Cyclist’s Death, Plant ID Cards, and CoalWatch

This week on the show, we’re hopping on our bikes and asking why plants need ID cards. We take you out on the streets and to a cycling town hall to try to figure out how a death can change the way we see cycling safety in Edmonton. Then we speak to the creators of a set of indigenous plant identification cards in Victoria. Finally, we stick around on the island to catch up with a local campaign fighting a coal project near Comox.

On October 2nd, tune in to CJSR 88.5 FM in Edmonton to hear Terra Informa live! Our cycling story on the podcast this week is a preview of our live show theme: Life and Death. It’s all part of FunDrive week at CJSR, where we ask listeners like you to help us keep the magic going at the radio station. Thanks for your support!


Memorial bike for Isaak Kornelsen on Edmonton’s Whyte Ave. (Photo credit: Chris Chang-Yen Phillips)

Download this week’s episode

Death’s impact on cycling in Edmonton

Sometimes no matter how hard you push an issue, it barely budges. Then a tragedy happens, and suddenly everything comes into focus. That’s what happened in Edmonton a little while ago. Whyte Avenue is one of the busiest streets in Edmonton, and one of the most dangerous for bikes. But it took the death of a young cyclist in August to get the whole community talking about it. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips has the story.

More on this story: Edmonton Bicycle Transportation Plan, Conrad Nobert’s blog at Green Edmonton

ID cards for plants

Have you ever wondered about which plants are indigenous to the area you are living in?  What are the different uses for the plant and what are the plant’s names?  What has contributed to the dwindling of indigenous species of plants in some areas and what are the impacts?  Terra Informa’s Annie Banks asked John Bradley Williams and Jennifer McMullen to tell us about a set of Indigenous plant identification cards that they’ve created.  The cards help readers identify plants on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of Vancouver Island.  John Bradley and Jen describe the cards and the ideas behind their creation.

Cards will be available for pick up and purchase at the Saanich Adult Education Centre. c/o Diana Henry, SAEC Admin Assistant, 250-652-2214 (ex. 237) or by email:
You can also purchase the cards on Etsy (currently out of stock).

Local Campaigns: CoalWatch

Sticking around on Vancouver Island, locals are getting hot under the collar about a proposal for a new coal mine in the Comox valley.  The proposal, known as the Raven Coal project, would see construction of an underground mine to extract around one million tonnes of coal for export per year.  The coal would be trucked to the island’s west coast, loaded onto ships and sent to Asian steel mills.  The company, Compliance Coal, says 350 full time jobs would be created along with millions in royalties.  They also say that operations won’t affect water catchments and are hidden from view.  That hasn’t stopped the criticism rolling in though.  To find out what the locals are concerned about, we spoke to John Snyder, president of anti mining group ‘Coalwatch’.  From our archives, correspondent David Kaczan has this week’s “local campaigns” interview.

More on this story: CoalWatch, Newswire, Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Bike-Powered Compost Pickup and the State of the Great Lakes

On this week’s show we find out how Pedal to Petal combines composting and business in a unique way. Then we talk to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper about the state of the world’s largest system of freshwater lakes.

Great Lakes

Satellite image of the Great Lakes, from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Download this week’s show

Pedal to Petal: A Bike-Powered Compost Pick-Up Company

Fall is coming for most of us, but one business in Victoria pedals hard all year long.  Earlier this year, Terra Informa caught up with Pedal to Petal, Victoria’s Bicycle Powered Compost Pickup Company. They describe themselves as “a permaculture-based collective of bicycle loving food security activists who are taking direct action to reduce carbon emissions and landfill waste and to feed the soil and the city’s hungry”. They do this through a bike-powered kitchen scrap pick-up service, building edible landscapes, and composting. Here’s Trevor Van Hemert of Pedal to Petal speaking to Kathryn Lennon about their “ground-breaking” compost set-up and how to run a business that thinks outside the box.
More on this story: Pedal to Petal

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

On September 7th, the Canadian and US governments renewed their commitments to cleaning up Canada’s fresh water bodies by amending the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. This new plan expands the scope of concern to include issues like impact of climate change, and the protection of lake species and habitats. To get a better sense of the problems currently facing the Great Lakes, we contacted Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a charity that’s working to help make the lakes safer, cleaner, and healthier for the public. Hamdi Issawi speaks to Vice President of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Krystyn Tully, on the state of the Great Lakes.

