Green Building

Geoengineering and Vandana Shiva on Seed Freedom

A figure in an orange space suit walks along rocky striations along the coast.

Geoengineering may transform our relationship with the planet. (Image credit: jacques fou)

This week, we dig into views on transforming landscapes. Calgary sustainability writer Chris Turner shares his take on using planet-scale engineering to solve the climate crisis. Then, Boston’s Brian Swett talks about an eye-opening relationship that encouraged him to aim higher on green building. And world-renowned physicist and ecologist Vandana Shiva opens up about advocating for the freedom to plant what we want and restore our relationship with the land. Listen close, and you might just hear the world changing.

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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

Terra Informa April 06, 2010: Green Homes and Communities

Terra Informa 06, 2010 (download & listen online)

Riverdale Net Zero in Edmonton a Habitat Studio and Workshop project

This weeks selection of environmental news headlines.

Poll: Albertans least worried about water quality By PETER ZIMONJIC (Edmonton Sun)

Ottawa follows U.S. lead on fuel-efficiency standards for new cars (Globe & Mail)

Tories accused of hiding new environment rules in budget bill (Toronto Star)

ATCO Gas Opens New Environmentally Friendly Operations Center (market wire)

Obama’s disastrous offshore oil drilling plan dooms polar bears (

Democracy Now! video coverage on Obama Plan to Lift Moratorium on Offshore Drilling

There is a rapidly growing trend in environmentally-conscious circles to seek the help of local community leagues. While many are stretched for resources and support, they are invaluable hubs of innovation, creativity, and openness, and Edmonton is no different; Marcus investigates the Edmonton Federation of Community LeaguesGreen Challenge program and some of the city’s amazing projects designed to empower and transform neighborhoods.

In Canada, the heating of our buildings accounts for about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. Although we think that our cold climate necessitates the use of all this energy, in fact at least half, and probably much more, could be saved by building efficient, highly insulated buildings that take full advantage of the sun’s radiation in winter. If well designed, these houses are also cooler in summer.  However, cutting energy use by 50% is not enough for some. This week, Terra Informa speaks to a builder and company director whose new houses strive to be completely carbon neutral. Peter Amerongen, works for Habitat Studio and Workshop, a company specialising in energy efficient construction. His recent projects in Alberta are showing that it’s possible to build green, even in a very cold climate. David Kaczan chatted to Peter about his work and his thoughts on how Canadians should be building their houses in the future.

Next up is a new feature to Terra Informa but a regular feature here in Edmonton on CJSR, The Bicycle Traffic Report with Carly Colemen.  Steve Anderson Catches up with Carly to give you an introduction to the segment and talk about the high cost of free parking.

The High Cost of Free Parking: By Ryan McGreal of

The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald C. Shoup (pdf)

Terra Informa 06, 2010 (download & listen online)