Farmsters and Community Climate Change Consultation

This week’s episode is coming from the archives, even though the pieces are a couple of years old the discussion is still very relevant as Canadian farmers continue to get older and are not being replaced increasingly by city folk – known in our episode as “farmsters”. Let us introduce you to the new generation of farmsters who are bringing their arts degrees, intsagram brunch photos, and alternative farming models to the table.

This week’s host Amanda Rooney briefly talks about the Town Hall on climate change that she attended in mid August. These town halls are run under the People’s climate plan .

Download episode here.

Here Come the Farmsters

There are plenty of things you can say about the Millennial generation. We’ve all heard the statistics on young people are moving back in with mom and dad after graduation. We’ve heard that the average cost of a house has increased to the point of prohibiting young professionals from entering that erstwhile next step of adulthood known as “home ownership.” And large scale industrial projects threatening our natural spaces are driving people young and old into the streets of major cities all over the world to protest inaction over climate change. These days young people are likely to finish university with a mountain of debt and spend years underemployed while career track positions remain out of their grasp.

Some folks have chosen a radically different approach to life post-liberal arts degree. I’m talking about farming. Scores of city-dwellers are leaving behind the urban lifestyle in favour of farmshares and ecovillages. Lauren Markham, writing for Orion Magazine, refers to this new phenomenon as the emergence of “farmsters.” Like hipsters, only instead of wearing flannel and weeping over their lack of prospects, farmsters are taking matters into their own hands to bring about change in whatever small way they can.

Danielle Dolgoy knows her fair share of farmsters. She meets them at the farmer’s market and reads their uplifting posts in her news feed. She called up her old university pal, Kate Rustemeyer, to talk about Kate’s decision to start her own CSA on a shared farm in B.C.’s Slocan Valley of the West Kootenays.

Links: Craft OntarioYoung AgrariansLauren Markham’s articleHoe Down CSA at Tulaberry Farm

Download program log here.

Photo credit to Frank

Terra Informa Attends the Alberta Energy Efficiency Open House

solar_panels Aug 23 Photo

Last month, Terra Informers Amanda Rooney and Tasmia Nishat attended the Energy Efficiency and Community Energy in Alberta Open House.  There, they spoke with an MLA  on Leduc’s ambitious solar initiative, Solar4all Alberta, and community members interested in making the public feedback process more inclusive.


Download episode here.

MLA Shaye Anderson on Leduc’s Solar Electricity Initiatives

The city of Leduc recently installed Canada’s largest rooftop solar system at the Leduc Recreation Center. Terra Informa spoke with MLA Shaye Anderson about the installation, and about sustainability in general.

Solar4All Alberta

With a name like Solar4All Alberta, you can guess what Solar4All’s mandate is. But what are they asking for, specifically, from the government? Terra Informa finds out.

Queers and Pals Attend Energy Efficiency Forum

With public forums like these, how do we make sure that they are inclusive? We spoke with community members Parker Leflar and Rebecca Jade about how to make sure marginalized groups aren’t left out of the conversation.

The Fermi Paradox i.e. Counting the little green men & big blue planets

Paul Gilster enjoys one of the most unlikely of day jobs: writing full-time on the science of space travel as the lead journalist for the Tau Zero Foundation. You can find his nearly daily updates on the website Centauri Dreams. Trevor Chow-Fraser got in touch with Paul to help us understand one of the central mysteries of outer space, the question we’ve all had at some point when looking up at the stars—are we alone in the big vast universe? Or, is there life up there in the stars? And if so, well why the heck haven’t they come calling? That’s the question scientists call the Fermi Paradox.

Terra Informa August 23 Episode Log.

Photo credit to Unsplash.

Environmental Poetry

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This week, we are going to turn our ears to the words that arise from the natural world around us. We spoke with some of Canada’s environmental poets about their lives and inspirations. Later in the show we’ll hear from Canada’s  Underground Slam Champion Johnny MacRae and Red Deer College’s Poet Professor Jenna Butler, but first, Terra Informer Rebekah Rooney catches up with Guelphs David James Hudson.

Download episode here.

