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Deutsche Welle Living Planet 2013 Arctic Diary

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

This week, Deutsche Welle Living Planet broadcast the first of my audio diaries from the Students on Ice 2013 Arctic Expedition. This first audio postcard captures the reflections of Canadian high school student Gerrit Wesselink as he travels up the western coast of Greenland and across the Davis Strait to Baffin Island and the eastern Canadian Arctic. Gerrit talks about his experiences on the trip, which include polar bear sightings, zodiac cruises in a field of giant icebergs and witnessing first-hand the impacts of climate change in the Arctic.

Click here to listen to the audio diary.

DW Living Planet is an award-winning international program that explores environmental issues facing the world today and analyzes environmental policies,  new technologies,  innovative projects and the state of the planet’s environment.

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Arctic expedition radio doc airs on CBC Ottawa

[audio https://earthgauge.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/soiarctic2013-cbc-final.mp3]

I was fortunate to participate on the Students on Ice 2013 Arctic Expedition this year, which was a tremendous experience. We traveled up the west coast of Greenland by ship and across the Davis Strait to the Eastern Canadian Arctic. I produced a short audio documentary based on the experiences of two of the students on the journey and it aired on CBC Ottawa Morning on Monday, July 29.

Click the audio player above to check it out or right click here to download!

Earthgauge Radio October 18 2012: James Kunstler (part 2) and The Climate Reality Project

October 18, 2012 Leave a comment

On Earthgauge Radio this week, we continue our discussion on the limitations of technology in solving environmental problems and we learn about Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. I have two interviews on the program today:

Click the audio player above to stream the show or right click here to download.

I played the first part of an exclusive Earthgauge interview with James Kunstler on our last show and today I’ve got the second half of our discussion for you. Kunstler is well-known author and critic who has made his name in books such as The Geography of Nowhere and The Long Emergency, in which he has ranted against strip malls, fast food, and argued persuasively that the decline of cheap oil will bring an end to civilized life as we know it. In his latest book,  Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation, Kunstler takes aim at the idea that our technologically sophisticated civilization will come up with a solution to all the problems we face, from the end of cheap oil to the arrival of extreme climate change. We have part 2 of our discussion to kick off today’s show.

Full James Kunstler interview (right click here to download):

Later in the program, we have a live, in-studio panel discussion about climate change policy in Canada and The Climate Reality Project, which is the new name of Al Gore’s climate change training initiative. I speak with Candace Labelle, VP of Climate Reality Canada; Muni Ahlawat, the Program Officer with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on their Partners for Climate Protection program; and Charles Hodgson of Ecology Ottawa who produces the excellent blog climateottawa.ca.

As usual we catch up with with Ecology Ottawa about local environmental events and campaigns going on around town. You can find more information about these events on their website www.ecologyottawa.ca.

Earthgauge Radio is broadcast every Thursday at 7:00 AM on CKCU FM. Our Facebook address is facebook.com/EarthgaugeRadio and you can contact me at earthgaugeradio ‘at’ gmail.com if you have comments or suggestions for a future show. Podcasts on iTunes and the twitter handle is @earthgaugeCA so get in touch and let me know what you think about what you’re hearing!

Remember that the CKCU annual funding drive kicks off tomorrow but you can make your pre-pledge now by going to our website www.ckcufm.com and looking for the pre-pledge link. We’ve set an ambitious goal this year of $120,000 so we will really need your support this year. Remember CKCU is a listener supported campus-community radio station. One third of our lean operating budget depends on the generosity of listeners like you. And be sure to tune in to Earthgauge Radio next week as we’ll be broadcasting our special funding drive program. I’ve set a target of fundraising target of $1000 for this show so be sure to indicate Earthgauge as the show you want to support on your pre-pledge forms.

