Armchair Book Club: The Geography of Hope and The Leap by Chris Turner

Columnist Heather Allen reviews the latest books by Chris Turner, who is the keynote speaker at this year's Meadowlark Festival.

Environmentalist and author Chris Turner is the keynote speaker for this year’s Meadowlark Festival.

Columnist Heather Allen reviews the latest books by Chris Turner, who is the keynote speaker at this year’s Meadowlark Festival.

Is it time to stop arguing about who is on the right and wrong side of the climate change debate?

Chris Turner, the award-winning author of The Geography of Hope, will be in Penticton on May 15 to share his alternate and positive take on creating a sustainable future.

“It’s probably a much more polarized debate than it needs to be,” Turner says of the current rhetoric. “We need to get past that, and invent a different future.”

Turner is a writer, speaker and strategist who champions sustainability while living in the heart of big oil country, Calgary Alberta.

Turner’s Penticton talk will be based largely on his books The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need and its sequel The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy, which propose new ways of thinking about the future, the green revolution and sustainability.

Most people won’t change their habits for the good of the planet. But Turner argues that this inertia is easier to overcome when a new technology is better for the planet, and also the best solution for humans, our workplace and our economy.

“Tesla is an encouraging example of the right kind of change,” he said of the high-performance electric car. People want to drive it, because it’s one of the best cars on the road.

Turner has hope that we will find new ways to solve problems and organize systems.

“Ventures that I reported on in my first book (The Geography of Hope) have gone from fringe shoots of possibility to becoming fully adopted and mainstream.”

A widely-respected journalist, Turner has written for publications such as The Globe and Mail, The Guardian and Time Magazine. He is the winner of seven Canadian National Magazine Awards, and was a Governor General’s Award finalist for The Geography of Hope.

In addition, Turner is the author of The War on Science, an extended essay regarding the current government’s unfriendly relationship with scientists. “It’s a gloomier book,” explains Turner. “But important in this, an election year.” Turner has also just published How to Breathe Underwater, a collection of magazine articles that trace the evolution of his career from reporting on the industry to sustainability issues.

Turner will be the keynote speaker at the opening gala of this year’s Meadowlark Festival. “We want the evening to be entertaining and light-hearted, and love the fact that Chris’ talk is positive and his message so hopeful and optimistic,” said Jayme Friedt, festival coordinator.

Turner will deliver his keynote speech at the Meadowlark Festival’s fundraising opening gala. For tickets and more information about Turner and the festival, call 250-492-5275 or visit online.


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