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The State of the Amazon and Conservation in Brazil

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Photo by Yolanda via Pixabay

This week on Terra Informa we discuss the current wildfire devastating the Amazon rainforest 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 this week’s introduction to the Amazon rainforest and Brazil for more information:

Encyclopedia Britannica: Amazon Rainforest
WWF: Amazon

BBC: The Amazon in Brazil is on fire – how bad is it?
The Guardian: Bolsonaro declares ‘the Amazon is ours’ and calls deforestation data ‘lies’ 
WWF: Struggle for land, survival, and identity in the Amazon rainforest

Plant diversity in tropical rainforests: a review of mechanisms of species coexistence
Paleoindian Cave Dwellers in the Amazon: The Peopling of the Americas

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The Perils and Responsibilities of Science Communication

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Image by: Discover Magazine Blogs

This week on Terra Informa, we discuss some of the world’s big problems, like climate change and antimicrobial resistance, and how the communication of information about them can either be motivating or discouraging.

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It would be understandable if you used the word ‘apocalyptic’ to describe issues such as climate change and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, especially with the way that the media covers these issues. In this episode, Terra Informer Dylan Hall interviews PhD Candidate Scott Mitchell on a presentation he delivered at the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences on the story of antimicrobial resistance, what this ‘apocalypse’ has in common with climate change, and how the public isn’t always getting the message.

Headlines

Changing the language when talking about climate change
– The Guardian: ‘Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment’
– CBC: ‘Is climate change actually a ‘climate crisis?’ Some think so.’

Bike Month in Edmonton!
– The City of Edmonton: ‘Enjoy bike month’
– The University of Alberta Students’ Union: Bike Library and Workshop
Bike Edmonton

What’s Happening

Indigenous Rights and a Green New Deal

A Green New Deal For All

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All About Birds Continued!

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Photo by: Bird Canada

You thought we were done with birds? Think again!
We were so amazingly overwhelmed with bird-related content for our June 4, 2019 episode that we didn’t have a chance to use all of it, so we’re bringing it to you this week. This time, it’s PERSONAL – that is, lots of lovely stories about why people love birds, which birds are their favourites, and wild encounters. Terra Informers Amanda Rooney and Carter Gorzitza are working in Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park for the summer, so they chatted with their friends Austin Zeller and Fiona Spitzig about their feathered faves.

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Push for a Canadian Green New Deal

The Green New Deal was introduced in the United States by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey as a congressional resolution to address global climate change. The Green New Deal calls for the ending of the United States’ fossil fuel dependency in order to avoid the catastrophic consequences of runaway climate change. While the push for a Green New Deal started in the United States, the word is spreading around the globe, and many Canadian communities and organizations are now beginning to make the same demands.

There are over 150 townhall meetings being organized all across Canada to deliberate on what a Green New Deal could look like in Canada – how it could mean the creation of new jobs, a more equitable economy, and a means of facing the many threats of climate change head-on. The first town hall was held right here, in Edmonton Alberta, on Saturday, May 18th. The event was organized by Climate Justice Edmonton and drew a crowd of 250 people into the Ritchie Community League Hall.

Event: A Green New Deal for All with The Leap and Friends

New York Times: What is the Green New Deal? A Climate Proposal, Explained

Edmonton Journal: Opinion: Green New Deal could bring prosperity back to Alberta

Pipeline Myths and Facts

Both the newly elected and former Alberta provincial governments campaigned heavily around the imperative of pipelines and oil exports for the province’s economy and well-being of people in this province. However, like all political advertising, there were no obligations for these parties to practice truth in advertising. Award-winning journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, a regular on the energy industry beat, writes about a few of the myths, and some of the facts, around the Alberta oil and gas industry and the TransMountain pipeline. Check out the full article for all the myths, facts, and details.

The Tyee: Frustrated by Pipeline Myths Albertans Tell Themselves? Here are the Facts

The 10th Annual Camrose Purple Martin Festival

This Saturday, June 15th, the 10th Annual Camrose Purple Martin Festival is taking place! This single-day event is full of activities and opportunities to learn all about Purple Martins and how to get them into your backyard. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Purple Martin

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Menstruation Innovation

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Photo by: Conscious Lifestyle of Mine

This week on Terra Informa, we’re talking about periods. Own very own Terra Informer Sydney Karbonik recently hosted an educational event about the environmental, social and economic impact of menstrual products and what other options exist for women. The event was called Menstruation Innovation and attracted interest from about 200 people but funding was limited, so a total of 26 people were able to take part: 15 new sustainable menstruators and 6 menstruation mentors. The mentors were all diva cup veterans and helped answer questions and guide conversation. In this week’s episode, we’ve got audio from that event along with Sydney sharing some facts about periods, the environment, and what women (and men!) can do to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and practice a greener period.

Download episode now.

Headlines

This Canadian company is changing menstrual health with its reusable period products
– click here to check out Lunapads

Cloth, Cow dung, cups: How the world’s women manage their periods

Download program log here.

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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Thinking Like A Plant

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What is it like to be a plant? Do plants make choices? Do they have free will or personality? Do they….think? This week on Terra Informa, we turn to Charly Blais’ interview with Megan Ljubotina, a graduate student at the University of Alberta, to find out about the ways plants make decisions to improve their vitality, survival and fitness. Ljubotina focuses on plant behaviour and the ways plants make decisions to improve their vitality, survival and fitness.

 

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Headlines

The Government of Ontario is in the process of carrying out public consultation to hear citizens’ thoughts on permits that allow bottling of Ontario’s water, particularly used by multi-national corporation Nestlé. Share your thoughts on the proposed extension of the moratorium on new permits or permits for increased water quantities here. More on this story can be found here and here.

The City of Edmonton has released its climate change adaptation and action plan and will be presenting it to city council’s executive committee on November 13th. [click here]

In global news, research out of the United Nations says the ozone layer is showing signs of continuing recovery from destructive pollutants and is likely to heal fully by 2060.[click here]

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Photo: M. Martin Vicente (Flickr)

Inside the IPCC with Debra Robertson

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Photo by: The Conversation

This week on Terra Informa, we look back at the past two weeks of climate change news with the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ’s most recent “Special Report,” which discusses the impacts of an increased mean global temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius. We follow this with an archived interview with an IPCC working group co-chair from last March when we covered the panel’s cities and climate change conference here in Edmonton.

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A Conversation with IPCC Co-Chair Debra Robertson

To provide us with some insight into the IPCC, how it works and what challenges the panel faces, this week we bring you an interview from March 2018 when we covered the IPCC conference on Cities and Climate Change. Terra Informer Dylan Hall speaks with Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s second working group, titled ‘Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability’. The two discuss the IPCC as an organization, bridging science and practice, the importance of informality, and encouraging activism.

Resources from this week’s episode:

Trudeau Government Urged to Step Up Climate Action In Emergency Debate [click here]

Transcribed Notes of the Emergency House of Commons Debate [click here]

IPCC Special Report [click here]

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