sustainability

The Many Forms of Climate Action

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Photo of a climate strike in Edmonton, Alberta by Hannah Cunningham

This week, Terra Informers Charlotte Thomasson, Andy Silva, and Shawn Hou discuss the different forms that climate action can take. What are the differences between collective and individual action, and is one more important than the other?

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Revisiting Conspiring with Plants

Untitled design (1)At Terra Informa, we conspire with our houseplants! [Top row, left to right: Andrea Wiebe, Sofia Osborne, Amanda Rooney. Bottom row, left to right: Hannah Cunningham, Shelley Jodoin, Carter Gorzitza]

To help celebrate the end of a brutal coldsnap here on the Canadian prairies, this week’s episode features an archive that is all about green and growing things! We’ll hear Terra Informer Amanda Rooney speak with Dr. Natasha Meyers, a professor of anthropology at York University, about our relationships with plants and how we might be able to re-conceptualize them.

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After reading an article entitled “How to grow livable worlds: Ten not-so-easy steps“, Terra Informer Amanda Rooney wanted to share the idea of the Planthropocene with listeners! Amanda got to speak with the author of the paper, Natasha Myers, about her relationship with plants, planthropology and how you might reconceptualize your relationship with plants.

Dr. Natasha Myers is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University. You can find many of Dr. Myers publications, articles and other resources on her website.

We will also hear from Terra Informers Sonak Patel, Hannah Cunningham, and new recruit Curtis Blandy about some of their most memorable chlorophyll-ed relationships.

Download program log here.

Revisiting The Wildfires in the Amazon and Conservation in Brazil

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Photo by Yolanda via Pixabay

With the devastating bushfires in Australia dominating headlines recently, this week on Terra Informa we are revisiting an episode from August 2019 that was made when a different part of the world was up in flames. In this archive episode, we discuss the wildfires that were devastating the Amazon rainforest at the time, and Terra Informer Elizabeth Dowdell talks to interdisciplinary researcher Cristiana Seixas about her work on socio-ecological systems and protecting the environment in Brazil.

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For more information on the richness of the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest and some of the other biome types mentioned in this week’s episode, check out the Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the Americas, which Cristiana Seixas was a part of creating through the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Check out the sources that were used for the archive episode’s introduction to the Amazon rainforest and Brazil for more information:

Encyclopedia Britannica: Amazon Rainforest
WWF: Amazon

Download program log here.

The Best of 2019: Environmental Connections, Hope, and Resolutions

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Photo by Hannah Cunningham

This week, Terra Informers Elizabeth Dowdell, Carter Gorzitza, and Hannah Cunningham sit down to reflect on 2019. What inspired us? When did we feel the most connected to the environment around us? How many animal carcasses did we each see?

We here at Terra Informa are very excited to be planning some excellent episodes for the new year! Do you have an idea for a story that you’d like to hear on the show? If so, shoot us a message at terra@cjsr.com!

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Download program log here.

Revisiting The Less-than-fabulous Footprint of Fashion

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Photo by TheUglySweaterShop.com on Flickr

This week on Terra Informa, we revisit a timely episode from this past summer’s coverage of the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Listen as Terra Informer Dylan Hall interviews fashionista and not-for-profit educator Jess Montgomery of Think The World Differently. Montgomery holds an MA in the History and Theory of Contemporary Art from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she wrote her thesis on the role that fashion can play in perpetuating or challenging over-consumption. She is also a contributor to Not Just A Label, a designer platform for new and contemporary and artists.

We wanted to revisit this story over the holiday season because a central theme of the interview is the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry. 

This time of year we are bombarded with messages to “buy this” and “consume more”. While there is a growing trend in zero-waste and gift-free practices, we still have a long and complicated system to unravel if we want to mitigate the negative impacts of over-consumption. Another reason to re-air the interview is the pressure to dress ‘fashionably’ at holiday parties and social events. As Montgomery explains, this doesn’t mean you have to mean buy something new. There are many ways to be an ethical and sustainable consumer while still getting your fashion fix.

