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Earthgauge Radio: Greenland Inuit Village Fights for Survival

The people of Uummannaq are trying to adapt in order to survive. Photo: Mark Brooks

My documentary on the impacts of climate change in the Greenlandic village of Uummannaq aired in December on the Deutsche Welle international radio program Living Planet. I recorded and produced this report while working as the on-board journalist during the 2013 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition.

Located on a small island off the Greenland coast, 600 km (372 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, Uummannaq is one of many Inuit communities in the North that are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Not only (Read more…)

Earthgauge Radio: The Challenges of Sturgeon Stewardship

A sturgeon rearing facility in Allegan County Park, in New Richmond on the Kalamazoo River. Photo: Mark Brooks

Thanks to a fellowship from the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources, I was able to join a group of journalists on a learning expedition in Michigan last year. One of the projects we investigated was the effort underway to rehabilitate lake sturgeon populations in the state. I produced a short audio documentary for the Great Lakes Echo about this program.

Back in the late 1800s, lake sturgeon ranged widely throughout the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the Hudson River. The (Read more…)

Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio March 7 2013: Reconnecting with the natural world around us

Download: earthgauge-podcast-march7-2013.mp3

Ever wondered where your water comes from and where your wastewater goes? How much garbage do we produce in Ottawa and where does it go? What did the city look like a couple hundred years ago? Where does the gas come from that fills up our tanks? How much of our food is produced locally?

On this week’s edition of Earthgauge, we’ll discuss all this and more with Janice Ashworth. She helped put together a handy little booklet called ‘The Ecology of Ottawa‘ and she’ll be joining me for a feature 2-part interview.

Also on the (Read more…)

Earthgauge Radio: Earthgauge Radio February 14 2013: Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown and Climate Science 101

Download: earthgauge-podcast-feb14-2013.mp3

This week on Earthgauge, I present a feature interview with the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Meredith Brown and we talk climate science with Eric Galbraith of McGill University. Click the audio player above or right click here to download the show.

First up….it’s Climate Change 101! Ever want to know about some of the fundamentals of climate science so you can easily refute that climate change denying buddy of yours? Well, we have a Climate Change 101 session with Eric Galbraith of McGill University. He is a Professor of Earth and Planetary Science and he’ll explain just

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: Earthgauge Radio February 14 2013: Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown and Climate Science 101

Earthgauge Radio: This week on EG Radio: Feature interview with the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Meredith Brown

This Thursday on Earthgauge Radio, I’m pleased to present a feature interview with the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Meredith Brown. We’ll discuss the health of the Ottawa River, changes to federal environmental regulations, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and the Ottawa River Action Plan.

We’ll also talk with Dr. Eric Galbraith (I promise!) of McGill University who will give us a primer on the science of climate change. Everything you ever wanted to know about the basics of climate science, but were afraid to ask.

Earthgauge Radio airs Thursday mornings from 7-8 AM on CKCU 93.1 in Ottawa.

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: This week on EG Radio: Feature interview with the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Meredith Brown

Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio February 7 2012: Liveable Ottawa | Shell oil rig Alaskan disaster

Download: earthgauge-podcast-feb7-2013.mp3

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

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio February 7 2012: Liveable Ottawa | Shell oil rig Alaskan disaster

Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio January 31 2013: Obama and climate change | Lisa Friedman | Idle No More

Download: earthgauge-podcast-jan31-2013.mp3

This week on Earthgauge Radio, we’re talking about President Obama’s new commitment to climate change, the growing problem of environmental “refugees”, and the environmental dimensions of the Idle No More aboriginal movement. We have 3 interviews on today’s show:

Lisa Friedman, Deputy Editor of ClimateWire Stephen Hazell, environmental lawyer and the founder of Ecovision Law John Smol, biology professor at Queen’s University and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change

U.S. President Barack Obama’s inaugural address last week gave special prominence to taking action on climate change. Will this translate into concrete action and what does this

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: EG Radio January 31 2013: Obama and climate change | Lisa Friedman | Idle No More

Earthgauge Radio: December 20, 2012: Buy Nothing Christmas and the shark fin import ban in Canada

Download: earthgauge-podcast-dec20-2012.mp3

This week on Earthgauge Radio, I have a feature interview with Aiden Enns of BuyNothingChristmas.org. We discuss some ideas about how you can have a “greener” and less stressful holiday season. I also have an update from NDP MP Fin Donnelly on his private member’s Bill C-380 to ban the import of shark fins to Canada.

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

Part 1 – Fin Donnelly on his efforts to ban the import of shark fins to Canada

One year ago Fin Donnelly, the NDP MP for

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: December 20, 2012: Buy Nothing Christmas and the shark fin import ban in Canada

Earthgauge Radio: December 20, 2012: Buy Nothing Christmas and the shark fin import ban in Canada

Download: earthgauge-podcast-dec20-2012.mp3

This week on Earthgauge Radio, I have a feature interview with Aiden Enns of BuyNothingChristmas.org and we discuss some ideas about how you can have a “greener” and less stressful holiday season. I also have an update from NDP MP Fin Donnelly on his private member’s Bill C-380 to ban the import of shark fins to Canada.

