Return of Misinforma

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Back by seasonal demand, it’s the return of Return of Misinforma: the show that turns up the heat on environmentalists. (For best results, return on April 1st).

We ask the questions that are too controversial for you to ask yourself—like what to do with Iceland? Do we really need water? Plus a special investigative feature on Canada’s radical, extremist environmentalists. And of course, it’s time for the annual Ezra Levant Award for Excellence in Excellence in Journalism!

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What’s Pissed Off Chris

Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland

Terra Misinforma’s regular shock columnist Chris Chang-Yen Phillips has an idea he’d like to get off his chest. It’s about a certain Scandinavian nation that’s become a hot tourist destination for those in search of a union of lava fields and icy slopes.

Reflections on Water: A Debate

Another great use for water.

What’s water really good for besides hockey, hosing down activists, and raining on parades? As far as natural resources go, water’s just a drop in the bucket, and we’ve decided to wash our hands of it. But unlike most media outlets, we try to get you both sides of every story, even if the other is patently wrong. So, to stand up for the big blue—or green, or whatever colour gets you hippies out of bed these days—eco-conscious Canadian Nelly von Hoser joined us in studio for a short and shallow conservation—errr—conversation on the merits of water.

Spawns of Seitan: Canada’s Terrifying Ecoterrorists

You hear news on Terra Misinforma all the time about the misguided misdeeds of Canada’s environmentalists. Fortunately, our great government is starting to catch on. In recent years, politicians, pundits and police have all identified environmentalists as the leading threat to the nation. To tell us more, we’ve got Trevor Chow-Fraser, who went undercover in his fight to remain vigilant against domestic extremism in the name of environmentalism.

Our most excellent awards segment

(Photo Credit: http://www.canada.com/Ezra%2BLevant%2Bbrings%2Bback%2BMuhammad%2Bcartoons%2Bduring%2Blaunch/4637742/story.html)

The one and only Ezra Levant.

It’s that time of year when we celebrate the best of the best. Yes, it’s time to hand out the Ezra Levant Award for Excellence in Excellence in Journalism. In a tribute to the paragon of journalism that we, as Canadians, dream of reaching in our own work, the Ezra Levant Award for Excellence in Excellence goes to…

(Well, you’ll just have to listen to find out silly)

Women In Agriculture + Fracking In Fox Creek

(c) Gppande on Wikipedia

It’s interesting what you can see when you frame it through a different lens. Feeding the world is a problem, but would you have guessed that sexism is part of it? And when you think of earthquakes, do you think of oil and gas? In this episode, we explore the phenomena of food shortages and “seismic events” through these lenses.

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Women in Agriculture

We’re going to have a tough time feeding the world in coming decades. Already, 800 million people are malnourished, according to the UN’s World Food Programme. That’s one in nine people worldwide.

Climate change and water shortages will only make things more difficult. We’ll have to find ways to grow more food. We’ll need more land, new farming techniques, pesticides and seeds.

And we’ll have to strengthen gender equality too. According to the UN, women’s inability to access resources keeps up to 150 million people hungry. In Africa and South America, giving women more say over agriculture could make all the difference. Trevor Chow-Fraser speaks to Dr. Amy Kaler of the University of Alberta, as well as Jane Frances Asaba and Selina Rodriguez from Edmonont’s Lady Flower Garden.

Fracking-Related “Seismic Events”

When you think of earthquakes the first place to come to mind certainly isn’t Alberta, But thats exactly what happened in Fox Creek this year, Gregg Wolff finds out what led to an earthquake in the middle of the prairies, and if fracking had anything to do with it.

What’s Happening

Water City 2040 – March 24 @ 6 PM, Guelph

WaterCity 2040 is a scenario planning initiative that launched last year. It aims to bring community and decision makers together to develop strategies to solve problems the water system may face in the future. Come out to be a part of the 25 year water vision.

Green Neighbours 21 – March 25 @ 7 PM, Toronto

Come out with your ideas about how we can act locally against global warming. The time has come to make real plans to fight this global emergency. The event will be discussion based, and everyone will be able to voice their concerns.

