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Big Blue Marble Podcast
29 minutes | a day ago
Backyard Rinks On Borrowed Time | Episode 21
Winter lovers are feeling the heat and a group of amateur scientists are keeping score. Climate change is making winters warmer, shorter and less snowy. On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, Robert McLeman Co-Director of Rink Watch, explains how a cherished and time-honoured Canadian winter tradition of backyard rink-building is beginning to melt away. “We are seeing a real shrinkage in the length of outdoor skating seasons and the number of high quality skateable days from Toronto to Windsor.” An environmental scientist at Canada’s, Wilfrid Laurier University, McLeman and his team have enlisted hundreds of citizens from across North America to report on daily skating conditions on their backyard rinks. Find out how our iconic winters are changing along with the opportunities to enjoy it.
43 minutes | 2 months ago
Conservation Matters | Episode 20
With over 70 years of experience, Ontario’s conservation authorities are global leaders in watershed management. As a community-based natural resource management agency, their expertise is essential. Ninety-five per cent of Ontario's population lives in a watershed and should hastily proposed amendments by the Ontario government pass, independent science-based decisions in the interest of communities will be significantly limited - wetlands, valleys, and water could all be at risk . In essence, the legislation would weaken environmental protections and put more power into the hands of private developers, while negating the fundamental role of conservation authorities. 2020 has been a chaotic year with unprecedented events linked to climate change. Now, more than ever it's our responsibility to protect and stand up for nature. On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, we explain what conservation authorities do, how communities benefit and where you can share your voice in favour of conservation. Today you can help support nature in your own community. Share Your Voice [Easy Fill - One Step Link] Conservation Matters Please send a message to the Ontario Government and tell them to strike schedule 6 of Bill 229 Minister Philips, Minister of Finance: email@example.com Minister Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing: firstname.lastname@example.org Minister Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry: email@example.com Minister Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks: firstname.lastname@example.org Premier Ford: email@example.com [Sample Email] I strongly oppose the proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act set out in Schedule 6 of Bill 229 that curtail the role of Conservation Authorities in watershed planning and management. I am also deeply concerned that these proposed changes were brought forward in a budget bill, thereby over-riding my right to comment under the Environmental Bill of Rights. I request that you remove Schedule 6 in its entirety from Bill 229. Ontario’s Conservation Authorities are a unique and widely respected innovation. They provide a much-valued bridge across municipal boundaries to understand and address environmental concerns, such as flooding. Because they operate at the watershed level, they are ideally positioned to encourage science-based collaborative strategies and decision-making. Their vital role in land use planning and permitting must be retained to ensure that development does not put communities at risk from flooding and other climate change impacts through loss of wetlands, woodlands and farmland. The changes proposed in Schedule 6 will reduce or constrain the mandate of Conservation Authorities, and are therefore contradictory to the interests of the people of Ontario who are facing enormous risks and costs as a result of climate change and ongoing biodiversity loss. The roles and responsibilities of Conservation Authorities are critical in protecting the lands, waters and wildlife which benefit businesses and communities across Ontario, and upon which our health and well-being ultimately depend. I urge you to remove Schedule 6 in its entirety from Bill 229.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
Global Warming Forces A Building Code Rewrite | Episode 19
In this episode of the Big Blue Marble, we explore what some of the rewritten codes include, how they will be determined and “if” they are coming to your neighbourhood.
36 minutes | 3 months ago
Into The Eye Of The Storm | Episode 18
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been so intense, it just ran out of storm names – it also means this has been a demanding season for a team of dedicated researchers that get closer to the storms than any others on the planet. Hurricane hunters intentionally fly into the most violent storms on earth - and 2020 has seen a record number of them. "It's like a wooden roller coaster." Says Nick Underwood, an aerospace engineer with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), "a lot of vibrations and sometimes you will be tossed to the side." Underwood flies into hurricanes to gather data by releasing specialized electronics. Dropping at a speed of 2,500 feet per minute, the components provide a real-time analysis of what the storms are doing, where they're heading and how severe they may become. Strap in, and join us as we fly "Into the Eye of the Storm", on this episode of the Big Blue Marble.
42 minutes | 4 months ago
World Gorilla Day Live From The Toronto Zoo | Episode 17
"It seems very unfair that man should have chosen the Gorilla to symbolize everything that is aggressive and violent. When that is the one thing that the Gorilla is not and that we are.” Sir Richard Attenborough Gorillas are truly gentle giants, yet have struggled to exist for decades, thanks to human interference. The animals are hunted and injured by traps just as they are forced from their habitats for commercial enterprise. Despite being human's closest cousins, with over 90 per cent of their DNA being the same as ours, they are critically endangered. On today's special edition of the Big Blue Marble Podcast, (streaming LIVE from the Toronto Zoo) we celebrate World Gorilla Day. Today, we will learn what threatens them most, how one of your most common possessions could help save them and get a behind-the-scenes perspective on one of Canada’s most iconic Gorillas - long-time zoo resident, Charles.
