Climate Solutions for a Hopeful Planet, a 4-part series

This event is offered in-person and livestream
Tuesdays September 19th to October 10th, 1:30 – 3:30

picture by Deb Woods
Photo credit: Deb Woods

This 4-part series featuring Bob McDonald, CBC host of Quirks and Quarks, is being presented in person at Grace United Church and livestreamed.  It will also be recorded, and available for four weeks after the series.  Cost:  $40.  Scroll down to purchase in-person or livestream tickets.

For many of us, worry about climate focuses on what the world will look like for our children and grandchildren.  We need to know about climate solutions, and how we can contribute at both societal and personal levels to make the planet healthier for them. This series is about hope in the face of real urgency.  Solutions do exist.  Here’s how we can make a difference.

Climate Change 101 – a case for urgency

September 19: Caroline Taylor, Climate Change for Lifelong Learners (CALL)

This presentation is a walk through the basics of climate change, with an emphasis on building understanding of the urgency of the fight to limit climate change.  We will explore and connect the themes that get referenced in news articles and other media.  Caroline will provide a great overview of:

  • What’s happening about climate
  • World action – COP meetings, IPCC
  • What could happen?
  • Canada – closer to home
  • How to turn this around

The Future is Now: Solving the Climate Crisis with Today’s Technologies  (By Zoom)

September 26: Bob McDonald, Host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks

Is a global pandemic what it took to show us that saving our planet is possible? In the absence of motorized boats and gondolas, Venice’s waters returned to a sparkling blue color. Deer were spotted roaming cities in Italy, and mountain goats took over a small seaside town in Wales. Taking advantage of the decreased boat traffic, whales returned to roaming Vancouver’s harbours. The absence of “regular” human activities has dramatically affected our environment. In his recent book, Bob McDonald turned his focus to global energy sources, and shows how the global shutdowns may have been exactly what we needed to show us that a greener future is achievable.

This talk, based on his book, is an exploration of the incredible technologies that our species can use to get out of the mess we’ve made for ourselves. It is immensely optimistic, to counteract the sense of doom that hangs over most discussions of the environment.

Many alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal have been available for decades—but they alone will not be enough. Additional power will come from small nuclear reactors the size of an office desk, and space-based solar power satellites with enormous mirrors that can capture sunlight, convert it to microwaves, and beam it to the ground to light up entire cities. Energy will be captured from waves, tides, and hydrogen. Vehicles will no longer have tailpipes that emit smog particles. Food will be sourced locally.

Green technology is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and will only continue to skyrocket as current products improve their performance and new products emerge. A new green age is upon us.

Nature as Cure: For the People and For the Planet

October 3: David Hawke, Naturalist, Photographer and Writer

David will share his personal experiences of finding “peace and contentment” within Nature, while balancing his concerns and worries about the possible outcomes of a degraded natural environment. His revealing pictures of Nature’s beautiful nuances will inspire others to be aware to look a little closer, to appreciate a little more, and to consider actions that will lead to a better relationship between people and the natural world.

Making Climate Action Local

October 10: Margaret Prophet, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition

Climate action is often seen as a global issue that leaves many feeling unsure of how they can make a difference.  The good news is that climate action is extremely local and making it so creates healthier, more affordable and just communities.  In this presentation, Margaret will outline how citizens can take this global issue local.  From protecting local green spaces and bodies of water to making communities more age friendly, she will outline key changes that can make an impact for you, your family and the planet.   A blend of practicality, science and hope, her presentation will guide you away from despair and into effective action. 

October 10: Andee Pelan, Living Green Barrie’s 10 Action Steps

Living Green recently undertook a strategic planning process to try to identify which “Green” initiatives we should focus on. Unanimously, we agreed that climate action needs to be first and foremost.  We have been creating programs and initiatives that are designed to get the average person engaged in climate action. In particular, we are trying to bring Climate Change out of the realm of the government’s responsibility and into the household-level by helping people to understand what they personally can do to reduce their carbon footprint.

Behaviour changes in a society do not happen overnight. Messaging needs to be short, clear, targeted and repeated. We released 10 Actions for Climate and our plan is to assign each of these actions to a specific month of the year then focus events and messaging within that month, then repeat again every year after that in that same month.  Climate Change is a huge problem. So huge it can be overwhelming. This can lead to inaction. Andee will engage you to take small actions so you can see yourself as being part of the big solution. 

