Does climate optimism spur action, or sidetrack us with false positivity?
To start the year on an upbeat note, we invited How to Be a Climate Optimist author Chris Turner to join energy systems expert Dr. Normand Mousseau to unpack the topic of climate optimism. Presented by The Transition Accelerator, this webinar looked into the role of optimism in the face of climate challenges, examining both regional and systemic perspectives.
Chris Turner is a celebrated author and expert on climate solutions, known for his influential work and thought leadership in the field. His latest book explores the progress made in the last two decades towards solving the climate crisis.
Dr. Normand Mousseau is an internationally respected physics professor at Université de Montréal and Scientific Director at the Trottier Energy Institute of Polytechnique Montréal. His expertise in complex materials, energy, and climate policy adds a profound depth to the conversation.
So, what is the role of optimism in the race to net zero? As we balance milestones like the hottest year on record (2023), powerful progress like record-breaking clean energy investments via the U.S. IRA, and a predicted peak in global emissions this decade, should we be congratulating our leaders for great progress or demanding faster action? Listen to the full conversation with Dr. Normand Mousseau and Chris Turner as they discuss balancing optimism and pessimism, getting inspired and staying motivated through Canada’s energy transition.
Read on for highlights:
Normand Mousseau, PhD, is a professor of physics at Université de Montréal and Academic Director of the Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montréal. His research includes the study of complex materials, energy and natural resources. He is actively involved with energy and climate policy, having co-chaired the Quebec Commission on Energy Issues in 2013, and published a number of books in this field.
Chris Turner is one of Canada’s leading voices on climate change solutions and the global energy transition. He draws on his reporting of the state of the art in renewable change, cleantech, and urban design to paint a vivid portrait of a new, sustainable world order that will allow individuals and businesses alike not only to survive but thrive in the twenty-first century economy.
An award-winning author, Turner has published several bestselling books. The Patch: The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands won the National Business Book Award, and his previous books on climate solutions, The Leap and The Geography of Hope, were both National Business Book Award finalists. His latest book, How to Be a Climate Optimist: Blueprints for a Better World, won the 2023 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing. Turner also published a collection of his award-winning essays and feature writing in 2014, How to Breathe Underwater, which won the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize.
In addition, Turner’s writing on energy, climate, and technology have appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, and many other notable publications. He has won 10 National Magazine Awards, among other distinctions. Turner was a 2019 media fellow at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue; a 2013 writer-in-residence at the Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon; and a 2010 Paul D. Fleck Fellow at the Banff Centre.
As a speaker and communications strategist, Turner’s recent clients have included the Canadian Climate Institute, Natural Resources Canada, TD Bank, Compugen, Shaw Industries, the Canadian Institute of Planners, and Siemens Energy.