Podcast

Just Sustainability: Social Justice and Nature’s Rights

Lagoon and lush forest in Ecuador.

Lagoon and lush forest in Ecuador.

This week we are bringing sustainability-related pieces from the archives. First, we hear from Dr. Kelly Swing about how Ecuador has enshrined the rights of nature in its constitution. Then we hear an interview with Winona LaDuke, an indigenous economist about the effects of colonization on Indigenous economies and food systems. Finally, we bring you an interview with Julian Agyeman, chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University about how sustainability should be considered holistically.

Download the episode.

Download the program log.

Nature’s Rights in Ecuador

When we think of a constitution we think of basic “human” rights. We, as humans, have the right to vote, the right to practice religion, the right to own property. But what about nature? Ecuador was the first country in the world to establish the rights of nature at a national level, including it in the 2008 constitution. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart talks to Doctor Kelly Swing of the Tiputini biodiversity station in Ecuador about how this constitutional change is great in theory, but in practice, there are a lot of hurdles to still overcome.

Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabe Activist

Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabe environmental activist, economist, and writer. She spent her entire career as an unflagging advocate for food and energy sustainability. She’s the kind of person who can tell you centuries of history about the corn her community grows and then rally it together to build a wind turbine. She ran as the U.S vice-presidential nominee for the United States Green Party in 1996 and 2000, and she remains a leader in North America on issues of locally based sustainable development. Terra Informa correspondent Matt Hirji spoke with Winona LaDuke from her home on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.

More information: Winona LaDuke’s TedxTC Talk – Seeds of our Ancestors, Seeds of Life, Honour the Earth

Just Sustainability

Julian Agyeman is chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University in Boston-Medford, Massachusetts. His research focuses on the intersections between social justice and sustainability, an idea which he terms “just sustainability.”. He describes “just sustainability” as “the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems.” Kathryn Lennon spoke with him about the need for the sustainability movement to broaden its work beyond ecological and conservation issues, to include issues of inequality and social justice.

Image Credit: Alejomiranda, Pixabay.

What’s Happening?

Solar Trade Show: February 25th, Edmonton, Alberta

Free Admission

The Solar Trade Show is an event for everyone: homeowners, business owners, community organizations, job seekers, and Indigenous communities. Presentations and workshops will discuss careers in solar energy and how to finance solar energy projects. The event is organized by the Solar Energy Society of Alberta.

Click here for more info.

 

What’s Driving Hybrid Sales? Which Moss Is Boss?

Macro photo of delicate orange and green moss.

We wondered who is purchasing hybrid cars, so we asked those who would know best: car dealers. And we wondered what worlds are hiding inside a moss, so we asked he who would know best: Edmonton’s resident Moss Man. In between, we consider the rash of recent train derailments by pitting pipelines against railways to see which is best.

Download Episode

Who’s Buying Hybrid Cars?

At this point, hybrid vehicles have been on the market for a while. The Toyota Prius began selling in Canada fifteen years ago. But despite the constantly improving technology, electric and hybrid electric vehicles account for less than 5% of the automotive market. Adoption is proving to be slow.

To examine what’s happening at the point of sale, Terra Informa’s Carson Fong sat down with a few members of the Lexus of Edmonton team. Wayne Chak, a sales consultant at the dealership, and Matt Miller, the general manager, spoke about the trends they’re seeing with their clients.

Moss: It’s Boss

Let it not be said that mosses are less fascinating that other, more impressively plumed species of flora. For some nature nerds, they are still plenty interesting. Tasmia Nishat caught up with Edmonton’s own “Moss Man,” Dr. René Belland of the University of Alberta’s renewable resources department. They discussed his passion for this plant and the legal troubles of protecting rare mosses.