Cycling and a Couple of Queers

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Photos by: SNAQCS

The month of June marks a time of recognition of two things that Terra Informer Charlotte Thomasson holds close to her heart; being queer and cycling. June is Pride Month, commemorating the 1969 Stonewall Riots that played a large role in queer activism. And, in our home city of Edmonton, Alberta, June is also Bike Month, a time where some extra effort is put into encouraging people to get out and cycle. So, when Charlotte had the opportunity to do an interview that brought these two things together, she jumped at the chance to bring us this week’s extra special episode.

This week, Charlotte speaks with Mackenzy Albright, one of the founders of SNAQCS, a Slow Nice And Queer Cycloventure Squad based out of Victoria, British Columbia that creates a welcoming space for members of the LGBTQIA2S community who want to have fun and ride bikes! Tune in to hear Charlotte and Mackenzy share cycling stories, talk about businesses and queerbaiting, the binary of the outdoors community, and how SNAQCS is pushing the boundaries.

Download episode now.

Download program log here.

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The Perils and Responsibilities of Science Communication

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Image by: Discover Magazine Blogs

This week on Terra Informa, we discuss some of the world’s big problems, like climate change and antimicrobial resistance, and how the communication of information about them can either be motivating or discouraging.

Download episode now. 

It would be understandable if you used the word ‘apocalyptic’ to describe issues such as climate change and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, especially with the way that the media covers these issues. In this episode, Terra Informer Dylan Hall interviews PhD Candidate Scott Mitchell on a presentation he delivered at the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences on the story of antimicrobial resistance, what this ‘apocalypse’ has in common with climate change, and how the public isn’t always getting the message.

Headlines

Changing the language when talking about climate change
– The Guardian: ‘Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment’
– CBC: ‘Is climate change actually a ‘climate crisis?’ Some think so.’

Bike Month in Edmonton!
– The City of Edmonton: ‘Enjoy bike month’
– The University of Alberta Students’ Union: Bike Library and Workshop
Bike Edmonton

What’s Happening

Indigenous Rights and a Green New Deal

A Green New Deal For All

Download program log.

All About Birds Continued!

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Photo by: Bird Canada

You thought we were done with birds? Think again!
We were so amazingly overwhelmed with bird-related content for our June 4, 2019 episode that we didn’t have a chance to use all of it, so we’re bringing it to you this week. This time, it’s PERSONAL – that is, lots of lovely stories about why people love birds, which birds are their favourites, and wild encounters. Terra Informers Amanda Rooney and Carter Gorzitza are working in Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park for the summer, so they chatted with their friends Austin Zeller and Fiona Spitzig about their feathered faves.

Download episode now.

Push for a Canadian Green New Deal

The Green New Deal was introduced in the United States by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey as a congressional resolution to address global climate change. The Green New Deal calls for the ending of the United States’ fossil fuel dependency in order to avoid the catastrophic consequences of runaway climate change. While the push for a Green New Deal started in the United States, the word is spreading around the globe, and many Canadian communities and organizations are now beginning to make the same demands.

There are over 150 townhall meetings being organized all across Canada to deliberate on what a Green New Deal could look like in Canada – how it could mean the creation of new jobs, a more equitable economy, and a means of facing the many threats of climate change head-on. The first town hall was held right here, in Edmonton Alberta, on Saturday, May 18th. The event was organized by Climate Justice Edmonton and drew a crowd of 250 people into the Ritchie Community League Hall.

Event: A Green New Deal for All with The Leap and Friends

New York Times: What is the Green New Deal? A Climate Proposal, Explained

Edmonton Journal: Opinion: Green New Deal could bring prosperity back to Alberta

Pipeline Myths and Facts

Both the newly elected and former Alberta provincial governments campaigned heavily around the imperative of pipelines and oil exports for the province’s economy and well-being of people in this province. However, like all political advertising, there were no obligations for these parties to practice truth in advertising. Award-winning journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, a regular on the energy industry beat, writes about a few of the myths, and some of the facts, around the Alberta oil and gas industry and the TransMountain pipeline. Check out the full article for all the myths, facts, and details.