More on this story: Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Environment Canada, CBC News

Quebec Says Goodbye to Asbestos
It’s been a burning issue for years, but Quebec’s asbestos industry is finally ending. Newly-elected Parti Quebecois Premier Pauline Marois called asbestos mining an “industry from another era” during the recent election. Her party has promised to cancel a $58 million loan that would have helped re-open the Jeffrey mine, and use the money to help diversify the area’s economy. Epidemiologists have been extremely critical of Canada’s export of chrysotile asbestos to countries in the global south like India and Thailand. The World Health Organization estimates that around 100 000 people die every year from asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer. The federal government has announced it will now stop blocking international efforts to list chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous material. The Parti Quebecois also supported the asbestos industry before it lost power to Quebec’s Liberal party in 2003.
Canada Draws International Criticism for Cuts to Ozone Monitoring
On September 16th, the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of a landmark ozone layer treaty, but atmospheric scientists from around the world had harsh words for Canada’s cuts to ozone monitoring. Canada has been critical in implementing the Montreal Protocol. It was signed in 1987 to stop ozone layer depletion from chemicals like CFCs in fridges and aerosol sprays. Over the past year though, the federal government has cut funding to monitoring sites like Nunavut’s PEARL research station. Dalhousie atmospheric researcher Tom Duck told the Toronto Star that because Canada has been collecting such important data across the Arctic, the cuts have been “devastating for the whole field”.
Environment Canada also confirmed this week that it is replacing scientists in charge of the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Data Centre with IT experts. Mark Weber, an atmospheric scientist from Germany’s University of Bremen, told Postmedia that the new leader is  “not sufficiently qualified for doing such a job”.
More on this story: Postmedia, CBC News, Toronto Star
Tropical Storm Leslie Hits Atlantic Canada
They say when the rain falls, it doesn’t fall on one man’s house. But Tropical Storm Leslie’s winds and thunderstorms didn’t rock the Atlantic provinces equally last week. Newfoundland Power crews were clearing away fallen trees and power lines the morning after the storm, after about 5000 homes lost power. But communities there were reportedly spared much of the flooding that hit towns in Nova Scotia. Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale chalked that up to better investment from all levels of government in infrastructure like roads and culverts in her province. A Federation of Candian Municipalities report this September said about one third of Canada’s infrastructure urgently needs repair.
More on this story: CBC News , NTV
Shell’s Jackpine Mine Expansion to Exceed Emissions Cap
You may recall Alberta Environment Minister Diana McQueen recently came on Terra Informa to talk about the pollution limits in the new land use plan for the Lower Athabasca oil sands region. Well, less than two weeks after those limits were announced, Shell has predicted it will exceed them. Shell has filed documents with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency that predicts its Jackpine mine expansion will push sulphur dioxide levels over the new regional cap. A spokesperson for Alberta Environment said the models Shell used deliberately overestimate emissions to help the government set appropriate pollution controls on the plants.
More on this story: CTV, CBC, Fort McMurray Today
What’s Happening
PARK(ing) Day in Winnipeg
PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. Participants transform parking spaces into places for people to congregate. This year, Winnipeg-based planners, landscape architects, designers, and organizations will transform parking spots in the downtown area. Wander around the temporary parks for free all day long!
Check out a map on the Green Action Centre website.
Frogs & Oilsands Talk in Calgary
In the US, 50% to 60% of frogs are malformed probably because of chemical contamination. How can we avoid the same fate in Alberta? Brian Eaton is a herpetologist working with Alberta Innovates. In this talk, he discusses the benefits of his work as to industrial development, forestry regulations, wetland assessments and tar sands development.
$5 Adults, $1 Children
Tuesday October 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Hillhurst Room, 455 – 12 St NW, Calgary, Alberta

The Steve Show

This week, we say goodbye to Steve Andersen. An activist, bike enthusiast, and Terra Informa producer and correspondent, Steve helped guide and create Terra Informa over the last six years. A former Terra Informer shares a story about Steve’s magic, we take a listen to our favourite bike reports and garbage segments from Steve’s work, and we interview Steve himself.