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Download program log here.

Climate Change at Home

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Photo credit: hsvall

This week on Terra Informa we listen to speakers at the City of Edmonton’s Change for Climate Talks discuss the challenges and opportunities for transformation that the climate crisis brings to our cities. Terra Informers Sonak Patel and Elizabeth Dowdell attended the event on October 3, 2019 and caught up with a few speakers after. We picked two talks that focus on how our homes and urban environment can be more sustainable. We’ll hear from Jocelyn Crocker about her experiences as an urban farmer, and from Kenton Zerbin, and his ideas about the potential of tiny houses.

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Jocelyn Crocker and the food revolution

YEGBeesYEGBees founder, Sunshine Community Garden coordinator, and Sustainable Citizen of the Year 2019 Jocelyn Crocker delivers a talk titled ““The Revolution is local: Why you should grow food not lawns” about climate change and urban agriculture.

Kenton Zerbin living big in a tiny house

International teacher, permacutlure designer, and entrepreneur Kenton Zerbin delivers a his talk “Living Big in a tiny house while saving the world”.

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Workers and the Future of Energy

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Photo by Daniel Jones on Flickr

This week on Terra Informa, Andrea Wiebe met with Lliam Hildebrand of the Iron and Earth Organization about their work advocating for oil and gas development to incorporate more renewable energy. They discussed how oil and gas sector workers can adapt to and support the low carbon transition. 

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UCP STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

Following the cancellation of the provincial carbon tax in June, the Alberta government is seeking feedback and conducting engagement on its new plan to cut greenhouse gases. Named the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Program, the government is meeting with over 150 stakeholders, including representatives of the oil and gas sector, mining, and agriculture sector, among others. The public is also invited to weigh in on this plan, through an online survey. 

Online survey to provide feedback: Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Engagement

Global News: Alberta seeks feedback on greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan

Global News: Alberta makes it official: Bill passed and proclaimed to kill carbon tax

CBC PROTEST

On Wednesday, July 17th, environmental groups around the country are planning to demonstrate outside CBC headquarters. Demonstrators are asking that the CBC host a federal leaders’ debate on the climate crisis and a green new deal. With over 11 million Canadians tuning in to the leaders’ debates, environmental groups are demonstrating to highlight the importance of informing the public about each candidate’s strategy to address the climate emergency. As the CBC finalizes plans for election coverage, demonstrators from coast to coast will be gathering outside studios during the six o’clock news to encourage the broadcaster to host this debate. Edmontonians interested in this demonstrating can visit the CBC studios in City Centre Mall at 10062 102 Ave.

Facebook page: Edmonton calls on the CBC to Change the Debate

Transmountain Pipeline Expansion Updates

The Transmountain Expansion Project has been the centre of a large debate about economic development and environmental conservation, as well as a discussion about the responsibilities of project proponents and the rights of affected communities.

Vancouver Sun: Conservationists file legal challenge to Trans Mountain pipeline reapproval

CBC News: First Nations launch new court challenge to Trans Mountain pipeline

CBC News: Environmental groups file new challenge to Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approval

Global News: Several B.C. First Nations launch legal challenge of re-approved Trans Mountain pipeline

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Soakin’ Up The Sun With Solar Power

33762667904_71bea17c2b_oPhoto by Jorden Esseron on Flickr

This week on Terra Informa, we discuss solar energy, including topics such as the definition of solar, how it works, the pros and cons to solar,  and who the solar power leaders are around the world.

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One of Canada’s Largest Solar Installations on Vancouver Island Built by T’Sou-ke Nation

Terra Informer Steve Anderson spoke to T’Sou-ke Chief Gordon Planes and project manager Andrew Moore about the importance of collective decision-making and planning for energy efficiency when switching to renewables.

Inspiration on How to Engage with a Changing Energy Landscape

Terra Informer Dylan Hall shared stories about thoughts and questions around solar energy. 

