Save The Experimental Lakes, Return To Slave Lake, and more!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Well, while the rest of you folks have been enjoying the reveleries, we’ve been hard at work preparing this week’s show. To celebrate Canada’s greenest holiday, we’ve pulled a story out of the archives that will help you identify the budding greenery in your own backyard. And like a people overcoming adversity, our correspondent shares the story of Slave Lake two years after the devastating wild fire swept through. Finally, they’re no Fighting Irish—but Save The ELA is mounting a vigorous fight to restore funding to Canada’s world famous Experimental Lakes Area by the end of the month. Here’s hoping for a St. Patrick’s Day Miracle, on Terra Informa.

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Photo by Flickr user esagor

Photo by Flickr user esagor

Slave Lake: The Sky Was On Fire

Slave Lake, Alberta. About two and a half hours north of Edmonton. In May of 2011, tragedy struck when a raging inferno rolled through part of the town. Nearly 2 years later, Slave Lake resident Kyle Muzyka shares his story, along with some stories from Len Ramsey’s book, “The Sky was on Fire,” a book about the struggles of the residents of Slave Lake during that time.

Len’s book is available both online, by mail and at Audrey’s Books in Edmonton.

Save The Experimental Lakes Area

I bet you don’t know the reason why there aren’t any phosphates in our detergent, do you? Well! It’s all because of a Canadian research facility up in northern Ontario. The Experimental Lakes Area is facing incredible change. Less than a year ago, the government announced it was cutting funding to this internationally recognized research centre on March 31 of 2013. If there’s no money, there’s no research. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart spoke with Britt Hall from the Save ELA coalition to find out more.

For more information on what you can do to help keep this world-renowned site running:

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?

In this conversation, John Bradley Williams and Jennifer McMullen tell Terra Informa about a set of Indigenous plant identification cards that they have both taken part in creating. The cards identify a number of plants on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of Vancouver Island. From our archives, Annie Banks asked John Bradley and Jen to describe the cards and the ideas behind their creation.

Cards are available on Etsy; or for pick up and purchase at the Saanich Adult Education Centre.

What’s Happening

Join Terra Informa at Latitude 53‘s third Winter Salon. We will present stories on the theme of “Cold/Warmth” alongside Anthony Goertz, Body Habitat (Lily Gael & Lisa Wells), and Anya. Thursday, March 28th at 7pm (McCauley School – 9538 107 Avenue).

Cold Recall: Roald Amundsen’s Reflections from the Northwest Passage. Running at the Royal Alberta Museum until April 28, 2013.

David Janzen’s Transfer Station. Running at the Art Gallery of Alberta until June 16, 2013.

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.

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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