 

Earthgauge Radio May 24 2012: Special program on Canada’s changing North

On Earthgauge Radio this week, we’re taking a look at issues facing Canada’s rapidly changing northern regions. I have three interviews for you on today’s special show:

Earthgauge Radio is broadcast every other Thursday morning at 7:00-8:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa. Click the audio player above to hear the full show. Right click here to download today’s full show. Scroll down to listen to individual interviews only.

Remember that Earthgauge Radio is podcast on iTunes if you type earthgauge into the search bar, you’ll find us. Contact us at earthgaugeradio@gmail.com. Facebook address is www.facebook.com/EarthgaugeRadio and Twitter handle @earthgaugeCA. Please do get in touch if you have story ideas, a comment on something you’ve heard or want to get involved or contribute to the show.

On today’s show, we also have our usual segment with Ecology Ottawa who update us on local environmental events.

The music off the top of today’s program is from a performance by the Inuit circus and multi-media production group called Artcirq. Based in Igloolik, Nunavut, a remote Inuit community in the Baffin islands, Artcirq is a unique Inuit circus and multi-media production group that aims to give youth the space, the skills and the opportunities to express themselves. I recorded this performance at the International Polar Year summit in Montreal a few weeks ago. The theme of the IPY summit was From Knowledge to Action and it was one of the largest and most important scientific conferences ever for polar science and climate change, impacts and adaptation.

While at the summit, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with many inspiring individuals who are doing terrific work promoting the importance of the polar regions and trying to bring to public attention themes such as rapid polar change, communities and health, ecosystem services, infrastructure, resources and security. So on today’s show I have three interviews from the summit.

First I speak with Ed Struzik, author of The Big Thaw. He tells us about some of the dramatic changes happening up North and give us the big picture perspective on the importance of the polar regions.

Ed Struzik interview, right click here to download

Next we hear from the influential New York Times environmental journalist Andrew Revkin whose blog dot Earth is one of the mostly widely read environmental web sites on the planet.

Andrew Revkin interview, right click here to download

Finally, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to speak with Mary Simon, who is the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the national organization representing Inuit from Nunavut, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, Nunatsiavut in Labrador and the Inuvialuit region of the Northwest Territories. Mary Simon is a very influential figure both here in Canada and abroad and I have a feature interview with her on the program today.

Mary Simon interview, right click here to download

Upcoming local environmental events (courtesy of Ecology Ottawa):

Tonight, May 24th, from 12:00 to 5:00 pm, you are invited to learn about Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change, a 5-year CIDA-funded project that is supporting both government and civil society to develop climate change adaptation policies and initiatives. Presenters will talk on a range of topics, including their experience in working with the Special Climate Change Unit to formulate a national climate change adaptation strategy, to supporting the implementation of adaptation initiatives in communities across the country. If you would like to attend, please RSVP at carolina.palacios@cuso-vso.org.

Starting tomorrow, May 25th, until Sunday, May 27th, the Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario will be holding a 2-day + 1 evening introductory course on Permaculture, Ecological Design and Gardening. The ethics, principles and design process of permaculture design are based on living systems and draws upon indigenous knowledge. They can be applied to physical systems, such as farms, gardens and cities; and to social systems such as organisational flows, business models or school curricula. This course focuses on permaculture as design, which can be broadly applied to land-based, urban, social or economic systems. For more information or to register, email info@eonpermaculture.ca.

And of course, don’t forget that this Saturday, May 26th, is the Great Glebe Garage Sale!
SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2012, 8am-4pm
680 & 690 Bank Street
Rogers Plus & Kunstadt Sports parking lots

It’s your favourite time of year again… Soon the entire Glebe will be abuzz with lawn-hawking like you’ve never seen. It’s this annual mecca of bargain-hunters from near and far that gave birth to Ecology Ottawa’s Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale.

Why are young people becoming less interested in environmental issues?

