Climate change is the environmental, political, and societal challenge of our time.
Yet some of us throw up our hands and say Canada is a cold country that only produces 2% of global emissions and we need our oil-and-gas industry—nothing can or should be done. Others argue just as vehemently that we are doomed unless we radically reduce emissions by keeping our resources in the ground and turning our backs on economic growth. Meanwhile our governments talk about the need for an energy transition and achieve little. The truth is that we do have a climate problem, we do need fossil fuels (for the foreseeable future), and we do have to make changes. The good news, argues Andrew Leach in the first inaugural McGill/Max Bell Lecture, is that we have the tools and the power to make a real difference. The question is: are we up to the challenge?