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May 10, 2021

The Rundown

In this episode a visit with an environmental non-profit that has weathered political, social, and ecological storms and shifts. Earth Day has been around since the Guess Who’s American Woman topped the Billboard charts and the hole in the ozone layer wasn’t even on our radar screen. In the distant 70s. Earth Day Canada was born in the 90s and has been growing and adapting ever since. I chat with the organization’s director about its legacy and longevity. Next up, I talk to our resident astronomer, light pollution Don Quixote and engineer Robert Dick about how we might farm in the future, on Mars. So, legacy and legumes on the red planet all on this episode.

Earth Day Canada

Earth Day, as a movement and an event, was born in the heady cauldron of peace protests, concern for the environment, and an Apollo 8 photo of earthrise on the Moon. That image helped launch an ecological consciousness that the nascent Earth Day organization latched onto. Since the 90s Earth Day Canada has continued to preserve the activist spirit of the 70s. It’s kept itself decentralized and focussed not on social media clicks or exposure, but on supporting diffuse actions in the community that make a real difference to the planet. I had a chance to chat with Earth Day Canada’s director, Pierre Lussier about his organization’s focus, decentralization, and the secrets of its long life

Farming Mars

As I record this the NASA Mars Rover Perseverance is slowly trundling over the surface of Mars looking for organic compounds, blasting rocks with lasers, and sending that valuable data back to Earth. But here at Mission Control for Harrowsmith, we have to ask, could we farm Mars? To find out I asked Robert Dick our deep space and engineering boffin. Here’s our out-of-this-world chat.

End Notes

By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer, and friend of the 'cast, David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website,

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