Book Club: Streetfight

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Photo by: Hannah Cunningham

Welcome to book club! This week, Terra Informers Elizabeth Dowdell and Hannah Cunningham chat about Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow. Sadik-Khan is a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, a position she held from 2007 – 2013. The book is part history about her role as commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, and part description of on the ground lessons that can teach people how to look at streets differently. Hannah and Elizabeth chat about parts of the book that stood out to them, and how they feel about their roles as urban citizens in the ‘streetfight’. 

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Open Streets Festival in Edmonton!

If you were inspired to get in on the streetfight by this week’s episode and want to reclaim some pavement, our local listeners will have the chance to do just that on August 25th from 10am-3pm in downtown Edmonton! Click HERE for more information on the festival.

Headlines

Microplastics found in snow at various locations globally

 Alamos Gold Mine Protest

Edmonton’s Solar Rebate Program

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The Climate Activist Experience

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Photo credit: Hannah Cunningham

This week on Terra Informa we talk with OurTime and Climate Justice Edmonton organizers Stephen, Madison, and Chen about who these organizations are and what they do, experiences from the front lines of climate action, and how each one found a community to keep them going.

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Download program log here.

Planning for Resilience in a Changing Climate

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Photo by Rohit Varma on Flickr

This week, we talk about the importance of resilience, or how to minimize the damage of the climate crisis. We will be providing you with some of the latest information on climate crisis and impacts. We’ll also hear from Terra Informer Sonak Patel sitting down with Nicole Bonnett to discuss her research into resilience planning on Vancouver Island. 

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 ‘Urban climate centre’ in Edmonton

Canada’s federal government has given the city of Edmonton 22 million dollars to develop an urban climate centre as part of the Low Carbon Cities Canada project. The centre will work on projects such as “retrofitting energy-efficient infrastructure in commercial and residential buildings and creating jobs from low-emission initiatives”. 

The past July this year was the hottest month in recorded history

NBC News MACH

The Independent

Iceland has lost its first glacier to the impacts of climate change

The Guardian

Chiefs from British Columbia are calling on the Canadian government to pull its financial support of the Thirty Meter Telescope Project in Hawaii

Global News

Berkeley, California has become the first city in the United States to ban natural and fossil gas hook-ups for new buildings

The Guardian

Ethiopia broke the record for the most trees planted in a single day, with the estimated number being around 350 million seedlings

The Guardian

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CBC Change the Debate

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Photo Credit: Hannah Cunningham

This week on Terra Informa we focus on the proposed climate action policies of each major federal party in the upcoming 2019 election and speak with Stephen Buhler of Our Time, the group who organized “CBC Change the Debate” rallies across Canada just two weeks ago. We talk about the importance of climate action at the federal scale, why Canadians should be demanding the federal government seriously respond to the climate crisis, and share some audio from the Edmonton demonstration.

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Federal climate change platform, by party

We did a quick dive in to each major political parties published climate change and environment platform. Listen to this weeks episode for a summary or follow the links to the plan itself and media commentary.

Conservative

A Real Plan

The Narwhal

Global News

Green Party

Mission Possible

Green Party news release

Liberal

Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

National Observer

NDP

Power to Change: a new deal for climate action and good jobs

Global News

The Tyee

Stephen Buhler, Our Time

Stephen Buhler, a former worker in the Alberta oil and gas sector, and current organizer with both Our Time and Climate Justice Edmonton, talks about his experience advocating for serious climate action and the intention behind the “CBC Change the Debate” rally.

Street opinions, general public

Terra Informers checked in with participants at the “CBC Change the Debate” rally the night of, then asked general public on the University of Alberta campus what their take was on climate change and the federal election.

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Gallery 1313 — Marissa Magneson Photography

Photographer Marissa Magneson stands in front of the outcome of a collaboration with with West Coast carver, Joshua Prescott. Retrieved from marissamagneson.com

It is no question that art holds powerful implications for how we view our surroundings, others and ourselves. In 2019 communities of Indigenous artists are coming to the cultural forefront to dispel misrepresentations of Indigenous people as well as centering and celebrating indigenous resilience, sovereignty and cultures.

Terra Informers spoke with Cree, Métis and Norwegian photographer, Marissa Magneson at the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences that took place in June. Magneson presented a talk titled “Re-Framing History: Flipping Artistic Perspective of Indigenous Identity” which explores how art is used to shape and reshape our understanding of people, history, and places.

Throughout the interview Terra Informer, Shawn Hou, presents headlines that demonstrate the ties that art has to identity as well as the climate crisis.

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Links to Indigenous Artists

Juno Award winning musician, Jeremy Dutcher

Visual artist, Kent Monkman

Matika Wilbur’s Project 562

Alberta’s inaugural artist in residence, Lauren Crazybull

Links to Headlines

Prominent AIDs activist and artist, Douglas Crimp, dead at age 74.

United Kingdom Tate Galleries taking a stronger stance on the climate emergency after cutting ties with British Petroleum.

Activists call for London Opera House to sever ties with large oil sponsors, prompting actors to resign from their positions with the company.

Public mural in downtown Vancouver, titled ‘Earth Justice’ is about respecting and preserving the planet.

New York City garbage trucks adorned with murals highlighting and encouraging sustainability.

Protesters in China use guerrilla art as a form of non-violent protest of a bill.

Download program log here. 

Workers and the Future of Energy

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Photo by Daniel Jones on Flickr

This week on Terra Informa, Andrea Wiebe met with Lliam Hildebrand of the Iron and Earth Organization about their work advocating for oil and gas development to incorporate more renewable energy. They discussed how oil and gas sector workers can adapt to and support the low carbon transition. 

