Home > Activism, Conservation, Earthgauge radio, Environmental justice, Forests, Greening our cities, Podcasts, Sustainability > Earthgauge Radio March 8: Gatineau Park protests and rebuilding New Orleans

Earthgauge Radio March 8: Gatineau Park protests and rebuilding New Orleans

On Earthgauge Radio this week, we talk about green building projects in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward and recent logging protests in Gatineau Park over the expansion of Highway 5 north of Wakefield, Quebec. I have two interviews for you on today’s show:

  • Stephen Svenson, PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo and author of the article ‘Those Brad Pitt Houses’ in the current issue of Alternatives Journal.
  • Ian Huggett, director of the Ottawa-Gatineau environmental organization EcoWatch.

Happy International Women’s Day! Earthgauge Radio is broadcast every other Thursday morning at 7:00-8:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa. Right click here to download today’s full show.

If you’ve been listening over the past few months, you know that on Earthgauge we define environmental issues in the broadest sense in the belief that the environment is inseparable from economic, social, cultural and even political concerns. In this spirit, our first feature on the program today examines some of these broad connections. I speak with Stephen Svenson who is a Phd candidate at the Univ of Waterloo. He’s written an article in the current issue of Alternatives Journal called ‘Those Brad Pitt Houses’, in which he takes a hard look at reconstruction efforts in the New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It seems that Brad Pitt’s organization the Make it Right Foundation has been building houses for some residents of the Lower Ninth that are on the cutting edge of both architectural and environmental design. Sounds like a great initiative on the surface doesn’t it? Well, you might be surprised to learn that some locals there don’t entirely appreciate the efforts of Make it Right. This is a story of good environmental and social intentions that don’t necessarily correspond with the real needs of the people who are the supposed beneficiaries of the charity. It is an important story in that it really challenges some of our assumptions about sustainability initiatives and the importance of taking social and cultural considerations into account as we try to build a greener, more eco-friendly world. There is of course also a deeper question here about the role of government vs. that of private citizens when it comes to these kinds of relief efforts.

We also take a look at what is going on in Gatineau Park with the extension of Hwy 5 north of Wakefield. You may have heard about the arrest of tree sitters who were protesting the removal of a significant amount of forest within the park boundary to make way for the Hwy 5 expansion. We get an update from EcoWatch director Ian Huggett. He tells us what this is all about, why some residents are opposed to the project as it currently stands and what other plans may be in store for the Park as the expanding urban areas of Ottawa-Gatineau put increasing development pressures on the park. Check out www.a5x.org for more information on the highway expansion and the protest.

Off the top of today’s program, we’ll have our usual segment with Kathy of Ecology Ottawa who will be updating us on local environmental events and campaigns and talking about home energy efficiency initiatives. I’ve listed some of the upcoming events below or you can click here to see a complete list with full details.

We also have international environment news courtesy of Deutsche Welle’s Living Planet podcast. For more environmental content, check out their web site where you’ll find TV materials and projects like like Global Ideas, which provides ideas on solutions to environmental challenges.

Contact us at . Please 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. You can also download our podcasts on iTunes. Just type “earthgauge” into the search bar and you’ll find us.

Upcoming local environmental events (courtesy of Ecology Ottawa)

Thursday, March 8, 2012
City Council Meeting: Environmental Advisory Committee
: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
: City Hall, Andrew S. Haydon Hall

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
City Council Meeting: Planning Committee
: 9:30 to 11:30 am
: City Hall, Champlain Room

Thursday, March 15, 2012
City Council Meeting: Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee
: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
: City Hall, Richmond Room

Saturday, March 17, 2012
Exploring Your New Farm Dream Workshop

Offered by Just Food and FarmStart, this series of workshops is a course for people who are thinking about starting a commercial farm business. The course helps aspiring farmers learn what it would take to start and manage their own farm dream and decide whether this is the right path for them.
For more information and to register, please go to: www.farmstart.ca/explorer/
: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm including half-day farm tour
: Central location in Ottawa (location to be announced)

Screening of the Clean Bin Project
An entertaining and informative documentary film about a regular couple and their quest to answer the question “is it possible to live completely waste free?” Movie makers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin will be on hand to speak and discuss their movie. This is a Pay What You Can event to raise money for Trinity’s ongoing ministries.
: 1:30 am to 4:00 pm
:  Trinity Anglican Church, 1230 Bank St

March 19-25, 2012
Canada’s 2nd Annual Water Week

You can join in celebrating Canada Water Week by hosting an event that will inspire questions and discussion on how we use water in so many aspects of our lives—and what we can do to make our water footprint a little smaller.

Visit www.canadawaterweek.com to find out how to get involved this year.

Monday, March 19, 2012
City Council Meeting: Transportation Committee
: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm
: City Hall, Honeywell Room

Wednesday, March 20, 2012
City Council Meeting: Transportation Committee
: 9:30 am to 11:30 am
: City Hall, Andrew S. Haydon Hall

Categories: Activism, Conservation, Earthgauge radio, Environmental justice, Forests, Greening our cities, Podcasts, Sustainability Tags: EcoWatch, Gatineau Park, Ian Huggett, Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, Stephen Svenson
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