Roberta Laurie

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I haven’t blogged for a long time, but it’s summer and I’m back at it. This is the talk I gave for the People’s Climate March in Edmonton this spring. And here is the transcript: We NEED to talk about climate change! You all get that. By coming here today you’re showing that you know climate change is important. But what about the people who aren’t here? How can we engage them… Read More

Frames, at least the effective ones, have a way of sticking. And in case you’re fuzzy on frames, here’s a definition from the guru of linguistic framing, George Lakoff: “Frames are mental structures that shape the way we see the world.” To elaborate, frames are the mental associations that we make — involuntarily make — when we hear a word/phrase or see an image. For example, if I say the word “popcorn,”… Read More

We all depend upon water to drink, food to eat, air to breathe. We are connected in a multitude of ways to the warp and weft of our planet’s systems. So, it continues to perplex and frustrate me when I see environmental issues being divided along partisan lines. What’s up? If it’s in everyone’s best interest to protect the environment, why are so many people ambivalent or even against it? I believe there… Read More

So, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, “We are all environmentalists.” I know it’s become uncool to identify as an “environmentalist,” but isn’t it true? Let me explain. “Primitive” societies have, without exception, recognized the importance of their environments for survival. They needed to know when berries would ripen, they needed to know where to find fresh water, and they needed to know how to clothe themselves… Read More

In the hours leading up to the Greenpeace action, I knew that some of my closest friends would be going into harms way — where they could be injured or arrested. I knew they were going into a situation where their future prospects could be compromised. Granted, it was a low risk action: they weren’t delivering their message from an industry site, nor were they singling out a political figure. They were… Read More

UN Climate Summit 2014 is scheduled to start tomorrow in New York City. The Summit is intended as “a public platform for leaders at the highest level – all UN Member States, as well as finance, business, civil society and local leaders from public and private sectors – to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement by… Read More

I’m a bit of a hippy. Not a pot-smoking, free-love sort of hippy, but the tree-hugging, we-are-all-connected sort. I believe strongly in the values of responsibility and compassion, not just social responsibility and compassion for my fellow humans but responsibility and compassion toward all living beings. Living in Edmonton has been rewarding at times and challenging at others. I’m part of a vibrant and growing writing community, and I live five minutes… Read More

For their paper, “Beyond individual behaviour change: the role of power, knowledge and strategy in tackling climate change,” Kenis and Mathijs interviewed twelve “young environmentally concerned citizens” in an attempt to learn the knowledge, motivation and frustrations that informed their strategies for addressing climate change. I was intrigued by their findings. Many respondents expressed a sense of powerlessness. They felt that individual action seemed negligible when compared to the magnitude of the… Read More

If you’ve never heard of solastalgia, you’re not alone. The term, solastalgia, was first recorded in 2003 at the Ecohealth Conference in Montreal. Glenn Albrecht (2007) created the term to define “the distress that is produced by environmental change impacting on people while they are directly connected to their home environment” (p. 95). Solastalgia was derived from “solace” and “desolation,” as well as alga, meaning suffering and sickness. It draws reference from the… Read More