This week on Earthgauge, we have a veritable green medley with a jam-packed show covering everything from urban sustainability, climate change, biodiversity, biking to work and even the latest green news. I have 4 features today:
- Presentation by Alex Steffen called The Shareable Future of Cities
- Alex Smith’s interview with Dr. Thomas Lovejoy on biodiversity and climate change
- My interview with Jamie Stuckless of EnviroCentre on Bike to Work month in Ottawa
- This week’s green news from BradBlog.com
We also have our usual update on local environmental events and campaigns with Kathy of Ecology Ottawa. This week, Kathy also gives us some great cycling tips as we haul out the bikes after a long winter and welcome the arrival bike season.
Click the audio player above to stream the show or right click here to download.
Part 1 – Alex Steffen
First we’re going to pick up where we left off last week. During our last show, we talked about urban sustainability and the City of Ottawa’s Greenhouse Gas Roundtable. This week we start by hearing a presentation by Alex Steffen called The Shareable Future of Cities. Alex is a self-described Planetary Futurist and you’re going to want to hear what he has to say about the future of cities in an age of climate change.
Do you ever wonder whether we should be optimistic or pessimistic about the future? If you want more reasons to think things may still turn out for the better, Alex Steffen’s your man. He doesn’t downplay the scope and scale of the problems we face. Instead, he shows that we have the tools within our grasp for meeting those massive challenges, if we have the will to use them.
Steffen is a journalist, founder of Worldchanging.com and he edited an internationally best-selling book surveying innovative solutions to the planet’s most pressing problems: Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century. His most recent work is Carbon Zero, a book describing cities that create prosperity not climate change, accelerating their economies while reducing their climate emissions to zero.
Part 2 – Thomas Lovejoy
Next we hear from our friend Alex Smith of Radio EcoShock in Vancouver who recently spoke with the father of biodiversity, Thomas Lovejoy. Back in 1980, Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy introduced the term “biological diversity” to the world. He has advised the United Nations, the World Bank, and 3 past Presidents and he’s a tireless advocate for endangered ecosystems that have no voice of their own. Lovejoy talks to Alex about the impacts of climate change on global biodiversity.
Part 3 – Bike to Work Month
Interview with Jamie Stuckless (right click here to download):[audio https://earthgauge.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/jamie-stuckless-envirocentre-eginterview-04-25.mp3]
May is Bike to Work month in Ottawa so I speak with Jamie Stuckless of EnviroCentre. On behalf of the City of Ottawa, the folks at EnviroCentre are organizing this annual event that encourages people to commute by bike and experience all of the health, economic and environmental benefits. Bike to Work month kicks off the spring season by encouraging seasoned riders and beginners to dust off the bikes and leave the car at home. You can even join the prize contest by visiting www.biketoworkottawa.com.
Part 4 – Green News
Next we turn it over to our friends Brad Friedman and Desi Doyen of BradBlog.com for the week’s listing of green news. On this episode, Brad and Desi discuss the 3rd anniversary of BP’s Oil Disaster in the Gulf; the US Environmental Protection Agency slamming the State Department’s Keystone XL report; and the release of environmental activist Tim de Christopher who was freed on Earth Day.
Part 5 – Bike tips and local environmental events and campaigns
Kathy’s bike tips (right click here to download):
In addition to our usual weekly round-up of environmental events from Ecology Ottawa, this week Kathy also gives us some great biking tips to keep in mind as the spring and summer biking season gets underway.
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.
Earthgauge Radio November 29, 2012: International climate science, Ottawa climate politics, and the growing movement to protect Canada’s waterways
This week on Earthgauge Radio, we’re talking about climate change and the protection of Canadian waterways. Right click here to download the show. I have 3 features on the program today:
- Radio EcoShock‘s broadcast of a speech by the top U.K. climate scientist Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
- My interview with John Bennett, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada, on the federal government’s proposed changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act
- A discussion with Joan Kuyek about the connection between the City of Ottawa Environment Committee Chair, Councilor Maria McRae, and her husband’s blog posts claiming that climate change is a hoax and a “non-existent” threat
The Doha Climate Change Conference (COP-18) kicked off this week in Qatar. In a year in which we have witnessed more devastating storms such as Hurricane Sandy and the greatest extent of Arctic sea ice melt ever observed, one could not be blamed for wondering if the world is hurtling towards some kind of catastrophic climate shift. Even the World Bank said last week that a world where temperatures rise by 4 degrees Celsius “must be avoided”, but can it be? Well, a top British climate scientist seems to have good reason to doubt this and he claims scientists haven’t been telling us the whole truth about climate change.
So to begin today’s edition of Earthgauge Radio, we take a listen to excerpts of an astonishing speech by Kevin Anderson who is Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Britain. Thanks to our friend Alex Smith of Radio EcoShock in Vancouver, we hear a breakdown and analysis of Anderson’s speech to the Cabot Institute from Bristol, England on November 6. An advance warning folks: what he has to say may shock and upset you. The subtitle for the talk is “Brutal Numbers and Tenuous Hope” and Dave Roberts of Grist wrote two articles about the implications of this talk, which he called “The Brutal Logic of Climate Change” (this one and this one). But as delegates and officials around the world are meeting in Doha as we speak to try to find a way to keep the planet from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius, it’s time for a reality check from one of Britain’s top climate scientists. Is this 2 degree target realistic? Is it even possible? Anderson lays out the evidence for us and it is not pretty.
Also on the show today, we hear from John Bennett of the Sierra Club who will tell us why so many people and organizations, including the musicians Sarah Harmer, Gord Downie and Feist, are speaking out against the government’s proposed changes to Navigable Waters legislation. Harmer appeared on Parliament Hill this week to join with those raising concerns about the Harper government’s second omnibus budget legislation C-45, which includes changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act that limit federal protection for waterways to only 62 rivers, 97 lakes and three oceans. The government says it has chosen to protect only the busiest waterways in Canada that meet specific criteria for navigation. Critics say the changes will decimate environmental protections for the vast majority of Canadian waterways.
Finally on the show we discuss a startling revelation that has come to my attention thanks to some industrious individuals in Ottawa who have been following the city’s climate change plans and specifically its Greenhouse Gas Roundtable which appears to have stalled for the time being. It has come to light that the husband of the Chair of the City Environment Committee, Maria McRae, has written repeatedly about climate change as a “non-existent threat” and a hoax. Now we all know the growing mountain of evidence and research supporting the reality of human-caused climate change is now virtually incontrovertible and becoming more so with each passing year (see here, here and here). Still, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how uninformed it might be. There are still people who believe the earth was created 6000 years ago after all.
Councilor McRae may well have her own views on this matter and there is no evidence I’m aware of to suggest she doesn’t accept the science of climate change, but at the same time she has been accused by some of being obstructive when it comes to the city’s environmental initiatives in general and particularly on the climate change file. As she is directly involved with guiding the City’s climate policies, should the fact that her husband has repeatedly denied the reality of climate change on his blog be a concern to citizens of Ottawa who have been frustrated with the city’s apparent slow progress on the climate change file? Well to find out I speak with Joan Kuyek who is a constituent of Councilor McRae in the River Ward. She has been following this issue closely.
We’ll also have our usual update this week from 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 us out on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/EarthgaugeRadio.