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Science Global Warming & Climate Change

How to Be a Climate Optimist

Blueprints for a Better World

by (author) Chris Turner

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
May 2022
Global Warming & Climate Change, Green Business, Environmental Policy
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price

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From the National Business Book Award winner and GG finalist, a very different book about facing the climate crisis, and what awaits us on the other side.

Chris Turner has reported from the places where the sustainable future first emerged—from green islands in Denmark and green office parks in southern India, to solar panel factories in California and idealistic intentional communities from Scotland to New Mexico. Here, he condenses the first quarter century of the global energy transition into bite-sized chunks of optimistic reflection and reportage, telling a story of a planet in peril and a global effort already beginning to save it. This is a book that moves past the despair and futile anger over ecological collapse and harnesses that passion toward the project of building a twenty-first century quality of life that surpasses the twentieth-century version in every way. How to Be a Climate Optimist overflows with possibility in a moment of great panic, upheaval and uncertainty over a world on fire.

About the author

Chris Turner is one of Canada’s leading writers and speakers on sustainability and the global cleantech industry. He is also the author of the bestseller The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need (Random House), a Globe & Mail Best Book of the Year and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction, the Alberta Literary Award for Nonfiction, and the National Business Book Award. Turner’s first book was the international bestseller Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation. His feature writing has earned seven National Magazine Awards. He lives in Calgary with his wife, the photographer Ashley Bristowe, and their two children. Connect with him on Twitter @TheTurner.

Chris Turner's profile page


  • Winner, Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing
  • Long-listed, National Business Book Award
  • Short-listed, Lane Anderson Award

Editorial Reviews


“The climate debate is inherently pessimistic, and while Chris Turner doesn’t pretend that crafting policy to slow global warming is easy, he presents a compelling argument: gloom and doom is not an effective strategy. How to Be a Climate Optimist is a self-help guide for the planet and a masterclass in brisk, vivid storytelling. Turner gives us a crisp, upbeat tour d’horizon of gee-whiz innovation coupled with a strongly argued case that we—politicians, voters and citizens—just need the will to reach for the solutions taking shape before our eyes.” —2023 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Jury

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