Turning Perspectives Upside-down

It's a visualization of the Blatchford Redevelopment, on the site of the old City Centre Airport. Photo credit: Perkins + Will/City of Edmonton

A visualization of the Blatchford Redevelopment, on the site of Edmonton’s old City Centre Airport. Photo credit: Perkins + Will/City of Edmonton

This week on Terra Informa, two new stories that have us envisioning, and then questioning our future environmental perspectives, with a story on the new Edmonton Ambleside Ecostation and the Blatchford Redevelopment project, in “Treadmill”, and then a story about one woman’s deep shift in her perspective on knowledge of our planet in this week’s Eye-opener. We’ll also revisit a really fun story about the red squirrel of the Yukon and the tricks it employs to stay alive in the great North with “The Little Squirrel that Could”.

Download this week’s episode

The Treadmill

It seems like we’re perpetually hearing that the next big leap in technology is right around the corner. Ten years from now, we’ll be driving hyper-efficient electric cars. Twenty years from now, all our coal plants will be equipped with high-tech carbon scrubbers. This week, Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips wondered: what are the alternatives to waiting for the latest and greatest new technology to come around and replace what we’re using today? He speaks to Tony Colangelo, a supervisor at the Ambleside Ecostation in Edmonton. Thanks also to Joyce Drohan, at Perkins + Will in Vancouver. She was the project lead on the Blatchford Redevelopment project in Edmonton.

Links: Perkins + Will: Blatchford RedevelopmentCity of Edmonton: Meet Blatchford

Eye-opener: Science Doesn’t Have a Monopoly

What are the moments that opened your eyes to a more profound connection with nature? What conversations shifted the way you see a major environmental issue of our time? Rose Yewchuk told Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips that novelist Monica Hughes, who wrote about ice, snow, and people, helped her realize that science doesn’t have a monopoly on knowledge about our planet. Hughes passed away in 2003, and she is remembered today through the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Links: Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and FantasyMonica Hughes Biography (UVic)

The Little Squirrel That Could

The Red Squirrel of the Yukon Territory weighs less than half a pound. They can be seen spending their days collecting pine cones, and scampering up trees. They are an animal that wouldn’t be out of place in your favorite children’s cartoon.  Not a very formidable presence when you consider their imposing surroundings in the great wilderness that is the Yukon.  But as we’ll soon find out, the red squirrel has a little trick up its sleeve. Matt Hirji spoke with University of Alberta biologist Stan Boutin to find out more.

What’s Happening

Residents of Vancouver, BC.  Get into the spirit of the holiday season at the 2013 Festival of Lights from December 11 to January 4 at Van Dusen Botanical Garden.The Festival of Lights is a magical experience for the whole family with over a million twinkling lights covering the Van Dusen Botanical Garden from 4:30pm to 9:00pm, every evening during the holiday season except on Christmas day (Dec. 25th)

Link: Festival of Lights info

To all you citizens of St. John New Brunswick, why not take a different perspective on this time of year and celebrate the Winter Solstice?  Honor the winter season by partaking in St. John’s “light up the night” event on December 21 from 5:30-7:00pm.  The winter solstice celebration is a warm, festive event for the whole family complete with workshops, light refreshments and entertainment. Each adult and child should bring something that creates light without a real flame; glow sticks, battery operated candles, battery operated lanterns, flashlights in a decorative tube, battery operated mini lights etc.

The event program will start at 5:30pm in King’s Square to Loyalist Plaza.  Itinerary will include  “What is Winter Solstice?”, a talk by Joan Pearce, singing and treats, sky-gazing with the Saint John Astronomy Club, and finally, David Goss will lead the group on a short historic walk and speak about “How Christmas came to Saint John”.

Link: Winter Solstice info

The Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society (EBC) began in 1980 as the only organized voice for cycling in Edmonton. BikeWorks is now the oldest community bike shop in North America, and they need your help to open up the newest incarnation of their southside location.

They’ve got an indiegogo fundraising campaign on the go right now until January 24th, and you can donate to help build the new shop, and earn perks at the same time. Some perks include: a Private hands-on course, for yourself or as a gift, Bike lights, Bike overhaul, and a Membership renewal, including all its benefits. Bikeworks south will be able to host more community events, have a larger more accessible space, and keep doing the amazing educational and outreach work they do.

You can help in other ways too. e-mail them at info@edmontonbikes.ca to help with your expertise, tools, automobile, or just simply your time.

Links: indiegogo campaignEdmonton Bicycle Commuters Society

The Yukon Christmas Bird Counts are on again for 2013 All are welcome — beginners, feeder-watchers, and seasoned field experts! With Christmas Bird Counts scheduled for most Yukon communities. This is an excellent chance to get out birding this winter and take part in a continent-wide bird monitoring and conservation program. To participate contact the count compiler before count day.

Link: Bird Count Schedule

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