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Annual Sheperd Family Lecture at Trent University to Address How the Shift from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy Will Impact Canada


Award-winning author and sustainability strategist to discuss environmental, social and economic impact of oil sands October 3

Monday, October 2, 2017

Award-winning author and sustainability strategist, Chris Turner, will discuss the many impacts of Alberta’s oil sands, and what is next for the region and the country, at the Sheperd Family Lecture on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in Market Hall, with a talk titled, The Global Energy Transition and Canada’s Energy Paradox.

The global economy is undergoing the greatest transformation since the industrial age as it shifts from an energy regime built on fossil fuels to one run by low-carbon energy. This transition underscores the central paradox of Canada's national identity as a resource-driven economy with a population that has placed a high value on environmental stewardship. Mr. Turner has documented this energy transition for more than a decade and will share his analysis of the transition. He will further explain where the energy transition will lead, what Canada's energy future looks like, and how the path to that future will reconfigure the fabric of Canadian society.

"The oil sands are an economic driver in Canada, but their carbon intensity is at odds with our need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases in the next few decades," said Dr. Stephen Hill, professor in the Trent School of the Environment. "Mr. Turner has a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of this paradox and is a fantastic writer and communicator. We’re really fortunate to have him in Peterborough delivering the Sheperd Family lecture.”

Mr. Turner is the best-selling author of The Leap and The Geography of Hope. His latest novel, The Patch, is an analysis of the impact on the conventional energy economy due to the transition to renewable energy. The Patch will be on sale during the lecture. 

About the Sheperd Family Lecture

The David Sheperd Family Lecture Series introduces Trent students and faculty, and members of the Peterborough community to leading scholars and people engaged in policy and practical work in the field of environmental science. The goal of the series is to build on the University’s reputation of leadership in Environmental Science/Studies.

About Trent University

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.


Kate Weersink, media relations & strategic communications officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or

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