Winter 2017/2018

Time for Reconcili-Action

Healthy Living Now | healthy living | healthy living Ontario | healthy living Canada | wellness | wellness Ontario | wellness Canada | fitness | fitness Ontario | fitness Canada | healthy eating | healthy eating Ontario | healthy eating Canada | mindfulness | mindfulness Ontario | mindfulness Canada | lifestyle | Ontario lifestyle | Canadian lifestyle | family | Ontario family | Ontario family magazine | Canadian family |  David Suzuki | Dr. Natasha Turner, N.D. | Dr. Oz  | living green | green living | green living Ontario | green living Canada | green living magazine | family strategies | family strategies Ontario | family strategies Canada | products new & now | healthy products | healthy products Ontario | healthy products Canada | lifestyle products | lifestyle products Ontario | lifestyle products Canada | healthy living products | Ontario healthy living products | Canadian healthy living products |  beauty | beauty products | Ontario beauty | Ontario beauty products | Canadian beauty | Canadian beauty products | fashion | fashion products | Ontario fashion | Ontario fashion products | Canadian fashion | Canadian fashion products | home | home products | Ontario home | Ontario home products | Canadian home | Canadian home products  | Food | Healthy Habits |   Winter 2017/2018 |   Time for Reconcili-Action | Dianne Dowling

What can be done about the past and present injustices dealt to Indigenous people in Canada?

Among its 94 Calls to Action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called on federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.

It also called upon the Government of Canada to develop a national action plan, strategies and other concrete measures to achieve the goals of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

What is this Declaration and what weight does it carry?
It is an international human rights document adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007, after more than 20 years of negotiations. Its 46 articles affirm the collective and individual human rights of Indigenous peoples around the world on issues such as culture, identity, religion, language, health, education and community – issues that are central to the circumstances of Indigenous people in Canada.

(For instance, Article 7, part 2: “Indigenous peoples ... shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.” Think of the tragedies of residential schools and the “Sixties Scoop”.)

A UN General Assembly declaration is a document expressing political commitment on matters of global significance. It is not legally binding and is not signed or ratified by individual countries.

Initially, Canada was one of four nations (along with Australia, New Zealand and the United States) that voted against the Declaration.

However, in November 2010, Canada issued a statement of support endorsing the principles of the UN Declaration. In November 2015, the Prime Minister of Canada asked the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and other ministers, in their mandate letters, to implement the Declaration. And in May 2016, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs announced Canada is now a full supporter of the Declaration.

Despite these federal government statements of support and endorsement, Canada has not yet passed legislation implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

In April 2016, Member of Parliament Romeo Saganash, (NDP critic for Intergovernmental Indigenous Affairs) tabled legislation (Bill C-262) to ensure that the laws of Canada respect the Declaration. Mr. Saganash, who spent 23 years at the UN negotiating the Declaration, says on his website that Bill C-262 provides a clear path to adopt and implement the Declaration in a “principled, systematic, cooperative, transparent and accountable” way.

This is the second time that Mr. Saganash has tabled a bill calling for Canada to give the Declaration a legal basis in this country. When the Conservatives were in power, his earlier bill was supported by the NDP, Liberals and Greens. He has called on the Liberal government to support his bill, which is endorsed by Indigenous peoples and Canadians from coast to coast.

If you agree with this effort to put legal teeth into the promises to Indigenous people in Canada, ask your MP to support Bill C-262 as it proceeds through Parliament.

For contact information for Members of Parliament: ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members (If you don’t know who your MP is, there is a search bar on this page; type in your postal code to have him or her identified.)

Go to nfu.ca for more information.

 
Healthy-Living-Now-National-Farmers-Union-Local-316.png
 

Originally Published: January 11, 2018

Author opinion disclosure.jpg

about the author.jpg

Dianne Dowling, Contributor and President, Local 316, National Farmers’ Union (Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox-Addington Counties)



