Category Archives: climate change

Why I’m giving away my carbon-tax rebate

Image: Smokestacks © Dori via Wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0

Canada has a new carbon tax – far too modest, but it’s a start.  Its implementation is an awkward mosaic across the country, but in my province of New Brunswick, it’s a federal tax* that’s coupled with a rebate (or “climate action incentive”, as it’s confusing called).

The rebate, appearing as a tax credit, on my 2018 income tax return.

Here’s (roughly) how this works: Continue reading

Advertisements

Why on Earth are flowers beautiful?

Image: Flowers, by Alvegaspar CC BY-SA 3.0 via wikimedia.org

If you watch science documentaries like Nova or The Nature of Things, you might get the feeling that what’s most exciting about science is all the questions scientists have answers to – all the things we’ve learned about how our universe ticks.  (It’s built right into the title of The Nature of Things.)  But what I love most about science, and especially biology, is how easy it is to ask a question that we don’t have the answer to.  Why are there so many species of beetles*, but so few of snakeflies?  Why does life use a basic set of 20 amino acids, not 18 or 26?  And one that has me completely stumped: why on Earth are flowers beautiful?

“Why are flowers beautiful” might sound like a trivial question, but I don’t think it is.  Continue reading