How do you balance being in the news and making it? How easy is it have a microphone on while you’re unfurling a protest banner in midair? All this and more, as we wish Steve luck in his next chapter.

Download this week’s show

Terra Informa, with Handsome Steve Andersen.

This week, we say goodbye to Steve Andersen as he passes the torch onto a new rogue’s gallery of Terra Informers. (Photo credit: Akex Hindle)

A fellow Terra Informer looks back on Steve’s magic, passion, and secret life fighting crime (maybe)
Marcus Peterson was a Terra Informer who worked with Steve for a number of years on the show. He sat down with Chris Chang-Yen Phillips to share stories about Steve’s time on Terra Informa.

Steve’s Segments: Bicycle Traffic Report and Garry the Garbage Guy
Two of Steve’s popular recurring segments were the Bicycle Traffic Report and Garry the Garbage Guy. He wasn’t afraid to dive right in, whether it was standing beside busy road with bicycle traffic reporter Karly Coleman or literally dumpster diving with Garry Spotowski, Terra Informa’s garbage and recycling expert. From our archives, two of our favourite selections from those two segments.

Steve covers the Gulf oil spill
Of course, Steve also tackled difficult stories, like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. From our archives, Steve Andersen speaking with John Hocevar, the director of Greenpeace USA’s oceans campaign. We reached him in Grand Isle, Louisiana just after BP’s Deep Horizon rig exploded, gushing oil into the Gulf.

Steve in Studio
Finally, we wanted to sit down with the man himself. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips asked Steve Andersen to join him in studio to reflect on six years of work guiding Terra Informa.

News Headlines

Bhutan goes all-organic
Bhutan has made a recent pledge to convert to a 100% organic agricultural system.
The goal of the Ministry of Agriculture is for Bhutan to go organic by 2020.

More on this story: Samdrup Jonkhar Initiative, Bhutan Times, NPR

Barriere Lake Algonquins fight illegal logging
In Quebec, the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and supporters have been opposing the illegal logging taking place on Barriere Lake land.
This week, the opposition has resulted in concessions being made by the company attempting to log Barriere Lake land and the Quebec government.

More on this story: Barriere Lake Solidarity, Rabble, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa

BC Grand Chief predicts long battle over Northern Gateway Pipeline
Grand Chief Steward Philip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, called the proposed Enbridge pipeline the largest issue faced by B.C.’s First Nations communities.
Philip stated that there would be a long fight if the project is allowed to move forward, both in the courtroom and on the land.

More on this story: The Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Sun

Hundreds of millions in India hit by historic blackout
Most power has been restored after what’s being called the “worst blackout in history” in India this week.
An estimated 620 million people were without power due to the outages.

More on this story: CBC, The Globe and Mail

Satellites record largest summer sea ice loss
In June, the Arctic experienced the largest sea ice loss in recorded satellite history, that of 1.1 million square miles of ice, equivalent to the size of Alaska, California, Florida, and Texas combined.

More on this story: Nunatsiaq, The Guardian

What’s Happening

On this week’s What’s Happening, there are two upcoming wildlife viewing events taking place in the Yukon and two job postings in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories.

Yukon Wildlife Talks
On Friday, August 10 from 9:30 – 11:30 pm, Environment Yukon biologists will be teaching participants about bat biology, habitat and conservation at the “Going Batty! Bat Viewing!”.

On Tuesday, August 14, there will be an evening walk about squirrels, entitled “Are You a Nut?”. Meghan Larivee, biologist and squirrel enthusiast, will be talking about the small critters that most people ignore.
Meet at the Robert Service Campground at 7pm.

Visit the Environment Yukon site for more information.

Vancouver Job Postings
And, in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories, the BC Association of Farmers Markets is looking for a Strengthening Farmers’ Markets Project Coordinator. The position is part-time and temporary and the deadine to apply is August 13, 2012.

