Author: terrainforma

Every week, Terra Informa delivers environmental news and stories from across Canada and around the world. Our award-winning show is currently in its eleventh season, produced at CJSR Radio in Edmonton, and broadcast in more than 50 communities from coast to coast to coast.

Conspiring with Plants

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At Terra Informa, we conspire with our houseplants! [Top row, left to right: Andrea Wiebe, Sofia Osborne, Amanda Rooney. Bottom row, left to right: Hannah Cunningham, Shelley Jodoin, Carter Gorzitza]

Maybe you’ve heard of the Anthropocene, but have you heard of the Planthropocene?

After reading an article entitled “How to grow livable worlds: Ten not-so-easy steps“, Terra Informer Amanda Rooney wanted to share the idea of the Planthropocene with listeners! Amanda got to speak with the author of the paper, Natasha Myers, about her relationship with plants, planthropology and how you might reconceptualize your relationship with plants.

Dr. Natasha Myers is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University. You can find many of Dr. Myers publications, articles and other resources on her website.

Download episode here

Headlines Links

The Green New Deal – link 1, link 2

Norway’s Divestment from oil and gas exploration stocks – link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5

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Exploring the Unseen Environment

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Terra Informa in CJSR’s Studio A. From the top clockwise: Sofia Osborne, Dylan Hall, Olivia Debourcier, Charlotte Thomasson, Amanda Rooney, with Carter Gorzitza behind the camera!

This week we decided to shake things up on Terra Informa and take a page from one of our favourite podcasts, Radiolab! Specifically, an episode called Breaking Bad News Bears in which they tasked their reporters to pitch and produce a story about either breaking news or bears.  So we sent our volunteers out to report on either a breaking news story OR something that fits into the category: the unseen environment

We ended up with stories ranging from ancient organisms (both big and small) to deleted provincial parks and murmurations. We’re pretty sure that our reporters did an amazing job! What do you think?

Download episode now. 

Download program log here. 

Avocado Toast and Environmentalism

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Photo Cred: Wendy Wei, Pexels

This week on Terra Informa, we examine the social ways we construct environmentalism, who gets left out of the discussion, and what this means for actually ‘going green’.

When you think of an environmentalist, what kind of person do you imagine? Does gender, race, or income influence this image? Is it all about eating organic avocado toast?

Terra Informer Dylan Hall had the chance to investigate the complex and social ways we understand environmentalism and environmental practices by interviewing Dr. Emily Huddart Kennedy, sociology professor at the University of British Columbia. We hear a snippet of a talk given by Dr. Kennedy in February, at the University of Alberta’s International Week, followed by a deeper investigation and interview with Dylan.

Download episode now.

Climate Strike!

This Friday, March 15, 2019, join the Global Day of Action and march for climate change. Young people in dozens of countries, on every continent, will be striking together to bring attention to the climate crisis and the millions of young people who will suffer the consequences of increased global temperatures, rising seas, and extreme weather.

Here in Edmonton, the Youth Climate Strike will be held at the Alberta Legislature from 12-2pm. You can email yegstudentstrike@gmail.com to add your school to the list.

Download program log here.

It’s Time to Talk About Bugs

White-lined sphinx moth from Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that insects take up the most space on the taxonomic web of life? Did you know that about 75% of flowering plants are pollinated by insects? You might have also heard that insect biodiversity is on the decline. Sadly, what you may have hear is right. In a paper published in the Journal ‘Biological Conservation’lead authors Francisco Sánchez-Bayo and Kris A.G.Wyckhuys state “almost half of insect species are rapidly declining and a third are being threatened with extinction”.

Can you imagine a world without insects? To some it may sound like a dream come true but insects are integral to the functioning of our world! From the food we eat to the waste we excrete, we have insects to thanks (we would literally be swimming in detritus if not for decomposers!). Tune into this episode where we show these important little creatures some well-deserved attention!

