Spring 2019 series

All lectures are held at St. Paul's Centre, 62 Peter Street North, Orillia, ON.

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

There is No Plan(et) B: Climate Change and our Evolving Legacy

This is a lecture series in Lakehead's Third Age Learning initiative, a partnership between the Office of Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning and the Third Age Network.

Wednesday, May 22

9:30 a.m.


Climate Disruption: Looking Through our (Narrowing) Window of Opportunity


According to Naomi Klein, unchecked climate change poses a self-inflicted “existential crisis for the human species,” a “clear and present danger to civilization.” As we face the abyss of uncertainty about what the future holds for our species, we still have, in the present moment, an opportunity to decide what profoundly matters. Today we are afforded a learning opportunity, a window of critical self-determination, and a narrowing pass to resituate ourselves within healthier (human, constructed, and more-than-human) relationships. What are our restorative and subversive opportunities, final deadlines, and projected legacies?


A smiling dark haired woman with curly brown hair


Dr. Ellen Field teaches in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University and is a SSHRC Post-doctoral Fellow investigating climate change education in Canada through her project entitled “Climate Change Pedagogies in Uncertain Times.” She not only actively researched contemporary responses to climate change, but also facilitates professional development workshops for teachers on integrating climate action into teaching practice.

Wednesday, May 29

9:30 a.m.


Comprehending the Climate Crisis:  Rising to the ‘Defining Challenge of our Generation'


Climate change is real. And the science behind it has been understood for more than 150 years. But it's only in the last few decades that we've really witnessed its effects first-hand. And what's even more concerning it that these changes are accelerating at an alarming rate. Understanding the background science of climate change and the impacts which are being felt all over the world makes it easier to motivate people to work toward the solutions to combat it. And many of these solutions are economically viable and within our reach if we simply pledge ourselves to the cause. How can understanding the crisis help us rise to the challenges we face?


A man wearing a blue plaid shirt smiles at the camera. His hair is short.



Dr. Brad Dibble was appointed by the federal Minister of the Environment as one of 25 members to the Sustainable Development Advisory Council, a membership he still maintains. A Mentor for Climate Reality Canada, he has received training with Al Gore and endorsements from Col. Chris Hadfield for his work.  He has also written the award-winning book, Comprehending the Climate Crisis: Everything You Need to Know about Global Warming and and How to Stop It (2012)

Wednesday, June 5

9:30 a.m.


Sustainability is ‘Good Business’: The Three Real Reasons Businesses Want to Fix Climate Change


As individuals, we want to avoid climate destabilization for the sake of our families’ futures. Unfortunately, that justification for action does not always translate well in boardrooms and executive suites. So, why have companies finally decided to address climate change and not wait for governments or non-governmental organizations to fix it for them? This talk will reveal the three behind-the-scenes forces that are mobilizing for-profit enterprises to roll up their sleeves and help us address the biggest existential threat to human civilization on our fragile planet.  Can we also draw on these forces to mobilize ourselves?


An older man with white hair and wire rimmed glasses smiles at the camera



Dr. Bob Willard is a leading expert on quantifying the business value of sustainability strategies. He has given over a thousand presentations, has authored six books, and provides extensive resources for sustainability champions. He is an award-winning Certified B Corp, a Certified Sustainability Professional, and has a PhD in sustainability from the University of Toronto. He was one of the inaugural inductees into the International Society of Sustainability Professionals Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, June 12

9:30 a.m.


Climate Changes Everything: The State of Climate Policy in Ontario


Climate change is unquestionably affecting Ontarians in countless ways, and the sad state of climate policy in Ontario today exacerbates these affects.  Key issues often become buzzwords, and it is so important to understand the concepts of carbon pricing, energy conservation, and urban sprawl, and how these affect us in our province.  How can we arm ourselves with the knowledge to become advocates for the protection of wetlands and woodlands, and actively engage with climate change as the informed citizens Ontario needs?


A professional woman with greying short hair is leaning against a tree, smiling



Dr. Dianne Saxe is president of Saxe Facts, a business providing strategic advice and presentations on climate, energy and environment. From 2015 to 2019, she was the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), reporting to the legislature on Ontario’s environmental, energy and climate performance, and acting as the guardian of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). Prior to her appointment, Dr. Saxe was one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers, with 40 years’ unparalleled experience writing, interpreting, and litigating Ontario’s energy and environmental laws.

Wednesday, June 19

9:30 a.m.


Water Abuse: Is Watershed Protection the Solution to Climate Chaos?


Many see water scarcity as a subset of greenhouse gas emission-fuelled climate change. It is true that global warming is melting glaciers and warming lakes and rivers, but the way we treat water and soil negatively affects local hydrologic cycles and alters rain patterns and climate in serious ways. Humans have viewed water as a resource for our pleasure, convenience and profit, and have polluted, mismanaged and diverted the planet's water sources mercilessly. As a result, even if we were to curb every greenhouse gas emission tomorrow, we would still have a global water crisis. What is the nature of this crisis globally and here in Canada?  How can protecting not only water, but the soil, wetlands and forests that protect it, enable the ‘climate solution.’


An older woman dressed in a black suit jacket with white shirt is pictured, smiling.



Maude Barlow is the Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chair of Food and Water Watch. She is the recipient of 14 honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”). She has served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations, and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 18 books, including her latest, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever and Boiling Point: Government Neglect, Corporate Abuse, and Canada’s Water Crisis.



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