sustainability

Environmentalism and Student Politics

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This week on Terra Informa, we’re talking about all things Sustainability. Listen in to hear what our UAlberta undergraduate SU presidential candidates, Akanksha Bhatnagar and Andre Bourgeois are thinking about the future of sustainability resources on campus, the position they are taking on the environmental issues of today, and a sneak preview of their platform. Then we’ve got you covered with this week’s environmental events. Happy Listening!

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Headlines

B.C. Provincial Budget Fund 1 Billion$ for climate action

The breakdown is as follows: $107 million will incentivize zero-emission vehicles and fund new charging stations. $58 million will go towards increasing energy efficiency of buildings and $18 million will help Indigenous and remote communities move to cleaner energy. Industry, who are responsible for the majority of emissions, will get $168 million in incentives to reduce their greenhouse gases. Another $299 million is allocated for initiatives that have not yet been developed or finalized, allowing new programs to get up and running quickly. $111 million over three years to fight wildfires, including response and prevention, and another $13 million for forest restoration.

There will also be:

  • A new child tax credit, giving families as much as $3400 dollars a year for children under 18.
  • Eliminate interest on provincial student loans
  • Increased support payments to extended family members who care for children when their parents can’t.
  • A raise $179/month for Foster parents
  • Increased income and disability assistance rates by $50 a month
  • And a plan to decrease poverty projected to be released in the Spring

Protecting Water in Ontario’s First ever Green Bill

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Sustainability in Classrooms and Constitutions

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That bite in the September autumn air is a tell-tale sign of back to school. This week, we dug into our archives and uncovered a 2016 piece about sustainability in Alberta schools, as well as another archive that helps us consider the pros and cons of including the environment in national constitutions.

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Sustainability in Alberta Classrooms

Right now, sustainability education is becoming more and more prevalent in schools, but we still have a long way to go. In 2016, Nicole Richard and Paula Daza spoke with the teachers of Brightview Elementary School and the students of the Sustainability Club from Cochrane High School about how students can be inspired by sustainability and environment-focused education. Nicole and Paula, students from the University of Alberta, incorporated this type of community engagement into their degrees through their project called We the Future.

Good Living

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. Nicole Wiart talks to Doctor Kelly Swing.

This Week’s Headlines

St. Albert to Destroy Invasive Koi (CBC) – Click here

Meetings between Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Over the Trans Mountain Pipeline (CBC) – Click here

Smart Traffic Lights in Ottawa (National Observer) – Click here

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International Non-Profits at the IPCC Conference

Climate Change Conference Coming to Edmonton - March 2018

This week on Terra Informa, we bring you the first instalment of our reporting on the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Conference on Cities and Climate Change. This conference was hosted in Edmonton, AB from March 5-7th. We sent a team to dig up the best stories from the event, interviewing scientists, policy makers, and other movers-and-shakers like the Chair and Co-Chairs of the IPCC, leaders of non-governmental-organizations (NGOs), Indigenous activists, data specialists,  the mayor of Edmonton, radical youth, and more!

In this episode, we’ll be showcasing two representatives from climate-focused NGOs at the IPCC conference – the global research organization Future Earth, and a climate policy and global sustainability not-for-profit, New Climate Institute.

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Future Earth

Terra Informers Charlotte Thomasson and Sydney Karbonik had the pleasure of sitting down with Anne-Helene Prieur-Richard, the regional director of global organization Future Earth’s Montreal Hub, to discuss international collaboration, Future Earth as an organization, and the research they are doing to address Global Sustainability and the Anthropocene.

NewClimate Institute

Sydney Karbonik spoke with Thomas Day, a founding partner of NewClimate Institute, about the diverse and immediate benefits of taking action against climate change. NewClimate Institute is an NGO that calls for action against climate change and aids the creation of sustainable development through research and knowledge.

 

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Photo by: Green Energy Futures – David Dodge

 

What’s the Deal with Canada’s updated Environmental Legislation?

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Photo by Ezra Jeffrey on Unsplash

You may have heard the news that last month the Canadian Federal Government overhauled a number of different pieces of legislation including the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Navigable Waters Act, Fisheries Act and the National Energy Board Act. These pieces of legislation inform the way that government protects the environment so these changes are significant. What will this all mean and how will these changes affect how implementation of legislation? No need to go read the new acts! Save yourself some time and let the Executive Director of the Environmental Law Centre explain the implications of these changes.

Terra Informer, Caitlin Macnab, spoke with Jason Unger to discuss whether these changes spell out greater transparency, public participation and environmental protection. Listen on!

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Download program log here. 

Fundrive: Studying, and Eating, Insects

On Halloween night, Terra Informa went LIVE for our Fundrive episode and helped the station surpass its $105,000 fundraising goal! Thanks so much to our amazing donors! If you missed hearing the show live, or just loved it so much that you need to listen to it again, we’ve got you covered. And the best part? This episode is all about bugs.

First, we chatted with University of Alberta palaeontology grad student Emily Moore about giant Mesozoic Era insects. Then we jump from the distant past into the future, where crickets could become a significant source of sustainable protein. We spoke with Silvia Ronzani and Claudio La Rocca of Camola Sustainable Bakery, who use cricket flour in all their baked goods including their delicious bugscotti. Grossed out? Intrigued? Listen here:

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Download program log here.

Photo by: Max Pixel.

