Book & Film Club

Book Club: Streetfight


Photo by: Hannah Cunningham

Welcome to book club! This week, Terra Informers Elizabeth Dowdell and Hannah Cunningham chat about Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow. Sadik-Khan is a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, a position she held from 2007 – 2013. The book is part history about her role as commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, and part description of on the ground lessons that can teach people how to look at streets differently. Hannah and Elizabeth chat about parts of the book that stood out to them, and how they feel about their roles as urban citizens in the ‘streetfight’. 

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Open Streets Festival in Edmonton!

If you were inspired to get in on the streetfight by this week’s episode and want to reclaim some pavement, our local listeners will have the chance to do just that on August 25th from 10am-3pm in downtown Edmonton! Click HERE for more information on the festival.


Microplastics found in snow at various locations globally

 Alamos Gold Mine Protest

Edmonton’s Solar Rebate Program

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The Right to be Cold


This week’s episode is a book club in which Terra Informers Shelley Jodoin, Dylan Hall, and Amanda Rooney discussed Canadian author and environmental and human rights activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier’s book The Right To Be Cold.

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Sheila Watt-Cloutier is internationally known for her lifetime of outstanding tenacity and her work dedicated to defending the economic, social, and cultural rights of Inuit and other indigenous people. In 2015 she received the Right Livelihood Award “for her lifelong work to protect the Inuit of the Arctic and defend their right to maintain their livelihoods and culture, which are acutely threatened by climate change.” Watt-Cloutier is most famous for proving that climate change is a global violation of human rights and not merely an environmental issue.  In her words: “If we continue to allow the Arctic to melt, we lose more than the planet that has nurtured us for all of human history. We lose the wisdom required for us to sustain it.”

The terra informers read “The Right To Be Cold”, a memoir chronicling Watt-Cloutier’s life and work. In her novel Watt-Cloutier brings the reader into all aspects of her life; from a childhood of ice and snow in an Inuit Community in northern Quebec, to a turbulent southern education in a residential school, to political advocacy work in ever more prominent international roles.

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Photo credit to Wilson Bentley.

We Read Seveneves

The third and final book of this summer’s book club! We’ve spent the last couple months reading Seveneves, by Neil Stephenson. We dig into how the book depicts the world’s response to the catastrophe, how much Neil Stephenson likes robots, and what life must be like at the end of the world.


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Be warned, there be spoilers!

Released this year, the novel explores how the human race reacts when the moon explodes, causing catastrophic consequences. The moon fractures into seven pieces at the very beginning of the book. These pieces are predicted to continuously collide with each other until the chunks are reduced to small pieces that will fall to the Earth and burn the surface. Given an estimated two years before the “Hard Rain” that will leave Earth uninhabitable, the human race has to come up with a solution to somehow continue its existence past this disaster.

Do you have your own thoughts on the book or the episode? Leave a comment below, or tweet at us @terrainforma!

Every Blade of Grass

Cover of Tom Wharton's Every Blade of Grass, feturing a woman facing the sunset. (c) Tom Wharton

Join us as we discuss Thomas Wharton’s Every Blade of Grass. We get into mortality, existentialism, random nature facts — it’s a meaty one!

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The next book club will feature Seveneaves by Neal Stephenson. Grab a copy at your library or local bookstore, and read along and comment @terrainforma or email us at!

Book Club: The Golden Spruce

Grant-Hadwin-2 Now in our second year, Terra Informa’s book club is an official tradition. This week, join the discussion on John Vaillant’s The Golden Spruce. The worst excesses of resource extraction, radical environmental activism, First Nations traditions run roughshod, harrowing stories of betrayal and hypocrisy—this book truly is “a true story of myth, madness and greed.” Download this episode now. The Golden Spruce The “Golden Spruce” was a rare Sitka spruce tree that grew along the Yakoun River. Regarded as sacred to the Haida Nation, the tree met a tragic fate when activist Grant Hadwin cut it down in protest against the logging industry. John Vaillant’s The Golden Spruce shares Hadwin’s story, from his beginnings as a legendary forest engineer and wilderness man, through his crisis of faith, and beyond his mysterious disappearance in February 1997. Alongside all of this, Vaillant gives an insightful history of forestry in North America and its effects on the Haida people and the land we share. The Golden Spruce won the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction, and the Writers Trust non-fiction prize in 2005. It has recently been adapted into the film Hadwin’s Judgement. Listen to our interview with filmmaker Sasha Snow to learn more.

Join in the discussion

Join the Terra Informa Book Club. Pick up a copy at your local library or independent book store. Then share your thoughts by emailing or tweet us @terrainforma.

Just Eat It


To celebrate the winter holidays, we’re watching Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story. In this season of excess, it’s the perfect time to talk about the excessive food waste that goes on year-round. Listen to this week’s Terra Informa Film Club discussion and then send us your reflections throughout the holiday season. Tweet us your comments @terrainforma or email us at

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Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story

We all love food, so how could we be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash? Vancouver filmmakers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin take us on a personal journey of discovery about the issue of unnecessary food waste by turning their challenge of living off discarded food into a labour of love.

Watch it for free on Knowledge Network, B.C.’s public broadcaster.

Book Club: Tim Lilburn’s “Kill-site”

Sun rising over wheat fields, blurry silhouette of a person.

It’s the end of summer, and that means a conclusion to the Terra Informa Summer Book Club. This month, we read Tim Lilburn’s Kill-site, a collection of poems exploring ecology, colonialism and spirituality through the landscape of Southern Saskatchewan. For the children’s segment, we tackle a classic, Dennis Lee’s Alligator Pie.

Have you enjoyed taking part in the Book Club? Is this something you would like us to keep up? Let us know on Twitter or by sending us an email.

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Book Club: The Year of the Flood and For the Birds

A photo of Margaret Atwood

For the July edition of Terra Informa’s summer book club, we dive into Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, the second volume in the MaddAddam trilogy. This week we’ll discuss some of the issues raised by the book and our own thoughts on the story. For our younger listeners, we also take a peek at Atwood’s children’s book For the Birds. Warning: this episode contains spoilers!

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Book Club: Being Caribou

Male caribou with big antlers strutting across a meadow

Grab an ice cold drink and settle into your lawn chair: it’s the Terra Informa Summer Book Club! You’re invited to read along with us and share comments or reviews via email, twitter or on facebook. This month, Yvette Thompson leads a discussion on Karsten Heuer’s non-fiction book, Being Caribou.

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