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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.

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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?

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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!

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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

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

Albertan Youth Taking on Climate Change

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Hannah Cunningham and Carter Gorzitza at the Pembina Institute’s Youth Climate Summit 2018

More and more often we’re seeing young people in environmental headlines, speaking out about climate change action, and willing to call out politicians and corporations to do what is right and necessary to prevent catastrophic global warming. Greta Thunberg is a great example of a tenacious youth getting the message across to older generations that big change is needed if young people are to inherit a livable future. This week we’re speaking with youth involved in creating change!

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Pembina Institute Youth Climate Summit 2018

In September 2018, Terra Informers Hannah Cunningham and Carter Gorzitza took a trip down to Calgary to attend the Pembina Institute’s Alberta Climate Summit. One of the presentations featured local young people who talked about a variety of innovative projects they had come up with to assist in the transition to a sustainable energy future.
The Projects included hands-on renewable energy labs on school rooftops, sustainable municipal wastewater treatment infrastructure, and the creation of an indigenous student energy summit. Hannah and Carter caught up with the group after their presentation to get the low-down on what they’ve been working on.

The Green Medium

In October, 2017 Sofia Osborne spoke with Elizabeth Geirl, an engineering student and one of the founders of The Green Medium, an award-winning, youth environmental awareness blog. Elizabeth was at the Youth Climate Summit in 2018 as well. 

Headlines & What’s Happening

Germany Lignite phase out plan: Setting an Example

International Week at the University of Alberta

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Myrtle and Charlie Ed, Revisited

 

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Photo Credit: torange

This week on Terra Informa, we return to “The Ballad of Myrtle and Charlie Ed”, a documentary from our archives, presented by Anthony Goertz. This is a story about discovering a story – one filled with charm, heart, and a great elephant escape!

Headlines cover Canada’s reception at COP24, Chinese internment of Uyghurs and Muslims in East Turkistan, and new research on cooperative bat behaviour. 

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Canada at COP24

Last month, in Katowice, Canada was being called out at COP 24called out at COP 24 in Poland to step up and fill a leadership void in climate talks at the conference.  Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, assures that the Paris targets will be met, but has not yet announced a plan that would come close to doubling emissions cuts, as required to keep warming to one and a half degrees Celsius, as outlined necessary by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report.

Chinese interment of Uyghurs over mineral resources

In East Asia, China continues its crackdown on Uyghurs  and Muslims in East Turkistan, forcing over a million people into internment camps and prisons. Detention of East Turkish citizens secures this mineral-rich region for the Chinese state. Competition for mineral resources is increasing, with resource extraction used to justify the degradation of the environment and genocide of people in poorer nations by those with wealth.

At Terra Informa, environmental issues are social justice issues.  Raw wealth feeds wealthy countries and fuels their greenhouse gas emissions. Poor countries end up the least able to adapt to climate impacts like floods and droughts, both because they don’t have the money, and because their degraded ecosystems are less resistant to change.

News on bats!

In news on bats: a new study shows how, in the face of food unpredictability, a number of species of bats will forage cooperatively in social groups. When food sources are predictable bats forage and eat alone as other bats may pose a threat to the individual bat’s access to food. But in cases of social foraging, bats actively help each other find food sources.

Edward Hurme, a UMD biological sciences graduate student in Maryland Biology Professor Gerald Wilkinson’s laboratory says that the next steps for this research are to look into what strategies are utilized by the bats, whether bats prefer to follow other bats of their own species, and if they can differentiate between individuals or not.

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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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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