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Big Blue Marble Podcast
40 minutes | Mar 8, 2022
The BounceBack Of The Butterfly | Episode 29
Guided by an internal compass, Monarch butterflies can determine the position of the sun and the time of day. With this data, the graceful beauties are guided in an annual migration unlike any other. The Monarch's migration sees some of them travel over 4,000 kilometers, from Southern parts of Canada to Mexico. Researchers have studied these insects for decades and have noted alarming changes in both the Eastern and Western populations, with an estimated 80% decline in just 20 years. Offering some sign of hope - there are optimistic results from a recent butterfly migration count conducted by the Xerces Society, an international non-profit conservation group. The survey has revealed almost 250,000 Western Monarchs in California, compared to historic lows of just a few thousand in previous years. “It is great to see this rebound, it gives us a breath of time to do more planning and get more efforts on the ground, but we are not out of the woods yet,” says Professor Cheryl Schultz from the School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University. Fly with us on this episode of The Big Blue Marble as we take to the skies to examine the threats impacting the two main migrating populations of Monarchs, why their protection is so important and how you may be able to help from your own home.
28 minutes | Feb 15, 2022
Earth's Black Box | Episode 28
Alone and quiet in an undisclosed location in Tasmania, sits Earth’s Black Box. This massive fortified structure is loaded with sophisticated technology that will operate uninterrupted for decades, perhaps centuries. "There is so much data that is going to being recorded, we have set up a list of 500 different measurements that are widely considered to be the most important metrics on the health of our planet relating to human’s involvement to climate change" says Henry Curchod, of The Glue Society, an independent creative collective and a collaborating partner in the black box project. Like the black box of an airplane that offers answers following a disaster, the goal of Earth’s Black Box is to extend answers on what lead humanity into a climate change catastrophe. "We are expecting someone to need this one day," says Curchod. That is the reality we’ll explore as we delve into Earth's Black Box. This project is a scientific and technologic marvel – all meant to tell earth’s story, without us.
17 minutes | Jan 27, 2022
Dryers: The Laundry Link To Microfiber Pollution | Episode 27
A new, eye opening study is sharing a dirty little secret about the necessary chore of laundry, revealing a never-ending cycle of microfiber pollution. "Dryers are one of the main sources of microfiber pollution in the atmosphere," says Professor Kenneth Leung, lead author of a study published in the journal, Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Leung describes the findings as “essential” for managing microfiber emissions, which are known to harm human health and the environment. Listen in to this first episode of a new season of The Big Blue Marble Podcast. Together we will explore fibrous pollution coming from your dryer and how you can help prevent it.
37 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
Killer Heat Waves: An Untethered Climate Emergency | Episode 26
Historic, epic, unprecedented, these are just some of the words that were used to describe a heat wave that smothered parts of Western Canada and the US Northwest at the end of June. Trapped within a swath of accompanying heat warnings was the small town of Lytton, north east of British Columbia. The town shot to world infamy when it became one of the hottest places on earth and recorded a high of 49.6 degrees. "It’s a time issue." says Simon Donner, a Climate Scientist and Professor at the University of British Columbia. "We wait too long to take action to reduce emissions and we also wait to react after an extreme event, to say what we do to prepare for the next one.” In this episode of the Big Blue Marble, we dive into the heart of what caused the "heat dome" to be so intense and the aftermath in its wake. We will also find out if another extreme event is possible in the near future. Here are the links mentioned in this episode. Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act
46 minutes | May 28, 2021
Canada's Whale Sanctuary | Episode 25
A 40 hectare inlet in Nova Scotia is about to become home for some newly retired inhabitants. As a way to offer a new life to whales that have been rescued from entertainment parks, a nonprofit group is preparing a seaside sanctuary, which will be a North American first. Worldwide, there are currently more than 3,000 whales and dolphins in captivity. "Our focus is on Orcas and Belugas because they suffer more than any other species - they suffer tremendously in captivity." says Charles Vinick, Executive Director of The Whale Sanctuary Project. In this episode of The Big Blue Marble, we explore how the sanctuary will work, its ultimate benefits to the marine mammals, and we ask - how do you transport these huge, yet very delicate, creatures.
26 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Grannies Take A Grand Stand For Climate Change | Episode 24
With age comes wisdom - and twelve Finnish grandmothers hope to share some of it! On this episode of The Big Blue Marble we learn how a casual "meet up" for coffee has now grown into a trans-generational movement to help save our planet. In just a couple of years (including through COVID), Aktivistimummot (Finnish for Activist Grannies) have mastered a unique and endearing connection with the public. "The word Granny is somehow sacred, everyone has had a grandmother and how can anyone say bad things about a granny", says Helena Kääriäinen, Research Professor at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki and one of the founding members. "We worry about climate change and biodiversity issues and also the depression and anxiety by young people. We need to try to do something." Kääriäinen adds. Here are the links mentioned in this episode. Activist Grannies https://www.aktivistimummot.fi/ End the week with a smile and join me every Friday at noon for my Facebook LIVEstream show! #hereNthere https://www.facebook.com/AnwarKnightTV
33 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
Earth Hour: Is Time On Our Side? | Episode 23
For almost 15 years, the last Saturday in March goes dark. Millions of people in over 190 countries flip the switch for 60 minutes, to help illuminate one of the largest grass roots movements on the planet. Earth Hour has always drawn its power from the people, and organizers our counting on their support more than ever. "It is a dual crisis, it is climate change and bio- diversity loss and they ecascerbate each other", says Megan Leslie President and CEO of World Wild Life Canada. On this episode of The Big Blue Marble we learn how Earth Hour has evolved, it's less about the light and more about the fight. "it gets all of us to focus on one thing and politicans listen to that." adds Leslie.
30 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
Under Siege - How Sound Is Killing The Seas | Episode 22
Humans long thought the depth of the oceans were silent, we now know that there is a symphony of various sounds that sea life depend on for survival. A first of its kind new report is breaking the silence on the impacts of anthropogenic (human-generated) noise levels in our seas that are increasing at an alarming rate. “Noise travels very far and very fast in the ocean, so in places we thought were pristine, acoustically speaking, now we hear noise from ships,” say Dr. Francis Juanes, a Fish Ecologist and Professor of Biology at the University of Victoria. The loudest and most disruptive aquatic noise pollution comes from military operations, oil exploration and industrial shipping. “On one level, it’s affecting communication…animals can also go deaf and it can be lethal.” continues Juanes. Dive deep on this edition of the Big Blue Marble and monitor the volume - what you are about to hear is explosive!
29 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
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 | Nov 24, 2020
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Minister Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing: email@example.com Minister Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry: firstname.lastname@example.org Minister Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks: email@example.com Premier Ford: firstname.lastname@example.org [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 | Nov 17, 2020
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 | Oct 27, 2020
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 | Sep 25, 2020
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 | Aug 20, 2020
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 | Jul 14, 2020
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 | May 26, 2020
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 | Mar 31, 2020
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 | Mar 3, 2020
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 | Feb 17, 2020
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 | Feb 4, 2020
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.
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