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

Part 1 – Fin Donnelly on his efforts to ban the import of shark fins to Canada

Download: fin-donnelly-c380-edited.mp3

One year ago Fin Donnelly,

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: December 20, 2012: Buy Nothing Christmas and the shark fin import ban in Canada

Earthgauge Radio: Tomorrow on Earthgauge Radio: Canadian shark fin import ban and dreaming of a green Christmas

Tomorrow on Earthgauge Radio, it’s our second annual holiday special program. As you probably know, huge amounts of waste are produced during the holiday season – more than any other time of year. In addition, a lot of people find the holidays incredibly stressful. The pressure to buy gifts, social commitments, preparing meals and family expectations can make many people dread the holidays. So we’re going to talk with Aiden Enns tomorrow who is part of a national initiative called Buy Nothing Christmas, which is dedicated to reviving the original meaning of Christmas. These folks are saying no to overconsumption and they invite everyone with

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: Tomorrow on Earthgauge Radio: Canadian shark fin import ban and dreaming of a green Christmas

Earthgauge Radio: Earthgauge Radio December 13 2012: Cancer in the workplace and the crisis of ocean acidification

Download: earthgauge-podcast-dec13-20122.mp3

This week on Earthgauge Radio, we’re talking about environmental health and ocean acidification. I have two interviews on the program today:

Dr. James Brophy, co-author of a groundbreaking new study demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, likely due to exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental pollutants Dr. Robert Rangeley of the World Wildlife Fund of Canada who will explain why the rapid acidification of the word’s oceans threatens many forms of marine life and may even endanger the oceanic food chain

Click the audio player above to stream the show or

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: Earthgauge Radio December 13 2012: Cancer in the workplace and the crisis of ocean acidification

Earthgauge Radio: On Earthgauge Radio tomorrow: Getting cancer at work and the ticking timebomb of ocean acidification

Tomorrow on Earthgauge Radio, I am pleased to present a feature interview with Dr. James Brophy, who is the co-author of a groundbreaking new study demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Their research found that women employed in the automotive plastics industry, for instance, were almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer, prior to menopause, as women in the control group. The research results have created quite a stir in the cancer research community and our discussion tomorrow is not to be missed!

We’ll also have an interview from

. . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: On Earthgauge Radio tomorrow: Getting cancer at work and the ticking timebomb of ocean acidification

Earthgauge Radio: Interview with John Bennett of the Sierra Club

Click the audio player to hear my interview with John Bennett, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada, about the federal government’s proposed changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Bennett explains why so many people and organizations, including the musicians Sarah Harmer, Gord Downie and Feist as well as Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown and Mountain Equipment Co-op, [...] . . . → Read More: Earthgauge Radio: Interview with John Bennett of the Sierra Club

earthgauge: Cohen Commission final report into B.C. salmon decline released

In his much-anticipated report on the decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon in B.C., former B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen took aim at the federal government Wednesday. He said he was “troubled” by recent amendments to the environmental process and the Fisheries Act by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

“Many experts have emphasized the importance of protecting fish habitat, promoting biodiversity and adopting ecosystem-based management practices,” said Cohen.

“However, the recent amendments to the Fisheries Act appear to be taking (the Department of Fisheries and Oceans) in a very different direction.”

Saying it was . . . → Read More: earthgauge: Cohen Commission final report into B.C. salmon decline released

earthgauge: Costa Rica passes ban on shark finning

Continuing Earthgauge’s past coverage of the campaign to ban shark finning, Reuters is reporting that Costa Rica is the latest country to ban the practice, which involves catching sharks, slicing off their fins and throwing them back in the ocean to die.

As always with such bans, it remains to be seen whether the enforcement of the law can keep pace with the high demand (and high prices) for the fins, which are in high demand in Asian countries including China and Japan where shark fin soup is considered a delicacy.

Read more: World Environment News – Costa Rica passes

earthgauge: Great Barrier Reef Has Seen Major Decline In Past 3 Decades

New research is showing that Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s largest, is in steep decline, with half of the reef vanishing in the past 27 years. And the culprit? You guessed it. It seems our unending addiction to burning carbon is playing a big role. There are local impacts that are damaging the Reef, such as excessive nutrient run-off from agriculture, but changing ocean acidity and coral bleaching from rising ocean temperatures (due to climate change) are also wreaking havoc.

“This is a really grim wake-up call,” said John Bruno, a biologist at UNC Chapel Hill.

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Great Barrier Reef Has Seen Major Decline In Past 3 Decades

earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio September 27, 2012: Disappearing Arctic sea ice and Ottawa’s Environment Committee Chair Maria McRae

Download: earthgauge-podcast-sept27-2012.mp3

On this week’s edition of Earthgauge Radio, we’re talking about the astonishing summer melt of Arctic sea ice and we check in with the Chair of the City of Ottawa Environment Committee. I have 3 interviews on today’s show:

Peter Wadhams, professor of Ocean Physics and Head of the Polar Oceans Physics Group at the University of Cambridge in the UK Clive Tesar, Head of Communications for the Global Arctic Programme at the World Wildlife Fund Maria McRae, Ottawa City Councilor and Chair of the Environment Committee

Click the audio player above or right click here to

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio September 27, 2012: Disappearing Arctic sea ice and Ottawa’s Environment Committee Chair Maria McRae

earthgauge: Climate Change: Coral Reefs Expected To Suffer Greatly, Study Finds

Did you know that coral reefs are home to fully 25% of the world’s marine life? Me neither. This latest report on the state of the world’s coral reefs would have been bad enough in its own right. Seems, once again, that climate change is a major culprit.

