On Civil Society: Climate – TPL’s Commitment to Big Ideas

October 14, 2021 | Vickery Bowles

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On Civil Society: Climate is part of a year-long project that allows us to explore the ways that the climate is starting to affect and will continue to affect our lives. We’re presenting a series of virtual interviews, panel discussions, presentations, workshops and even some field trips – with a special focus on water in many of its forms as well as its vital connection to every single one of us.

On Civil Society - Climate series image


Explore our On Civil Society: Climate series with programs focused on water: Oceans, Waterways and Wetlands.

Join us live for free online programs, or watch the replays on-demand, presented on the TPL Culture Crowdcast channel:


When was the last time you thought much about water? It’s something that most of us take for granted, expecting that it will always be there when we need it. We start our day with it, we stand under it, boil it, sprinkle it, dive into it, flush it, sip it and soak our feet in it. The very evolution of human beings goes hand in hand with the availability of water and it’s no exaggeration to say that civilizations that rose to power when they had access to water also collapsed when their water was gone. But how many of us spend more than a passing thought on it: where it comes from, where it goes after we are done with it, the life it sustains?

Luckily, there are those who do think about water. Obsessively, in fact. They dive into the deepest water in the oceans and explore the silent world where life thrives with little to no sunlight but plenty of water. Or they study the speed and scale at which the frozen water of the Arctic is disappearing – with particularly terrifying implications for the people who live there, and something that will affect everyone else who inhabits this planet. Or they look at how our great bodies of water – our oceans or rivers or lakes (even Lake Ontario) – are being ravaged and destroyed by the things we put into it. The messages these scientists, activists, writers, journalists and academics have is sobering.

Upcoming On Civil Society Programs

On Civil Society series image

In November, we will look at topics related to Climate and Urbanism, exploring and comparing how cities are preparing for a warmer planet and how some cities are already starting to feel its effects. 

In the spring, stay tuned for events that include Indigenous activists, scientists, journalists and others that discuss the unique perspectives, challenges and solutions that Indigenous communities bring to our changing climate. Later in 2022, we will explore the Inequalities of Climate Change; Borders, Trade and Consumerism; and Transportation and Movement.

Get engaged and inspired

Our aim in bringing you these informative and engaging conversations is to encourage action. Maybe you will want to join an NGO and donate your time to saving wild salmon. Or perhaps, you will be inspired by a virtual field trip where you can learn and see first-hand the damage that invasive species are doing to our Ontario wetlands.

We encourage you to take part in your own way. There are so many ways to participate: watch the conversations on our TPL Culture channel on Crowdcast (either live or the replay), join in the chat feed, ask questions, read books from our book lists, or go on a field trip. You can also follow up with one of our workshop or activity partners to learn more about what some of these Canadian and international NGOs are doing to mitigate changes coming to Earth, our home.

Engagement tools are built into many of our events, including polls, opinion questions and Civil Forums where we can learn more about the fundamentals of an issue before we jump into the discussion with experts. Our coordinated Field Trips allow you to see what climate activists, scientists and researchers are doing every day to keep our planet in check.

Read and Learn About Climate

TPL's Climate programs include leading experts, scientists and authors who have shared their knowledge, research and experiences in books. Here are just a few for you to explore.

You can check out these books and many more Climate-related titles in our On Civil Society - 2021 Reading List

Alexandra Morton - Not On My Watch

Not on My Watch: How a Renegade Whale Biologist Took on Governments and Industry to Save Wild Salmon by Alexandra Morton

Frauke Bagusche - Blue Wonder

The Blue Wonder: Why the Sea Glows, Fish Sing, and Other Astonishing Insights from the Ocean by Frauke Bagushe

Jill Heinerth - Into the Planet

Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver by Jill Heinerth

Learn more about TPL's On Civil Society series, which pushes boundaries, explores our differences, and takes you deeper into the issues affecting our world today.