Ecoknowledge

Ecoknowledge

Some thoughts on ecology, evolution and economics

Freedom to tweet

Most people get their news from the internet. Censorship of the news is a serious threat to a free society.  Yet censorship on the internet is a complex affair.  In the United States, this revolves largely around section 230 in the Communications Decency Act.  This is the same section for which President Trump produced an… (read more)

The Maple Leaf Forever

Canadians are passionate about the maple leaf. This is curious since, as a plant species, the sugar maple is not representative of the country.  In fact, maples, in their various forms, are common throughout the northern hemisphere.  So, why Canada? Sugar maples are a common hardwood along the shores of the St. Lawrence River, where… (read more)

Thresholds and what to do when we reach them

During the COVID-19  outbreak, I will be posting information and hosting discussions related to my work with the Parks Canada Agency. The lack of access to internal documents makes this interim measure necessary. The information shared here is not classified.  The opinions expressed do not represent those of the Government of Canada. Well-considered thresholds in… (read more)

Arctic Science Community of Practice

During the COVID-19  outbreak, I will be posting information and hosting discussions related to my work with the Parks Canada Agency. The lack of access to internal documents makes this interim measure necessary. The information shared here is not classified.  The opinions expressed do not represent those of the Government of Canada. One of the… (read more)

An election primer on Canadian health care

This blog has long  been concerned about sustainable health care , in particular, Canadian health care. In the 2019 election, health care has taken a back seat to climate change and economic issues.  Still, the scope of public health care and the federal government’s role in assuring it is being discussed. Here, I offer a summary… (read more)

Black and White and Grey All Over

This post is written by my daughter , Suzette, thanks to whom I am now a grandfather! Watching the respect that my midwife has for obstetricians and vice versa has given me new hope for how science-based and ‘alternative’ medicine can work together and complement each other. Midwifery pulls from ancient knowledge of breath, touch,… (read more)

Wallets and whitecoats

Doctors provide an essential service: they make us well. Shouldn’t they be paid for this? More specifically, shouldn’t those who have wealth or foresight have better access to care than those who can’t or won’t prepare for injury or disease? These are the questions that challenge the concept of universal health care. Yet, except in… (read more)

Taking the measure of nature

The Système Internationale (or SI) offers a coherent and standard way of measuring nature. It is based on seven standard units for time, length, mass, electric current, temperature, brightness and amount of substance. This fussy, academic world has been roiled by passionate debate about the very idea of measurement. Rather than allowing units like the second (1.157… (read more)

Plastics: the problem or the solution?

My wife and I wrap cheese when we put it into our lunchbags.  I use plastic and she uses waxpaper. As the waxpaper is at least twice as thick as the low density polyethylene in my lunch bag, I initially create a smaller waste burden in our local landfill.  Of course, over time, the waxpaper… (read more)

What’s shaking in world trade?

A couple of years ago, I offered a synopsis of world trade patterns on the basis of the Economist’s Pocket World in Figures.  Here is an update of that post for 2018 with a bit of a forecast of how the trade deals (or lack thereof) we keep hearing about might shake things up in… (read more)