Although Ecofeminism is not a well known environmental movement, Ecofeminism and Ecofeminist ideas are found in books, art, environmental activism, and government policy. But what is it? Is it relevant today? And how can we live out Ecofeminist principles in our everyday life?
On 7 January 2014, Terra Informa broadcast live from Edmonton’s City Hall to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our home station, CJSR 88.5 FM. Last week was Part One of that show. This week is the final act: Part Two with Linda Duncan. She’s Alberta’s sole NDP MP, and an environmental lawyer.
This week, Terra Informa correspondent Myles Curry talked with the NDP Environment Critic and member of parliament for the Edmontn-Strathcona riding, Linda Duncan on her experiences at the Cancun Climate Conference. Then we bring you the second part of Dr. David Schindler’s talk titled ‘Measuring the Effects of Oil Sands Development on the Athabasca River Ecosystem’
Climate change, wildfires in vicious cycle
Biologist warns of toxic metal in B.C. seafood
Delay in Clean Coal Power Project
Linda Duncan on the Cancun Climate Conference
The Cancun climate talks wrapped up with a late night agreement after a week which left most skeptical about the possibilities for international cooperation at the UN level. In an effort to gain a deeper insight into the process and outcome of the Cancun negotiations Terra Informa correspondent Myles Curry interviewed environmental activist Russel Charlton & NDP MP Linda Duncan as they left Cancun from two different international conferences on climate change. This week Myles spoke with New Democrat Environment Critic and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Strathcona Linda Duncan from the morning after the conclusion of the Cancun conference.
Dr. David Schindler on the Effects of Oil Sands Devlopment
Last week we aired part 1 in a two part series brought to us by Terra Informa correspondent Rebecca Rooney. Back on December 3rd, she recorded a talk titled Measuring the Effects of Oil Sands Development on the Athabasca River Ecosystem, delivered by Dr. David Schindler. Dr. David Schindler is the Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta. His recent research has concluded that oil sands extraction and upgrading north of Fort McMurray does contribute to the contaminant load of the Athabasca River. This research clearly demonstrates that contamination from oil sands extraction and upgrading can be detected up to at least 50 km away. In part 1, he focused on the increase in toxic metals and hydrocarbons in the snowpack, in tributaries, and in the main Athabasca river and the reasons why the data collected by Alberta Environment and by the Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program (RAMP) has historically failed to detect this contamination. In part 2, he focuses on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, often called PAHs, and associated deformities in fish. We pick up where Dr. Schindler left off, explaining how he was able to achieve more sensitive measurements of PAHs than Alberta Environment or RAMP, using a new sampling technique. As a consequence of the results of Dr. Schindler’s research, former Environment Minister Jim Prentice launched an independent review of the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP), the program that currently monitors pollutants in the Athabasca river. That panel was due to report on its findings to Environment Canada by the end of November, but has yet to file its report.
This week David Kaczan speaks with Linda Duncan about Canada’s environmental movement and the role of students and Steve Anderson goes recycle-splunking with Garry the Garbage Guy. Jade Gregg hosts the show and Myles Curry brings us the News.
The Vancouver Olympics which is claimed by the organizers to be the Greenest Games Ever has been met with substantial resistance by various environmental groups on the grounds that the organizers failed to look comprehensively at the games environmental impacts. Forest & tree loss, impact on wetlands and the carbon footprint of all the construction projects in preparation for the Games are excluded from VANOC’s ‘green’ calculations while it continues to market itself as environmentally conscious because of efforts like offsetting officials air travel.
The environmental critique of the Olympics is largely focused on how the green image masks the direct impacts of the games, corporate involvement and its spin-off developments- upon the communities and livelihood of indigenous peoples. RBC, a top Olympic sponsor but also a major oil sands financier, continues to profit from the erosion of First Nations and human right in Athabasca while marketing themselves through the Olympics as environmentally friendly. The Indigenous Environmental network was quoted in saying that
“The reality is that you cannot offset or mitigate the horrific impacts on human and ecological health that are attached to the massive development that the 2010 Olympic Games represent and, even more insidious, you cannot offset or mitigate the massive destruction to human health and ecological harm that is represented by the dozens of corporate sponsors of the Olympics.”
Hope is fading for the Green president that many hoped Baraka Obama would become after he pledged $8.3 billion this week in loan guarantees needed to build the first nuclear reactors in the US in nearly three decades. The move represents a new federal commitment to the nuclear power sector. While nuclear development in itself is cause for environmental resistance this move has initiated a sea change in relations between environmentalist and Barak Obama.