Here’s an excerpt from HuffPo…

“The chance to save the world’s coral reefs from damage caused by climate change is dwindling as man-made greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, scientists said in a study released on Sunday.

Around 70 percent of corals are expected to suffer from long-term degradation by 2030, even

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Climate Change: Coral Reefs Expected To Suffer Greatly, Study Finds

earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio September 13, 2012: From the frontlines of the Northern Gateway pipeline struggle

Download: earthgauge-podcast-sept13-2012-northerngateway.mp3

I’m excited to be back at CKCU to kick off the second season of Earthgauge Radio! On this the September 13 edition of the program, we hear a couple of interviews live from the frontlines of the Northern Gateway pipeline struggle in B.C. On the show today:

Art Sterritt – Executive Director for the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative

Download: art-sterritt-edited-forair1.mp3

Rafe Mair – former BC Cabinet Minister and popular radio talk show host

Download: rafemair-edited-forair1.mp3

I visited British Columbia a couple weeks ago and had the opportunity to speak with a number of individuals who are actively engaged

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio September 13, 2012: From the frontlines of the Northern Gateway pipeline struggle

earthgauge: Climate Change News: Arctic summer sea ice decline seems irreversible

“Scientists say this year’s record declines in Arctic sea ice extent and volume are powerful evidence that the giant cap of ice at the top of the planet is on a trajectory to largely disappear in summer within a decade or two, with profound global consequences.

“This extreme melting offers dramatic evidence, many scientists say, that the region’s sea ice has passed a tipping point and that sometime in the next decade or two the North Pole will be largely ice-free in summer.”

For more info, check out this article on the Environmental News Network: Climate Change News: Arctic

earthgauge: Independent engineering report on Northern Gateway: “This is clearly an unacceptable risk.”

The Vancouver Sun is reporting today that, according to an independent analysis by three professional engineers, the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal to ship oil sands bitumen from Kitimat along the B.C. coast carries an unacceptable risk of a significant spill.

The engineers concluded that there is a 73-per-cent chance that at least one tanker accident involving tar sands bitumen or natural gas will occur during a 50-year operational lifetime.

The analysis concludes: “This is clearly an unacceptable risk.”

The analysis has been formally filed with the federal Joint Review Panel investigating the $6-billion Northern Gateway proposal.

Read more

earthgauge: A World Without Coral Reefs – NYTimes.com

Just to brighten your day a little more, check out this astonishing article from the NY Times on the state of the world’s coral reefs. It ain’t pretty. The article is written by an ecologist in Australia where the world’s largest reef, the Great Barrier, is experiencing unprecedented declines in coral productivity due to climate change and ocean acidification. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s past time to tell the truth about the state of the world’s coral reefs, the nurseries of tropical coastal fish stocks. They have become zombie ecosystems, neither dead nor truly alive in any functional sense, and on

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: A World Without Coral Reefs – NYTimes.com

earthgauge: Will UN Summit on Sustainable Development make anyone happy?

What on Earth is going on at the Rio +20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro? Well, this article might provide some indication. If you had low expectations for the so-called Sustainable Development Summit, you’re not alone. Here’s an excerpt from the article that tells you just about everything you need to know:

“We were promised the ‘future we want’ but are now being presented with a ‘common vision’ of a polluter’s charter that will cook the planet, empty the oceans and wreck the rain forests,“ the head of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, said. “This is not a foundation on which to

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Will UN Summit on Sustainable Development make anyone happy?

earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio June 7, 2012: State of the Global Environment

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On Earthgauge Radio this week, we’re taking a look at the state of the global environment and we talk to the founder of the Ottawa-based organization One Change. We hear a recent speech to the United Nations by the esteemed economist Jeffrey Sachs who offers a dire warning in the lead up to the Rio +20 Earth Summit and we review recent sobering scientific reports on the state of the oceans and on progress toward meeting international environmental goals.

Earthgauge Radio is broadcast every other Thursday morning at 7:00-8:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: Earthgauge Radio June 7, 2012: State of the Global Environment

earthgauge: June 8 is World Oceans Day

The following is a guest post from WorldOceansDay.org. This is an important event and deserves our attention so I am reposting it on Earthgauge.

World Oceans Day, the UN-designated day for the global community to celebrate and take action for our shared ocean. This year, take a moment to make change on two little-known but all-important issues: global warming and ocean acidification.

Carbon emissions from human activity are changing the Earth’s climate, leading to rising sea levels, and contributing to more frequent and intense extreme weather events that directly threaten every one of us–no matter whether we live

. . . → Read More: earthgauge: June 8 is World Oceans Day