01. Author Chris Turner on taking the green energy leap
Blog: 01. Green Energy: Chris Turner takes a leap
Author Chris Turner calls it “the great leap sideways, the big jump we all need to take that leads to the brightest possible future.”
The leap Turner is referring to is to replace non-renewable energy with renewable energy in the next 50 years. “We need to move to wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, some small scale hydro, maybe some large scale hydro, and maybe some nuclear.”
Inspired by the attention that wasn’t being paid to climate change Turner started writing about solutions instead of problems.
And that is the idea and purpose behind the Green Energy Futures series. We will seek out and tell the stories of people engaged with green energy solutions in their homes, businesses and government.
My own inspiration for the series came while serving on the City of Edmonton’s Renewable Energy Task Force. I was very surprised to learn about all of the exciting green energy initiatives that we don’t hear about. I realized that interest in green energy is very high and that it cuts across traditional ideological lines.
Chris Turner inspired many people with his first book, The Geography of Hope. Like his latest book The Leap, it’s focused on telling the stories of the people who are succeeding in implementing green energy solutions. We caught up with Chris Turner in Calgary, Alberta.
“The core idea in The Leap is going all the way in your thinking,” explains Turner.
“The grand narrative of the industrial revolution is in some ways about people seizing opportunity,” said Turner. Today that opportunity is in renewable energy where not only can we seize a sizable economic opportunity but avoid catastrophe at the same time.
Whether motivated by climate change, the finite nature of non-renewable resources like oil or a sense of pragmatism that sees diversification of the global energy supply as a good idea, we are in the midst of a great energy transformation.
Podcast: How Germany transitioned to renewable power
Germany is the best worldwide example of a country that has made the leap to renewable energy. In 10 years it's gone from 6.7 per cent to 20 per cent of its electricity provided by renewable energy. What did it cost regular Germans?
Podcast: Chris Turner on the possibilities of high speed rail
Learn how Spain went from having one of Europe's worst rail systems to one of the best and the effect it had on their carbon footprint.
These resources relate to this episode. They may be helpful in many ways, but we list them only for your information. This is not an endorsement of any of these programs, services or organizations and we make no guarantees about the products or services these companies or organizations may offer.
Tim Weis on green energy in Canada
Tim Weis helps us understand what sustainable, or green energy looks like in Canada and asks the question how far can we go? Weis is the director of renewable energy with the Pembina Institute. GO >
Greening the Grid in Alberta
In Greening the Grid, Tim Weis and Jeff Bell of the Pembina Institute present an analysis of Alberta's power production and energy efficiency opportunities and demonstrate the massive roles that renewable energy and improved efficiency can play in the future - PDF GO >
Fact Sheet: How Feed-In Tariffs Maximize the Benefits of Renewable Energy
Feed-in tariffs have consistently demonstrated that they are, to date, the most effective mechanism to stimulate a rapid, sustained and diverse deployment of renewable energy. Read this Pembina Institute fact sheet to get data and analysis on this subject - PDF GO >
The Geography of Hope
The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need - Hardcover - By Chris Turner - Buy it from Amazon.ca
In the Geography of Hope Chris Turner turns the usual enviro-schtick on its ear. Instead of doom and gloom it's hope and optimism as he travels the world discovering and chronicling the stories of the people and places who are getting it right when it comes to sustainability.
The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy - Hardcover - By Chris Turner - Buy it from Amazon.ca.
In The Leap Chris Turner walks us through what the near-term future will look and feel like for those people and places that are embracing the green energy revolution.
In this video interview Tim Weis helps us understand what sustainable or green energy looks like in Canada and asks the question how far can we go? We explore the lessons learned in Germany, Alberta's early advantage and the situation in Ontario. Tim Weis is the director of renewable energy and efficiency for the Pembina Institute
Green Energy with Chris Turner and Calgary - Flickr Slide Show
Leaping to renewable energy: Author offers roadmap for next industrial revolution - Edmonton Journal
Find out how Spain was able to get one of the best high-speed rail systems in the world running in less than a generation and avoid the backlash that usually happens with these projects - Fresno Bee
In the German suburb of Vauban, life goes on without cars - Washington Post
The effect of the feed-in tariff on the formerly run down town of Bitterfeld, Germany - New York Times
The New Grand Tour. Chris Turner takes us through Europe where new ideas and new technologies are making it more sustainable than ever - The Walrus