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.
This week on Earthgauge Radio, we’re talking about the Shell drilling rig that ran aground near Alaska’s Kodiak Island at the end of December and we discuss the City of Ottawa’s “Liveable Ottawa” plan. We also have a special guest editorial from Grist.org columnist David Roberts who will explain why climate science is Nate Silver and U.S. politics is Karl Rove.
It was bad enough that Shell demonstrated total ineptitude when their Kullik oil rig started leaking crude oil into the Alaskan wilderness but as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC tells us, this story just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Now it appears the accident may have been a result of Shell trying to pull a fast one on the state government to avoid paying taxes. The damaged Kulluk drillship is a key part of Royal Dutch Shell’s ambitious plan to drill for oil in two parts of the Arctic Ocean.
Later in the show we talk to Trevor Haché of Ecology Ottawa about the Liveable Ottawa initiative that this city has launched recently. Starting in 2013, the City of Ottawa will begin its review of the strategic documents that guide the development of our city. They include the Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Infrastructure Master Plan, Cycling Plan and Pedestrian Plan. When completed, the Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031 project will set the directions, policies and affordability priorities that will influence the future of the city for years to come. To help with this process, the City is looking for input from citizens like you and me. So if you care about pedestrian infrastructure, cycling and public transportation now is the time to pay attention to what is happening at Ottawa City Hall. Email if you want to get involved or contribute your input to the Liveable Ottawa Master Plan.
Trevor Haché interview (right click here to download):
We also have a special guest editorial from the excellent climate, energy and political columnist David Roberts of Grist.org. Remember Nate Silver? The guy who perfectly predicted the outcome of the recent U.S. election state by state? Republicans dismissed the science of his projections and yet he was exactly right. Well, David Roberts sees a parallel with climate science and those who refuse to believe it.
Of course we also have our usual update from Kathy of Ecology Ottawa on local environmental events and campaigns.
Earthgauge Radio airs Thursday mornings from 7-8 AM on CKCU 93.1 in Ottawa. Podcasts on iTunes and earthgauge.ca. Stream live on www.ckcufm.com. Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EarthgaugeRadio where we post environmental news stories from around the world.
Right click here to download today’s show.
With all this talk in Doha about climate change and what the international community should be doing about it, sometimes it’s good to get a reality check from those out in the field. A new film being screened this week (December 7 – 11) at the Bytowne Theatre in Ottawa does just that.
Dubbed by some as the new “Inconvenient Truth,” Chasing Ice chronicles the work of National Geographic photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey, which is a visual legacy of how climate change and other human activity is impacting the planet. The documentary looks at how Balog captured climate change on film by placing two dozen time-lapse cameras throughout the Arctic and other areas to document melting glaciers. Using these cameras, his videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.
To find out more about Chasing Ice, I caught up with the director Jeff Orlowski, on the phone from Boulder, Colorado. Jeff began filming on the initial expedition of the Extreme Ice Survey. That winter, the team scouted and filmed glaciers that now appear in the documentary feature film. In our interview, Geoff tells me about the filmmakers’ incredible journey and how the entire crew was both stunned and transformed by what they witnessed.
Right click here to download the interview.