Download here

Checking out bugs with Peter Heule: Q&A with the Royal Alberta Museum’s live animal supervisor

Terra Informer Olivia deBourcier interviewed Peter Heule, a live animals supervisor at the Royal Alberta Museum, about bugs. Originally aired on The Gateway Presents, we’ll hear about butterfly migration, what animal science is all about, how kids understand bugs better than grown ups think, and what a wild world there is left to discover!

The Good News: The Big Bee!

In light of the bad news about insect populations, there is hope! Recently, the world’s BIGGEST BEE, thought extinct for 38 years, has been found alive on the Indonesian islands of the North Moluccas. As long as an adult thumb, with jaws like a stag beetle and four times larger than a honeybee this dinosaur of a bee continues to be threatened, particularly by deforestation for agriculture, but the very fact that it persists suggests that extinction is not inevitable! Hannah Cunningham explains in this ecobabble the ways that we can all help pollinators keep on keeping on!

From planning what you plant, building bee hotels (a simple DIY bee hotel) to reducing your use of pesticides, there are many ways you can make your world more pollinator friendly

Related Links

National Geographic

The Guardian

Environmentalism and Student Politics

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This week on Terra Informa, we’re talking about all things Sustainability. Listen in to hear what our UAlberta undergraduate SU presidential candidates, Akanksha Bhatnagar and Andre Bourgeois are thinking about the future of sustainability resources on campus, the position they are taking on the environmental issues of today, and a sneak preview of their platform. Then we’ve got you covered with this week’s environmental events. Happy Listening!

Download episode now.

Headlines

B.C. Provincial Budget Fund 1 Billion$ for climate action

The breakdown is as follows: $107 million will incentivize zero-emission vehicles and fund new charging stations. $58 million will go towards increasing energy efficiency of buildings and $18 million will help Indigenous and remote communities move to cleaner energy. Industry, who are responsible for the majority of emissions, will get $168 million in incentives to reduce their greenhouse gases. Another $299 million is allocated for initiatives that have not yet been developed or finalized, allowing new programs to get up and running quickly. $111 million over three years to fight wildfires, including response and prevention, and another $13 million for forest restoration.

There will also be:

  • A new child tax credit, giving families as much as $3400 dollars a year for children under 18.
  • Eliminate interest on provincial student loans
  • Increased support payments to extended family members who care for children when their parents can’t.
  • A raise $179/month for Foster parents
  • Increased income and disability assistance rates by $50 a month
  • And a plan to decrease poverty projected to be released in the Spring

Protecting Water in Ontario’s First ever Green Bill

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Indigenous Food Sovereignty: Wild Meat, Wild Stories

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Photo by Ceinwen, a volunteer with Acimowin

This week we’re bringing you a radio documentary produced by Roisin Graham. It was produced as a part of a CSL project for the course AREC 173 at the University of Alberta. This short documentary explores the challenges to Indigenous food sovereignty. Roisin interviewed indigenous activist, Nigel Henri-Robinson, and treaty 8 consultant, Jessica Cardinal. They address their experience with traditional indigenous food systems and how they are impacted by Canadian food systems and policies.

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If you’re interested in hearing more about sparking change in indigenous communities catch Acimowin streaming online, or if you’re in Edmonton tune into our mother station – CJSR 88.5 – on Fridays from 9am – 11am!

Show your support for Indigenous activists across turtle island and come out to the Defender Dance Party in Amiskwaciwåskahikan raising funds for Wet’suwet’en on Friday February 22 at 7:30 until late. All funds raised at the event will be donated to the Unist’ot’en Legal Fund

Dad’s World Was My Refuge

 

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Photo by Sofia Osborne

This week on Terra Informa, Sofia Osborne (a Terra Informer herself) reads us a piece she recently wrote for The Tyee, an independent, Canadian, online magazine. The story recounts Sofia’s experience being isolated on Saturna Island this past December during the worst wind storm in BC Hydro history. We’ll chat about the piece, the future of dealing with these massive storms, and journalism!

Download episode now.

