Lecture Series 3 - The Climate Crisis: Perspectives, Insights and Solutions

Jan 12 to Feb 16, 2023

All lectures in this series will be via Zoom only.

The original title of this series was to have been Climate ‘Change’ however, our climate and its impact on all our lives is now in a ‘Crisis’!

The rapid pace by which we witness and participate in these changes makes this series all the more critical. Our esteemed speakers will provide essential and up-to-date information that we as individuals, local communities, businesses, governments and the world at large need in order to curb the catastrophe

Series Coordinators:
Ellen Lewis
Carol Mair
Gord Edwards

Introduction to the Climate Series 

  • Date: Thursday, January 12, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • Location: via Zoom only
  • Zoom re-play:  7:00 pm Jan 17

What is at stake in our climate crisis? Almost everything, especially for today's young people. What do we have to gain from taking the climate crisis seriously? An enormous opportunity for a better world.  Happier, healthier, fairer, more beautiful communities. Less vulnerability to inflation and to foreign energy supply shocks. More resilience to worsening extreme weather. And most fundamentally, to save what we can still save of the natural systems on which our lives depend. Time is running out, but we have the tools we need. We just need to use them before it's too late.

Lecturer - Dianne Saxe




Dianne Saxe, one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers with a PhD in Law & Environmental Studies (Hon.), a Law Society Medal, was the last Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. She is president of Saxe Facts podcasts featuring Green Economy Heroes and Deputy Leader of the OGP. Plus grandmother to 5.





Water - Sustainability for Everyone?

  • Date: Thursday, January 19, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • Location: via Zoom only
  • Zoom re-play:  7:00 pm Jan 24

Water is not a ‘nice to have,’ it is essential for life. However, as the years pass,
issues involving the scarcity of potable water at many locations around the
globe will intensify. In discussing whether sustainability will exist in different
parts of the world, Ed McBean will focus on (i) Canada, (ii) southeast Asia, and
(iii) some of the reasons that issues of water sustainability lie beyond a
country’s borders and will become extremely contentious. Canada needs to
pay close attention; we need to be concerned.

Lecturer - Ed McBean


Ed McBean received his BASc at UBC, and PhD., at M.I.T. He is a Professor of Water Resources Engineering and a University of Guelph Research Leadership
Chair Professor. Ed's research is on water security, AI, vulnerability and environmental engineering. Ed has written 3 books and published 425 papers
in journals.





Climate Change and Urban Environments: Planning Ahead

  • Date: Thursday, January 26, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • Location: via Zoom only
  • Zoom re-play:  7:00 pm Jan 31

Canada is highly urbanized, with an >80% urban population that is increasing by over 300,000/year. This population growth requires additional housing through greefield developments and urban densification. To accommodate this demand, the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force has called for the building of 1.5 million new homes over 10 years, double the prior building rate.  Conventional urban growth limits climate change mitigation and adaptation opportunities by eroding urban vegetation that captures >660 kt carbon/year,  worsening urban heat islands, and intensifying urban floods. Addressing the  concurrent challenges of housing supply shortages and climate change requires wise planning for gentle density and conservation of urban natural assets.

Lecturer - Michael Drescher




Dr. Michael Drescher is Associate Professor in the School of Planning at University of Waterloo, where he teaches ecology, environmental policy, and rural development. He is also Director of the Heritages Resources Centre focusing on natural heritage systems. His research focuses on land
conservation and urban ecosystem services.




Going Green in Grey

  • Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • Location: via Zoom only
  • Zoom re-play:  7:00 pm Feb 7

Everyone has a role to play in climate solutions, but what are the actions that local governments are best positioned to lead? The climate crisis affects everyone, and unfairly tends to most severely impact the most vulnerable members of societies who have contributed to the problem the least. In seeking solutions, local governments need to look for opportunities to deliver community benefit while reducing local greenhouse gas pollution and building climate resilience. This lecture will discuss Going Green in Grey’s approach to climate action and how it is connected to a global movement of local governments attempting to create inclusive climate action


Lecturer - Linda Swanston


Linda Swanston is Grey County’s Manager of Climate Change Initiatives, responsible for Going Green in Grey. Linda worked for a decade at the City of Toronto leading its climate policy. She has an Honours Bachelors of Environment, and Masters of Global Environmental Governance from the University of Waterloo.







A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency

  • Date: Thursday, February 9, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • Location: via Zoom only
  • Zoom re-play:  7:00 pm Feb 14

Seth Klein explores how we can align our politics and economy with what the science says we must do to address the climate crisis. But Klein brings an original and uniquely hopeful take to this challenge. His book and talks are structured around lessons from the Second World War – the last time Canada faced an existential threat. Canada’s wartime experience, Klein contends, provides an inspirational reminder that we have done this before. We have mobilized in common cause across class, race and gender, and entirely retooled our economy in the space of a few short years.

Lecturer - Seth Klein


Seth is Team Lead with the Climate Emergency Unit. He served for 22 years as the British Columbia director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, a columnist with Canada's National Observer and adjunct professor with Simon Fraser University.



So Global Warming is Real, Now What Are We Going to Do About It?  

  • Date: Thursday, February 16, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • Location: via Zoom only
  • Zoom re-play:  7:00 pm Feb 21

While it is now recognized that human-induced global warming is real there is little agreement on solutions. Meaningful reductions in CO2 emissions combined with expansion of natural and industrial CO2 sequestration are required but not much is actually happening. The world's largest emitters and producers have signficant investments in coal-fired power plants and oil/gas extraction facilities. This will not change significantly in the next few decades.  Large emissions reductions in Canada will not change the global emissions picture but would have an outsized domestic economic impact. In this lecture we discuss potential roles for Canada in the global climate issue, focusing on sequestration aspects.

Lecturers - Timothy Dixon and Jackie Dixon


 T. H. Dixon is a professor at the University of South Florida and studies earthquakes, subsidence, flooding and the Greenland ice sheet. He received the Woollard award from the Geological Society of America in 2010 and is the author of Curbing Catastrophe, published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.


Jacqueline Dixon (Professor) served as Dean (College of Marine Science, USF) from 2011-2020. She received her BS (1981) and MS (1983) in Geology from Stanford University, and her PhD (1992) in Geochemistry from Caltech. She studies Earth’s deep CO2 and water cycles that provide CO2 to the