The Ecopolitics Podcast is a 16-episode audio series offering core content for university students studying environmental politics in Canada. The show is created and co-hosted by Dr. Ryan Katz-Rosene (University of Ottawa) and Dr. Peter Andrée (Carleton University), and funded by the Shared Online Projects Initiative. All episodes are freely available for use under a Creative Commons Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND). Instructors and students of environmental politics everywhere are invited to use the podcasts in their own teaching and learning. Episodes cover a range of themes central to the study of environmental politics in a Canadian context, from environmental justice to federalism to climate action and more! Enjoy the show, and let us know what you think.
Episode 3.6: Is the local a romantic eco-myth? A critical appraisal of ‘Thinking Globally, Acting Locally’
40:47Does the environmentalist motto, ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’, point us towards sustainable food systems’ solutions? In this episode, Dr. Navin Ramankutty from UBC and Ken Meter from the Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis explore whether locally produced foods, provided by small-scale farmers, are inherently more sustainable than that which comes from larger producers many miles away. The discussion suggests that scale and proximity are not necessarily correlated with better environmental performance across the board, but that there are still good reasons for building strong food systems at the community level, and ensuring that small scale farmers can earn a sustainable livelihood.
Episode 3.5: How can we confront the environmental challenges associated with Canadian mining?
1:00:24Mining is an essential component to our everyday lives, providing us with the raw materials we need to create a wide variety of products. However, while mining contributes to our technological progress, it comes with an often hidden dark side rife with environmental and human rights abuses. When more than 60% of the world's mining companies are based in Canada, what does this mean for us as everyday ecocitizens? What responsibilities do we have with respect to holding these companies to account for their use and abuse of people and planet? These are some of the questions we drill into today with guests Chandu Claver, International Spokesperson for the Cordillera Peoples' Alliance, Teresa Kramarz, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, and Sheri Meyerhoffer, Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE).
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Episode 3.4: What does a just transition really entail? From green jobs to decolonization
39:49Climate change and its impacts on the economy, the planet, and, of course, us, is top of mind for a lot of folks these days. One potential solution that merges economic and climate needs is the transition away from fossil fuels as an energy source, to greener options. But with so many people relying on the fossil fuel industry for their livelihoods, how do we ensure a transition to a whole new energy source is just? This is one of the many questions we touch on in today's episode. Our guests, Luisa Da Silva, Executive Director of Iron and Earth, and Heather Milton-Lightening, a long-time Indigenous climate activist and current student, share with us their different views on just transition, and what we need to consider if we're really going to make it work.
Episode 3.3: How do we confront capitalism’s excesses? Between revolution and reform
41:42How do we confront capitalism's ecological record? In this episode we get some answers from Dianne Saxe (Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Ontario), and Professor Matt Huber (Syracuse Univer“How do we confront capitalism’s ecological record?” In today's episode, we tackle this question with help from Dianne Saxe, President of SaxeFacts, and Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Ontario and Matt Huber, Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at Syracuse University. From two unique perspectives -- that of an environmental lawyer and a Marxist Geographer -- we dig into the ways in which capitalism is implicated in climate change, and how capitalistic forces might be influenced for the betterment of people and planet.
Episode 3.2: Can we eat our way to sustainability? A deep dive into sustainable protein
48:23To consume or not consume meat? That is the question plaguing many an environmentally conscious person as we grapple with our personal responsibilites in the face of a warming climate. However, as our guests Paige Stanley, PhD Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley and Tara Garnett, Director of TABLE, a platform for informed discussion about food systems at University of Oxford point out, the answer isn't so black and white. In today's episode, we dive into the nuances of protein production, exploring both the macro and micro ways that farmers, scientists, and everyday people are tackling sustainable food systems. Ultimately, we strive to answer the question: Can we truly eat our way to sustainability?
Episode 3.1: What does it mean to be an Eco-Citizen? Intro to Everyday Ecopolitics Season Three
42:10What is eco-citizenship and what does it entail? These are the overarching questions that guide this episode's discussions with Manvi Bhalla, Graduate Student and Co-Founder of Shake Up The Establishment & missINFORMED, and Kimberly Nicholas, Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at Lund University. From an introduction to intersectionality and its importance in climate justice action, to the Eat Lancet Report's rough guidelines for how to reduce one's carbon footprint, this wide-ranging discussion explores all the facets of what it means to be an eco-citizen, and who bears the most responsibility for taking action to slow climate change.
Episode 2.14: Global Cities, Environmental Politics, and Low Carbon Transition
46:49Just over a decade ago, the world’s urban population surpassed its rural population in a trend of urbanization that is expected to continue for decades to come. This trend has raised some interesting questions with respect to how cities can participate in global sustainability efforts and how they might have a say in the governance of environmental politics. In this episode, we dive into these questions with Dr. Harriet Bulkeley, Professor in the Department of Geography at Durham University and at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University.
Episode 2.13: Resources, Population and the Global Environment: A Case Study in Water
50:26Recorded on World Water Day, in this episode, we speak with Dr. Farhana Sultana, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University to discuss all things water. Our conversation touches on the human right to water and sanitation, the ways in which water is a cross-cutting, multisectoral entity, and how governance of water, and further, privatization, is complicated, and can often be detrimental, to ensuring our rights to water.
Episode 2.12: Metaphors for Climate Governance
45:41In this episode, which is a re-broadcast of an episode from Season 1, we speak with Steven Bernstein, Distinguished Professor of Global Environmental and Sustainability Governance, University of Toronto, and Matthew Hoffmann, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto, about carbon lock-in (the ways in which our culture currently reinforces our use of fossil fuels) and two different metaphors for thinking about how we might challenge the carbon lock-in mindset both locally and internationally.
Episode 2.11: Growth, Degrowth, Agrowth
52:09What is the relationship between economic growth and the environment? What is 'green growth' and why does the degrowth movement oppose it? And what does it mean to be agnostic about growth in the context of sustainability? In this episode we speak with two scholars who approach these questions from a degrowth perspective - Dr. Susan Paulson from the University of Florida, and Dr. Bengi Akbulut, from Concordia University in Canada. The episode also delves into Global South perspecitves on the growth-environment debate.