religion

Faith, Floods and Frostbite

Winter in Edmonton: The Highlevel Bridge

Winter in Edmonton: The Highlevel Bridge (Photo Credit: M. Folkmann)

This week, we hear from faith-based organizations about why they’re so active in the climate justice movement. We also learn what lessons and techniques reporters need when a natural disaster strikes—disasters like the massive flooding that hit Calgary last summer. Finally, two short stories exploring wintery themes: discover frostbite’s sway on history and what makes snowflakes unique.

Update: this episode was remixed with new content on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 at 9 pm MST.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Fast For The Climate

Filipino lead negotiator Yeb Sano joined with representatives of civil society back in November 2013 to call for immediate climate action at the COP19 UN Climate Talks. A growing number of people in Warsaw and around the world are joining in Sano's voluntary fast for climate action including Fast for the Climate. Credit: 350.org (http://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/)

Filipino lead negotiator Yeb Sano joined with representatives of civil society back in November 2013 to call for immediate climate action at the COP19 UN Climate Talks. A growing number of people in Warsaw and around the world are joining in Sano’s voluntary fast for climate action including Fast for the Climate. Credit: 350.org (http://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/)

This week on the show Chris Chang-Yen Phillips talks to Green Party leader Elizabeth May about the Trans Pacific Partnership, a deal that could leave the environment a casualty of compromise for its member countries. Trevor Chow-Fraser and Natalee Rawat speak to Severn Cullis-Suzuki about her life today—22 years after she delivered her speech that silenced the world for five minutes at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. And finally we’ll take you to Washington, D.C. with Trevor, who spoke to some faith-based organizations who are calling for what they call a Fast For The Climate.

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Act Three

Over the winter holidays, Terra Informa will be re-broadcasting our three part series Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Thanks for listening!

A man hangs suspended over a cliff by ropes

Documentary film-maker Mark McGuire shared the story of the extreme physical practices of the Lotus Ascent shown in the movie Shugendo Now.

In a show recorded before a live audience, Terra Informa brings you stories of spirituality and the way it shapes our attitudes to the natural world. Act Three takes us through hallucinogens and hanging off cliffs – the physical extremes we’ll endure to have a spiritual experience with nature. This special episode was recorded live at Edmonton’s St. John’s Institute.

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Act Two

Over the winter holidays, Terra Informa will be re-broadcasting our three part series Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Thanks for listening!

Terra Informer Morgana Folkmann interviews Gary Lee about his work.

Terra Informer Morgana Folkmann interviews Gary Lee about his work.

In a show recorded before a live audience, Terra Informa brings you stories of spirituality and the way it shapes our attitudes to the natural world. Act Two brings you poetry about Alberta’s landscape and history from Edmonton-based poet Gary Lee, plus stories about faith and our environment from the audience, and another song from singer-songwriter Sierra Jamerson. Tune in next week for the final act, recorded live at Edmonton’s St. John’s Institute.

Download this week’s episode.

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Act One

Over the winter holidays, Terra Informa will be re-broadcasting our three part series Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Thanks for listening!

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In a show recorded before a live audience, Terra Informa brings you stories of spirituality and the way it shapes our attitudes to the natural world. Act One features two intimate and thought provoking segments. First, a singer-songwriter whose connection to BC’s Sacred Headwaters put her family at the heart of a major confrontation. Second, an interview with one of the world’s leading naturalists who grew up in the Bible Belt, but now lives in Ecuador.

Thank you to the St. John’s Institute of Edmonton for hosting this special night of live radio.

Download this week’s episode

(more…)

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Act Three

In a show recorded before a live audience, Terra Informa brings you stories of spirituality and the way it shapes our attitudes to the natural world. Act Three takes us through hallucinogens and hanging off cliffs – the physical extremes we’ll endure to have a spiritual experience with nature. This special episode was recorded live at Edmonton’s St. John’s Institute.

A man hangs suspended over a cliff by ropes

Documentary film-maker Mark McGuire shared the story of the extreme physical practices of the Lotus Ascent shown in the movie Shugendo Now.

Download this week’s episode.

Born Again Through Ayahuasca

In Act One, Nicole Wiart told us about her travels through Peru, While there, she somehow got persuaded to try Ayahuasca… enthusiastically. Ayahuasca is translated as “death’s rope” in ancient Quechua. It’s an indigenous medicine, used 5 thousand years ago by the people of the amazon and adopted more recently by the Incans and highland indigenous groups. The tea is brewed mainly from a jungle vine, with other plants from the Amazon brewed into it. While it “is” a medicine, it contains DMT, a chemical compound that instigates hallucinations – DMT is the same chemical released from your pineal gland right before you die — why many people “see God” before they pass. She’d heard great things about it, from friends, people who had really “found” themselves after the experience. And, being 20 years old, she wondered if it might help her feel a little less lost.

Terra Informa's Trevor Chow-Fraser sharing the story of Shugendo Now.

Terra Informa’s Trevor Chow-Fraser sharing the story of Shugendo Now.