Environmental ‘Marketplace’

As an added bonus on October 10th, several local environmental groups will join us at Grace United Church for a ‘marketplace’.  During an extended break, the in-person audience will have an opportunity to browse through their displays and learn about opportunities to volunteer, donate, and take action as well as enjoy the usual tea, coffee and treats with Grandmothers and Grandothers.

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By booking this event you can attend all occurrences. Some of them are listed below but there might be more.
2023-09-19 - 2023-10-10
Climate Solutions for a Hopeful Planet - In Person
Available Tickets: 100

$40 for the 4 Part Series In person at Grace United Church, Barrie

The "Climate Solutions for a Hopeful Planet - In Person" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Climate Solutions for a Hopeful Planet - Livestream
Available Tickets: 292

$40 for the 4 Part Series Livestream

The "Climate Solutions for a Hopeful Planet - Livestream" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Total: 0


September 19, 2023 - October 10, 2023


4 Tuesday Afternoons
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm




Grace United Church & Livestream
More Info


  • Andee Pelan
    Andee Pelan

    Andee Pelan is the Executive Director of Living Green Barrie. She is an ISA Certified Arborist with degrees in Cultural Anthropology & Environmental Studies and diplomas in Forestry & Ecosystem Restoration. With over 30 years of experience in the environmental sector, she has worked in the fields of forestry and ecotourism in BC and the Yukon. Before joining Living Green in 2019, she managed community stewardship programs for the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. Her strangest resume item is that she has a Commercial Submarine Pilots license. In the handful of hours that Andee isn’t working for Living Green, she plays Roller Derby under the pseudonym ‘Miss Terplow’. Andee is also a self-professed “really bad gardener with really good intentions”.

  • Bob McDonald
    Bob McDonald

    Bob McDonald has been bringing science to the public for more than 40 years. In addition to hosting Quirks & Quarks, the award-winning science program that is heard by 800,000 people each week, McDonald is also science correspondent for CBC TV’s The National and host of the children’s series Heads Up. He was also host of the CBC Children’s series Wonderstruck. He has written and hosted numerous television documentaries and more than 100 educational videos in Canada and the United States. As a writer, he has authored six bestselling science books including the 2022 Canadian bestseller, The Future is Now: Solving the Climate Crisis with Current Technology.

    McDonald is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. He has also been honoured for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of science within Canada. He was awarded the Michael Smith Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the “Sir Sanford Fleming Medal” from the Royal Canadian Institute, and the “McNeil Medal” from The Royal Society of Canada. He also won a 2008 Gemini Award for “Best Host in a Pre-School, Children’s or Youth Program or Series.” He holds twelve honorary doctorates from Canadian universities and two honorary diplomas from Canadian colleges and in 2015, asteroid 332324 was officially named bobmcdonald in his honour. Bob lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

  • Caroline Taylor
    Caroline Taylor

    Caroline Taylor’s mission is to help people understand the basics of climate change and to shine light on what each of us can do to make a difference. After retiring from a career in international marketing and communications, Caroline enjoyed having more time to learn about the world and current events in more depth. She credits the climate journalism in The Guardian for elevating her awareness of the urgency of climate change. She is a co-founder of Climate Change for Lifelong Learners (CALL), bringing lifelong learners into the fight against climate change by moving together from curiosity to knowledge to action.

  • David Hawke
    David Hawke

    David J. Hawke is a naturalist, photographer and writer well known to many in Simcoe County. He has shared his knowledge and love of nature with others for the past 45 years, from students visiting wildlife centres to guests staying at high-end resorts.
    David has recently been awarded the Ontario Woodlot Association’s Lorax Award, the Ontario Nature’s Richards education award, and the Huronia Woodland Owners’ White Pine Award.

    Third Age Barrie is grateful to David for allowing us to use some of his beautiful photographs for this series’ promotional materials.

  • Margaret Prophet
    Margaret Prophet

    Margaret Prophet is the Executive Director of the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition (SCGC). With other similarly minded Simcoe County organizations, Margaret founded this group in 2015. It has since grown to a membership of 42 organizational members representing thousands across the county. The focus of SCGC is to demand stronger protection of our natural spaces, water resources as well as promote healthier, low carbon communities. Her work at SCGC to preserve our green spaces and natural heritage was recognized by Ontario Nature by awarding her with the Steve Hounsell Greenway Award.