Blue Fin Tuna

Cloud Computing, Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster, and Ecological Communities

Today we investigate the potential environmental benefits of cloud computing, a system where computer resources, like data and applications, are no longer stored on your home computer but rather accessed from servers on the internet. We also take a look back at the BP oil spill and its effect on the Gulf of Mexico. We find out just what’s meant when scientists refer to ecological communities. And we’ll hear about the need to protect the bluefin tuna.

photo by badjonni (Flickr Creative Commons)

Environmental News Headlines

US inquiry into the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster

Sea lice from BC fish farms spreding

Extracting energy from frozen gas hydrates in the NWT

Plastic waste polluting Manitoba lakes

New renewable energy projects:

Wind farm in Tumbler Ridge, BC
Wind farm in Chatham-Kent, Ontario
Tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy

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Cloud Computing

Earlier this week computer giant Microsoft released a report on cloud computing that stated that if companies implemented a cloud computing solution to their IT needs, they could cut electricity use and emissions by up to 90%. Now, Terra Informa correspondent Brett Tegart takes a critical look at the report and cloud computing. Can it live up to the promise?

BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster

A few months ago the eyes of the world were focused on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It was the most serious spill ever to hit the US, but there’s still debate as to exactly how much oil entered the Gulf. There’s also uncertainty as to the environmental repercussions that will result. This week, Seon-Ah looks into the ongoing story of the Gulf oil spill.

Frontline (PBS) The Spill

The Breakdown (The Nation): What Is the True Cost of BP’s Oil Spill?

Ecological Communities

Often when we use the word community we’re talking about the support and companionship we get from the social network we belong to. But when ecologists use the term they mean something totally different. This week Rebecca Rooney helps clarify what it is they mean with this week’s EcoBabble on – the community.

Protection of Blue Fin Tuna

One of the world’s most highly prized fish, the northern bluefin Tuna, is severely endangered. An international meeting of nations held in March decided, however, that the risk of further collapse or extinction of this species did not warrant an international trade ban. In this opinion piece, David Kaczan discusses the reasons for the failure of the ban to pass, and what it means for the bluefin tuna. This piece originally aired in May.

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Mushroom Hunting & Orbital Solar Power

This weeks show has a wide variety of awesome stuff for you, Rebekah Rooney and Tasneem Karbani started off the show with the environmental news headlines. For the features, new volunteer Brett gives a run down on orbital solar technology, Myles Curry introduces a new segment called Local Campaigns with a look at RePower Alberta, and Ellis Agbenyega tackles the term “greenwashing” in another installment of EcoBable. Steve Anderson hosted and produced the show.

The Morel of the story is ...

Morel Mushroom Found in Southern Alberta (By annkelliott on Flikr)

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Environmental Headlines

Calgary takes #1 spot in Eco city ranking

Mercer, a global consulting company, has released a Quality of Living Survey, which examined 221 international cities to produce an Eco-City Ranking

but…. A United Nations report released in April found that Calgary was among the worst polluters. It ranked 5th out of 50 international cities surveyed Here is a video of Jim Prentice(Minister of Environment) responding to that ranking.

Gulf oil spill continues to worsen

Obama orders six-month freeze on offshore drilling and expansion

Gulf oil spill is public health risk, environmental scientists warn

US coast guards harass journalists covering BP’s oil spill disaster

At a UN conference nations agree to an increase in aid from rich to poor countries to protect the Earth’s forests and curb global carbon emissions.

Oslo Forest Climate Conference

Canada has not committed a specific sum of money to the initiative, Jim Prentice (Minister of Environment) attended the conference and pledged Canada’s support of the REDD initiatives (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and degradation)

Trial of an anti-whaling activist from New Zealand begins in Japan

Peter Bethune, a Sea Shepherd campaigner, who tried to arrest the captain of the ship is faced with charges of trespassing, forcible obstruction of business, destruction of property, and illegal possession of a knife

A report from The Guardian reveals that Australia will be asking the international court of justice to end Tokyo’s annual whale culls in the Southern Ocean.

