Reflecting on 2016, Environmentally


Happy Holidays everyone! This week we bring the holiday feels with some archive pieces – we discuss whether artificial or real trees are the way to go, and we speak to Tasmia Nishat’s bus driver on his experience growing up with chinooks. The Terra Informers also reflect on the year, environmentally, and their hopes for the future.

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Christmas Tree Showdown

We’re starting to get to that time of year when many of us are on the lookout for a new Christmas tree for our living rooms. We’re usually faced with one of two options: springing for the real deal, or going artificial. But who wins in the ecological showdown between the two types of trees? Each has its pros and cons, but when it when it comes to deciding which is naughty and which is nice, the answer isn’t so cut-and-dried. Before sprucing up your den this holiday season, you might want to hear some of the facts, which Hamdi Issawi will take us through.

Growing up with Chinooks

Is it shi-nook or chi-nook? And you can actually smell them coming?! These are the things Tasmia Nishat gleaned when speaking with her bus driver last year about his experiences growing up with the chinook in Calgary.

Image Credit: Madereugeneandrew on Wikipedia

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Standing Rock Unfolding


This week on Terra Informa, we bring you a Standing Rock special. We got stories reported from Standing Rock, with a timeline of events up to the December 4th 2016 Denial of Easement from the Army Corps of Engineers. Terra Informa speaks with a Standing Rock Elder, a volunteer lawyer, a sacred fire keeper, participants in a Veteran’s Day direct action, and a longtime resident of the camp.

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Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Image Credit: Tasmia Nishat

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Future of the North, Future of Nigeria


On this week’s episode of Terra Informa, we interview one of the world’s leading climate change scientists on the future of the North. Then we have a piece from Climate Radio discussing the climate challenges facing Nigerian communities, accelerated by deforestation.

Laurence C. Smith and the Future of the North

How will the combination of a booming global population, climate change, and rising sea levels transform the world? To Laurence C. Smith, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, the North is set for major gains. Smith will give audiences a glimpse into the future, and describes the world that we are leaving to our children and grandchildren — one that is wholly different from the world we know today.

The Ordeal of Mitigating Climate Change in Nigeria

Forest communities in Cross River State in the southeast Nigeria are losing rights and livelihoods as their forests are being locked down by the government which seeks increased revenues through a United Nations backed ‘carbon trading’ scheme that promises to pay cash for projects that claim to preserve forests to alleviate global climate change.

With deforestation believed to be responsible for about a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism was introduced through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to focus on  controlling the rate of deforestation from logging and degradation.

Social Action, an NGO fighting for the rights of indigenous people in Nigeria, is one of the civil society organizations at the COP22.

Ken Henshaw from Climate Radio enlightens us the ordeal faced by communities in the cross river state of Nigeria.

What’s Happening

19th Annual Wildlights Festival

In Kamloops, BC, throughout December The BC Wildlife Park will be hosting their 19th annual Wildlights Festival. Great for kids, there will be a scavenger hunt, a family farm, a maze, lights, and even visiting with Santa Claus. Tickets range from $8 to $12 for single admissions, to $45 for a full family pass.

Planning for Climate Change

On Tuesday, December 13th, in Haliburton, Ontario, marine biologist Peter Sale will be speaking about how communities can prepare for climate change. Hear how the Muskoka Watershed Council developed its report, how its recommendations were received, and what actions are being planned or taking place already. The presentation will take place at Haliburton United Church at 7:30.

Intro to Camp Cooking

On Thursday, December 15th in Edmonton, Alberta, MEC will be hosting a free camp cooking skills workshop at 7 PM at the MEC Edmonton South location.  Learn about stoves, fuel and cooking for different activites. MEC will also share some of their top-secret tried and tested recipes.

Celebrate Winter Solstice at Stanley Park

On Sunday, December 18th in Vancouver, BC from here will be a winter solstice walk and an Indigenous Solstice dinner. From 1:30-3:30, you can explore the history and customs of mid-winter festivals on a two hour walk through Stanley Park. See the plants that have played pivotal roles in the traditions and decorations that we associate with the holiday season, and hear stories from different cultural traditions surrounding the shortest day of the year. Meet at Lost Lagoon Lakehouse. Tickets range from $5 to $12.50 for members or non-members.

Later in the evening, there will be a fundraising Indigenous dinner for Stanley Park Ecology Society’s education programs. Tickets are $75, and this fundraiser evening’s narratives tell the story of solstice through a First Nations perspective. This event has a set menu with locally-sourced, indigenous dishes.

Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz – NASA Earth Observatory via Wikipedia

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Standing Rock and Indigenous Rights in Alberta


Upper Lake Oahe (Reservoir), between Cannon Ball, North Dakota, and Pollock, South Dakota, as seen from space, October 1985. South is at the top of the photo.

This week, Indigenous Elder Taz Bouchier speaks about her experience at Standing Rock and organizing a prayer camp in Edmonton in solidarity with the Standing Rock water protectors. Indigenous rights activist Eriel Deranger discusses the conflict between Indigenous and colonial perspectives and how Indigenous Climate Action is working to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples.