Panel on Environmental Careers – March 26 @ 6 PM, Toronto

The Centre for Social Innovation will be having a discussion panel on Environmental Careers. The panelists will discuss how you can step into the environmental sustainability field. The four panelists come from diverse backgrounds, but they’re all currently working in the field. The panel is put together by the Conservation Council of Ontario along with the Career Skills Incubator. Note that due to overwhelming demand, seating will be on a first come first served basis, so arrive early!

What’s Driving Hybrid Sales? Which Moss Is Boss?

Macro photo of delicate orange and green moss.

We wondered who is purchasing hybrid cars, so we asked those who would know best: car dealers. And we wondered what worlds are hiding inside a moss, so we asked he who would know best: Edmonton’s resident Moss Man. In between, we consider the rash of recent train derailments by pitting pipelines against railways to see which is best.

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Who’s Buying Hybrid Cars?

At this point, hybrid vehicles have been on the market for a while. The Toyota Prius began selling in Canada fifteen years ago. But despite the constantly improving technology, electric and hybrid electric vehicles account for less than 5% of the automotive market. Adoption is proving to be slow.

To examine what’s happening at the point of sale, Terra Informa’s Carson Fong sat down with a few members of the Lexus of Edmonton team. Wayne Chak, a sales consultant at the dealership, and Matt Miller, the general manager, spoke about the trends they’re seeing with their clients.

Moss: It’s Boss

Let it not be said that mosses are less fascinating that other, more impressively plumed species of flora. For some nature nerds, they are still plenty interesting. Tasmia Nishat caught up with Edmonton’s own “Moss Man,” Dr. René Belland of the University of Alberta’s renewable resources department. They discussed his passion for this plant and the legal troubles of protecting rare mosses.

Did Roundup Ruin Gluten?

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What’s with the spike in gluten-related illnesses? This week, we take a look at glyphosate and ask if it’s the cause of so many people’s diet troubles. We’ve also got the latest episode of Science Faction, where we’ll learn about strange signals from deep in outer space.

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Is Celiac Caused by Roundup?

Danielle Dolgoy connected with Ali Kenefick, a graduate student from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. Ali’s research focuses on nutritional epidemiology – the study of food-related illnesses. Her own struggles with Celiac disease led her to zero in on gluten and the recent spike in gluten-related illnesses. What she discovered, and what many researchers are coming to conclude, is that a seemingly innocuous chemical that has come to dominate the North American industrial agriculture marketplace, is most likely the culprit responsible for all the IBS.

Science Faction: Space Bursts

On this episode of Science Faction, we learn about strange signals from space that suddenly appear and then disappear without a trace. We hear from astrophysicist Dr. Victoria Kaspi from McGill University. If you like what you hear, be sure to check out the other Science Faction episodes.

What’s Happening

Renewable Energy 101 Webinar – Wednesday March 11th 6PM EST

On Wednesday, March 11, there will be a webinar about Ontario’s renewable energy system. Renewable Energy 101 will cover the basics of generation, as well as the opportunities for co-ops and communities to participate. The thirty minute webinar starts at 6PM Eastern time, and there will be time for questions afterwards. Sign up here.

Business Beyond Tomorrow 2015 – Friday March 13, Montreal

Concordia University’s John Molson Sustainable Business Group and Enactus Concordia want to unleash your innovative mind!! The conference will start off with a speaker series revolving around the topics of entrepreneurship, marketing, and sustainability. Then, there will be a 3 course meal. The event will close out with a networking cocktail where students will pitch business projects in competition for $1000 in start-up funding. Tickets are $15, and you can register here.

Food Frenzy

Three hot dogs on a plate with toppings. (c) Sunbeam60 on Wikipedia.

Routine things we do can be so fraught. For example, eating. In this episode, we talk reducing waste, food trucks, and whether organic, local, non-GMO, etc. is the way to go.

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No Meat Left Behind

Many different cultures have been using… “interesting” parts of the animal in their cooking for a long time now. But the concept is only barely penetrating North American culture, where our appetite for meat revolves around nice, expensive cuts. Brayden Kozak, head chef and co-owner of Three Boars Eatery in Edmonton, aims to make delicious dishes with meat that might seem a little strange to us. The result? For his suppliers, it means less meat that gets thrown out. For his customers, it means unique plates that excite and delight. And for him? It means a very very busy restaurant. Terra Informa’s Carson Fong got a chance to speak with him.

