I Wanna Be Heard! Dear Harper + Defend Our Climate

Two men in suits hold hands in front of stone steps.

What do kitchen tables, fish and weddings have in common? Well, this week takes us to three different stories of people following their passion for engaging people, all in different forms. Anna Hovland of the Winnipeg band, Dust Adam Dust tells us about their motivation for starting a video messaging campaign aimed at Stephen Harper. Mark Poesch shares that moment that inspired him to save fish. Finally, Terra Informa was present at the Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Communities rally in Edmonton to witness the marriage between Foss L. Fuel and Govern Mint.

Download Episode


Lake Sturgeon, Green Roofs and Environmental Poetry Part II

This week we feature two stories relating to bodies of water; Girl Gone Wild correspondent Jamie Pratt and Chris Chang-Yen Phillips take a journey in search of Lake Sturgeon and Jennifer Wickham shares her poem, “Engussi Wedzin Kwah” about the sacred waters in her traditional territories. Also, Rebecca Rooney speaks to urban ecologist Jason Aloisio about Green Roofs in a piece from our archives.

The subject of Jennifer Wickham's poem, the river Wedzin Kwah, in Wet'suwet'en Territories.

The subject of Jennifer Wickham’s poem, the river Wedzin Kwah, in Wet’suwet’en Territories. Photo credit to Jennifer Wickham.

Environmental Poetry with Jennifer Wickham and “Engussi Wedzin Kwah”

For our new Terra Informa segment on environmental poetry, Annie Banks spoke with Jennifer Wickham this month. Jennifer shared her poem “Engussi Wedzin Kwah”, about sacred waters on her traditional Wet’suwet’en territories, and also some of her thoughts on poetry, the role of a poet and what’s currently inspiring her writing and resistance. **Correction!** Jennifer’s book of poetry will be coming out in summer 2013.

Link: Unistoten Camp

Chris Chang-Yen Phillips and Jamie Pratt in a boat; photo credit Erik Bisanz.

Girl Gone Wild: Lake Sturgeon

Well every now and again Terra Informa correspondent Chris Chang-Yen Phillips takes a trip with our resident wildlife expert, Jamie Pratt. She’s the creator of the Girl Gone Wild wildlife documentary series, and this time we decided it was time to journey down Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River in search of an ancient fish — the Lake Sturgeon.

Drayton Valley Western Review
North Saskatchewan River Guide
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

Green Roofs

Jason Aloisio is an urban ecologist, working at New York City’s Fordham University. He was recognized in 2011 for his work by the Ecological Society of America at their annual conference in Austin, Texas. From our archives, Terra Informa correspondent Rebecca Rooney ventures to Austin to catch up with him to ask about his research into green roofs.
Jason Aloisio’s green roofs presentation
Article in Nature News on Jason’s research

This week’s “What’s Happening”

Petro, Power and Politics Conference November 23-25, Edmonton
The Parkland Institute will be hosting their 16th annual conference next weekend in Edmonton. The Petro, Power and Politics conference is themed around the issues surrounding oil and gas development.
More information: Petro, Power, and Politics
An Inspired Future – Student Application now open! February 6, Toronto.
Are you a post-secondary student interested in environmental issues and corporate social responsibility? You’ll want to check out the student application to attend the upcoming An Inspired Future conference next February 6th in Toronto.
Film Screening in Vancouver: If a Tree Falls Wednesday November 21st, 4pm, UBC, Vancouver
The UBC Student Environment centre and Cinema Politica UBC are hosting a screening.
University of Guelph:
Dr. Evan Fraser releases a new website looking at the global food crisis.
More information: feeding nine billion
Online only: Upcoming Film Screenings in Montreal
6pm Thursday – McGill – BANANAS! sheds light on the case of pesticide use by Dole in Nicaragua.
7pm Monday November 26 – Concordia – David Fedele E-wasteland and the Lightbulb Conspiracy.
More information: Cinema Politica

ChinaDialogue, “Eco Pirate” and Great Bear Lake

Today we talk to Isabel Hilton, of ChinaDialogue, a bilingual website about the environment in Chinese and English, to find out more about what kinds of environmental issues and actions are going on and being talked about in China. Then we hit the high seas with a Green Screen review of the film “Eco Pirate,” about Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd. And, in this week’s science short, we visit Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, to find out more about trout, lake diversity and global warming. And, don’t forget the news and this week’s installment of “What’s Happening!”, a segment about upcoming environmental events.

Download this week’s show.

A screen shot of the website, "China Dialogue".

This week, we speak to Isabel Hilton, who is the editor of China Dialogue, a bilingual website about the environment, in English and Chinese.

China Dialogue

China is brought up a lot as a bogeyman in environmental issues. What we don’t often hear about in Canada is what environmental issues are important within China, what people there think about them, and what action they’re taking. Isabel Hilton is the founder and editor of ChinaDialogue, a website that tries to fill that gap. They’re totally unique in tackling coverage of environmental issues that affect China side by side in English and Chinese. Which issues do they dive into, and which are too hot to handle? How has the experience challenged Isabel Hilton herself? Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips reached her in London to find out.

More on this story:
China Dialogue, The Browser, Isabel Hilton on China’s overseas food footprint

And, from our archives:

Movie Review: Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson

Today David Kaczan brings us a Green Screen Review of Eco-Pirate. This enviro-documentary from Vancouver’s Trish Dolman focuses on Paul Watson, founder and leader of the controversial ocean-going activist group, Sea Shepherd. Is it green screen gold or garbage? To help you decide, here’s our critical take.

