Episodes

Episode of our radio show / podcast.

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!

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Investigating in Alberta

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Continental no. 9 oil well at Woodbend, Alberta. Photo Credit: Provincial Archive of Alberta.

This week we present a single interview between Terra Informer Sofia Osborne and Sharon Riley. Riley is an investigative journalist covering energy and the environment in Alberta for The Narwhal, an independent online magazine that reports on the basis that climate change is a real and happening issue.

Read Riley’s story on delinquent oil and gas wells in Alberta here.

Download episode now.

Download program log here.

De-Extinction: Should We Resurrect Extinct Animal Species?

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Giant Tortoise in Floreana Island’s breeding program (photo courtesy of galapagos.org).

What if we could bring extinct animal species back from the dead? This week, Terra Informer Sofia Osborne brings us a story about de-extinction: the use of selective breeding, cloning, and genetic engineering to “resurrect” extinct species. This technology poses a lot of moral and ethical questions—would these “de-extincted” animal species be authentic? Could they ever be wild? Do we owe it to the species we’ve driven to extinction to bring them back? And who should decide whether we use this technology? Listen now to dive into these questions and more.

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Reading List: Looking for more information on de-extinction? Check out these reads:

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Zoological illustration of Passenger Pigeons from 1907 (Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download program log here.

Sponge Reefs of the Pacific Canadian Deep

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Photo credit: Canadian Geographic

This week, Terra Informer Jeremie Mahaux speaks with Nathan Grant, a graduate student at the University of Alberta. In their interview, we’ll hear about the Hecate Strait Marine Protected Area off the coast of northern British Columbia, as well as Nathan’s research on a fascinating and uniquely Canadian animal: glass sponges. Wanna hear about what a marine field scientist gets up to on the daily? What kind of food do they get to eat on coast guard ships? We’ll find out! 

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Headlines

Alberta NDP shelving oil sands emissions cap

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Camping, climbing and COP24

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Crypt Lake Trail @ Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Photo Credit: Daveynin 

This week on Terra Informa, we dig in to COP24 and follow a conversation between new Terra Informer Kesia and outdoor enthusiast Yuliya Fakhr. Kesia and Yuliya explore the independence and liberation experienced in the Great Outdoors, the connection between spirituality and nature, and what it’s like to be a first-time rock climber. 

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Headlines

A recent study in the journal Nature Communications states the current climate policies of China, Canada, and Russia will drive climatic change of more than five degrees Celsius, resulting in catastrophic warming.  The authors state the metrics presented in the paper “translates the lack of ambition on a global scale to a national scale”, and that these findings should be a motivation for civilians, knowledge-holders, and decision-makers to hold governments accountable.

A new study from School of Planning at the University of Waterloo brings to light the way cars and urban planning often go hand-in-hand with elections and political views. The study discusses the effectiveness of urban planning efforts to make cities more environmentally  sustainable. Canadian researchers find that reliance on cars has led to car-centric urban planning which is further propagated by voters choosing politicians that want to maintain these unsustainable lifestyles.

On November 26 2018, ENvironnement JEUnesse applied to bring a class action against the Canadian government before the Superior Court of Québec on behalf of Quebecers aged 35 and under. They are suing the government for inaction on climate change, in light of the recent recommendation from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to avoid any delay as the Earth’s temperature is on the rise.

COP 24

Delegates and government leaders are meeting this week for COP24, the United Nations’ 24th annual climate conference in Katowice, Poland. This year’s conference is being referred to as “Paris 2.0” because it is expected to deliver the set of rules that will govern the Paris Agreement along with the tools for its effective implementation.

Interestingly, this year you can participate, too. The UN created a “People’s Seat” for you to “virtually sit” and share your views alongside government leaders at the climate talks. To join the effort, tag your thoughts with hashtag #TakeYourSeat on social media.

Civic engagement is critical! Individuals can help by holding our politicians accountable – anything from voting and letter-writing to protesting are ways to demand that your government is working in your interest and the interest of future generations.

Download program log here.

Talking Indigenous-led Environmental Assessment with The Firelight Group

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This week on Terra Informa, we have an interview with Dr. Ginger Gibson, one of the directors and founders of the Firelight Group, an organization that works to support Indigenous peoples and governments defending their rights and their land. Terra Informer Dylan Hall spoke with Ginger about the Firelight Group and the successes they’ve seen, particularly in Indigenous-led environmental review as a route for Indigenous Nations’ to express their right to self-governance despite a colonial Canadian state. More information about the Firelight group can be found at their website: www.thefirelightgroup.com, and the report on Indigenous-led environmental review spoken of in the interview can be found here.

Headlines

85 people have been arrested after protesters occupied five bridges in London, England on Saturday, November 17th in one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in UK history. The blockade was organized as part of a campaign run by Extinction Rebellion, a new group that aims to force governments to recognize and treat the threats of climate change and extinction as a crisis. Extinction Rebellion has organized various other acts of protest during the month of November, resulting in an additional 60 people being arrested for acts of civil disobedience. This Saturday was the climax of two weeks of protest, with approximately six thousand people taking part in the campaign. The group is calling for governments to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025 and to establish a “citizens assembly” to device an emergency plan of action. Extinction Rebellion now has offices based in central London and has eleven international events planned to take place in Canada, the United States, Germany, Australia, and France.
More information here: https://rebellion.earth/

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Photo by Forest and Kim Starr

PINHOLE CAMERAS AND CHANGING OCEANS

Terra Informa Nov 20 blog photo

Credit to Timkal for the image

This week we dive into an interview with Natalie Baird, a Masters student using participatory art methods to document Inuit knowledge in Canada’s north, and explore how this knowledge can be applied to climate change. Natalie’s work takes place in Pangnirtung – an Inuit community in Nunavut, located on Baffin Island. In the interview, Hannah and Natalie talk about sharing local knowledge, the accessibility of climate change science, how to make a pinhole camera, and much more. Headlines include the launch of the brand new Energy Efficiency Canada program, and the announcement of new (and much-needed) funding for conservation of Species at Risk. 

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Headlines

Efficiency Canada launched this week, aiming to be the “National Voice for an Energy Efficient Economy”. Efficiency Canada is a multidisciplinary agency focusing on advocacy and communication in regards to pushing for renewables in Canada. The project was started by Carleton University. With a focus on economic growth in the lens of renewable resources, the organization has already released a report of 2019 budget priorities for the federal government.

On November 9th the government of Canada released news they are committing over $9 million to almost 100, local-level conservation projects. over the next 3 years. Half of the projects will be funded by the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk, which works with Indigenous communities to implement the Species at Risk Act.

Download program log here