Mercury

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.

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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: http://snowblink.org/