News about climate change is almost always alarming, depressing, or both. But Tim Flannery believes there is qualified hope that things may get better. Mammalogist, paleontologist and novelist, he's also a world authority on climate: he led Australia's first federal commission on climate change (since disbanded), and now leads an independent climate council. Tim Flannery was in Toronto as part of a wider Spur speaking series, and later joined host Paul Kennedy in conversation. **This episode originally aired March 16, 2015
"There are dramatic changes that we're seeing in terms of renewable energy. And they are real game changers. If you think about my own country of Australia, back in 2007 – does anybody have a guess as to how many grid-connected solar panels we had on houses in Australia? It was about 8,000. Today... there are about 1.3 million. That's 15% of Australian houses run directly from the sun. That's something no one predicted. You should see the government projections for this. They were thinking we might have that many by about 2030. That's how badly wrong they were." -- Tim Flannery
Tim Flannery is one of the world's leading thinkers about climate change. An internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, Professor Flannery was named Australian of the Year in 2007. A well known presenter on ABC Radio, NPR and the BBC for more than a decade, and has also written and presented several series on the Documentary Channel including The Future Eaters (1998), Wild Australasia (2003), Islands in the Sky (1992) and Bushfire (1997). His books include Here on Earth (2010) and The Weather Makers (2005).