Born Again on the Mountain

Can a spiritual experience really be true if you have to do drugs or starve yourself or do something crazy to achieve it? It’s part of so many traditions. Terra Informer Trevor Chow-Fraser wanted to know why physical hardship is seemingly so important for spiritual enlightenment. It got him thinking about a Japanese ascetic practice called Shugendo. His friend Mark McGuire introduced him to it a number of years ago, because he produced a documentary on the subject called Shugendo Now.

The film shows you creative new ascetic traditions that are taking place in the mountains. And if you see the film, you’ll understand immediately how the film addresses our question about bodily punishment. Because one of the most famous Shugendo practices is called the Lotus Ascent. It’s a punishing physical ordeal, because of the climb itself and what practitioners do on the mountain. Mark McGuire explains more.

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Act Two

In a show recorded before a live audience, Terra Informa brings you stories of spirituality and the way it shapes our attitudes to the natural world. Act Two brings you poetry about Alberta’s landscape and history from Edmonton-based poet Gary Lee, plus stories about faith and our environment from the audience, and another song from singer-songwriter Sierra Jamerson. Tune in next week for the final act, recorded live at Edmonton’s St. John’s Institute.

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Eco-Poetry: Upon This Rock

What connects you to a place, causes you to push your roots deep down into it? Are you captured by the rich smell of the soil? By the sight of open skies? Or — is it the realization and enormity of all that has happened beneath your feet? No matter where you’re from, or who you are, people find profound connections to the world around them. Gary Lee, is an Edmonton-based poet, painter, videographer and musician. Gary has travelled around Canada by thumb and by Greyhound, working as a janitor, proofreader, counter-fitter, grain bin builder, addictions worker, maintenance man, sound man, roadie, psychiatric aide, itinerant guerrilla poet, performance artist and musical saboteur. Our own Morgana Folkmann has known Gary Lee since his days as a hitchhiking bard across Canada. We heard them in conversation, as Gary recited his poems Upon This Rock and Power Spot.

Audience Thoughts on Faith and Nature

Host Nikki Wiart asks members of the audience and the Terra Informa crew some questions about faith and nature. What spiritual experiences with nature have you had? Is there a place in nature that speaks to you? Are you part of a faith tradition – and if so, what is the opinion or attitude of that faith toward the environment?

She’s Gonna Save the World

Sierra Jamerson was born into a family of talented leaders as well as gifted musicians, and she’s been performing professionally since the tender age of eleven, singing traditional Black Gospel, jazz, soul and R&B music. Part of that talented family of hers is Tahltan Nation from BC. You might have heard of the Sacred Headwaters in Tahltan territory. It’s the origin point for three powerful rivers that run through British Columbia – the Stikine, the Skeena and the Nass. When natural gas and coal exploration started on their land a few decades ago, her family had something to say about that. In this act, she performs her original song She’s Gonna Save the World, a tribute to the powerful women she’s been inspired by, among community leaders and her family.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Act One

In a show recorded before a live audience, Terra Informa brings you stories of spirtuality and the way it shapes our attitudes to the natural world. Act One features two intimate and thought provoking segments. First, a singer-songwriter whose connection to BC’s Sacred Headwaters put her family at the heart of a major confrontation. Second, an interview with one of the world’s leading naturalists who grew up in the Bible Belt, but now lives in Ecuador.

Thank you to the St. John’s Institute of Edmonton for hosting this special night of live radio.

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Singing The Sacred Headwaters

Sierra Jamerson was born into a family of talented leaders and gifted musicians, and she’s been performing professionally since the tender age of eleven, singing traditional Black Gospel, jazz, soul and R&B music.

Part of that talented family of hers is in the Tahltan Nation in British Columbia. You might have heard of the Sacred Headwaters in Tahltan territory. It’s the origin point for three powerful rivers that run through British Columbia—the Stikine, the Skeena and the Nass. When the oil and gas industry tried to start mining in the area, Sierra’s family was at the forefront of Tahltan resistance.

Further reading

Biology & The Bible Belt

Dr. Kelly Swing is the co-founder of the Tiputini biodiversity station in the Amazon, and in all respects, this guy has an impressive resume and an even more impressive google search. He’s a go-to source for organizations and people all over the world, including National Geographic and theh David Suzuki Foundation.

Kelly grew up in the bible belt of North Carolina, but has lived in Ecuador for the past 20 years. He was raised in a very Christian home, going to church sometimes up to three times a week. But from an early age, he has always been interested in nature. So, upon going to college, he focused on biology and chemistry, and somehow managed to keep a balance of both religion and science in his life.

Further Reading

Live Show Sponsors

The St. John’s Institute is a 95 year old cornerstone of Edmonton’s Ukrainian Orthodox community. It operates a student residential centre near the University of Alberta, and runs many educational, spiritual, cultural and outreach programs.

CJSR-FM is a Canadian campus-based community radio station, broadcasting at 88.5 FM in Edmonton, Alberta. Thes radio station is volunteer-run and seeks to enlighten and entertain through high quality and diverse programming that constantly challenges the status quo.”