U.S. Climate Report Leaves Little Room for Doubt

Healthy Living Now | healthy living | healthy living Ontario | healthy living Canada | wellness | wellness Ontario | wellness Canada | fitness | fitness Ontario | fitness Canada | healthy eating | healthy eating Ontario | healthy eating Canada | mindfulness | mindfulness Ontario | mindfulness Canada | lifestyle | Ontario lifestyle | Canadian lifestyle | family | Ontario family | Ontario family magazine | Canadian family |  David Suzuki | Dr. Natasha Turner, N.D. | Dr. Oz  | living green | green living | green living Ontario | green living Canada | green living magazine | family strategies | family strategies Ontario | family strategies Canada | products new & now | healthy products | healthy products Ontario | healthy products Canada | lifestyle products | lifestyle products Ontario | lifestyle products Canada | healthy living products | Ontario healthy living products | Canadian healthy living products |  beauty | beauty products | Ontario beauty | Ontario beauty products | Canadian beauty | Canadian beauty products | fashion | fashion products | Ontario fashion | Ontario fashion products | Canadian fashion | Canadian fashion products | home | home products | Ontario home | Ontario home products | Canadian home | Canadian home products  | Environmental | Healthy Lifestyle |   Winter 2017/2018 |   U.S. Climate Report Leaves Little Room for Doubt | David Suzuki Foundation Ian Hanington

It seems odd that a major U.S. government climate report released November 3, 2107 didn’t receive more media attention. But then, the main thing newsworthy about the Climate Science Special Report is that it was released at all, apparently without political interference.

Although the U.S. government is required by law (enacted by President George H.W. Bush in 1989) to report to the public about “climate change and its physical impacts” every four years, the current administration is openly hostile to climate science and scientists. According to White House sources quoted in the New York Times, President Donald Trump was “barely aware of the report’s existence.”

The report, released by 13 federal agencies under the direction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, examines the available science. It was written by dozens of government and non- government scientists, reviewed by the independent National Academy of Sciences and approved by the National Economic Council.

It concludes we are living in the warmest period in the history of modern civilization, with the last three years being the warmest on record, that we are seeing more “record-breaking, climate-related weather extremes” and that all the evidence points to human activities, “especially emissions of greenhouse gases,” as the main cause.

Climate change should be in the headlines every day until everyone takes it seriously, but the report’s conclusions are not new.

“Thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water vapour,” the reports says.

It’s hard to imagine anyone could read this report, or read about it, and not be convinced we have an urgent problem and that failing to put everything we can into resolving it puts our survival at risk!

And yet, the government overseeing this report is filled with people who reject climate science. The president himself has called it a hoax. He’s appointed climate science deniers to key positions, repealed and weakened environmental laws, had climate change references removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s website and barred EPA scientists from presenting climate change reports. Many delegates at the UN Climate Conference underway in Bonn, Germany, have condemned Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. from the Paris Agreement.

The official White House statement on the report was a rehash of tired climate science–denial talking points. White House spokesperson Raj Shah said, “The climate has changed and is always changing.” He then went on to cast doubt regarding theclimate’s sensitivity to greenhouse gas emissions.

But the report also shows that, despite its apparent descent into a post-truth, anti-science dystopia, the United States still maintains sanity in some of its major institutions. Organizations like NASA, NOAA, the EPA and the Department of Defense, along with numerous non-governmental scientific institutions, are continuing to examine the real trends and risks of a planet warming rapidly because of human activity.

It also shows we must do all we can to work toward solutions — economic, technological, philosophical and more — and to only support politicians who demonstrate the foresight, imagination and courage to take on this crisis with the force and intensity it merits.

One frustration of studying and communicating about climate issues is knowing that so many solutions exist and are being developed, but that widespread denial of the problem prevents us from moving beyond outdated technologies and economic systems.

That people who profit from those outdated technologies would do everything they can to sow doubt and confusion is not surprising. That a government elected to serve the people would reject the findings of its own scientists and researchers from around the world to the detriment of human health, the economy and the environment is an intergenerational crime.

 

Originally Published: January 8, 2018

Author opinion disclosure.jpg

about the author.jpg

David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington

+ Read Bio

Dr. David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, is an award- winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster. He is renowned for his radio and television programs that explain the complexities of the natural sciences in a compelling and easily understood way. Dr. Suzuki is also recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology. He is now Professor Emeritus at UBC.