March 27, 2012 1 comment

On the heels of news that young Americans are less interested in the environment and in conserving resources comes a very timely independent film called Play Again. It offers some possible explanations for why youth are less concerned about the environment these days. Not surprisingly, one of the main culprits is the fact that kids simply don’t spend as much time in nature as previous generations. What are the broader implications of a whole generation growing up completely disconnected from the natural world? As the film synopsis suggests, the consequences may be serious.

“The average American child now spends over eight hours in front of a screen each day. She emails, texts, and updates her status incessantly. He can name hundreds of corporate logos, but less than ten native plants. She aspires to have hundreds of online friends, most she may never meet in person.  He masters complicated situations presented in game after game, but often avoids simple person-to-person conversation. They are almost entirely out of contact with the world that, over millions of years of evolution, shaped human beings — the natural world…What are we missing when we are behind screens? And how will this impact our children, our society, and eventually, our planet? 

“The long-term consequences of this experiment on human development remain to be seen, but the stakes couldn’t be higher. By most accounts, this generation will face multiple crises — environmental, economic and social. Will this screen world — and its bevy of virtual experiences — have adequately prepared these “digital natives” to address the problems they’ll face, problems on whose resolution their own survival may depend?”

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January 5 Earthgauge radio podcast: Students on Ice Antarctic expedition and Sandra Steingraber

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Click the audio player to listen to the latest edition of Earthgauge radio, which is a bi-weekly broadcast every other Thursday morning from 7-8 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa. You can also right click here to download the show.

On Earthgauge this week, we’re talking about environmental education and environmental health:

First up, it’s snow, ice and the ends of the Earth. The environmental education organization Students on Ice has just departed on an Antarctic expedition with 60 high school students and an international team of scientists, educators, journalists, artists, leaders and polar experts. Among the participants is Tony Dekker, singer/songwriter for the Juno-nominated band Great Lake Swimmers.

I talked to Tony about his role on the expedition and why he wanted to take part. I also speak with Geoff Green, the SOI founder, about the work of his organization and what he hopes to achieve. This program, now in its tenth year, has taken over 1,800 students, teachers and scientists from around the world on expeditions to the Arctic and the Antarctic. The goal is to give the world’s youth a heightened understanding and respect for the planet’s global ecosystem, and the inspiration to protect it. Could part of the solution to the environmental crisis rest ultimately in better environmental education programs for our youth?

Finally, as this is the final show of 2011, I replay one of the most important  interviews I did this year. It was with environmental health activist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber. Her message is one that all of us should hear.

Steingraber is an inspirational author, activist, poet, scientist and cancer survivor. She is an internationally recognized authority on the environmental links to cancer and human health who has been compared to the pioneering environmental health activist Rachel Carson. Steingraber’s most recent book is called Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis, which Naomi Wolf said “could be the most important and inspiring parenting book ever written.”

Steingraber writes weekly environmental essays for the Huffington Post and now a new documentary film has been produced based on her groundbreaking book, Living Downstream. She also contributed an article to a recent edition of Alternatives Journal called Coal, Oil and Cancer, in which she explains how fossil fuels are not only causing climate change, they are also causing cancer.

Please get in touch if you have any comments, suggestions or if you want to get involved or contribute to the show. Contact me at earthgaugeradio ‘at’ gmail.com.

Interview with Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers on his tour of Antarctica

January 4, 2012 Leave a comment

The environmental education organization Students on Ice recently departed on an Antarctic expedition with 60 high school students and an international team of scientists, educators, journalists, artists, leaders and polar experts. Among the participants is Tony Dekker, singer/songwriter for the Juno-nominated band Great Lake Swimmers.

Just before he left for Antarctica, I talked to Tony about his role on the expedition, why he wanted to take part and, as a musician, how environmental issues influence his songwriting. The Students on Ice program, now in its tenth year, has taken over 1,800 students, teachers and scientists from around the world on expeditions to the Arctic and the Antarctic. The goal is to give the world’s youth a heightened understanding and respect for the planet’s global ecosystem, and the inspiration to protect it.

Click the audio player above to hear the interview or right click here to download.

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