Optimism in the face of climate changes

I feel it too. Just a sliver.

It’s not easy to articulate, but Chris Turner nails it in his “We’re Doomed. Now What?” essay for The Walrus https://thewalrus.ca/were-doomed-now-what/

I’m not talking Pollyanna. It’s more a ‘Yes, I see the doom. And – just maybe – we can turn it around’ feeling. Chris calls it “a unique strain of inspiration … a quiet, resolute, miles-to-go-before-we-sleep optimism.”

I feel it when he digs deep into Canada’s endless bureaucratic contradictions, and highlights some gems: the 2017 BC (British Columbia) Energy Step Code, to shift the construction industry to all net-zero buildings by 2032; and the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework with “…plans for higher vehicle-emissions standards, better building codes, faster deployment of zero-emissions vehicles, and lower emissions from heavy industry”. Not every province on board, but most are taking action.

I feel it when, despite Germany’s emissions challenges, we remember we have cheap solar panels available everywhere now. Thank you, Germany!

I feel it when the vision of everyone-gets-a-Ford-F-150 is replaced with “…vibrant urban life, a power bill that zeroes out more often than not, a commute to work by train or bike or foot that doesn’t involve gridlock, a car – still, if you’d like – with a battery pack that fills up on the cheap overnight…good jobs, with futures, in carbon capture and efficiency retrofitting and smart-grid software.”

Still, there are miles to go before we sleep. But can you feel it?

Chris Turner is also the author of The Patch: The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands.


Related Articles


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.