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UCP STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

Following the cancellation of the provincial carbon tax in June, the Alberta government is seeking feedback and conducting engagement on its new plan to cut greenhouse gases. Named the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Program, the government is meeting with over 150 stakeholders, including representatives of the oil and gas sector, mining, and agriculture sector, among others. The public is also invited to weigh in on this plan, through an online survey. 

Online survey to provide feedback: Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Engagement

Global News: Alberta seeks feedback on greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan

Global News: Alberta makes it official: Bill passed and proclaimed to kill carbon tax

CBC PROTEST

On Wednesday, July 17th, environmental groups around the country are planning to demonstrate outside CBC headquarters. Demonstrators are asking that the CBC host a federal leaders’ debate on the climate crisis and a green new deal. With over 11 million Canadians tuning in to the leaders’ debates, environmental groups are demonstrating to highlight the importance of informing the public about each candidate’s strategy to address the climate emergency. As the CBC finalizes plans for election coverage, demonstrators from coast to coast will be gathering outside studios during the six o’clock news to encourage the broadcaster to host this debate. Edmontonians interested in this demonstrating can visit the CBC studios in City Centre Mall at 10062 102 Ave.

Facebook page: Edmonton calls on the CBC to Change the Debate

Transmountain Pipeline Expansion Updates

The Transmountain Expansion Project has been the centre of a large debate about economic development and environmental conservation, as well as a discussion about the responsibilities of project proponents and the rights of affected communities.

Vancouver Sun: Conservationists file legal challenge to Trans Mountain pipeline reapproval

CBC News: First Nations launch new court challenge to Trans Mountain pipeline

CBC News: Environmental groups file new challenge to Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approval

Global News: Several B.C. First Nations launch legal challenge of re-approved Trans Mountain pipeline

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Soakin’ Up The Sun With Solar Power

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This week on Terra Informa, we discuss solar energy, including topics such as the definition of solar, how it works, the pros and cons to solar,  and who the solar power leaders are around the world.

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One of Canada’s Largest Solar Installations on Vancouver Island Built by T’Sou-ke Nation

Terra Informer Steve Anderson spoke to T’Sou-ke Chief Gordon Planes and project manager Andrew Moore about the importance of collective decision-making and planning for energy efficiency when switching to renewables.

Inspiration on How to Engage with a Changing Energy Landscape

Terra Informer Dylan Hall shared stories about thoughts and questions around solar energy. 

What’s Happening

 Renewable Electricity Program Cancellation and Solar in Alberta

Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program, instituted by the previous NDP government as a competitive bidding program for commercial-scale energy generation, has officially been cancelled by the UCP leadership as of June 10, 2019. Premier Jason Kenney made a campaign promise to fix the program, which operated three rounds of public auctions in December 2017 and 2018, guaranteed operators a minimum electricity price, and secured over 1,300 MW of renewable electricity for the Alberta grid. The UCP says the existing contracts from these first three auctions will be honoured, but the fourth round of auctions anticipated in 2019 will not take place.

Renewable Electricity Program

Edmonton Convention Center Integrated Solar

On Thursday June 27, the City of Edmonton announced it will be upgrading the Edmonton Convention Center to replace about half of the 696 glass panels that form the buildings sloped atrium, with transparent solar panels. The announcement is exciting news as this is one of the largest integrated-solar designs in Canada, which means solar panels are built right into the design of the building, rather than as a separate ground or roof top-array.

Edmonton Journal: Largest ‘building-integrated’ solar cell installation in country coming to Edmonton Convention Centre

Smith Solar Farm and River Valley Rezoning

The City of Edmonton has sent the E.L Smith Solar Farm back to administration and Epcor for further engagement and review on June 19th. The E.L Smith Solar Farm is an approximately 10 MW electricity generation project proposed by Epcor to be developed on 54 acres of land owned by the company and located south of the existing E.L Smith water treatment plant, in the Edmonton River Valley.  The $26 million solar farm is intended to help power the water treatment plant and construction includes the installation of up to 45,000 solar panels, the connection of these panels to the treatment plant and the electrical grid, the removal of select trees, and fencing around the plant.

Edmonton Journal: ‘Go elsewhere’: Epcor’s 23-hectare river valley solar farm plan faces stiff opposition

CBC: Edmonton council puts river valley solar farm proposal on hold

EPCOR: Project Overview

 

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The Less-Than-Fabulous Footprint of Fashion

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Photo by Emily Orpin on Flickr

This week on Terra Informa Dylan Hall ventures into the world of fashion. Dylan caught up with Jess Montgomery at the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences held at the University of British Columbia campus. Montgomery holds a BFA with Distinction in Art History from Concordia University, and a MA in the History and Theory of Contemporary Art from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she wrote her thesis on the role that fashion can play in perpetuating or challenging overconsumption.

She is also the founder of a not-for-profit organization called Think the World Differently that focuses on raising awareness about the environmental impacts of clothing consumption. She also writes for Not Just a Label, a global fashion industry platform.

Dylan and Montgomery chatted about the entangled environmental and social impacts of fashion and the textile industry, fast fashion and the whole system alike. She also speaks to her tenuous personal relationship to the fashion industry as someone who loves fashion.

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What’s Happening

People on the Path collaborative art installation at Found Festival in Edmonton. This by donation art installation highlights the voices of the diverse people calling for a just transition to a more sustainable and just future.

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