Category Archives: Environment

The Quadra Project – A Moral Dilemma

We don’t usually consider the moral implications of our carbon dioxide emissions, but an article in The Economist (December 23, 2023) presents this issue in the bluntest of terms. How many people are dying as a result of our personal contribution to the global warming crisis?

The mathematics to calculate this are not complicated. Consider the per capita emissions of each country in the world, count the number of people globally who die as a direct consequence of climate change, and it’s possible to determine the responsibility that each person has for the death of others.

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Salmon Update: CAFO Conditions, Mass Die-Offs, Manufactured Risks and License Renewals

Scientists at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden recently concluded that some farmed salmon die from depression. (This may not be too surprising, given the conditions in which they are kept.) In other recent research, a team of US and Canadian scientists has charted an ominous trend: mass die-offs of farmed salmon are increasing in both frequency and scale. Some observers question whether the industry, after decades of growth, may be past its peak and about to decline.

Meanwhile, DFO suggests that salmon farming licenses should be renewed this summer for six years rather than the current standard term of two years — only five years after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a campaign promise to shut down net-pen salmon farming in BC altogether by 2025.

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West Coast multimillionaires gift land for parks and donate remainder of their fortune to philanthropy

Editor’s note: Scientists from the Hakai Institute have played a prominent role on Cortes Island, often in partnership with local organizations like the Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI), or Cortes Island Academy. They have also been frequently interviewed by local media like Folk U, Rochelle Baker of the National Observer and Cortes Currents.

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

When multimillionaires Eric Peterson and his wife Christina Munck launched their charity foundation more than two decades ago, the couple pledged to go to their deaths flat broke.

On Wednesday, Peterson and Munck made good on that longtime vow, gifting a chunk of pristine island coastline to the BC Parks Foundation and the bulk of their remaining fortune to the Hakai Institute and the Tula Foundation, which the pair created to leverage science and technology to tackle issues for the public good.

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The Quada Project: Beyond 1.5°C

The consensus of scientists is that limiting the global temperature rise of 1.5°C is no longer reachable, but limiting it to below 2.0°C is possible, according to an analysis of global information undertaken by the Inevitable Policy Response study from Britain (Jacob Thomae, New Scientist, 2 December 2023, “Keeping our Cool”). We were once on a path to 3.5°C, which has been reduced to 2.4°C by 2100. But the IPR study thinks that we have a 90% chance of holding the temperature increase to between 1.7 and 1.8°C, primarily because of the progress that has been made on green energy since the Paris Agreement in 2015. This is the good news.

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