And The Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House [DTES NH] is seeking a full time Program Lead for the Community Drop-in and Right to Food Initiatives who will oversee the DTES Right to Food Network, food related partnerships, the Building Welcoming and Inclusive Neighbourhoods (BWIN) Program, and provide leadership to the Community Drop-In Program.

More information at Good Work Canada and Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House

Alberta Election 2012 & Community Bike Shops

Today we look at the environmental implications of next week’s provincial election in Alberta. As Canada’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, the province’s policy decisions impact the whole country. Would a shift in power be followed by a shift in policy towards the oil sands? Plus, we get our hands dirty with a visit to the local community bike shop. This isn’t your ordinary bike store. Here they’ll teach you how to fix your own bike and provide all the tools to do it, and at a fraction of the cost.

Download this week’s show.

Laurie Blakeman writing on a giant calendar on the wall in her campaign office.

Edmonton Centre Liberal candidate Laurie Blakeman at her campaign office. Photo by Chris Chang-Yen Phillips.

Alberta Election
In recent years Canada’s reputation on environmental issues has taken a beating on the international stage, particularly when it comes to climate change. As the home of the oil sands and the only province still building coal fired power plants, Alberta is front and centre in the debate over the nation’s carbon emissions. On April 23rd, Albertans will go to the polls, and for the first time in 40 years the Progressive Conservatives face a serious threat of being unseated. Regardless of who wins the election, there will be implications for the country as a whole and for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips speaks to the parties about the environmental platforms they would implement if elected.

Policy Statements:

More on this story: What would a Wildrose win do to Canada’s energy policies?

Community Bike Shops

As spring weather warms the country, more and more cyclists are hitting the roads. Their first stop is often the local repair shop for a quick tune up, but if your bike needs a little work there’s another option. Community bike shops are popping up from coast to coast, providing cyclists with the space to repair their own bikes, and teaching them the skills to do it. For more on the story, Steve Andersen speaks to members of community bike shops in Vancouver and Edmonton.

More on this story: List of Community Bike Shops in Canada

News Headlines

Canada won’t meet its 2020 emissions target
Canada will find it tough to meet its 2020 emissions target due to the continued expansion of the oil sands in Alberta. That’s according to a recent report published by the Thomson Reuters Point Carbon News division.  Although Canada’s output of greenhouse gasses was almost unchanged in 2010 from 2009 — news that was recently hailed by the conservative government — the government’s pledge to cut emissions to 607 megatonnes by 2020 is still far out of reach due to increased production in the oil sands.

More on this story: BBC News, ReutersPoint Carbon (PDF)

David Suzuki resigns from his charitable foundation
David Suzuki, Canada’s most famous environmentalist, says that he has resigned from the board of his charitable foundation to avoid being the a scapegoat for criticism and government attacks that would undermine his foundation’s ability to be an effective voice for the environment.  Dr. Suzuki said he had to leave the board and distance himself from the organization because the foundation was being targeted because of his personal views and actions.

More on this story: Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, CTV News

Wind Turbines
Now we head across the Atlantic to a UK study that has dispelled the belief that onshore wind farms are causing long term changes to bird populations. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology was carried out by four European naturalists and orthinologists, goes against widespread allegations that clusters of turbines routinely cause serious damage to birds through collision with the revolving blades, noise, or visual disturbances.

More on this story: The Guardian, CleanTechnica, Original Report (PDF)

Fracking linked to earth quakes
Scientists at the upcoming meeting of the Seismological Society of America will be reporting that the rate of increase in earthquakes coincides with use of hydro-fracturing and its surge in use from 2006. The dramatic rise in earthquakes started in 2001 and covers a large area of the mid U.S. from Alabama to the Rockies in the west. Most of the earthquakes occurred within 24 hours of the injection of the wastewater and chemicals at the end of fracking operations.

More on this story: CBC News, Environmental Working Group, Think Progress

Mining Accountability, Bike Festivals

We’d like to welcome two new volunteers to the Terra Informa crew this week, Nimo Bille and Ashlet Smart.