Supreme Court rules on Redwater

On January 31, Canada’s Supreme Court overturned a 2015 lower court decision regarding the Redwater Case, ruling that the Redwater Energy Corporation cannot walk away from the clean-up costs of abandoned wells after claiming bankruptcy.

Back in 2015, Redwater Energy Corporation went bankrupt and it’s trustee argued the energy company should be able to pay back their creditors before they finance the cleaning up of old oil and gas wells. The lower courts agreed with the trustee, meaning that energy companies were able to walk away from old wells. The Orphan Well Association and the Alberta Energy Regulator appealed the lower court’s decision, and the case ended up in the Supreme Court, where the 2015 ruling was overturned. This means that now, bankruptcy cannot be used as a license to ignore environmental clean-up.

Alberta has a LOT of abandoned, or ‘orphaned’ wells. Recent numbers released by the Orphan Well Association show that there are 1,553 abandoned wells in the province  that still need to be reclaimed. Sharon Riley, who you might remember from Sofia’s interview about environmental investigative journalism that we aired earlier this year, published a great walkthrough of the Redwater case for The Narwhal. 

Mysterious Guillemot deaths

The bodies of hundreds of dead guillemot birds have washed up in the Netherlands over the past month. It is estimated that 20,000 of the seafaring birds have died, with the cause of death currently unknown. Hundreds of sick birds have been taken to sanctuaries for treatment, and dissections have been performed on the bodies of deceased birds to try and determine the cause of death. Biologist Mardik Leopold stated that the otherwise clean birds were “skinny, with gut problems, which is indicative of starvation”. One suggested cause of this mass casualty  is the loss of 291 shipping containers during a storm in early January. The contents of the lost containers is currently unknown. 

Recompose corpse composting

Do you often think about how you can minimize your environmental footprint?

What about…. after death?

A Washington State bill has passed the state Senate, and is now headed to the House. If it passes the House, it would make be legal to compost human remains in the state of Washington. A company called Recompose, founded by Katrina Spade, hopes to offer people the choice to be composed into soil after they die, instead of being buried or cremated. Recompose has been working with the University of Washington to assess the safety of this composting process in terms of environmental and human health. The process is reported to use approximately one eighth of the energy required for cremation. The Recompose founder states that burial and cremation must remain for those who prefer it, but that the composting of human remains will provide another option for those who are interested in a greener final footprint.

Download program log here.

Asking the questions and LICHEN the answers with Amanda Schutz

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Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

This week on Terra Informa, we have an interview from illustrator and designer, Amanda Schutz. You may have seen her nature inspired artwork and whimsical designs all over Edmonton, particularly at the newly opened Royal Alberta Museum. Terra Informers Charlotte Thomasson and Kesia Dias got the chance to sit down with her and find out about all things lichen.

Download episode.

Headlines

Canada Food Guide Changes 

A new Canada Food Guide has launched this week with updates to both what Canadians should be eating, and how to treat food and meals more socially. Major changes to the guide include three food groups instead of four, a focus on eating plant-based foods, using nutrition labels, and being aware of food marketing tactics. [click here]

Protest in Support of the Wet’suwet’en People 

On Tuesday January 22nd, Climate Justice Edmonton and Indigenous organizers planned and executed a blockade of Jasper Ave and 104th street. The blockade was organized as a round dance and lasted approximately 45 minutes. This round dance protest was in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people of Unist’ot’en territory. Their land was forcibly entered in early January by the RCMP in order to continue the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

What’s Happening

Keepers of the Athabasca Fundraiser

If you’re in Edmonton this week and care about water, justice, and good music, come to 9910 February 7th for a fundraiser show in support of the Keepers of the Athabasca organization. The show features performances from local favourites Jessica Jalbert, Caity Fisher, Jom Comyn and Feed Dogs. Tickets range from $12-25 and are available on Eventbrite. This is an 18+ event, so sorry folks, but no minors.

Find tickets and info here!

 

Download this episode’s program log here