Overfishing pressure is predicted to combine with the Deep Horizons Gulf oil disaster to devastate the Bluefin population which spawns in the Gulf of Mexico

The Centre for Biological Diversity has filed a formal scientific petition to protect the Atlantic Bluefin tuna under the USA’s Endangered Species Act.

Orbital Solar Power

New Terra Informa correspondent Brett Tegart sheds some light on the possibilities  and practicalities of  the cutting edge technology, orbital solar power.

Local Campaigns

Across Canada there are countless groups and individuals working on environmental issues and causes in their communities that face a daunting task in spreading their message. This week on Terra Informa we introduce a new recurring segment called ‘Local Campaigns’ highlighting these often under reported efforts. Myles Curry debuts this segment with a look at a new green jobs and renewable energy campaign called RePower Alberta.

RePower Alberta Website

Sierra Club Prairie Chapter

Greenpeace: Stop the tar-sands

Urban Mushroom Hunting

Did you know that one Portabella mushroom can have more potassium than a banana? Did you also know that some species like the edible Honey Mushroom produce a bioluminescent light? For many people, the world of fungi and mushrooms is mostly a mystery. In fact, there are about 38,000 varieties of mushrooms and it is estimated that there are over a million species of fungi, but only about 10% have been officially described in the scientific literature.

Terra Informa correspondent Marcus Peterson attended a presentation on mushroom hunting for urbanites by the Alberta Mycological Society, one of the few mycological societies in Canada and the only one between Vancouver and Toronto. Although mushroom hunting can be a minefield fraught with lethal fungi, after this show, you’ll feel much more confident about going out and identifying your first morel.


Jargon seems to creep into discussions of just about everything these days, and the environment is no exception. So every now and again, in our Eco Babble series, we take a look at a common term whose meaning isn’t quite as clear as it should be. Today’s term is greenwashing and Ellis Agbenyega will clear it all up.

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Oil Spill Update, Thoughts on Blue Fin Tuna, EcoBabble & The Bicycle Traffic Report

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Huffington Post Article Describing The Difference Between The Pictures

This week on Terra Informa we welcome a new volunteer, Shannon White, who brings us this selection of environmental news headlines.

Syncrude dismissal bid rejected by judge (CBC News)

Gulf oil spill could effect rules in the arctic (Globe & Mail)

Australia suspends emissions trading proposal (New York Times)

The big environmental news story this week, however, is the continued release of oil from a ruptured deep sea well into the Gulf of Mexico. Terra Informa corespondent Andy Read brings us an update on this alarming situation and what efforts are being made to halt the leak. Andy brings us the latest information as of the 1st of May, however please note that the details of this story are changing on a daily basis. Terra Informa will provide further updates as the situation unfolds.

NASA Satellite Pictures of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

From disaster can come a new direction for US energy (By Edward Luce, Financial Times)

BP Oil Spill Worsens With No Solution in Sight, 210,000 Gallons a Day Spew into Gulf of Mexico (Democracy Now! May 3, 2010)

With summer right around the corner, a lot of people are taking to their bikes. Beautiful weather makes cycling a pretty fantastic way to get around. But what do you do when it rains? Well, no need to ditch your bike on account of a morning shower or even a day-long downpour. Steve talks to our Bicycle Traffic Reporter, Karly Coleman, to find out what you can do to keep cycling fun, even in the rain.

The lexicon surrounding climate change can be pretty complex. Add the united nations to the mix and it can become incomprehensible. Terra Informa corespondent Myles Curry, in another installment of our new Eco Babble segment, defines the main institutions of the United Nations concerned with climate change. After this segment you will never get the UNFCCC mixed up with IPCC and you will be able to talk with confidence to all your friends about COPs and what these organizations actually do.

One of the world’s most highly prized fish, the Bluefin Tuna, is severely endangered. An international meeting of nations held in March decided, however, that the risk of further collapse or extinction of this species did not warrant an international trade ban. In this opinion piece, David Kaczan discusses the reasons for the failure of the ban to pass, and what it means for the Bluefin Tuna.

Disaster for bluefin tuna at CITES meeting (Greenpeace)

This weeks posts on Terra Bloga

Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Update & The Canadian Dimension by Myles Curry

Cleanit green it community composting fundraiser by Andy Read

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