David James Hudson

Environmental poetry is a unique way to explore the connection between art and the environment. Many artists draw their inspiration from nature. Poet David James Hudson in Guelph threads themes of environmental conservation throughout his medium, aiming to communicate environmentalism to his audience. Correspondent Rebekah Rooney catches up with him in this report.

Johnny MacRae and Shayne Avec I Grec

Kathryn Lennon caught up with slam poet Johnny MacRae at the 2012 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Saskatoon. Johnny is the inaugural Underground Individual Poetry Slam Champion of Canada, and two-time Vancouver Poetry Slam team member. He is joined by Shayne Avec I Grec, Poet Laureate of the Brandon Folk Music and Art Festival in Manitoba. Johnny shares some of his poetry, and thoughts on the role of poets in a time of environmental crisis.

Jenna Butler

If you live in an urban centre, you’ve probably imagined how great it would be to live simply, and without distraction. Enter poetry: there’s something cool about the way language can illuminate, explore and even question our relationships with the natural world. Jenna Butler knows this better than most, because when’s she’s not teaching at Red Deer College, she’s in Northern Alberta managing her organic farm. Erin Carter speaks with professor Jenna Butler about nature and academia.

Download program log here.

Photo credit to R. Hadian.

Transition Towns, Net Zero Homes, and Rescuing Fruit

800px-rubus_27wyoming27This week on Terra Informa, we bring you archives discussing what a transition town is, net zero homes, and a group whose mission is to rescue fruit.

Download this episode now.

Transition Town Initiative

Terra Informa correspondent Jason Evans caught up with local teacher and transition town participant Kelsey Armstrong to learn about the Transition Town Initiative in the Edmonton Community of Grovenor.  Find a Transition Town Initiative near you!

Net Zero Homes

When it comes to high efficiency, net zero is the holy grail. That’s when you construct a building that’s so efficient it requires only minimal amounts of heat and electricity, and then you supply that power by adding some form of green energy generation to the structure — solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal heating. On a day to day basis it may draw some power from the grid, or feed some back in, but over the course of a year things average out and it doesn’t consume any energy at all. The initial investiment can be a bit pricy, but the idea is that over the lifetime of the building it really pays off. Shafraaz Kaba and Matt McCombe are huge proponents of energy efficient buildings. Shafraaz is an architect and Matt is a builder, and they both practice what they preach in their own homes. Terra Informa spoke to them about what it’s like to live in a high efficiency home, and what a person needs to know if they want to make the switch.

Operation Fruit Rescue

From June to October, Edmonton is a veritable oasis of fruit: apples, pears, and plums—not to mention succulent strawberries, raspberries and saskatoons—are all sitting there patiently, waiting to be plucked. But what happens to this bounty if nobody is around or able to harvest it? Enter: Operation Fruit Rescue—a non-profit, volunteer driven organization dedicated to reducing food waste and promoting locally grown food in Edmonton and surrounding areas. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart talks to Amy Beaith-Johnson, the driving force behind Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton, about the organization’s origin, its mission, and how it all works. We met with Amy in Edmonton.

Image Credit: Nadiatalent via Wikipedia.

 

Let’s Go Bike Touring!

BIKE TOURING

Grease your chain, stock up on water, check the weather, and prepare to pump some pedals… vicariously! Listen to provoking environmental news headlines as you prepare to join Terra Informer Shelley Jodoin as she takes a 130km summer bike ride from Edmonton to Elk Island National Park and back with her roommates Jasmine Farahbakhsh and Katrina Wilson. Then, travel back in time and through space to the 2015 MEC bike fest to find out what Edmonton citizens think about biking.

Download episode here.

Terra Informers Go Biking

What is it about bikes? What madness convinced Terra Informer Shelley Jodoin to join her roommates Katrina Wilson and Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society volunteer Jasmine Farahbakhsh to go on a 67km bike ride? Sustainable, fun, good for your health: Join these adventure seeking women and hopefully you will be convinced to take mechanical advantage of gears and muscles to propel yourself on your own adventure sometime soon.

MEC Bike Fest – Streeters

During MEC Bikefest 2015, Terra Informers Natalee Rawat, Erin Carter, and Tasmia Nishat walked around asking people about first biking memories, and favourite biking routes.

