Olympics & eco-activism and surviving without electricity

This week, Terra Informa focuses on environmental activism in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics. We speak with Greenpeace activists dealing with an oppressive Russian government, as well as a Canadian activist dealing with the label of “eco-terrorism.” Then, we’ll learn something thousands of Canadians have had to do in the past month due to harsh winter weather—except we’ll learn from the pros. How to survive in winter without electricity, only on Terra Informa.


At the G8 summit in 2007, Greenpeace found a way to make their voice heard about the issue of global warming.

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What’s happening with Environmental activism in Russia?

There’s a face to Russia, which we’re able to see more clearly in the lead-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Vladimir Putin, leader of the so-called New Russia, has brought the super-rich oligarchs to heel and put much of the economy back under state control. In Putin’s Russia, natural resources will be developed for the benefit of the whole country. Unfortunately, this system has left little room for environmental NGOs to make an impact.

 Morgana Folkmann and Chris Chang-Yen Phillips of Terra Informa speak to two people who have felt the impact of Putin’s clamp down on environmentalism. Jennie Sutton works for Baikal Environmental Wave, a Russian NGO. And Paul Ruzyki is part of the Arctic 30, an international group of Greenpeace activists imprisoned by the Russian coast guard last fall.

How Canadian activists are getting around “eco-terrorist” labels

Chelsea Taylor Flook has been part of the Alberta activist community for 3 years. She’s currently living in Edmonton, challenging people to make a difference within several communities.  She’s helping First Nations communities tackle issues of gender bias. And she’s also a fierce advocate of environmental conservation who has worked with a number of different ENGOS. Terra Informa’s Natalee Rawat speaks to Chelsea about how the “eco-terrorist” label resonates with Canadian activists.

How to survive without electricity; The shock and thaw

From the rolling blackouts in Newfoundland, to the hundreds of thousands in central Canada without power over the holidays, to the frigid lows all over that rival the temperature of the North Pole and even Mars, winter adversity has forced many Canadians to re-evaluating their preparedness for the cold season.

To find out just what’s happening with weather, and more importantly, how to cope, Hamdi Issawi of Terra Informa went online and outdoors to get some answers, some of which come from rather unexpected places.

Weather and Climate Summit


CBC – Toronto Ice Storm


Remote Areas Emergency Medicine and Survival


What’s Happening; environmental activities in Edmonton and all across Canada

February 1st is the deadline for the 2013-14 Grassroots Communities Mining Mini-Grant Program. Provided by the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Western Mining Action Network, this program aims to support mining-impacted communities across Canada and the US against adverse effects on culture, health, and ecology. To download the application form and see if you meet the criteria, visit www.IENearth.org

On Friday and Saturday, January 31st and February 1st, the Yukon Legislature is holding hearings into the risks and benefits of fracking. Come hear the presentation of experts in the public gallery. Space is limited, but proceedings will also be broadcast live on 93.5 FM in Whitehorse. Take part in a democratic exercise that few other provinces seem to have bothered with!

Also taking place on the weekend, it’s the annual Guelph Organic Conference in Guelph, Ontario. The expo features free samples of organic goodies from over 150 exhibitors—there was ice cream, the time I went—and the conference is jam packed with workshops. Topics include GE foods, certification, changing climates, eco-villages, food security and more. Volunteer opportunities may still be available, so one way or another, you should check this out.

On Friday, January 31st, there will be a Teach-In On Treaty Rights, Indigenous Education and the First Nation Education Act. This is organized by a group of indigenous students at the University of Alberta. It takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. in Edmonton and all are welcome.

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