Alberta

Sustainability in Classrooms and Constitutions

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That bite in the September autumn air is a tell-tale sign of back to school. This week, we dug into our archives and uncovered a 2016 piece about sustainability in Alberta schools, as well as another archive that helps us consider the pros and cons of including the environment in national constitutions.

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Sustainability in Alberta Classrooms

Right now, sustainability education is becoming more and more prevalent in schools, but we still have a long way to go. In 2016, Nicole Richard and Paula Daza spoke with the teachers of Brightview Elementary School and the students of the Sustainability Club from Cochrane High School about how students can be inspired by sustainability and environment-focused education. Nicole and Paula, students from the University of Alberta, incorporated this type of community engagement into their degrees through their project called We the Future.

Good Living

When we think of a constitution we think of basic “human” rights. We, as humans, have the right to vote, the right to practice religion, the right to own property. But what about nature? Ecuador was the first country in the world to establish the rights of nature at a national level, including it in the 2008 constitution. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart talks to Doctor Kelly Swing of the Tiputini biodiversity station in Ecuador about how this constitutional change is great in theory, but in practice, there are a lot of hurdles to still overcome. Nicole Wiart talks to Doctor Kelly Swing.

This Week’s Headlines

St. Albert to Destroy Invasive Koi (CBC) – Click here

Meetings between Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Over the Trans Mountain Pipeline (CBC) – Click here

Smart Traffic Lights in Ottawa (National Observer) – Click here

Download program log here.

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Mary Schäffer and Women, Wilderness, and Photography

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This week on Terra Informa,  we’re bringing you an interview with Colleen Skidmore about the story of Mary Schäffer, a distinguished exploring woman in Alberta from the 20th century.

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If you live near the Rocky Mountains Alberta, you might have heard the name Schäffer before. There’s a hike in Jasper by Maligne lake called Mary Shäffer Loop and there’s a ballroom named after Mary Schäffer in the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. At the University of Alberta, one of the residences on the University of AB campus is called Shäffer Hall.

But who was  Mary Schaffer? University of Alberta historian of photography, Dr. Colleen Skidmore, asked herself this same question before she embarked on writing her latest book: “Finding Mary Schaffer: Women, Wilderness, Photography”. Amanda Rooney and Sofia Osborne spoke with Dr. Skidmore to gain more insight into who Mary Schaffer was and why we still know her name today.

Download program log here.

Photo credit: Used with permission from University of Alberta Press

Speculating the Future and Utilizing Shame for Good

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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.

Lenses on the Future

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.

Download program log here.

Photo by: Chris Yakimov (https://www.flickr.com/photos/doucy/)

Tiny Organisms, Big Impacts! Moss and Bees

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This week’s episode features two stories about itty bitty organisms packing a big environmental punch. Learn about mosses with Tasmia Nishat and from the archives, get the scoop on urban beekeeping in Edmonton with Chris Chang-Yen Phillips.

Download episode here.

Urban Beekeeping

There are plenty of frontiers in urban agriculture: community gardens, backyard chickens—beekeeping might be the one that makes neighbours and politicians the most nervous. But after years of debate and a pilot project eased us into the idea, Edmonton has finally opened the doors to backyard beekeeping.

Edmonton’s City Council changed its bylaws in April 2015 to allow residents to get their own licensed beehive. So what does it look like (and sound like) to get a delivery of thousands of bees?

Chris Chang-Yen Phillips joined Kyla Tichkowsky, Steph Ripley and Lisa Lumley to find out.

Download Program Log here.

Photo credit to Mike Phobos

Terra Informa Attends the Alberta Energy Efficiency Open House

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Last month, Terra Informers Amanda Rooney and Tasmia Nishat attended the Energy Efficiency and Community Energy in Alberta Open House.  There, they spoke with an MLA  on Leduc’s ambitious solar initiative, Solar4all Alberta, and community members interested in making the public feedback process more inclusive.


Download episode here.

MLA Shaye Anderson on Leduc’s Solar Electricity Initiatives

The city of Leduc recently installed Canada’s largest rooftop solar system at the Leduc Recreation Center. Terra Informa spoke with MLA Shaye Anderson about the installation, and about sustainability in general.

Solar4All Alberta

With a name like Solar4All Alberta, you can guess what Solar4All’s mandate is. But what are they asking for, specifically, from the government? Terra Informa finds out.

Queers and Pals Attend Energy Efficiency Forum

With public forums like these, how do we make sure that they are inclusive? We spoke with community members Parker Leflar and Rebecca Jade about how to make sure marginalized groups aren’t left out of the conversation.