Environmentalism is a Way of Being, Not a Discipline

Healthy Living Now | healthy living | healthy living Ontario | healthy living Canada | wellness | wellness Ontario | wellness Canada | fitness | fitness Ontario | fitness Canada | healthy eating | healthy eating Ontario | healthy eating Canada | mindfulness | mindfulness Ontario | mindfulness Canada | lifestyle | Ontario lifestyle | Canadian lifestyle | family | Ontario family | Ontario family magazine | Canadian family |  David Suzuki | Dr. Natasha Turner, N.D. | Dr. Oz  | living green | green living | green living Ontario | green living Canada | green living magazine | family strategies | family strategies Ontario | family strategies Canada | products new & now | healthy products | healthy products Ontario | healthy products Canada | lifestyle products | lifestyle products Ontario | lifestyle products Canada | healthy living products | Ontario healthy living products | Canadian healthy living products |  beauty | beauty products | Ontario beauty | Ontario beauty products | Canadian beauty | Canadian beauty products | fashion | fashion products | Ontario fashion | Ontario fashion products | Canadian fashion | Canadian fashion products | home | home products | Ontario home | Ontario home products | Canadian home | Canadian home products  | Environmental | Healthy Lifestyle |   Winter 2017/2018 |   Environmentalism is a Way of Being, Not a Discipline   | David Suzuki Foundation Ian Hanington

I’m often introduced as an environmentalist. I prefer to be called a father, grandfather, scientist or author, as these termsprovide insight into my motivation. Environmentalism isn’t a discipline or specialty like law, medicine, plumbing, music or art. It’s a way of seeing our place in the world and recognizing that our survival, health and happiness are inextricably dependent on nature. To confront today’s environmental crises, everyone — garage mechanics, construction workers, dentists, politicians and judges — has to see the world through an environmental lens.

I recently attended an event with a panel of outstanding athletes and artists who had become activists on various environmental issues. The moderator asked what role awe had played in their commitment. Their answers revealed how inspiring it is to experience that sense of awe in the face of nature’s beauty.

I couldn’t help thinking that two more words should have been added to the discussion: humility and gratitude. As the panel grappled with the issue of ecological degradation, the idea emerged that all we need is to be more aware so we can use science and technology to solve the crises.

We’re clever animals — so smart that we think we’re in command. We forget that our inventions have created many crises. Atomic bombs represented an incredible scientific and technological achievement, releasing the power within atoms. But when the United States dropped them on Japan in 1945, scientists didn’t know about radioactive fallout, electromagnetic pulses or the potential for nuclear winter. Those were discovered after we used the weapons.

Swiss chemist Paul Mueller won a Nobel Prize in 1948 for his discovery that DDT was a potent insecticide. Many years after the compound was put into widespread use, biologists discovered a previously unknown phenomenon: biomagnification up the food chain.

When people started using chlorofluorocarbons, no one knew they would persist in the environment and float into the upper atmosphere where the sun’s ultraviolet rays would cleave away chlorine-free radicals. As a geneticist, I only learned about the protective ozone layer when other scientists reported that chlorine from CFCs was breaking it down.

Our knowledge of the biological, chemical and physical components of the biosphere and their interconnections and interactions is too limited to enable us to anticipate the consequences of our inventions and intrusions. Nevertheless, we look to our creativity to lead us to a better world with nanotechnology, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, geoengineering and space travel.

What we need is humility. As clever as we are, nature is far more creative. Over 3.8 billion years, every species has had to evolve ways to find food, water and energy, and to dispose of wastes, find mates, reproduce, avoid predators and fend off parasites and infections. Nature offers myriad solutions that we have yet to discover. If we had the humility to learn from nature, using an approach called “biomimicry,” we would find far more and better solutions.

The Canadian Cancer Society recently reported that half our population will develop cancer. This isn’t normal, but it shouldn’t surprise us. After all, we have synthesized hundreds of thousands of new molecules that have never existed on Earth. Most have never been tested for their biological effects and tens of thousands are now used in products and enter our waste stream.

When we dump this vast assortment of new molecules into air, water and soil, we can’t anticipate how they might interact within living organisms or what their long-term consequences might be. Throwing more money into cancer treatment and research will not alone stem the disease. To arrest the cancer crisis (and it is a crisis), we must stop using the biosphere as a garbage can or sewer for these new molecules.

Along with humility, we should be grateful for nature’s generosity, something I’ve learned from Indigenous peoples. They acknowledge the source of their well-being, clean air, clean water, clean food and clean energy — all things that are created, cleansed or replenished by the web of life around us. In the urbanized industrial world we inhabit, we tend to think the economy is the source of all that matters to us, and so we have little regard for what we’re doing to the natural systems that sustain us. It’s time to see with new eyes.

 

Originally Published: January 6, 2018

Author opinion disclosure.jpg

about the author.jpg

David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington

+ Read Bio

Dr. David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, is an award- winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster. He is renowned for his radio and television programs that explain the complexities of the natural sciences in a compelling and easily understood way. Dr. Suzuki is also recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology. He is now Professor Emeritus at UBC.