This week on Terra Informa, we discuss multi-use trails with Paths for People, a citizen’s advocacy group here in Edmonton. In June 2017, Paths for People released some new multi-use trail policy recommendations.
Have you wondered about how walking and biking fits into the urban Edmonton transportation conversation? This week, we sat down with Conrad Nobert, the Executive Director of Paths for People. Conrad co-founded Paths for People in 2015 after Isaak Kornelson, a University of Alberta student and athlete, was struck by a car and killed in 2012 on Whyte Avenue. Isaak’s tragic passing encouraged Conrad to bring his community together and talk about safe cycling in Edmonton. In June, Paths for People released a new set of policy recommendations for the City of Edmonton, reimagining the what safe transportation in Edmonton can look like. We asked him about Paths for People’s mission, some of their recommendations, and ongoing work by the City of Edmonton to change how its citizens move around.
This week on Terra Informa, stories about being exposed – on your bike and where you live. Musician Ben Caplan walks us through how organized Halifax’s naked bike ride. Then, Calgary resident Tamara Lee tells us about the surprising bonds revealed by the floods that devastated her neighbourhood in June.
The World Naked Bike Ride is celebrated in many different cities, as Halifax organizer Ben Caplan tells us on this week’s show (Photo credit: Sebastien Barre)
How To Ride A Bike Naked (with lots of other people)
Ben Caplan is a singer-songwriter hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia. A few years back, he helped organize a local event for World Naked Bike Ride. Since you really only want to do this sort of thing in the heat of summer, Trevor Chow-Fraser asked Ben to help put together a little how-to guide for hosting a Naked Bike Ride in your town. More Info
Sometimes being exposed is really obvious, like when you’re riding naked on a bike. But sometimes we uncover things you can’t really see — you can only feel. Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips was in Calgary recently, and was thinking about the Sunnyside neighbourhood, where he has some family history. It experienced some of the worst flooding during the disaster in June, and most people had only hours to evacuate their homes. He stopped at one home with a tiny library on their front lawn, and met Sunnyside resident Tamara Lee. On top of maintaining the Pooh Corner Little Free Library, she’s a bit of a community hub, and she’s helped organize the Bow to Bluff citizen-led development process in the neighbourhood, which recently won the the Canadian Institute of Planners national Innovation Award for 2013. But she had no idea how quickly and how high the river would rise in her area, and she had no idea how strongly the city would rally together in the days to come.
Next Up out of Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Saskatoon is calling for applications into it’s 2013-2014 program. Next Up fuels young people committed to social and environmental justice. Application deadlines are coming up in September, so if you want to be part of this life-changing leadership program, head to nextup.ca.
On August 15, some home-grown Albertan talent are coming together to fundraise for flood relief efforts in southern Alberta. The line up for Alberta Flood Aid includes Nickelback, Jann Arden, Corb Lund, and Loverboy. It will be held at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. Tickets are $30, $50 and $100.
Terra Informa Live Show – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Edmonton listeners, Terra Informa has a treat for you! On Thursday, August 1, we’re hosting Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, a LIVE show. You’re not going to want to miss an hour of interviews, poems, and songs all centered around religion and the environment. It’s taking place at St. John’s Institute at 7 pm, refreshments included — and it’s FREE! Check out our website or FaceBook page for more details.
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!
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Satellite image of the Great Lakes, from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Today Brett brings us a review of “Hoodwinked in the Houthouse: False Solutions to Climate Change”, a newly released publication that aims to shed light on climate changes fixes that aren’t all they’re made out to be. Our bicycle traffic reporter, Karly Coleman, is a little further from home than usual. She talks to us from Ottawa about cycling in central Canada and Quebec’s La Route Verte. And Rebekah interviews researcher Christine Robichaud about her work on the importance of caribou in bear diets.
Cover of Rising Tide North America's Publication 'Hoodwinked in the Hothouse'
Review of Rising Tide North America’s Publication ‘Hoodwinked in the Hothouse: False Solutions to Climate Change (Second Edition)’
Only a few years ago, some companies were saying climate change wasn’t a problem. Now, as its impacts become apparent, many of the same corporations are scrambling to present solutions and quick fixes to avoid new environmental regulations. This week, Brett Tegart reviews Rising Tide North America’s newly updated pamphlet Hoodwinked in the Hothouse(download), an environmental inquisition rooting out the climate change solutions that are false, foolhardy and doomed to failure.
Bicycle Traffic Report: Vacation Edition
Terra Informa’s bicycle traffic reporter Karly Coleman is away on vacation at the moment. But even when she’s on holidays she’s never far from a bicycle. Today Steve talks to her about cycling while away from home and some of the facilities that are available in central Canada.
Originally aired in February 2009, in this science short Rebbekah Rooney interviews Christine Robichaud to gain an understanding of the importance of caribou in bear diets.
Terra Informa is always looking for more volunteers. If you feel like joining the team or giving us a suggestion for a news story, drop us a line at email@example.com or phone us at the Terra Informa listener line at 780-492-2577, extension 236. That’s, 780-492-2577, extension 236.
Cycling is often considered a solo sport: Lance Armstrong leading the pack up the Alps… but one of the best things about cycling is the community that develops around it. This week Terra Informa’s bicycle traffic reporter Karly Coleman talks to Steve Andersen about summertime cycling events and how they draw together a community of wonder and delight.
Aerial Photography of the Alberta Tar Sands
Louis Helbig is an Ottawa-based artist/photographer specializing in aerials. He is a commercial pilot and a self-taught photographer whose work has been exhibited and published in Canada and internationally. For his latest exhibition, he has taken on the monumental task of documenting the Tar Sands from the air in northern Alberta. Drawing nation-wide and international praise and admonishment for his latest and biggest project titled Beautiful Destruction – Alberta Tar Sands Aerial Photographs, Louis intends to stimulate largely absent Canadian public debate on the world’s largest industrial development located in our own backyard. Louis Helbig recently took some time off to talk about his project with Terra Informa correspondent Marcus Peterson.
Louis’ exhibition Beautiful Destruction is currently being shown at the Rivoli (334 Queen St. West, Toronto) until July 8, 2010. It is also being showcased this weekend at the New Art Festival, Central Park (Glebe), Ottawa on Saturday & Sunday June 5th & 6th from 10AM-5P. In addition, it will be shown at the Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery, Ottawa, for the 2010 Exhibition Season, from July 23 to Sept 26, 2010. Some of his Tar Sands photos will also be part of a feature in the July issue of Readers’ Digest, which reaches about 1 million people.
Maybe you’ve seen the phosphate free symbol on dish detergent or laundry soap and wondered why phosphates are bad? Maybe you’ve heard about lakes turning green and filling up with slimey algae and wondered what’s responsible? Terra Informa correspondent Rebecca Rooney enlightens us this week with an ecobabble on a major environmental issue around the world: eutrophication.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.