Posts in Science & The Environment
The power of positive thinking: The role of optimism in today’s environmental chaos.

We all know what it feels like to be presented with a barrage of negative news the moment we turn on the TV or radio -- it can be overwhelming. It’s hard enough for most people to battle daily hardships and hear about violence going on across the globe. The last thing anyone needs is a reminder than the planet is doomed.

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The Skeptical Environmentalist #1: Are “shade balls” the last hope for California’s water?

When we think about large-scale geo-engineering, we likely imagine the more permanent (or at least virtually irreversible) methods of changing the environmental features of our biosphere, such as shooting aerosol particles high into our atmosphere to mitigate the effects of a warming climate.  And not surprisingly, such initiatives strike much controversy, even among prominent environmentalists – and understandably so.  There are dozens of potential unintended consequences that could occur, not to mention the ‘unknown unknowns’ – adverse events we are not even able to fathom and thus cannot account for in the planning phase of such projects. 

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Metro Vancouver's water shortage: Affecting more than your home-grown tomatoes.

Many Vancouverites would have once considered the idea of water shortage in this area impossible. This mindset is reflected in the 350 litres of water per day consumed by Canadians, while Europeans use an average of only 150 litres. My mother used to say that we’ll never run out of water in the Greater Vancouver area - but this year shows us it just might be possible.

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What does the No vote mean for the future of transportation in the region?

This was originally published as part of Moving Forward, an independent journalism project produced by Discourse Media.

Is tolling drivers to pay for transportation infrastructure in Metro Vancouver’s future? After residents overwhelmingly voted against a 0.5 per cent PST hike and the provincial government ruled out using a share of the carbon tax to fund public transportation expansion, road pricing is one of the few remaining options on the table.

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National parks and climate change: An unlikely connection?

Although we often label transportation, energy consumption, industry, and agriculture as major culprits behind global climate change, there are other less obvious factors to consider – including patterns of human tourism.  Interestingly, the increasing popularity of tourism to locations of ecological interest, such as National Parks, may also contribute to climate change patterns.  At the same time, however, the opposite is true: climate change may also affect tourist patterns.

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