
As leaves change colour and drop from trees, and a chill in the air signals the approach of winter, many of us are thinking of the fall harvest and hearty soups and dishes that will soon warm our bellies.
I’ve often thought politicians inhabit a parallel universe. Maybe it’s just widespread cognitive dissonance, coupled with a lack of imagination, that compels them to engage in so much contradictory behaviour. Trying to appease so many varying interests isn’t easy.
In late September, Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook died tragically in Ottawa. Pootoogook was an award-winning illustrator from Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Her ink-and-crayon depictions of everyday life in the north — families sitting to eat a meal of seal meat or shopping at the Arctic co-op — received international acclaim. In contrast to the idealized vision many Canadians have of the north, of majestic rock and ice landscapes or charismatic wildlife like polar bears, Pootoogook’s drawings often reflected the crushing poverty northern families face and its devastating impacts on their health and well-being.
Salmon have been swimming in Pacific Northwest waters for at least seven million years, as indicated by fossils of large saber-tooth salmon found in the area. During that time, they’ve been a key species in intricate, interconnected coastal ecosystems, bringing nitrogen and other nutrients from the ocean and up streams and rivers to spawning grounds, feeding whales, bears and eagles and fertilizing the magnificent coastal rainforests along the way.
In July, Solar Impulse 2 became the first airplane to fly around the world without using fuel. At the same time, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been working on electric planes. These developments mean air travel and transport could become more environmentally friendly, with less pollution and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and planes would be quieter.