Cooking Up Better Food Policy in Canada

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This week on Terra Informa, we discuss the ongoing consultations about Canada’s food policy with master food strategists Juanita Gnanapragasam and Kathryn Lennon.

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Canada’s Food Policy

The federal government explains on their website that “A Food Policy for Canada will set a long-term vision for the health, environmental, social, and economic goals related to food, while identifying actions we can take in the short-term. A food policy is a way to address issues related to the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food.”

Consultations about the policy are being carried out by the federal government across Canada. Although they didn’t organize one in Alberta, luckily our AB food organizations have our backs and organized their own consultation event called “What’s Your Recipe for a Better Food System? Towards a National Food Policy…” This event will be happening on Wednesday September 13, 2017 from 6-9 pm at the Edmonton Food Bank (Annex) 11434-120 Street. If you’re not in Edmonton or you’ve missed the 13th – no need to worry! You can contact your local MP or email the federal government at foodpolicy-politiquealimentaire@canada.ca. The hashtag being used for this discussion is #Foodpolicy4Canada.

Terra Informer Amanda Rooney spoke with representatives from two organizations present at the upcoming event on Wednesday; the University of Alberta’s Sustainable Food Working Group and the City of Edmonton. 

Juanita Gnanapragasam talks about her work on making food culturally inclusive and what she believes a food policy could bring to Canada. Ms. Gnanapragasam is a student at large member of the University of Alberta’s Sustainable Food Working Group.

Terra Informa alumni Kathryn Lennon also weighs in on what a national food policy might entail and the role of federal government in our food systems. Kathryn now works for the City of Edmonton as a Principal Planner in Policy Development working on the city’s food strategy alongside the Edmonton Food Council.  

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Photo by Lou Stejskal on Flickr

Faith + Futurism

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”The Swiss Alps – God’s Country” by edwademd

This week on Terra Informa, we have two great pieces from our archives. First we have a story on faith and climate justice. Terra Informer Trevor Chow-Fraser talks to Bishop Susan Johnson to hear more on what inspires people of faith to get involved in international climate negotiations. Then we talk to Alex Steffen, Planetary Futurist, journalist, and sustainability advocate. He thinks it’s time to stop looking at the second hand on our watch and look up and begin to think about what kind of world we’re leaving to our grandchildren. Matt Hirji sits down with him at the University of Alberta’s International Week 2014.

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Faith and Climate Justice

Previously we heard from three guests—an analyst, an activist, and a Bishop—about Fast for the Climate, a campaign based off of the hunger strike that thousands of people took part in during the Warsaw climate change talks. This week, Trevor Chow-Fraser wanted to hear more on what inspires people of faith to get involved in the international climate negotiations. To figure it out, Trevor step back and ask them how they first came to connect their faith with the environment.

Alex Steffen, Planetary Futurist

In today’s fast paced milieu, chasing the here and now can blind us from the dangers that lie ahead —  just past the horizon. Our conversations are often dominated by present concerns… with very little credence given to the impacts that our current decisions will have on our world in the future. Alex Steffen is a self-described planetary futurist. He sits down with Matt Hirji while at the University of Alberta’s International Week.

Headlines

Toronto the resilient: how the city plans to adapt to climate change in 2050

The city of Toronto has put forward a bill called Transform TO, calling to reduce the cities greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the year 2050. Plans to meet this ambitious goal include the increased use of solar panels, dense urban centers and new homes that minimize greenhouse gas output. The city also plans to divert 95% of waste from landfills by increasing recycling and reuse programs. Read more here. 

Bear 148

Bear 148 was caught in Canmore this week after what seems was hundreds of encounters with humans. You may know this grizzly for when she became viral after joining a rugby practice in Banff, as well as many other encounters she has had with people. Bear 148 was not known to be aggressive, though in a recent incident she charged a man pushing a stroller while he was walking his dog. After this she was captured and released back into the far end of her home range to minimize human interaction. Parks staff say this comes as a reminder about the balance between keeping animal habitat and maintaining the safety of visitors in the park. Read more here. 

Ancient fungi could help Canada’s future northern forests

Research from the University of British Columbia has found a symbiotic fungi helping trees to migrate during times of high temperature stress due to climate change. These fungi had been laying dormant for thousands of years and were able to survive due to specialized spores. Jason Pither and Brian Pickles have been leading the new research. Read more here.

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There is no Planet B

Earthrise

This week we explore the origins of Earth Day with an ecobabble that spans the decades from 1970 to the March for Science of 2017. Next, we’re revisiting an interview with Chris Hadfield from our archives.

 

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Earth Day: Cause For Protest or Celebration?

Lauren Carter and Dylan Hall hit the streets to find out what the public thinks about Earth Day and the March for Science. You’ll be hearing some of those interviews throughout this ecobabble on the origins of Earth Day.  Earth Day began as the environmentalist movement was making its voice heard with protests and educational teach-ins. Today, Earth Day is celebrated across the planet, although its focus has largely turned from political issues to small-scale individual action. Find out how this transition happened, and how the March for Science is changing that with this ecobabble produced by Lauren Carter.

Chris Hadfield Interview From 2013

Most of us will never know what it’s like being in space. We’ve all seen the pictures of that familiar glowing green and blue orb from the viewpoint of a spaceship. We have rich imaginations and age-long fascinations of what could be out there beyond the sky. But what does it smell like? What does it really feel like to be out there? From the 2013 archives, our own Matt Hirji talked to Commander Chris Hadfield about questions like these.

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Photo by NASA