The Fermi Paradox i.e. Counting the little green men & big blue planets

Paul Gilster enjoys one of the most unlikely of day jobs: writing full-time on the science of space travel as the lead journalist for the Tau Zero Foundation. You can find his nearly daily updates on the website Centauri Dreams. Trevor Chow-Fraser got in touch with Paul to help us understand one of the central mysteries of outer space, the question we’ve all had at some point when looking up at the stars—are we alone in the big vast universe? Or, is there life up there in the stars? And if so, well why the heck haven’t they come calling? That’s the question scientists call the Fermi Paradox.

Terra Informa August 23 Episode Log.

Photo credit to Unsplash.

Ecology and Feminism Part 1

April 17 TI

Pieces from Diane Connor’s recent art exhibition, Entanglement, an exploration of feminist identity, gender roles and expectations.

Although Ecofeminism is not a well known environmental movement, Ecofeminism and Ecofeminist ideas are found in books, art, environmental activism, and government policy. But what is it? Is it relevant today? And how can we live out Ecofeminist principles in our everyday life?

We will be exploring these ideas in a two-part series. This week, Amanda Rooney talked to politician Linda Duncan and Wai Tarp talked to social activist Diane Connors to bring you  talk about how Feminism and Environmentalism are related.
Photo by Dianne Connor

Dandelions: Aesthetic Crime or Unexplored Potential?

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This week’s episode includes a story on dandelions from guest contributors Jacques Gartner and Brendan Wyant and an ecobabble on weeds from Chris Chang-Yen Phillips.

Download episode here.

What if we could make use of something that people typically try to throw away? That was one of the questions we wanted to explore when Jacques Gartner and Brendan Wyant began their project on dandelions. Dandelions are a contentious issue; the topic comes up every spring as the little yellow petals begin to appear. People often resort to spraying herbicides on them purely for aesthetic reasons. Locally the city of Edmonton has typically regarded the dandelion as a weed and has resorted to spraying herbicides to eliminate them. Recently however the city of Edmonton has cut down drastically on its spraying practices resulting in numerous complaints.

Download Program Log here.

Photo by Greg Hume

Return of Misinforma

Flickr - Kanichat

Back by seasonal demand, it’s the return of Return of Misinforma: the show that turns up the heat on environmentalists. (For best results, return on April 1st).

We ask the questions that are too controversial for you to ask yourself—like what to do with Iceland? Do we really need water? Plus a special investigative feature on Canada’s radical, extremist environmentalists. And of course, it’s time for the annual Ezra Levant Award for Excellence in Excellence in Journalism!

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What’s Pissed Off Chris

Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland

Terra Misinforma’s regular shock columnist Chris Chang-Yen Phillips has an idea he’d like to get off his chest. It’s about a certain Scandinavian nation that’s become a hot tourist destination for those in search of a union of lava fields and icy slopes.

Reflections on Water: A Debate

Another great use for water.

What’s water really good for besides hockey, hosing down activists, and raining on parades? As far as natural resources go, water’s just a drop in the bucket, and we’ve decided to wash our hands of it. But unlike most media outlets, we try to get you both sides of every story, even if the other is patently wrong. So, to stand up for the big blue—or green, or whatever colour gets you hippies out of bed these days—eco-conscious Canadian Nelly von Hoser joined us in studio for a short and shallow conservation—errr—conversation on the merits of water.

Spawns of Seitan: Canada’s Terrifying Ecoterrorists

You hear news on Terra Misinforma all the time about the misguided misdeeds of Canada’s environmentalists. Fortunately, our great government is starting to catch on. In recent years, politicians, pundits and police have all identified environmentalists as the leading threat to the nation. To tell us more, we’ve got Trevor Chow-Fraser, who went undercover in his fight to remain vigilant against domestic extremism in the name of environmentalism.

Our most excellent awards segment

(Photo Credit: http://www.canada.com/Ezra%2BLevant%2Bbrings%2Bback%2BMuhammad%2Bcartoons%2Bduring%2Blaunch/4637742/story.html)

The one and only Ezra Levant.

It’s that time of year when we celebrate the best of the best. Yes, it’s time to hand out the Ezra Levant Award for Excellence in Excellence in Journalism. In a tribute to the paragon of journalism that we, as Canadians, dream of reaching in our own work, the Ezra Levant Award for Excellence in Excellence goes to…

(Well, you’ll just have to listen to find out silly)