31 minutes | 5 months ago
Protected Skin - Damaged Seas | Episode 16
Is your sunscreen bad for the planet? On this episode of The Big Blue Marble, we slather on the research with Dr. Craig Downs, a forensic ecotoxicologist. According to Downs, more than 100 million tonnes of sunscreen a year enter coastal areas around the world, and when it does, especially in the coral reef system, “it impacts all the organisms there.” The good news is, toxic chemical bans found in certain sunscreens are now beginning, find out how you can practice “safe sun” without harming the seas.
40 minutes | 6 months ago
Up TICK - Thanks to Climate Change | Episode 15
Ticks are on the move, going to places they have never been recorded before - due to our warming planet. On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, it's all tick talk, including where the tiny creatures will most likely "latch" on to you, how fast they are spreading and what to do if you've been bitten.
34 minutes | 8 months ago
Nature's Backlash? |Episode 14
As researchers around the world work to develop a viable stop to the spread of COVID-19, ecologists say it's time they are heard - the pandemic was anticipated. “When we destroy habitats, erode biodiversity because of all the things humans do to the environment we are creating conditions that allow certain species to thrive that are most likely to give us zoonotic diseases." says Felicia Keesing, ecologist and educator at Bard College in Annandale, New York. On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, host Anwar Knight helps connect the dots on how the virus evolved and along with Keesing, explores the intricate relationship between animals, biodiversity and the important role that people play in preventing the next pandemic. “It's not just humans that are all in this together, every living thing on this planet is struggling with this and the environmental challenges with the dominance of humans on the earth”.
28 minutes | 10 months ago
An Antidote For Chaos : Forest Bathing | Episode 13
Unwind, connect with nature and improve health with the scientifically proven benefits of forest bathing. The ancient Japanese practice of "Shin Rin Yoku" can help reduce blood pressure, stress levels and pulse rate. In the midst of this unprecedented chaos, this may be just the thing we all need right now. "We have nurtured ourselves to be in an incessantly low level state of fight or flight. Our nervous systems, our bodies were not designed to be in that constant state of stress, and it's bad for us," says David Motzenbecker, a certified forest therapy guide. On this episode of The Big Blue Marble we take a calming walk through the woods to discover just how easy it is to see and feel the remarkable benefits of forest bathing.
40 minutes | a year ago
Kids and Climate Change Anxiety | Eps 12
Millions of children and teens around the world have rallied in support of the Climate Strike movement started by Swedish teen, Greta Thunberg. For some, these protests are an opportunity to take control and express feelings of anger, fear and despair as the threat of an uncertain future on earth causes distress in many. These stressors are appearing more pervasive in youths than most adults realize. Climate change and mental health researcher, Dr. Katie Hayes, says that, "Children and youth are seeing the state of climate devastation with eyes wide open, and they are are also seeing slow action to really address the issue. For many youth, its feelings of worry, sadness and they are struggling with optimism.” Thankfully, there is hope, says Dr. Hayes, "Climate change and mental health is an all hands on deck issue, it can’t be done by one person, one parent, one school, one doctor and increasingly we are seeing the tools to support professionals." On this episode of The Big Blue Marble, we explore the prevalence of eco-anxiety in kids, and most importantly, how we can support them, including resources that offer help.
46 minutes | a year ago
Hold Your Breath - The Air Is Deadly | Episode 11
You may not see it, but a strong and silent killer is just a breath away. What's worse, millions of people contribute to creating one of the most significant sources of not only air pollution, but also greenhouse gases, daily. Your car ride into work is generating minute particles of poison, and pending your "rush hour'', you are likely strapped into a sea of it. "We look at Bejing or Delhi smog and think that’s air pollution, in fact, invisible smog can be just as dangerous and cause thousands of death." says Tim Smedley, environmental journalist and author. According to the World Health Organization, one third of all deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are caused by air pollution. "Anywhere in the world, where there is stuff being burned, whether that's fuel in an engine or solid fuel in a fire, that's causing air pollution that is dangerous to our health," adds Smedley. This episode of The Big Blue Marble may have you rethinking your commute, or throwing another log on that cozy looking wood-burning stove. That, plus you are guaranteed to have a different perspective on the many ships at sea. Join me as we set sail for another trip around the Big Blue Marble.