This week on Terra Informa, our correspondent David Kaczan investigates corporate responsibility in respect to Canadian corporations overseas mining operations. Our in-house bicycle expert, Karly Coleman, tells us about the upcoming bicycle festivals across Canada so you can get your bike on. And of course, we have our weekly news headlines brought to you by Rebecca Rooney and Nimo Bille. Ashley Smart is this weeks brand-new host!

Download this week’s show.

BMX End Table, Bike Art Auction, courtesy Edmonton Bicycle Commuters' Society

 News Headlines


Last week the nuclear industry was back in the news in Ontario, where the Ontario Power Generation company released a controversial proposal to bury low- and mid-level radioactive waste at the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant near Kincardine, on the eastern shores of Lake Huron.

The plan is to bore more than 650 m into the limestone bedrock and construct  a deep geologic repository, really just a network of tunnels and storage caverns able to store more than 200,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste.

Executive Vice President Albert Sweetnam assured the media that the bedrock in question is water tight and so the project would be safe

For years the Bruce Power Nuclear Plant has stored low and medium level radioactive waste at the surface, and some feel it would be safer to store it deep below ground.

However, greenpeace spokesman Shawn-Patrick Stencil claims there is no safe way to store nuclear waste.

NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns agreed, and referenced the recent Japanese nuclear problems as an example demonstrating that it is impossible to plan for every contingency.

According to OPG’s estimates it would take close to 100,000 years for some of the mid-level waste to decay to the same level of radioactivity found in the surrounding bedrock.

The plan has been in the works for the past 6 years, but leaped to public attention last week as the recently released environmental impact assessment for the project drew fire from concerned American neighbours.

A joint panel of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will likely hold hearings on the plan next year.

Additional Info:

The Council of Canadians

The Mark News

The Toronto Star

CBC News


This week “the international conservation community warns that Alberta’s population of grizzly bears is in increasingly dire straits in the Castle wilderness just north of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. As a result, clear-cut logging slated for the Castle this summer is receiving international scrutiny.

Biologists have warned for years that grizzly bears are on a steep decline in Alberta, as a result of the destruction of wilderness habitat by roads and industrial development.

A recent survey of the adjacent Alberta communities found 75 percent of residents opposed the logging and support fully protecting the Castle for water and wildlife as a legislated Wildland Park. More than 50,000 people from across North America recently sent letters to the Alberta government supporting the designation of a Wildland Park in the Castle.

In the United States, grizzly bears are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. Whereas here in Alberta the grizzly bears are listed as threatened. The Alberta government  declared the Castle a protected area “on paper” in 1998, but recently OK’d large-scale commercial logging there.

According to the Senior Wildlife Advocate for the Natural Resources Defence Council Louisa Willcox, clear-cutting further degrades grizzly habitat in the Castle. Instead she would like the US and Alberta to work together to ensure a healthy future for the grizzly population.

Additional Info:

Sierra Club of Canada

Lethbridge Herald

Calgary Herald

Fast Forward Weekly

Northern Canada

Oil spills from pipelines seem to be increasingly common, and last week the Northwest Territories saw yet another.  Enbridge filed a preliminary spill report with the National Energy Board after its Norman Wells pipeline near spilled about four barrels of oil near Willowlake River, north of Fort Simpson.  This is a small spill compared with Alberta’s Plains Midstream Canada pipeline leak, which spilled about 28,000 barrels of crude oil near Peace River a week earlier.

But regardless of its size, Enbridge is treating it as a top priority and are currently improving access to the site in order to bring in larger clean up equipment.

Given the amount of opposition Enbridge is facing with regards to its proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, it is no wonder they would want to clean up this most recent pipeline spill quickly.   According to a statement released by the environmental group Forest Ethics, at a rally in Prince Rupert, B.C., last week half of the 500 demonstrators raised their hands when asked if they would use civil disobedience to stop Northern Gateway pipeline.

Enbridge has a history of leaks and spills.  Last summer, an Enbridge pipeline spilled millions of litres of crude into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. Its U.S. affiliate said Thursday that it will spend US$286 million to replace portions of the ruptured line, called Line 6B.

