Author David Suzuki

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Canadian climate change opinion is polarized, and research shows the divide is widening. The greatest predictor of people’s outlook is political affiliation. This means people’s climate change perceptions are being increasingly driven by divisive political agendas rather than science and concern for our collective welfare. Over the past year, the Alberta Narratives Project gathered input from a broad range of Albertans (teachers, faith groups, health professionals, farmers, artists, industry, environmentalists, etc.) to better understand how they feel about public discourse on global warming. Participants said they want less blame and a more open, balanced and respectful conversation. Many don’t see themselves…

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The U.S. president may think global warming is a hoax perpetrated by China, but his administration has concluded Earth’s average temperature will rise 4 C over pre-industrial levels by 2100 if we fail to address the causes. Overwhelming scientific evidence concludes that such a rise would be catastrophic for humanity and many other animals and plants on this small blue planet. The 500-page statement detailing this frightening scenario, prepared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wasn’t a warning, though. It was meant to justify the president’s decision to stall federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. The…

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News that Environment and Climate Change Canada is considering “priority threat management” to assess endangered species is troubling. The method is often used to inform a “triage” approach in which some species are abandoned to focus resources on others ranked higher priority. The federal government is legally required to oversee recovery of all species at risk, not just those it chooses to prioritize. It makes sense to model recovery measures at an ecosystem scale and forecast budgets accordingly, in part to determine the most cost-effective ways to advance recovery efforts. But economic models shouldn’t be used to determine that it’s…

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In these turbulent political times, inspirational stories are more important than ever. Here’s one about how people power is fuelling a surprising comeback. It starts with a quiet disappearance that gradually builds to a historic wave of orange. And it may offer a balm for the seemingly endless barrage of negative news. Folks in Eastern Canada may have noticed something joyous in the air this summer: an abundance of monarch butterflies. After a couple of decades of decline, it appears monarchs had a great summer, culminating in an unusually strong migration over the past few of weeks, with ribbons of…

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In 2012, North Carolina’s Coastal Resources Commission warned that sea levels there could rise by a metre over the next century. The warning was based in part on U.S. Geological Survey findings that “sea level rise along the portion of the East Coast between North Carolina and Massachusetts is accelerating at three to four times the global rate” and that sea level in the region “would rise up to 11.4 inches higher than the global average rise by the end of the 21st century,” according to ABC News. It was meant to help the state prepare its long, wide, low-lying…

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Over the past few months, heat records have broken worldwide. In early July, the temperature in Ouargla, Algeria, reached 51.3 C, the highest ever recorded in Africa! Temperatures in the eastern and southwestern United States and southeastern Canada have also hit record highs. In Montreal, people sweltered under temperatures of 36.6 C, the highest ever recorded there, as well as record-breaking extreme midnight heat and humidity, an unpleasant experience shared by people in Ottawa. Dozens of people have died from heat-related causes in Quebec alone.

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The fossil fuel era must end, or it will spell humanity’s end. The threat isn’t just from pollution and accelerating climate change. Rapid, wasteful exploitation of these valuable resources has also led to a world choked in plastic. Almost all plastics are made from fossil fuels, often by the same companies that produce oil and gas. Our profligate use of plastics has created swirling masses in ocean gyres. It’s worse than once thought. New research concludes that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 16 times larger than previously estimated, with 79,000 tonnes of plastic churning through 1.6 million square kilometres…

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To its credit, the Forest Products Association of Canada recognizes climate change is a serious threat to forests and habitat, and has vowed the sector it represents “is doing its part to fight climate change through work in our forests, at our mills and through the products we make.” But it appears the association has an ulterior motive. Its climate commitments are spelled out on a website page that focuses on the role of climate change in caribou population declines, and argues a federal strategy to protect at-risk caribou, in part through habitat management, “won’t work and will hurt local…

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One of the world’s best-known climate scientists is discouraged that almost 40 years of study and warnings haven’t convinced humanity to adequately address the climate crisis. But James Hansen understands why we’ve stalled. “As long as fossil fuels seem to be the cheapest energy to the public, they’ll keep using them,” Hansen recently told Bob McDonald of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks. “We’re up against an industry that would prefer to just continue to do things the way that they have been because they’re making a lot of money.” His solution: Ensure the price of fossil fuels factors in the costs…

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