An Oak Bay climate scientist turned politician returns to his roots, resurrecting his role as an outspoken expert on the topic.
Andrew Weaver, former MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and leader of the BC Green Party, returns to writing, first shifting his website to his current focus, while leaving justified positions, speeches and essays as the first Green elected to a Canadian provincial legislature, on the site.
“I believe it is critical for elected officials to preserve their public records for archival/historical purposes and so I have no intentions of deleting any of my past posts on this site,” he said in the first post in more than a year.
Weaver archived the website and associated Facebook page in 2020 when the provincial election was announced marking the end of his second term as MLA. Weaver served two terms and did not seek reelection in 2020. He stepped down as party leader at the start of that year.
Before that, and now again, his primary role is as a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria.
“I’m concerned about the public discourse on climate, it’s just in the gutter,” Weaver said. “What we need is level-headed solutions.
To that end, while returning to UVic to teach second- and third-year courses, he’s working on his writing, returning to the blog (and associated Facebook page).
“I’ve published (academic papers) very extensively. We don’t need more science to tell us what the problem is, we need solutions, so my focus is those,” Weaver said.
He previously wrote Keeping Our Cool: Canada in a Warming World (Penguin, 2008) and is now working on the already titled A Climate for Hope.
The title symbolizes the approach he’s come to after years in the field. From 1985 through 2013 or so, he clashed with the “so-called deniers” who argued climate change wasn’t happening. Those are hard to find now, he said. Every environmental challenge can be viewed through two lenses, he said, despair or opportunity. He chooses the latter.
“Extremism does not advance solutions,” Weaver said, critical of the hard right and hard left.
The key is to find co-benefits of doing something. For example, the breadth of benefits of active transportation, where more movement in the walking, cycling and even skateboarding commute means less noise, pollution and fuel costs while positively impacting health and related costs.
“When you focus on talking about positives and co-benefits you can actually take people with you.”
The blog is in mid-name change but can be found at www.aclimateforhope.com.
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