What’s Happening

 Renewable Electricity Program Cancellation and Solar in Alberta

Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program, instituted by the previous NDP government as a competitive bidding program for commercial-scale energy generation, has officially been cancelled by the UCP leadership as of June 10, 2019. Premier Jason Kenney made a campaign promise to fix the program, which operated three rounds of public auctions in December 2017 and 2018, guaranteed operators a minimum electricity price, and secured over 1,300 MW of renewable electricity for the Alberta grid. The UCP says the existing contracts from these first three auctions will be honoured, but the fourth round of auctions anticipated in 2019 will not take place.

Renewable Electricity Program

Edmonton Convention Center Integrated Solar

On Thursday June 27, the City of Edmonton announced it will be upgrading the Edmonton Convention Center to replace about half of the 696 glass panels that form the buildings sloped atrium, with transparent solar panels. The announcement is exciting news as this is one of the largest integrated-solar designs in Canada, which means solar panels are built right into the design of the building, rather than as a separate ground or roof top-array.

Edmonton Journal: Largest ‘building-integrated’ solar cell installation in country coming to Edmonton Convention Centre

Smith Solar Farm and River Valley Rezoning

The City of Edmonton has sent the E.L Smith Solar Farm back to administration and Epcor for further engagement and review on June 19th. The E.L Smith Solar Farm is an approximately 10 MW electricity generation project proposed by Epcor to be developed on 54 acres of land owned by the company and located south of the existing E.L Smith water treatment plant, in the Edmonton River Valley.  The $26 million solar farm is intended to help power the water treatment plant and construction includes the installation of up to 45,000 solar panels, the connection of these panels to the treatment plant and the electrical grid, the removal of select trees, and fencing around the plant.

Edmonton Journal: ‘Go elsewhere’: Epcor’s 23-hectare river valley solar farm plan faces stiff opposition

CBC: Edmonton council puts river valley solar farm proposal on hold

EPCOR: Project Overview

 

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The Less-Than-Fabulous Footprint of Fashion

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Photo by Emily Orpin on Flickr

This week on Terra Informa Dylan Hall ventures into the world of fashion. Dylan caught up with Jess Montgomery at the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences held at the University of British Columbia campus. Montgomery holds a BFA with Distinction in Art History from Concordia University, and a MA in the History and Theory of Contemporary Art from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she wrote her thesis on the role that fashion can play in perpetuating or challenging overconsumption.

She is also the founder of a not-for-profit organization called Think the World Differently that focuses on raising awareness about the environmental impacts of clothing consumption. She also writes for Not Just a Label, a global fashion industry platform.

Dylan and Montgomery chatted about the entangled environmental and social impacts of fashion and the textile industry, fast fashion and the whole system alike. She also speaks to her tenuous personal relationship to the fashion industry as someone who loves fashion.

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What’s Happening

People on the Path collaborative art installation at Found Festival in Edmonton. This by donation art installation highlights the voices of the diverse people calling for a just transition to a more sustainable and just future.

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Sharing is Caring: Urban planning, entrepreneurship, and collaborative consumption

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Photo by: Matt Harrop

This week on Terra Informa, sharing is caring. We’ll be discussing what sustainability means to urban planning, getting recent planning graduate, Sonak Patel’s thoughts on shared economies, and then talking toolsharing with Graham Hansen, an entrepreneur interested in collaborative consumption. 

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Sustainability and Urban Planning

Terra Informer Elizabeth Dowdell speaks with Sonak Patel, a recent graduate of the school of urban and regional planning at the University of Alberta. How do city planners incorporate sustainability into the function and layout of the communities we live in? Does sustainability mean new bike lanes and green spaces, or does it go deeper? Get the answers to those questions, and some other questions about planning you might not even know you had.

For more, check out the Resilient Cities website.

Toolsharing and Collaborative Consumption

Next up, Terra Informer Sydney Karbonik interviews entrepreneur and CEO Graham Hansen. Graham’s interests in collaborative consumption and shared economies inspired him to start ToolShare, a website that connects people who have tools to people who need tools. 

Download program log here.