It is no secret that mainstream media coverage of environmental issues is slow-moving, and many stories go un-reported in the press. Climate change deniers spout their ideology with reckless abandon. Enter my guest this week, Andrew Nikiforuk, an award winning environmental writer based in Calgary, Canada, who has written a new book about the hydraulic fracturing industry entitled Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry. The book traces the saga of Jessica Ernst, and the path she takes to hold Encana Oil and Canada’s environmental government agencies, responsible for secretly fracking hundreds of gas wells around her home, in a rural area northeast of Calgary. A cover-up ensues, which leads Ms. Ernst to take legal action against the various parties for their role in contaminating land, water and air in her community. For more information andrewnikiforuk.com and to amazon.com to check out his new and older works.
Billions of people around the globe are affected by the changes in climate every day. There are many stories that need to be told and many stories that need to be heard. My guest this week, Dayna Reggero, project director for the Climate Listening Project, has gathered stories from a variety of individuals and businesses about the direct effect of climate change on their lives and communities. Farmers, scientists, faith based and environmental groups are working towards solutions to adapt and build resilience to the extremes of climate change. We must connect actions to our words and work towards building a cleaner, greener world. Dayna has also been involved with the Showtime Series, Years of Living Dangerously, and has partnered with Laura Lengnick, author of the book Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems in a Changing Climate. Dayna and Laura conduct storytelling workshops at colleges via the Cultivating Resilience Tour. For more info go to: daynareggero.com, @DaynaReggero and facebook.com/climatelisteningproject.
Neither rain, nor fog, nor soggy dew could dampen the spirit of the Clearwater 2015 Festival. We spoke to many environmental activists and green entrepreneurs who are creating ideas, and spreading the message about the need to be proactive stewards of Mother Earth. Music echoed throughout the festival, with many performers motivating the populace to take a stand and raise their voices on environmental and social justice issues. Music icon David Crosby, sang new songs with lyrics that commented on the nation’s current state of affairs, and implored people to email, call or show up at the offices of their elected officials and make some noise. Pete Seeger would have been proud to see his vision perpetuated. For more info go to clearwater.org.
This week’s program features Jesse Ash, principal and lead producer at Greener Media, an eco-conscious production company based in NYC. We discuss how storytelling via digital and film mediums, is an essential tool in helping raise awareness about environmental and social issues. Jesse has won a Webby for his animated short Magical Cure, and his current project, Common Ground, was recently screened at the United Nations and at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. In addition, Greener Media’s short documentary, Man in the Maze, was a winner of the Sundance Short Film Challenge this year. To find out why Bette Middler has been deemed the “Queen of Green” and why it is helpful to have a celebrity name attached to a particular cause, you have to tune in. For more information go to: greenermedia.com
Nick Gutfreund, founder of Long Run Media, is my guest this week, and we discuss how film is a powerful tool to educate and communicate messages, to help promote participation in the eco-movement. He is currently working on a documentary entitled “Local Action,” which focuses on grassroots community groups, and how those groups move to build awareness of environmental and social issues. Local organizations are the change agents who help create solutions for a more sustainable planet. Please visit longrunmedia.com and bedford2020.org to get more information.