The Tyee: Frustrated by Pipeline Myths Albertans Tell Themselves? Here are the Facts

The 10th Annual Camrose Purple Martin Festival

This Saturday, June 15th, the 10th Annual Camrose Purple Martin Festival is taking place! This single-day event is full of activities and opportunities to learn all about Purple Martins and how to get them into your backyard. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Purple Martin

Download program log here.

All about BIRDS

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Photo by: Rick Bohn

This week, Charlotte Thomasson talked to resident Nature Nut, John Acorn, about local bird songs and birding stories, with audio captured by Terra Informers live in Edmonton, Alberta, near Drumheller, Alberta, and on Saturna Island in British Columbia.

Download episode here

Find out your bird name!

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Photo by Moore Laboratory of Zoology

What’s Happening

If you’re in the Edmonton area this coming weekend, check out Sustainaval!, Edmonton’s renewable energy powered carnival that promotes sustainable living. Located in the northwest corner of the Kingsway Mall parking lot, Sustainaval! features midway rides, games, and educational activities.

https://sustainival.com/event/edmonton/

Bird songs and soundscapes provided by John Acorn, Chris Chang-yen Phillips, Amanda Rooney, Carter Gorzitza, Fiona Marin, Austin Zeller, Sofia Osborne, Shelley Jodoin, Elizabeth Dowdell, Charlotte Thomasson, and Hannah Cunningham.

Download program log here

 

Sharing is Caring: Urban planning, entrepreneurship, and collaborative consumption

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Photo by: Matt Harrop

This week on Terra Informa, sharing is caring. We’ll be discussing what sustainability means to urban planning, getting recent planning graduate, Sonak Patel’s thoughts on shared economies, and then talking toolsharing with Graham Hansen, an entrepreneur interested in collaborative consumption. 

Download episode now.

Sustainability and Urban Planning

Terra Informer Elizabeth Dowdell speaks with Sonak Patel, a recent graduate of the school of urban and regional planning at the University of Alberta. How do city planners incorporate sustainability into the function and layout of the communities we live in? Does sustainability mean new bike lanes and green spaces, or does it go deeper? Get the answers to those questions, and some other questions about planning you might not even know you had.

For more, check out the Resilient Cities website.

Toolsharing and Collaborative Consumption

Next up, Terra Informer Sydney Karbonik interviews entrepreneur and CEO Graham Hansen. Graham’s interests in collaborative consumption and shared economies inspired him to start ToolShare, a website that connects people who have tools to people who need tools. 

Download program log here.

Endangered Habitat, Past and Present

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Photo cred: ErikaWittlieb

This week at Terra Informa we deep dive into a recent World Wildlife Fund report on conservation lands across Canada, hear from University of Alberta professor Rene Belland about less promoted endangered species, and visit an archive from 2010 about a public land sale known as “Potatogate”.

Download episode now.

WWF asks “how much is enough?”

Terra Informer Hannah Cunningham goes in depth on a recent World Wildlife Fund report that asks how much land is needed to conserve at-risk species and how Canada has been handling the challenge. The report is titled “Wildlife Protection Assessment: A national habitat crisis”  and and maps out key ecological gaps in Canada’s existing protected area network while highlighting places that should be considered high-priority areas for protection.

Rene Belland talks Porsild’s Bryum

Terra Informer Hannah Cunningham interviews University of Alberta professor and “Moss Boss” Dr. Rene Belland about endangered species that don’t get the same attention as our polar bears and killer whales, but are no less at-risk. Watch this video from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute about the recovery of an endangered species of green, cushy, water-loving moss named Porsild’s Bryum to see the Moss Boss in action!

Public Land sales and Potatogate

We revisit an archive from 2010 featuring Terra Informers Alex Hindle and Ian Mackenzie, with an interview of Alberta Wildlife Association conservation specialist Carolyn Campbell about a proposed sale of endangered prairie grasslands. The story investigates the massive sale of 16,000 acres of Crown grass lands to private developers – known as POTATOGATE. The sale tried to be secretive, but was unearthed by engaged citizens and media, who responded with fury. Did the land sale go through? Listen to find out or read about the history of Public Land sales in Alberta here.

