Everywhere we go, we are greeted with the beauty of the natural world and the charm of the world’s cultures. However, this beauty and charm are tempered with the impact of human consumption and waste that also greets us everywhere we go. It constantly reminds us of the fragility of our planet and the carelessness of its people.
The greatest effect of this carelessness is on its waterways. As a result, industrial effluent pollutes its rivers and lakes, while plastic litter poisons its oceans and aquatic life. At the same time, increasingly sophisticated and destructive fishing practices have collapsed many of the species in its seas. Similarly, the world’s carbon-fueled economies continue to warm the oceans, further damaging coral reefs and other marine environments. Meanwhile, governments commit to voluntary and non-binding emissions targets.
But, it’s not all bad. The world and its oceans still offer a great deal of fascination, intrigue, adventure and romance that can be discovered in a responsible and productive manner. With some effort, we can improve ourselves by traveling the world, while leaving the people and places we visit in a better condition than we found them.
Starting in the Rocky Mountains and winding its way to Vancouver, the Fraser River is the largest producer of Sockeye salmon in the world. It passes through the entire southern half of British Columbia, bisecting its metropolis, and is a lifeline for the majority of BC’s population – human and otherwise. Wild salmon-spawning streams branch off its entire length, feeding everything everywhere they go. The Fraser River at New Westminster, about fifteen miles from its mouth, is a hive of industrial activity. Mills line the river and log booms cling to any available stretch of shore. There, the trees wait [...]
The threats to the planet’s shark populations are many and varied. They remained at the pinnacle of evolution – unchanged for millions of years – until superstitious and wasteful humans came along. Then things started changing for sharks, and not for the better. Today, they are demonized, stigmatized and hunted mercilessly – some to the point of extinction. The benefits to the planet that shark populations provide are also many and varied. As apex predators, they play a pivotal role in controlling and regulating fish populations, and maintaining healthy and thriving marine ecosystems. It is easy to see that the [...]
We wouldn’t get far in our day without it. Although it has only been around for less than a hundred years, its ubiquity compels our dependency on it. The vast majority of products manufactured today include it in some form or another, if they aren’t made out of it entirely. It is lightweight, durable, versatile, convenient and cheap. Human civilization has moved from the Stone Age, to the Copper and Bronze Ages, and finally to the Iron Age. For the last century, however, we have been living in the Plastic Age, and plastic pollution is now plaguing the planet. Despite [...]
The Future’s Here, We Are It, We Are On Our Own We have been put on notice – and it isn’t the first time. In 1992, The Union of Concerned Scientists – a collection of 1700 scientists from 71 countries, including the majority of Nobel Laureates – issued its first warning. It cautioned that “vast human misery” and an “irretrievably mutilated global home and planet” will result unless humanity affects a “great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it” by adopting a more sustainable and egalitarian approach to our existence. “We will leave this [...]