Geoengineering and Vandana Shiva on Seed Freedom

A figure in an orange space suit walks along rocky striations along the coast.

Geoengineering may transform our relationship with the planet. (Image credit: jacques fou)

This week, we dig into views on transforming landscapes. Calgary sustainability writer Chris Turner shares his take on using planet-scale engineering to solve the climate crisis. Then, Boston’s Brian Swett talks about an eye-opening relationship that encouraged him to aim higher on green building. And world-renowned physicist and ecologist Vandana Shiva opens up about advocating for the freedom to plant what we want and restore our relationship with the land. Listen close, and you might just hear the world changing.

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Chris Turner on Geoengineering

A few years ago, the United Nations panel studying climate change decided they would tackle a controversial topic. Geoengineering is the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment. And many people want to talk about geoengineering our way out of the climate change crisis. Calgary-based author Chris Turner writes about technology and sustainability. His books showcase some of the exciting ways that communities around the world are already taking on climate change. When we ran into Chris at the Zero 2014 Conference in Edmonton, we had to ask him what he thought about geoengineering and if there were better ways to take on the climate crisis.

Learn more: LeapWorks, Chris Turner on Twitter

Eye Opener: Brian Swett – The REAL stakes in Real Estate

Brian Swett stands by a podium, eyebrows raised.

Brian Swett spoke at this year’s Zero Conference on sustainability in Edmonton.

From time to time on Terra Informa, we bring you eye-openers: moments when your ideas about environmental issues shifted. This week, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips brings us a story he found at the Zero 2014 Conference in Edmonton. Brian Swett is the Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space for the City of Boston. He spoke at Zero 2014 about how the city has encouraged private building owners and developers to dramatically increase the environmental performance of their buildings. So Chris asked what made Brian into someone so passionate about greening buildings, back when he worked in real estate with Boston Properties.

Learn more: Greenovate Boston, Greenovate Boston on TwitterBoston’s First Green Skyscraper

Vandana Shiva: Advocacy Work & Seed Freedom

The explosion of community gardens and seed saving across the country is bringing concerns about food security to light. How we interact with the earth through planting and sowing seed gives us the insight to understand where our food originates. Dr. Vandana Shiva, physicist, ecologist and author was in the city of Edmonton earlier this month to speak about seed freedom and commitment to the land. Dr. Shiva’s internationally-recognized farmer advocacy work in her native India has been expanded to the global scale. Yvette Thompson sat down with Dr. Shiva to learn about her work, seed heritage and the paradigm shift that she sees necessary for ecological and community well-being. Her latest book is titled Making Peace With the Earth.

Learn more: Navdanya, Vandana Shiva on Twitter, Making Peace With the Earth (Amazon)

What’s Happening

Sepp Holzer Permakultur Workshop Hey, Vancouver Island! If the words “Sepp Holzer” and “Hugelbed” mean anything to you, you might be interested in attending a Hugelkulture workshop on April 27 at the Urban site in Victoria, BC. Hugelkulture is the practice of creating raised garden beds filled with rotting wood to retain water and warm the soil for growing plant life. The workshop is a full day event led by Jan Bernakevitch of Permaculture BC. Registration is required because spots are limited. Tickets are $60, but sliding scale pricing is available in order to make this event more accessible to the public.

More information: Eventbrite, Facebook

Sustainability Pub Night Did somebody say “pub”? On Wednesday, April 28, Connecting Environmental Professionals Calgary (CEP) will be hosting a sustainability pub night at the Ironwood Stage and Grill in Calgary, AB. If you’re in the area, take advantage of this is a great opportunity to meet and greet environmental professional in an casual settings amid food, drink and live music. This event starts at 7:00pm, and requires a minimum $5 donation at the door, which goes to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).

More information: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (Southern Alberta Chapter)

Documentary Film Night: “The Economics of Happiness” On Tuesday, April 29, the Beach Business Hub in Toronto, ON, will be holding a documentary film night on “The Economics of Happiness”. Learn how grassroots movements and communities are affected by and manage the stresses globalization. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $12 for children and seniors, which includes a snack, a drink, and draw ticket. The doc runs from 7:30 until 9:00, and will be followed by a discussion. Seating is limited so register now if you’re interested.

More information: Eventbrite

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