Note: In the audio, Brayden’s name is mis-pronounced as Branden and not Brayden.

Hwkr’s Market

In the middle of a long, cold Canadian winter, how’s a food truck vendor supposed to put food on their table? Well for a few days out of the year, they can sell their tasty wares at an event called the Hawkers Market. Started in Vancouver, Hawkers Market is now hosting events in Calgary too. And last year, they were even holding events in Edmonton.

Danielle Dolgoy and Trevor Chow-Fraser checked it out, almost exactly one year ago.

Jayson Lusk on Food Culture

Jayson Lusk is an agricultural economist at Oklahoma State University. His work tries to understand why people buy the food they do. What makes someone want to buy local, or organic, or just stick with groceries from Walmart?

This is a really important issue for Jayson, as it is for all of us. But he might be sitting on the other side of the fence from some of the other people in today’s episode. That’s because he doesn’t see any inherent good in organic or local food. To him, it’s choice a personal choice we can make.

As an economist, looking from a birds eye view, food policy is already so complicated. Countries are worried about their food security, especially given the environmental inconsistency of farming. And hardly anyone wants to be a farmer or rancher in North America these days. Governments are hard pressed to keep existing mainstream farmers happy and productive.

So for Jayson Lusk, public policy should support modern agriculture. As for those foodies pushing for more local, organic and niche foods? Tune in to find out what he had to say.

What’s Happening

Smart Grid Live Webchat with Environmental Commissioner of Ontario – Tuesday March 2nd @ 2 PM, Toronto ON

The Commissioner will be hosting a live chat to talk about his recent Smart Grid report, and have a discussion of smart grid policy progress in Ontario. Come and learn more about Ontario’s possible sustainable energy future. Topics include selling back to the grid, integration of smart phone applications with power, timing charging of electric vehicles when the price is lowest, among others.

Seedy Saturday – Saturday March 7th from 11 AM – 3PM, Toronto ON

Toronto Urban Growers (TUG) and Greenest City is organizing an event that combines environmental workshops with seed and gardening supply stands. It will be taking place at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church: it is fully accessible, and is pay-what-you-can.

Landowner Workshop – Thursday March 5th from 7 PM – 9 PM, Portland ON

If you have some idle land and are interesting in growing a forest on it, there will be a workshop that offers information on forest management and stewardship, tree planting subsidies and other financial incentives for establishing and managing your forests. Forestry experts will provide presentations on topics such as tools for managing your new trees, invasive species, shoreline planting for improved water quality, and more. If you’re interested, register here.

What Graphs Cannot Tell

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This week, we’re using art to build relationships with nature. Becca Lawton is a natural scientist and river guide who also writes creatively. Stefan Thompson has made the jump toward environmentally conscious art.

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What Graphs Cannot Tell

Many scientists are uncomfortable speaking about what their work means without sticking to the bounds of their data. But Rebecca Lawton is both a natural scientist and a creative writer. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke to her in Edmonton, where she served as the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Humanities, Social Sciences, and Fine Arts at the University of Alberta.

Eyeopener: “Back to Normal”

From time to time we bring you Eye-Openers, moments when people share a big realisation they’ve had. Today, we’ll bring you a moment with Eric, an engineer in Edmonton. He’s been reflecting on the recent downturn in the price of oil—and how it’s changing—or not changing—his industry.

Stefan Thompson

When you become too familiar with the old, creating something new can be challenging. You have to grapple with the unknown. Change is hard! Canadian artist Stefan Thompson was able to shift his focus towards environmental consciousness, with great results. Stefan works in several mediums, and is starting to explore natural sculpture. Terra Informer Yvette Thompson spoke with Stefan about his art, his inspiration, and what he believes we can learn from his eco experiment.

What’s Happening

The Sierra Club BC is meeting on Wednesday, February 25th at 5pm, at the Heartwood Community Cafe in Vancouver. They are a non-profit environmental organization that works to protect BC’s wilderness and ecosystems. Come out to find out what they’re up to these days, and how you can get involved.

The Living Centre is putting on a weekend course in London, Ontario, on February 28 and March 1. Permaculture is an ecological approach to design that can be applied to creating resilient, stable, and productive communities. The workshop has a mix of theory and hands on exercises. The focuse will be on the creation of a forest garden.

The Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative Bee-Day is on Saturday, February 28th! Come out to the annual daylong workshop to learn about urban beekeeping. They’ll cover topics like equipment, bee friendly gardens, wild bee conservation, and hive management. This is a ticketed event, and your registration includes breakfast and lunch. Don’t miss out on your chance to be a Queen B.

Kite Mapping & Winter Cycling

Woman holds up a camera by strings, like a puppet.

Timo Perälä of the Winter Cycling Federation convinces us that riding your two wheeler when it’s 40 below isn’t so hardcore after all. Then, Ann Chen from Public Lab takes a group of map enthusiasts into the cold to make homebrew aerial maps.

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We Can Be Winter Cyclers

The president of the Winter Cycling Federation, Timo Perälä, was recently in Edmonton for the Winter Cities Shakeup. He’s from Oulu, Finland and winter cycling is just a fact of life there, part of people’s daily routines. Timo thinks that if we stop labelling winter cycling as a niche culture here in North America, more people will get into it. He spoke to Carson Fong and Trevor Chow-Fraser.

DIY Google Maps Could Save Habitats

Ann Chen is a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Alberta and a member of Public Lab. They’re a group that’s making it super easy for anyone to produce high resolution, satellite style maps. Trevor Chow-Fraser met up with Ann Chen and one of her workshops. With point-n-shoot cameras, duct-tape, pop bottles and a kite, she soon had the group shooting maps out of a cold winter sky. Better yet, she explained how those maps can be used to protect fragile environments and hold polluters to account.

If you want to learn how to make your own aerial mapping tools, Ann Chen might be traveling through your town soon. From February 14 to March 7, she is travelling up BC’s inside passage, making stops in Bella Bella and Bella Coola. Then, from March through early May, she will be in Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Hartley Bay and Haida Gwaii.

Follow Ann Chen at pipelinemapping.tumblr.com.

We’re Bringing Sexy Back

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We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day the only way we know how. We dive into the worlds of environmental activism, conservation and sustainable food, finding love and lust behind the headlines. It’s the return of The Sexy Show.

We find out if sex sells when the product is animal rights. We sample that classic love-drug known as chocolate. And we uncover the terrible cost of certain rumored aphrodisiacs, and the passionate conservationists trying to undo the damage.

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The Naked Tooth

From clothes to cars and booze to shoes, sex in advertising is so widespread that you can hardly swing a neutered cat without hitting a half-naked model trying to sell you something. The whole notion that “sex sells” has become an axiom in modern marketing, so much so that it seems like the only “madmen” out there are the ones deliberately avoiding it. But can sex effectively sell something like moral concern? Hamdi gets to the bottom of it by speaking with psychology researcher Dr. Renata Bongiorno from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia and PETA Campaign Specialist Ashley Byrne in New York City.

Links:  When Sex Doesn’t Sell: Using Sexualized Images of Women Reduces Support for Ethical Campaigns from PLOS ONE, Why’s PETA’s shock tactics barely make an impact from Brisbane Times, and Does Sex Always Sell? from the University of Queensland.

The Quintessential, Edible Token of My Love

What food, more than any other, reeks of sensuality, indulgence, and pleasure? Why, that devilish desert known as chocolat, of course. As a nod to this week’s sexy theme, Danielle and Yvette ask the question: What’s the most famous aphrodisiac of all? They also explore why every supermarket and drugstore goes overboard with the red, pink, and gold boxes wrapped in cellophane that market love in each edible morsel. Danielle sat down with Jacqueline Jacek of Jacek Chocolate Couture from Sherwood Park, Alberta to find out more.

Aphrodite, Take back Your Aphrodisiacs

Feeling horny? Chocolate ain’t doing the trick in seducing your sweetie? Try some alternative aphrodisiacs! Actually, don’t, because they may come from a certain endangered horned-mammal. Fortunately, the world contains rhino-lovers who devote their time to saving them. Trevor spoke with Toronto-based rhino-lover Greg Gubitz of Canada’s Big Life Foundation, as well as UBC’s Rene Beyers, to find out what they’re doing to save these lovely horny creatures.

Links: “Big Life Foundation’s Rhino Project,  “2013 worst year for rhinos” from BBC