This week we explore the origins of Earth Day with an ecobabble that spans the decades from 1970 to the March for Science of 2017. Next, we’re revisiting an interview with Chris Hadfield from our archives.
Lauren Carter and Dylan Hall hit the streets to find out what the public thinks about Earth Day and the March for Science. You’ll be hearing some of those interviews throughout this ecobabble on the origins of Earth Day. Earth Day began as the environmentalist movement was making its voice heard with protests and educational teach-ins. Today, Earth Day is celebrated across the planet, although its focus has largely turned from political issues to small-scale individual action. Find out how this transition happened, and how the March for Science is changing that with this ecobabble produced by Lauren Carter.
Chris Hadfield Interview From 2013
Most of us will never know what it’s like being in space. We’ve all seen the pictures of that familiar glowing green and blue orb from the viewpoint of a spaceship. We have rich imaginations and age-long fascinations of what could be out there beyond the sky. But what does it smell like? What does it really feel like to be out there? From the 2013 archives, our own Matt Hirji talked to Commander Chris Hadfield about questions like these.
Have a DIY project you’ve been itching to do but just don’t have the supplies? Striving to reduce consumerism and waste? The Edmonton Tool Library has got you covered. We dive into what it’s all about and how you can volunteer or become a member!
This week on Terra Informa, we take a trip to the Edmonton Tool Library, a non-profit that launched in January 2017 and it’s located in the Bellevue Community League. The library shelves are full of donated tools, some well-loved and well-worn, while others barely touched. Members can borrow the tools for their art projects, home renovations, yard clean-ups and more. Terra Informers Shelley Jodoin and Lauren Carter explored the tool library and interviewed two of the board members, Robyn Webb and Leslie Bush. They’ll tell you what a tool library is and how it can save you money, reduce your environmental impact and empower you to take on a do-it-yourself project.
Check out their website where you can view the tool catalogue and sign up for volunteer opportunities. You can also follow them on Facebook and on, Instagram, and Twitter.
You can find sustainability inspiration wherever you go. This episode looks at bioremediation as a sustainable alternative for cleaning up oil spills and heavy metals. We also look at sustainability initiatives in two schools in Alberta.
Think back to a time when you were in school (you might even be a student right now!). How much did you know about sustainability? Did you know what the phrase meant? Did you care? Right now, sustainability education is becoming more and more prevalent in schools, but we still have a long way to go. Listen in this week as Nicole Richard and Paula Daza explore the ways that teachers and students in Edmonton are working on making their schools more sustainable.
At the time of original airing, Nicole and Paula were students at the University of Alberta, incorporating community service and community learning into their degrees. To learn more about their project We the Future, click here.
Leila Darwish on Bioremediation
In a time when spills, leaks, and environmental disasters are becoming more and more common, how do we clean up in a way that’s both reasonable and responsible? Prevention, of course, is always the best policy, but even the best laid plans go awry, and when they do, one answer is often overlooked: bioremediation. Tasmia Nishat speaks with Leila Darwish, author of Earth Repair, about the healing potential of sunflowers and oyster mushrooms backyard contamination, big spills, and everything in between.
Leila Darwish is also a founding member of Terra Informa and at the time of original airing was the Council of Canadians’ Pacific regional organizer. You can read her blog here.
If you would like to learn more about any of the headlines you heard, please click the links below.
Many young people in the English-speaking world choose to travel abroad and teach English in a foreign country. However, the enriching experience of extended cultural travel does not have to be restricted to the realm of teaching English. Terra Informa’s Miro Radovic sat down with young Edmontonian Nicholas Mickelsen to discuss a program that enabled him to spend almost a year on an organic farm in Europe as a WWOOFer with the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms network.
Pet vs Food
About this time back in 2013 Terra Informer Nicole Wiart talked to Alberta Micro Pigs’ Angela Hardy and Irvings Farm Fresh’s Nicola Irving. The two of them both raise and breed pigs in the Edmonton area, one for food… the other for pets. Throughout the interviews, Nicole noticed strange similarities between both women and the way they viewed the pigs, despite raising, breeding, and feeding them for incredibly different purposes.
Ecobabble: What does it mean to be a free range egg?
Scrambled, poached, sunny side up. Whether they came before the chicken, or the chicken before them, eggs are a breakfast staple. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart brings us an EcoBabble – where she enlists some local farmers to try to break down the term “free range.” It’s just one of the many terms that you can find on a carton of eggs – but as you’ll soon find out, defining free range is not as simple as it sounds.
This week on Terra Informa, Terra Informer Amanda Rooney chats with Hélène Lauzon, the co-chair on an expert panel set up by the federal government to work on investigating the modernization of the National Energy Board. Then, in an archive, Danielle Dalgoy and Riyah Lakhani catch up with electrical engineer Warren Sarauer from the Solar Energy Society of Alberta to talk about the future of renewables back in November 2014.