The Nuclear announcement represents a full reversal on environmental strategy by the president and betrayal of the American environmental movement. President Obama campaigned heavily on Green Jobs and renewable energy. Things began to fall apart with the forcing out of Obama’s Green Jobs advisor, Van Jones, by right wing media. The failure to produce domestic climate change legislation for Copenhagen greatly influencing the failure of conference left the President distanced and out of touch with the movement. This week’s announcement in support of an obsolete, dangerous and ecologically destructive technology abandons the premise that he would lead a green power revolution.
With calls for resistance coming out from many environmental groups Obama is now facing opposition from many groups that helped him become elected.
Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, has quit after four years, and his departure is raising concerns about the worldwide effort to rein in global warming. Yvo De Boer is making the move because he believes that
“The time is ripe for me to take on a new challenge, working on climate and sustainability with the private sector and academia.”
However, De Boer’s departure with no apparent replacement increases the uncertainty about the state of the framework convention on climate change going into to the next major round of talks in Mexico. With the failure in Copenhagen, the stalled domestic legislation in the US and the East Anglia controversy creating a period of grave uncertainty, it is a profound political and institutional shock for someone with so much experience to leave the system at a time when it needs to be stabilized.
A Paper published this week in Environmental Research Letters, reports that the biological and cultural diversity of the Peruvian Amazon is under increasing threats form hydrocarbon developments. Rapid proliferation of oil and gas exploration zones now threatens the region’s biodiversity, indigenous peoples, and wilderness areas.
Researchers found that more of the Peruvian Amazon has recently been leased to oil and gas companies than at any other time on record. There are now hydrocarbon concessions covering over 41% of the Peruvian Amazon, up from just 7% in 2003 with the total amount of area leased to oil and gas companies on track to reach around 70% of the region. Nearly one-fifth of the protected areas and over half of all titled indigenous lands in the Peruvian Amazon are now covered by hydrocarbon concessions. And over 60% of the area proposed as reserves for indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation are covered by oil concessions.
As a solution to this disturbing trend the authors highlight Ecuador’s Yasuni-ITT Initiative, which seeks international contributions in exchange for leaving the massive oil fields untapped beneath a mega diverse Amazonian national park as means of ensuring reduction in Co2 emissions.
This week Terra Informa brings you a discussion with NDP Environment Critic, Linda Duncan. Linda Duncan is a lawyer by trade, and a fierce advocate of Canadian environmental issues. She has worked as Environment Canada’s Chief of Enforcement, founded her own environmental law center in Edmonton, and was a senior adviser to the Indonesian, Bangladeshi and Jamaican governments on environmental protection. Today she is a member of the Canadian Parliament. David Kaczan spoke to Linda Duncan late last month, about her time in politics, and the role of students in today’s environmental movement.
This week our waste and recycling expert, Garry the Garage Guy, is back! Today he and Steve have ventured out into the cold of Edmonton’s winter for a recycling reconnaissance mission. That’s a fancy way of saying… that they’re digging through people’s garbage. Well, more accurately, they’ll be rummaging through a recycling dumpster from a downtown apartment building. Their goal: to see just what ends up in the city’s recycling stream.
Saturday October 24th was the International day of Climate Action, when over 4000 actions took place in over 170 countries around the world to urge political leaders to adopt binding emissions targets at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, set to take place this December in Copenhagen. Right here in Edmonton, we had our own Climate Action. Terra Informa correspondent Rebekah Rooney interviewed two of the Edmonton Organizers and reports about the Edmonton Event.
Last month Edmonton opened a brand new waste management facility. It’s located on the edge of the city, right next to the old Clover Bar landfill. But the two operations don’t share much in common. In fact, the new building shows just how far the city has come in the way it deals with garbage. The facility separates waste into different streams for composting, recycling, and biofuels production. And if everything goes according to plan, it will allow the city to divert 90% of its garbage from landfills. Well, naturally, we just had to take a look! Here’s Garry the Garbage Guy showing Terra Informa’s Steve Andersen around the new facility.
Bill C-311 or the Climate Change Accountability Act was originally tabled in October 2006 but due to falls of government the bill did not achieve royal assent despite reaching the Senate. On February 10, 2009 it was reintroduced as a Private Member’s Bill, renamed as Bill C-311. John Harvey interviews Linda Duncan, one of the bills loudest and most passionarte advocates.