Headline Recap

Iron&Earth is an initiative created by oil sands workers who want more opportunities for trade workers to work in the renewable sector. Check it out!
http://www.ironandearth.org/

Heroic RCMP officers saved a starving skunk by removing the Tim Hortons cup stuck on its head! Come on, Timmy.
http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/Good_News/2016/07/11/22651104.html

Download program log here.

Photo courtesy of Travel Luxembourg

 

The Right to be Cold

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This week’s episode is a book club in which Terra Informers Shelley Jodoin, Dylan Hall, and Amanda Rooney discussed Canadian author and environmental and human rights activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier’s book The Right To Be Cold.

Download episode here.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier is internationally known for her lifetime of outstanding tenacity and her work dedicated to defending the economic, social, and cultural rights of Inuit and other indigenous people. In 2015 she received the Right Livelihood Award “for her lifelong work to protect the Inuit of the Arctic and defend their right to maintain their livelihoods and culture, which are acutely threatened by climate change.” Watt-Cloutier is most famous for proving that climate change is a global violation of human rights and not merely an environmental issue.  In her words: “If we continue to allow the Arctic to melt, we lose more than the planet that has nurtured us for all of human history. We lose the wisdom required for us to sustain it.”

The terra informers read “The Right To Be Cold”, a memoir chronicling Watt-Cloutier’s life and work. In her novel Watt-Cloutier brings the reader into all aspects of her life; from a childhood of ice and snow in an Inuit Community in northern Quebec, to a turbulent southern education in a residential school, to political advocacy work in ever more prominent international roles.

Download Program Log here.

Photo credit to Wilson Bentley.

The Way We Travel

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On this week’s episode of Terra Informa from the archives, we talk hybrid car sales and how to make biking safer, live from MEC Bike Fest 2015.

Episode Link.

Who’s Buying Hybrid?

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.

Open Maps Make Good Neighours

Bike lanes—somewhat unbelievably—have become one of the most divisive issues in Canadian cities. They cost a lot of money, but advocates believe they save lives. How can anyone argue the price on that?

Matthew Dance and Conrad Nobert think part of the problem is data. City planners have it, the rest of us don’t. City planners can see the most dangerous streets on a map and know where bike lanes would help most. Matthew Dance wants to share that map with the world.

Ghost Bikes

Every once in a while, you might see a bicycle painted entirely white—frame, handlebars, wheels, drivetrain—locked up on a streetside lamp post. Here in Edmonton, the ghost bikes are an initiative Edmonton Bicycle Commuter Society. Trevor Chow-Fraser spoke with their executive director, Chris Chan, to learn more about this poignant bicycle safety project.

ECOnomics and ECOlogy with David Suzuki and Jeff Rubin

TI July 11 Photo

This week’s episode from our archives shines the spotlight on two environmental guru’s from Canada: David Suzuki and Jeff Rubin. Dr. David Suzuki is a celebrated scientist, broadcaster, and environmentalist who’s perhaps best known for his role on the long running CBC series, The Nature of Things. Jeff Rubin, formerly the chief economist at CIBC financial markets, is the author of Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller and more recently The End of Growth.  In 2012, when this episode first aired, Suzuki and Rubin were touring from coast-to-coast on a book tour promoting ‘The End Of Growth’. In the recent federal election in 2015, leaders from every federal party were promoting the necessity of economic growth, showing that little has changed in mainstream political thought, and making this episode as timely as ever.

Download episode here.

David Suzuki and Jeff Rubin – The End of Growth

On May 28, Random-House Canada and Greystone Books announced that Jeff Rubin and Dr. David Suzuki would be visiting cities across Canada to deliver a message…one that you can’t afford to miss. Jeff Rubin, formerly the chief economist and strategist at CIBC World Markets, is the author of Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller and more recently The End of Growth. David Suzuki is the celebrated scientist, broadcaster, and environmentalist who’s perhaps best known for his role on the long running CBC series The Nature of Things. His latest book, Everything Under The Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet, examines the interconnected nature of life on earth, and our role in it. Together, they’re turning heads as they tour the country to tell Canadians that a sustainable future is still possible, but only if we’re willing to change the way we currently understand the economy and the environment.

Terra Informa Episode July 11 Log.

Photo credit to Jenni Konrad.