Additional Info:

CBC News

Winnipeg Free Press

The Canadian Press

Western Canada

According to provincial forestry experts in Manitoba and Ontario, it’s no longer a matter of if, but when the destructive mountain pine beetle will spread east of Alberta through Canada’s northern boreal forest.

University of Alberta biologists and geneticists said the beetle has been found in jack pine north of Edmonton after jumping species from the lodgepoll pine of westernmost Canada.

Jack pines are the main tree in Canada’s boreal forest, which stretches from the Yukon territory to the island province of Newfoundland.

Last week a study published in the journal of Molecular Ecology states that researchers fear there is nothing stopping the infestation from reaching the Atlantic coast.

According to research team leader Janice Cooke, “Jack pine is the dominant pine species in Canada’s boreal forest and its range extends east from Alberta all the way to the Maritime provinces.”

The bug, which is about the size of a grain of rice, attacked more than 155,000 square kilometers (60,000 square miles) of forests in British Columbia and killed 675 million cubic meters (23.8 billion cubic feet) of timber.

The hard-shelled insects spread by flying and with the aid of wind currents. Researchers currently have no estimate for the speed at which the insect might continue to spread eastward.

Additional Info:

The Independent

CBC News

Globe and Mail

Orkin Canada

British Columbia

This year may mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of the B.C. Parks system, but according to The Wilderness Committee, the parks have seen better days.

The Wilderness Committee topped the headlines last week when they released scores of government  documents obtained through a freedom of information request that detail the decay of provincial parks following severe cuts to funding in 2009.  The documents reveal chronic shortages of rangers and other key resources.

Gwenn Barlee of the Wilderness Committee made the request.

Chronic underfunding is even leading to potentially dangerous situations in parks.  For example, in some documents, park staff plead for the resources install an avalanche warning sign and to buy $100 worth of bolts needed to repair a potentially dangerous bridge.

B.C. Premier Clark announced the removal of unpopular parking meters in BC Parks and the restoration of $650,000 in Parks funding after an earlier release of documents by the Wilderness Committee revealed that the parking meters had driven away hundreds of thousands of visitors from BC Parks and were in fact losing money.

The Wilderness Committee states, however, that it will take more to undo the damage and decay caused by a decade of underfunding to B.C.’s provincial parks.  Current park budgets are 25% below those of 2001 and the number of rangers had been cut by 60%.  The Wilderness Committee is calling on the province to restore funding and staffing to 2001 levels.

But According to B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake, that’s not likely to happen in these tough economic times.

Additional Info:

Wilderness Committee

News 1130

The Canadian Press

The Vancouver Sun

CBC News

CTV News

Mining Overseas Responsibilities

Canada is the mining capital of the world. But our miners don’t just dig up minerals here, they head overseas in search of bigger finds and bigger profits. However, the environmental, human rights and labour laws in many countries are deficient by Canadian standards, and at the moment, Canadian companies can get away with acting in ways that would not be acceptable back home. Environmental and human rights groups aren’t impressed, and they’re pushing for change.

Bicycle Traffic Report

From coast to coast cyclists are celebrating the return of sunny weather with their very own festivals. Today Terra Informa’s bicycle traffic reporter, Karly Coleman, stops by to tell us about what goes on at bike festivals and give us a bit of a run down of the various events being held across the country.

Bicycle Festivals Across Canada

Vancouver – Bike Month
Vancouver – Bike to Work Week
Edmonton – Bikeology
Calgary – Calgary Bike Festival
Regina – Bike to Work Week
Toronto – Bike Month
Halifax – Bike Week

A Taste of Permaculture II

Terra Informa May 23, 2010 Download Here

This week Terra Informa brings you the second part in Marcus Peterson Taste of Permaculture report as well as an EcoBable brought to you by David Kaczan on “green tax shift” and another installment in the bicycle traffic report with Steve Anderson and Carly Coleman.

Trying out a new format for our news segment Andy Read teams up with Ellis Agbenyeg to bring you these headlines.

Email hoax was circulated around Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian operations

Friends of the Earth Factsheet : The people of Nigeria versus Shell

Royal Dutch Shell is hit by news hoax by Robin Pagnamenta, Times Online

Alberta is set to award the first clean technology grants from the funds collected from the provinces greenhouse gas regulations.

