This week we celebrate Earth Day and look at why cities are so important in the fight against climate change. I have two features on the program today:
- Interview with Jed Goldberg, president of Earth Day Canada
- Presentation by Alex Wood of Sustainable Prosperity from the City of Ottawa Greenhouse Gas Roundtable
We also have our usual update from Kathy of Ecology Ottawa on local environmental events and campaigns.
Click the audio player above to stream the show or right click here to download.
Part 1 – Earth Day
This Monday is Earth Day so we kick off today’s program by speaking with the president of Earth Day Canada, Jed Goldberg. He tells us what is being planned for this year’s event and we discuss the role of Earth Day activities at a time when many environmental problems around the world seem to be getting worse.
Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day. Across the globe, individuals, communities, organizations, and governments take action to raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection. This will be the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. From Beijing to Cairo, Melbourne to London, Rio to Johannesburg, New Delhi to New York, people are demanding that our so-called “leaders” act boldly.
But does any of this make a difference? After all, many environmental problems have gotten worse since Earth Day began back in 1970. The first Earth Day led to many tangible steps forward in environmental protection but, as Nicholas Lemann wrote in The New Yorker just a few days ago, “the original Earth Day remains a model of effective political organizing” but “(t)oday’s big environmental groups recruit through direct mail and the media, filling their rosters with millions of people who are happy to click “Like” on clean air. What the groups lack, however, is the Earth Day organizers’ ability to generate thousands of events that people actually attend—the kind of activity that creates pressure on legislators.”
We’ll find out what Jed Goldberg thinks about all this. Is Earth Day still relevant and effective in raising awareness and changing behaviour?
Part 2 – The City of Ottawa takes on climate change (again)
Did you know that cities in Canada are either directly or indirectly responsible for roughly 45% of this country’s greenhouse gas emissions? Cities have a huge role to play and any solution to climate change will have to involve action at the municipal level. In fact, with an absolute absence of federal measures to reduce GHGs or to set virtually any climate change policy whatsoever, it is the cities that are increasingly filling the policy void in Canada.
The City of Ottawa wants to be a leader in the fight against climate change and on March 23, Ottawa hosted its first ever Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Roundtable Roundtable. Last year, City Council committed to host the Roundtable to kick-start the review and update of the 2004 Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan. The 2004 Plan set GHG reduction targets for 2008 and 2012 and work is scheduled to commence mid-year to determine whether the City and the community-at-large targets were met. Following that, the City’s work will focus on setting new targets and updating the plan with support from the City of Ottawa’s new Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee.
The keynote speaker at the Roundtable was Alex Wood of Sustainable Prosperity, a national green economy think tank. SP focuses on market-based approaches to build a greener, more competitive economy. It brings together business, policy and academic leaders to help innovative ideas inform policy development. Alex Wood is the senior director of policy and markets at SP and he explains why climate change is such an important issues for cities.
Earthgauge Radio airs every Thursday morning at 7:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa and online around the world at www.ckcufm.com. Ottawa’s only radio program dedicated exclusively to environmental news and commentary from Ottawa, across the country and around the world. Podcasts on iTunes and right here on earthgauge.ca.
Full program audio:
On Earthgauge Radio this week, it’s our Earth Day Special. Click the audio player above to hear the whole show. We have 2 interviews on today’s program:
- Jed Goldberg, President of Earth Day Canada
- Jamie Henn of 350.org and climatedots.org on their Connect the Dots campaign and Climate Impacts Day on May 5
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.
Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22 and it marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. So I spoke with the president of Earth Day Canada, Jed Goldberg, who told us about the importance of Earth Day and what is being planned for the 2012 edition.
Jed Goldberg interview (right click here to download):
Also on the program, I spoke with Jamie Henn of the organization 350.org about their Connect the Dots campaign and Climate Impacts Day, which is coming up on May 5. Connect the Dots is a campaign to draw the connection between extreme weather and climate change. Climate Impacts Day will bring together thousands of communities to take action to highlight the dramatic climate change impacts we are witnessing around the world so we’ll talk to Jamie about what they have planned for May 5 and how you can get involved in planning your own event or joining an event already being planned.
Jamie Henn interview (right click here to download):
We also had our usual segment with Ecology Ottawa who updated us on local environmental events and campaigns. And we heard the week’s round-up of international eco-news from Deutsche Welle Living Planet.
Remember that Earthgauge Radio is podcast on iTunes if you type earthgauge into the search bar, you’ll find us. Contact us at . 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.
Upcoming local environmental events (courtesy of Ecology Ottawa):