Science Short

In this week’s Science Short Rebekah brings us an interview with PhD student Louise Chavarie about her research on Lake Trout in Canada’s biggest freshwater lake. Great Bear Lake is the largest lake that’s fully within our borders and the 7th largest in the world. It’s situated in the Northwest Territories, where it straddles the Arctic Circle. Louise and Rebekah discuss the contribution of lake trout to the diversity of the lake, and the dangers the lake faces in light of a warming arctic.

What’s Happening!

This week on What’s Happening! There is a fundraising dinner and food drive for the 3rd Annual Unis’tot’en Action Camp against proposed and approved mining and pipeline projects in Wet’suwet’en territory, near Smithers, BC.

News Headlines

Canada has been ranked eleventh out of twelve in an international energy efficiency study conducted by the non-profit, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
More on this story: PR Newswire, CBC, ACEEE

A pilot project started by the city of Kamloops has a herd of 440 goats being used as weed control.
More on this story: National Post, CTV, JARQ

A study released this week focused on the potential of Iron fertilization to sink CO2.
More on this story: Nature, Google, Live Science

An iceberg roughly 120 square kilometers, or about twice the size of Manhattan, broke off of the Petermann glacier earlier this week.
More on this story: Tree Hugger, Guardian, National Post

Forest Fires, Terra Nullius, and Mercury in Fish

Today we talk to a researcher who is investigating how climate change is affecting the way that wild fires interact with forest ecosystems, we explore the colonial concept of Terra Nullius and how it ties in with modern environmental issues, and we hear from a biologist who is studying the accumulation of mercury in the fish we eat. All that, plus your wrap up of the week’s news headlines, on today’s edition of Terra Informa.

Download this week’s show.

The glow of a ground fire illuminates the canopy of a pine forest against the black night sky.

Professor Jill Johnstone has found that with climate change increasing the frequency of fires, they’re  having significant new impacts on our forests. Photo by the US Department of Agriculture.

Terra Nullius
What is the Doctrine of Discovery or terra nullius? Today on the first episode of Decolonize Your Mind, a segment that looks at environmental issues with a decolonizing lens, we ask this question, along with a bunch of others. What’s colonization? And what is the responsibility of environmentalists to look at these kinds of things? We’ll also hear an audio clip from Winona LaDuke, speaking about the impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery and some of her thoughts on empire.

Effect of Climate Change on Forest Fires
Across North America we’re getting into the thick of forest fire season. Have you ever wondered how fires change the forests they burn, though? Or how that might change now that fires are coming more often, and getting more intense? Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips reached University of Saskatchewan ecologist Jill Johnstone in the Yukon to ask her about her research studying fire in forests there. She explained how climate change is making fire a disruptor of boreal forests, rather than a regenerator.

More on this story: sdf, Forest recovery after fire in a changing climate (PDF), Northern Plant Ecology Lab Cookbook, yourYukon

Mercury in Fish
Most people consider fish to be a healthy dinner choice, and for the most part, they’re right. But there is a complication – some fish species can absorb mercury, a toxic heavy metal. Some of this mercury is natural, and some of it is from industrial pollution. Can anything be done? And what species of fish should we be wary of? Today Terra Informa correspondent David Kaczan chats to Tina Willson, a researcher at the University of Wyoming.

Community Gardens & Disease from Fish Farms

In the coming weeks lawyers at the Cohen Commission will be cross-examining witnesses on the themes of aquaculture and disease. Ian Mackenzie spoke to one witness — Catherine Stewart of the Living Oceans Society — to learn more about the issues that her organization hopes to address at the inquiry and some of the underlying concerns that salmon farms may be linked to wild salmon declines.

All across the country people are getting their hands dirty. Vacant lots, old rail right-of-ways, and unused corners of city land are getting a make over as community gardens reclaim the lost space. These days just about every major city in the country has a garden, and they’re so popular that many are struggling just to find room for all their new members. What’s all the fuss about? Tune in today to find out.

Download this week’s show.

Photo by PlaceMatters.

National Parks Project & Mercury in Fish

On this week’s show we examine the bioaccumulation of mercury in fish, and what you can do to protect yourself. We also hear from participants in the National Parks Project, a 100th anniversary celebration of Canada’s park system that has drawn in some of the country’s best film makers and musicians. Plus, your round up of the week’s headlines.

Download this week’s show.

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, B.C.

Mercury in Fish
Most people consider fish to be a healthy dinner choice, and for the most part, they’re right. But there is a complication – some fish species can absorb mercury, a toxic heavy metal. Some of this mercury is natural, and some of it is from industrial pollution. Can anything be done? And what species of fish should we be wary of? Today Terra Informa correspondent David Kaczan chats to Tina Willson, a researcher at the University of Wyoming.

National Parks Project
This week Rebecca Rooney brings us a special treat – The National Parks Project is an ambitious celebration of Canada’s national parks system for the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada.  What is it? It’s a television show on the Discovery Channel, a artsy film series, an album, and a fundraiser.  It’s the crazy, exciting, and avant guard brainchild of film production company FilmCAN.  52 artists were split into groups of 4 to spend 5 days camping and creating in 13 of Canada’s national parks – one from each province and territory.  The National Parks Project is the result of their adventures. Proceeds from the work go to the Nature Conservancy.

You can download the CD on iTunes here.
Snowblink, Daniela Gesundheit’s band:

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

Download This Week’s Terra Informa

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

Download This Week’s Terra Informa