37 minutes | a year ago
Australia’s Animals – Extinction By Fire | Episode 10
Stories of badly injured, traumatized and dehydrated, Australian wildlife have captured attention the world over. Weeks after news of the devastation broke, animal rescue teams continue to do what they can to save animals from record-breaking fires across the island continent. Fueled by a warming planet, unprecedented summer heat and parched outback, there was an inferno of chaos and destruction, never before seen in the world. What is perhaps most disturbing, is that this tragic scenario was expected. Martine Maron is a Professor of Conservation Ecology and Environmental Management at the University of Queensland, she says the Australian government knew this tragedy was possible – for over a decade. “This was predicted in a government report in 2008, which directly stated there would be an increase in number of extreme fire weather days, and should be directly observable by 2020.” The result has been catastrophic damage to the vast flora and fauna of the Australia wild. A billion animals, some that are not found anywhere else in the world, have been killed in the fires, pushing many to the brink of extinction. Says Maron, “That estimate is likely to be a conservative estimate, that number excludes all of the invertebrates, frogs, and fish. That’s the next group we are worried about.” On this edition of The Big Blue Marble, we discover how devastating the ecological scars of this season’s fires will be and what the future might hold for one of the most biologically diverse nations on the planet.
46 minutes | a year ago
Waves Of Plastic : Our Oceans Are Drowning | Episode 9
Seventy percent of the earth's surface is covered by ocean water, with more than 90 per cent of the world's living space contained within. Yet, to this day, only ten per cent of our oceans have been studied - leaving the majority virtually unexplored. What we do know - humans are reaching into the depths, despite never having been there. “For a long time we thought we couldn't damage it, that dilution was the solution. Now eight million metric tons of plastic are flowing into the ocean every year,” says George Leonard, Chief Scientist at the Ocean Conservancy. According to Leonard, about thirty percent of fish counts have plastic in their stomach when caught. Various forms of the substance has been found in the deepest waters of the Marianas Trench, all the way to the Arctic, Antarctic and beyond. On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, we set sail for the most mysterious part of the planet and we will dive through the great Pacific garbage patch. Beyond that, we explore how far reaching our human touch is - including what is a surprise discovery.
29 minutes | a year ago
Canada's Glaciers: A Poisonous Reservoir | Episode 8
It was formed over 240,000 years ago during the Great Glaciation, and today is the largest icefield in the Canadian Rockies, covering over 200 square km. Located along the Alberta/BC Border, the ice is a significant barometer of the climate crisis. The Columbia Icefield is home to one of the most visited Glaciers in North America. Hundreds of thousands of visitors, discover and witness an epic change each year. The ice is retreating faster than ever, but the story here is not just the loss of a piece of Canada’s iconic landscape, which is problematic in itself, it’s what’s occurring as a result of it. “There’s actually a reservoir of pollutants that have been in the atmosphere over the last several decades to a century or so stored in those Icefields” says Martin Sharp, Glaciologist, and science professor at the University of Alberta. The melting is opening a vault of lethal contaminants, creating a crisis unlike any other. Find out just how far the water flows on this episode of the Big Blue Marble.
20 minutes | a year ago
Santa’s Home is Melting & The Reindeer are Dying | Episode 7
It’s not something you will see on the front of a Christmas card, but it’s happening. I hate to be the Grinch during this festive season, but these details should be unwrapped quickly. On this special Christmas edition of the Big Blue Marble, we explore the climate change reality of some of the most iconic symbols in the land of holiday magic- the North Pole. After Santa and his famous reindeer finish their enchanting journey around the world they'll head home to a place where there is no soil, just ice. The next generation of children may be learning a new Christmas story after Jolly Ol' Saint Nick's home disappears into our oceans and waterways. And what about the reindeer? How do they handle climate change. Let's hope Rudolph doesn't really go down in history. This holiday-themed edition is not candy cane - coated, but we will try to help with my top three tips on how you can make this Christmas more eco-friendly. Hint: All that glitters, does not necessarily shine.
35 minutes | a year ago
How Climate Change is Making You Sick|Episode 6
Around the world, warmer temperatures are creating a whole host of health challenges, and at our current state, researchers warn that climate change will affect every single stage of a child’s life. On this episode of the Big Blue Marble, Anwar Knight welcomes medical journalist, Dr. Amitha Kalaichandran, to give is a check up on how climate change is making us sick. "A warmer planet means more potential for death and illnesses related to higher temperatures. it means lower air quality, especially in densely populated areas. mosquitoes, ticks, and other carriers of infectious diseases can cover a wider geographic range and for a longer span of the year”, says Dr. Kalaichandran. From heat stress, to asthma, and even a possible link between air pollution and miscarriages, this episode gives you lots to think about. It’s an eye opening examination that ranges from personal health and well being, to the health care system that will be even more challenged to provide due to our changing planet.