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Standing Rock and Edmonton Prayer Camp

Just over a week ago, from Thursday November 24th – Saturday November 26th, a three day prayer camp was set up in Churchill Square in Edmonton, in solidarity with Native people protecting water against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota. The prayer camp was organized by Elder Taz Bouchier a descendant of the Original People of this land and a Social Worker. Taz has worked in the areas of justice, social services, addictions & recovery, advocacy, employment & training and community development. Terra Informer Dylan Hall spoke with her after the closing ceremony of the prayer camp in Churchill Square…

Alberta Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Crisis

Terra Informer Lauren Carter interviewed Eriel Deranger, an indigenous rights advocate and member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN). She highlights the current climate crisis faced by Indigenous peoples of Alberta and the moral and legal obligation of governments to work with Indigenous peoples in building progressive and aggressive climate change solutions.


Army Corps of Engineers announcement

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe response

Indigenous Climate Action

International Mountain Day

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Photo by NASA

Nature and the Meaning of Life


This week on Terra Informa we’re discussing the connection between nature and psychology as part of CJSR’s special week of mental health programming. Tune in to learn how connecting with nature enhances well-being, and gives meaning in life. Prescriptions are free. 

Holli-Anne Passmore on Nature, Well-Being, and Meaning in Life

In this special episode focusing on mental health and nature, terra informer Dylan Hall speaks with Holli-Anne Passmore, a PhD Student in Psychological Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Holli-Anne is a positive psychology researcher whose main research areas include 1) how connecting with nature can enhance well-being; 2) meaning in life; 3) full aliveness. She recently started a Nature / Meaning in Life research lab (the Nature-MILL) at UBC for undergraduates interested in pursuing similar research interests. She will also be teaching a course on Meaning in Life at Grant MacEwan university this summer (2017). Listen in to find out how noticing nature inspires feelings of awe, connection, and purpose.  Then, look at the nearest plant, pet your dog, or go outside!

To find out more about Holli-Anne’s most recent study and the noticing nature intervention (and many more well-being interventions) check out The Greater Good in Action:

For more information on Holli-Anne Passmore:

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Image by Simone Kousol-Graham.

COP 22 with Dessima Williams, UN Special Advisor


Heads of delegations at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), which led to the signing of the Paris Agreement. 

First up, news headlines on COP22 in Morocco from Climate Radio, a temporary FM radio station covering the Marrakech Climate Change Conference. Then, an ecobabble from our archives looking back at the 2015 Paris climate talks, followed by Climate radio’s inspirational interview with Dessima Williams, UN special advisor, urging young people to get involved with climate action.


What you need to know about the Paris climate talks

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is held once a year, bringing together members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The 2015 conference was held in Paris, France from November 30 to December 11. This EcoBabble was made leading up to the conference last year, to explain why it would be an especially important conference.

Dessima Williams, United Nations Special Advisor

Exclusive for Climate Radio, Dessima Willams, UN Special Advisor, calls on young people to demand and take sustainable development goals and climate action.

Sounds of Space & Thoughts for Our Future.


Future Landscape by Naomi Vona, 2013

This week we take a look into the past and the great void, to shine some light on our current situation. First Shelley and Dylan talk to some Terra Informa Alumni about their experiences with Fun drive this year. Following that we listen to Ronald Wright as he discusses the past, and allows us to use this information when looking into the future. Lastly, we hear from Dr. Abram Hindle about his creative process when making music inspired by outer space.

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Talking Fun drive with some Alumni  

Alumni of Terra Informa talk with Shelley Jodoin and Dylan Hall about their experiences as Terra Informant’s at this years Fun drive.

The Trap of Progress

Last November, The Parkland Institute kicked off its sixteenth fall conference in Edmonton, Alberta. The theme was Petro, Power and Politics, and the opening keynote was delivered by writer Ronald Wright. Wright is best known for having delivered a CBC Massey Lecture which he called A Short History of Progress. For his lecture at the Parkland Institute, Wright drew on this earlier work to discuss our modern environmental crisis, including climate change and loss of biodiversity. To chart our possible future, Wright looks back to examine the collapse of civilizations all across the world. It’s depressing business, and more than one audience member asked the obvious question: is there any hope at all?

The Sound of Science: What the Universe Sounds Like

Alyssa Hindle and Matt Hirji interviewed Dr. Abram Hindle, a local computing science professor and Noise musician. Alyssa’s brother Abram uses his programming background with inspirations from nature and physics to create unique, and very technically based, sounds. Alyssa Hindle and Matt Hirji spoke with Abram Hindle about his Noise performances and music production.

More information:

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Composting Q&A: FunDrive 2016!

14368929414_16c1eee9d3_oCredit to Philip Cohen for the image. Source: Flickr. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. 

This week we’re sharing our composting segment from a special FunDrive edition of Terra Informa. Shelley Jodoin and Dylan Hall interviewed two composting experts to bring you the motivation and knowledge you need to start and maintain a healthy compost. Tune in to learn how to turn your hummus into humus and get into the dirty business of compost.

Thanks to our guests for sharing their expertise! Mark Stumpf-Allen is a Compost Doctor with the City of Edmonton and Jasmina Alihodzic is a certified master composter.

Thanks to all the donations last week that help make Terra Informa possible. It’s never too late to donate to CJSR 88.5 FM radio, so head on down to!

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