Lansdowne Middle School: Enbridge and Tarsands: Pros and Cons

How two grade six classes, and two grade 8 science classes get to  interview experts about the pros and cons of  this contentious issue and how they can respond to global challenges.

Elizabeth May: MP and leader of the Green Party — April 19 th feedback and interview video

An environmental activist since her teens, Elizabeth May left her position as Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada to run successfully for leader of the Green Party of Canada in 2006. Elizabeth May, who is a lawyer and author, is media savvy and knows how to get attention for her causes. Although she failed to win a seat in Parliament when she ran in a by-election in London North in 2006, it was under her leadership that an Independent member of parliament joined the Green Party just before the 2008 election, giving the party its first MP. In the 2011 she became the first elected  Green Party member of parliament.


  • the role of people in influencing  government environmental policy
  • getting attention from the media around climate change
  • demands and benefits of being a green politician
  • how can one person affect change

Tzeporah Berman:  Environmental Activist and Advocate
for more information and media interviews
Interview video and feedback

For almost twenty years, Tzeporah Berman has been an influential activist and leader, instrumental in shaping the tactics and concerns of modern environmentalism. In the early nineties she faced the startling reality of our shared calamity when she joined the protests to save the endangered rainforests of Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island. For her role in organizing blockades on logging roads—then the largest act of civil disobedience in Canada’s history—she faced nearly one thousand criminal charges and six years in prison

The Royal BC Museum has included Berman in a permanent exhibition as one of the 150 people who have changed British Columbia’s history. She was lauded as “Canada’s Queen of Green” in a Reader’s Digest cover story and the Utne Reader recognized her as one of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.

Ms Berman is  the former director of Greenpeace International’s Climate and Energy Program in 40 countries and now works on Tarsands.


  • balancing having jobs and protecting the environment from oil spills and tankers
    facing global climate challenges
  • working  with and against large corporations
  • cleaning up the tarsands
  • making social change happen

Michael Fischer: Engineer and farmer Interview video and feedback

Michael Fischer grew up in Saanich and enjoyed a childhood of playing outdoors, camping, and going on boat trips with his parents on both coasts of Vancouver Island, and skiing and hiking in the mountains.

Mike holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, and is now working on another Masters degree in Computer Science while working for an energy efficiency tech start-up company he helped found.

Mike has lived in various parts of the US, South America, and Europe, mostly to do with his previous career working with instrumentation for big astronomy observatories,  developed a much deeper appreciation for the unique and special place that Victoria is while he lived away. He also saw what can happen to countries and societies that haven’t always been so lucky as Canada to have a functioning democratic system or effective environmental protections — two things that tend to go hand-in-hand.

Upon his return to Victoria in 2005, Mike vowed to get engaged in the affairs of his community and country, volunteering in his free time in local movements around food and energy security, community planning associations, and environmental advisory boards, as well as taking on a personal exploration of what it means to truly live sustainably. This started with growing vegetables in his backyard, learning how to reduce his personal ecological footprint, and taking on the academic study of energy systems and climate change in graduate school where he held a fellowship with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

He has done life cycle assessments of carbon-based fuels and studied ecological footprints of oil extraction including Alberta bitumen, as well as other forms of energy production. He also did work in electrical grid power flow modeling, and assessing the impacts of climate change on hydro power generation in BC. These were during the time spent on his PhD, before he switched topics and degrees (to computer science) and co-founded the energy efficiency tech company.


  • Bold steps to turn climate change around.
  • Preserving and protecting our region’s land, water, and resources
  • Using Tarsands responsibly in the short term for our benefit
  • Tipping point for greenhouse concentrations
  • Local steps for global environmental protection