Download program log here.

Treaty, Climate Change, and Relationships to the Land

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Photo by: The Walrus

This week on Terra Informa, we chat with Indigenous activist and educator Lewis Cardinal after recording an excerpt of a talk he gave at the University of Alberta’s International Week this past February. We asked what treaty means for our relationships to land, the more-than-human, and to each other in these troubled times. 

Download episode now.

Headlines:

Indigenous Woarani peoples win landmark lawsuit against Ecuadorian Government 

UK goes 4 days without coal – a new record

One million species facing extinction according to UN

Bighorn Provincial Park proposal rescinded because of changes in the Alberta Government

Download program log here.

Literature in the Face of Climate Crisis

 

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Photo cred: congerdesign

This week on Terra Informa, we’re diving into the world of storytelling and literature. How can the humanities help us prepare ourselves for the environmental troubles we are facing today and into the future? What do works of fiction have to do with environmental activism?

Download episode now.

Shakespeare and the Ecological Crisis

Terra Informer Sofia Osborne interviews Dr. Carolyn Sale, an associate professor in the department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta who will be teaching a course in the upcoming fall semester on Shakespeare and the Ecological Crisis. Dr. Sale and Sofia talk about the pressing issue of our current ecological crises, why we can’t seem to do anything about it, and how the humanities can help us think about how to be primed and ready actors in the uncertain world we live in.

Storytelling as Environmental Activism

Keeping on with the literary theme, Terra Informer Sydney Karbonik reads a paper she wrote about storytelling and how it can relate to environmental activism.

Headlines

A Tale of Two War Rooms

One of the campaign promises made by Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party was the creation of an “energy war room” run by the Environment Minister and a public relations team. This “energy war room” would support work to challenge any critics of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Intent on “[rebutting] every lie told by the green left”, Kenney has promised that this energy war room will receive 30 million dollars of funding.

This  didn’t sit well with many Alberta environmentalists, and especially not with members of the group Climate Justice Edmonton. Members of Climate Justice Edmonton have started a GoFundMe page for their own war room, but this one comes with a much more environmentally-friendly agenda. With a goal of raising 30 thousand dollars, Climate Justice Edmonton will use the funds to support their work having face-to-face conversations with Albertans about the need for a just transition to 100% renewable energy, training more environmental activism organizers, and engaging in creative direct action for Indigenous rights along with climate justice.

Some specific projects on the horizon for Climate Justice Edmonton include collaborating with the  Beaver Hills Warriors, a local collective of Indigenous youth, to build an Indigenous food sovereignty movement, as well as talking to and training other Albertans on how to build a Green New Deal for the province. As of May 2, 2019, Climate Justice Edmonton has raised over 14 thousand dollars towards their 30 thousand dollar goal.

What’s Happening

Alberta Bike Swap Farewell Ride

On Saturday May 11, come on down to the Alberta Bike Swap Farewell Ride at the Edmonton Expo Center to buy, sell, or donate a bike. Consign a bike between 8am and 2:00pm, shop for a used bike from 2:30-4pm, or donate a bike any time between 8am and 4pm. Admission is $2 per person or free for kids under 12. 

Founded in 2011 by Laura and Chris Grant, the Alberta Bike Swap is an annual bicycle consignment event billed as the “safe place to buy, sell, or donate” a bike. Given the time and financial commitments, this is the last year Laura and Chris will be organizing the event. 

Arbor Day Tree Story Sharing

Did you know the City of Edmonton celebrates Arbor Day on May 11th? This holiday encourages individuals to plant trees, taking place at different times in different places during the spring, varying by climate and planting season. In Edmonton, grade one students began receiving conifer seedlings to plant in the early 1950s. Soon after, grade one students all over Alberta began to receive seedlings.

Do you remember where you planted your Arbor Day tree? Is it still standing by your childhood home? The City of Edmonton is encouraging people to submit their stories about what their Arbor Day trees mean to them to an interactive map of the City that identifies trees that grade one students of the past have planted.

Download program log here.