About two weeks ago Terra Informer Amanda Rooney spoke with Hélène Lauzon. Ms.Lauzon is the co-chair on an expert panel set up by the federal government to work on investigating how the National Energy Board can be modernized.
The National Energy Board regulates international and interprovincial energy projects such as pipelines, powerlines and energy exports. The 5 person expert panel has been travelling across Canada holding discussions with stakeholders and the public. They have even held separate days especially encouraging the participation of Indigenous individuals and groups. Check out Amanda Rooney and Carter Gorzitza’s story about some of what the board has heard so far.
When you were a kid in school and you first learned about solar power, did you think, why don’t they put those on our roof? Terra Informa’s Danielle Dolgoy thought a lot about solar power growing up under Edmonton’s big, sunny skies. It seemed simple enough. Slap a few panels up on the house and school, and stop polluting the water, air, and soil.
As solar technology has improved over the last decade it is rapidly becoming a viable alternative to burning fossil fuels. And as energy industry heads scramble to maintain their dominance over the delivery of the essential thing: energy, certain myths have begun to creep into the conversation.
Some people say that solar power is too costly to produce and thus, is not a real alternative for the everyday consumer. Others say that the process of manufacturing solar panels, or modules as the professionals call them, is just as hazardous to the environment as conventional electricity generation. So why mess with what we already know? They say we should stick with the reliable energy that we’ve always trusted and continue using the infrastructure in place in the same way we always have.
Danielle caught up with business owner, electrical engineer, and solar power enthusiast Warren Sarauer recently, to bust these myths. After she and Terra Informa’s Riyah Lakhani attended Sarauer’s talk on solar energy hosted by the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, called “Solar Energy: How to Generate Your Own Power and Sell It Back to the Grid”, they both wanted to know more about the viability of solar power for themselves and the people they know.
What is urban? Who is responsible for the urban environment? What’s the role of bees? What the heck is an IKEA Growroom? Terra Informers Shelley Jodoin and Carter Gorzitza ask these questions and more of Hayley Wasylycia, an organizer of Urban Week, which is coming to the University of Alberta March 20th to 24th.
This week is a special episode that was especially fun to make. Sometimes, when we have an extra cool story that the whole Terra Informa team is invested in, we all go on a field trip together. A couple Sundays ago, we travelled to a Grain Terminal in the City of Edmonton to see some rare birds of prey and meet the folks who watch and photograph them there.
In class this semester, Edmonton-famous professor and naturalist John Acorn told his students about a special place in the city that attracts hundreds of pigeons each day, who in turn attract rare birds of prey who feed on them. Terra Informer Amanda Rooney took several friends and fellow Terra Informers to the Alberta Grain Terminal in North Edmonton to take it in. In this story, we see hundreds of pigeons, one very lucky sparrow, some merlin falcons, and a prairie falcon.
Green Drinks: Green Economy
Green Drinks is a gathering of Edmonton’s green-minded professionals to meet new friends, network, and indulge in a local brew. This event takes place at the Yellowhead Brewery on Wednesday, March 1st and featured guests include HEATHER SPEERS, the Project Coordinator for the MacEwan University’s social innovation hub project; Mark Anielski an economic strategist specializing in measuring well-being and happiness and also award-winning author of The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth, and many more. Get more info on eventbrite.com.
Aboriginal Law Speaker Series
Also in Edmonton, check out the Aboriginal Law Speaker Series hosted by the University of Alberta’s Aboriginal Law Students Association. The series start March 6th with Eriel Deranger, who we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing on Terra Informa about Alberta Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Crisis. The speaker series is free and more information can be found on Facebook event.
This week on Terra Informa, we look to the archives to discuss the future of humanity and the place oil has in that future. First off we have Chris Chang-Yen Phillips with Brandon Schatz talking about science-fiction and its reflection of our current and future states. After that we talk to Jennifer Jacquet about the effectiveness of shaming in modern protest. And lastly we talk with Todd Hirsch about the future of oil in Alberta and the his view on the future economic framework of this province.
Not everyone likes reading books about the future. Unless you already read science fiction, speculative fiction, or science-fiction as they’re collectively called, you might feel like the whole genre is just about slapstick robots and Orion slave girls. To be fair, some of it is about slapstick robots and Orion slave girls. But Sci-Fi can also teach us a lot about the way we live today. And help us imagine something different. For more on why your summer reading list should venture into the world of ansibles, hyperspace, and pigoons, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke to Brandon Schatz, manager of Wizard Comics in Edmonton.
Shaming Our Way Past Petrol
For activists trying to get all of society to shift to a renewable energy future, does it work to shame those keeping us in the past? Shame is divisive and combative. But Jennifer Jacquet thinks shame is a great tool in the activist toolkit. This academic in New York University’s department of Environmental Studies published the book Is Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool.
Alberta’s Post-Oil Future
As demand for Alberta’s oil drops lower and lower in the decades to come, how will the province’s economy change? How will we move forward and learn to prosper in new ways? For some perspective on these questions, we turned to Todd Hirsch, chief economist at ATB Financial.