Alberta to award first cleantech grants in June by Michael Szabo (Reuters)

The Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC)

False claims highlight Alberta’s inadequate GHG regulations by Matthew Bramley (Pembina)


What’s tax got to do with the environment? Well, potentially quite a bit, as David Kaczan explains in this week’s ecobabble segment. Some economists and politicians are talking about a “Green Tax Shift”, a new way of designing the tax system to creates jobs while reducing pollution such as carbon emissions, traffic congestion and acid rain” If you’ve heard the term “green tax shift” but never knew what it meant, this week we have the answer for you.

Green Party of Canada Green Tax

Taste of Permaculture II

Last week, we looked at the first installment of Taste of Permaculture, a veritable smorgasbord of reclaimed techniques designed to create not only a more resilient agricultural system, but more meaningful societies. Terra Informa correspondent Marcus Peterson covered the history and basics of permaculture last week, as well as a few innovative projects going on around Edmonton, including a community-high school hybrid community garden envisioned to redesign class curricula. This week, in Taste of Permaculture Two, he covers a few more surprising projects that you may not have been aware of.

Lola Canola

Fryer’s Forest Ecovillage

Crystal Waters Ecovillage

Bicycle Traffic Report

As the weather grows warmer there seem to be more and more cyclists on the road every day. And no wonder. It’s a great way to get around. In fact, over the summer months a lot of people choose to leave their cars parked and instead commute to work by bicycle. Today Terra Informa’s bicycle traffic reporter, Karly Coleman, talks to Steve about what’s involved in bicycle commuting and how to get started.

Edmonton Bicycle Commuters

Wiki list of Canadian Community Bicycle Organizations

Terra Bloga

This week on Terra Bloga Robyn Currie introduces herself and speaks to the issues which she will be writing on. Myles will be writing on the RePower Alberta launch and posting the audio from the Oil & the Arts speakers series.

Terra Informa May 23, 2010 Download Here

Winter Bike Riding & Distinguishing Civil Disobedince from Terrorism

Listen Here

Download Here

Winter Bike Riding Tips From The Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society

You may have noticed that it snowed last week. Many people take snow as a sign that it’s time to park the bike and hop on the bus, but this is not necessarily the case. More and more people are opting to ride year-round, even in Northern cities like Edmonton, where the temperature can drop below -30 Celcius. This week, Terra informa correspondent Rebecca Rooney interviews Keith Hallgren – experienced winter cyclist, bicycle mechanic, and board member of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society – about winter cycling.

The Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society (EBC) has been a leader in the Edmonton and area environmental and cycling community since 1980. Our goal is to support the bicycle as a healthy and ecologically sound mode of everyday urban travel.

Distinguishing Civil Disobedience from Terrorism with Professor Laurie Adkin

In the space of less than a month, Greenpeace activists have held protests at three facilities related to the Alberta tar sands. Last week premier Stelmach suggested that the activists have been getting off too lightly. Alberta’s solicitor general went a step further and compared the protesters to terrorists. Not surprisingly, those remarks have raised a fair bit of controversy. For more on the implications of politicians equating civil disobedience with terrorism, our correspondent Steve Andersen talked toUniversity of Albert Political Science Professor Laurie Adkin.

Professor Adkin is the author of several books and many paper, her most recent work is titled Environmental Conflict and Democracy in Canada

“By grounding theory in empirical study of the discourses and practices of social actors, political economy, and institutions, Environmental Conflict and Democracy in Canada charts a new course for research in environmental citizenship. It is essential reading for anyone interested in political ecology and the environmental challenges we now face.

The contributors to this path-breaking collection argue that environmental conflicts are always about our rights and responsibilities as citizens and the quality of our democratic institutions. They offer sixteen case studies that range from First Nations resistance to the coastal fisheries crisis, to regulatory battles over genetically modified crops, and to the implications of suburban sprawl. These essays bring the perspectives of science, environmental justice, social movement theory, and institutional design to bear on environmental conflicts, provide a critical assessment of green democratic theory, and present the case for a Gramscian understanding of environmental politics. (UBC Press)”

Listen Here

Download Here