29 minutes | a year ago
A Window Into The Planet 29,000 ft In The Making | Episode 5
A skilled team survived some of the most extreme conditions on earth to successfully install the highest weather stations in the world. The National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Expedition is believed to be one of the most comprehensive studies conducted on top of Mount Everest. Paul Mayewski, a Climate Scientist from the University of Maine, and the expedition's scientific leader says, “It’s the highest place on earth and perfect to investigate the potential impacts of climate change." According to researchers, Mount Everest is one of the few peaks tall enough to actually protrude into the South Asia jet stream, making it a perfect location to dip into snow, ice and air samples for measurements. While the research itself is just beginning - what did it take to get there? Carrying up all the gear, oxygen tanks, tents and supplies is no easy task - the ascent is a high-risk venture. How did they make the climb, what does the team hope to learn from it and what was the biggest risk that forced them to pull back? It's not a reason you might expect. I've got all those answers and more on this edition of the Big Blue Marble. www.NatGeo.com/Everest
33 minutes | a year ago
A Crisis On Climate Coverage | Episode 4
"Its the biggest story of our time and if these failures continue, journalists will be contributing to the deaths of millions.” With quotes like that, a journalism professor is making headlines of his own. Sean Holman, Associate Professor of Journalism at Mount Royal University, penned an open letter calling on the media to make immediate changes to their coverage of the climate crisis. The message has been shared thousands of times on social media, and comes with a warning to journalists - Holman believes they're failing when it comes to coverage of the climate crisis. Just, how should the media be covering the climate? And, at what point does society take responsibility for its own self awareness on what is unfolding? On this turn of the Big Blue Marble, our guest reveals his thoughts on the issue of climate change coverage and offers up a possible solution for the average Canadian. As a hint - your local burger joint will not be impressed! Be sure to let me your thoughts on this - and you'll never guess what the new owner of my old house did?! All the torrid details, on this episode of the Big Blue Marble.
27 minutes | a year ago
Forensics, Flies And The Climate Crisis | Episode 3
How a warming planet is problematic for crime solving bugs They are as common as your ordinary housefly, but these insects have a different duty call – they love death.n Blow flies have the ability to smell a cadaver from over one kilometre away and are typically the first insects to arrive on the scene. The routine that they perform plays an important part in forensics. Crime scene investigators rely on forensic entomologists to determine approximate times of death by analyzing the blow flies on cadavers. Climate change, is forcing these insects to react. Christine Picard, Ph.D., is the Director of The Forensics and Investigative Sciences Program at the Purdue School of Science. According to the researcher, “All kinds of insects are moving north seeking more comfortable habitats including unwanted pests like ticks and mosquitoes. She adds, “Blow flies will either, adapt, move or die.” In their attempt to adapt, Picard’s team has discovered two species of blow fly that have migrated into what is uncharted territory for the winged creatures. What is raising alarm bells is that these particular species do not perform the same way as their native cousins - could this affect how crimes are solved in the future? Find out on this episode of The Big Blue Marble.
29 minutes | a year ago
Greenland Is Melting And The World Should Be Worried | Episode 2
Scientists expected ice to melt in Greenland, but not to this extent, or this fast. An unprecedented heat wave triggered an epic ice melt, 50 years ahead of its expected time, in Greenland. Billions of tons of historic ice melted away causing a torrent of frigid ice water to etch a path as it made its way to the ocean. In one day alone, enough ice melted to fill over four million swimming pools. With nearly 70 per cent of earth's population living within 150 km of a coastline, the impacts of this melting trend is monumental. At the moment, Greenland is the biggest contributor to the rise of global sea levels - the big question is how fast and by how much? While the world waits for that answer - the current impact has been documented. Martin Stendel, a climate scientist from the Danish Meteorological Institute says, "The sea level has risen already by one cm in the last 15 years, from Greenland ice sheet melting alone.” Stendel has been recording the changes for years and believes that flooding is not the only concern. Stindel says that researchers are also looking at the consequences of these water flows in relation to the possibility of altering the global jet stream and active weather patterns. On this episode of The Big Blue Marble, we explore the cause, the effects and "if" Greenland's melting ice sheet has pushed us to the tipping point - that being a catastrophic unrecoverable change, with no turning back. As promised on the show, here is a list of ideas on how to engage your kids to help reduce carbon. Turn off the lights Close doors immediately so heat/AC does not escape. Walk or bike if you can (instead of having your parents drive you) Turn off your computer/iPad when not in use Take shorter showers Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth Make sure your tires are inflated Avoid idling in the drive thru – park and go inside Conserve paper – use both sides Donate/recycle old smartphones Pack litterless lunches Unplug your phone charger when not in use Plant a garden Buy local produce Plant a tree Bring your own shopping bag (the kids can decorate it)
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