Shifts

We all have decisive moments when the decisions we make can shift the course of our lives. In some cases, the impact is felt for generations to come. Today we talk to some fairly ordinary people who found creative ways to shift the balance of power in favour of the environment. Toby Heaps tells us why he felt the world needed a magazine that focused not on corporate profits, but on corporate social responsibility. Tim DeChristopher recounts the day that he decided a controversial auction of oil and gas leases couldn’t go ahead, and how he stopped it. And Liane Lowe explains how watching a documentary shifted her outlook on the environment. Plus, we take a look back at some of the biggest shifts in environmental resistance throughout history. All that on today’s episode of Terra Informa!

Download this week’s show.

Tim DeChristopher and his supporters, surrounded by media, raise their fists in the air outside a Utah court house.

Tim DeChristopher thanks his supporters on 3 March, 2011 after being convicted of two felonies for disrupting an oil and gas lease auction. Photo by Ed Kosmicki.

Corporate Knights
Where we choose to work can say a lot about ourselves. It can be risky – scary even – to try out something new. Take Toby Heaps, who started itching to write for a magazine that asked whether business and the planet can play nicely together. When he found out no such magazine existed yet, he started one. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke with Toby Heaps, co-founder and president of Corporate Knights.

More on this story: Cutting the Red Tape to Building a Pan-Canadian Electricity Superhighway, Meet Ralph Nader’s Secret Weapon: Toby Heaps

Tim DeChristopher
Even for those of us who have a connection to an environmental issue, it doesn’t always seem obvious how to act on it. Sometimes the opportunity to shift from ideas to action… finds you. American environmental activist Tim DeChristopher faced that dilemma in 2008 when, in the final days of its administration, the Bush government rushed 116 oil and gas leases to auction without environmental review. Myles Curry spoke to DeChristopher in 2011, before he was sent to a federal prison for the choice he ended up making.

Liane Lowe
Sometimes a piece of art can make you rethink your work. Reading a line in a book that makes things fall into place. Seeing a painting that shows you something new about the place where you live. Or seeing a movie that re-affirms the balance you try to strike. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips talked to Liane Lowe, an environmental accountant in Vancouver, about her experience seeing the documentary Peace Out.

5 Great Shifts
The global environmental movement has come a long way from wilderness land preservation and sustainable yields. While names like John Muir and Henry David Thoreau still dominate the rhetoric of an environmental conservation ethic, its history extends back far longer and from many different places. For example, did you know that the first nature reserve in the world was established by the King of Sri Lanka in 200 BC? For as long as people have carelessly pillaged their immediate environments, there have been equal and opposing forces against them. Terra Informa correspondent Marcus Peterson brings you 5 Great Shifts in Environmental Resistance: An Abbreviated History of Tree Hugging.

More on this story: Chipko Movement (PDF), Green Belt Movement, Friends of the MST, Dr. Vandana Shiva’s Blog

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