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THE PANDEMIC AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Can COVID-19 get us to respond to the climate crisis?

The international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while uneven, has shown that humans can react quickly when their health is threatened. 

Another great threat to humanity – and to the planet – is climate change. But unlike COVID-19’s immediate threat, most people and governments have been unwilling to take action against what feels for many like a future threat whose current impacts may be less apparent (although we know that vulnerable populations around the world are already suffering disproportionately from the impacts of climate change). We can talk about future actions, but don’t do too much now that might be expensive or inconvenient. 

So, is it time to rethink and reframe climate change as a threat to public health?

Thirty years ago, a group of Vancouverites wrote Clouds of Change, perhaps the first civic study of global warming. It forecast all the events we now see — rising temperatures, sea-level rise, even the melting of the permafrost in Canada’s northern tundra. It was adopted by the Vancouver City Council in June 1990 and helped shape some public policies. Then it was forgotten.

But some of its creators are still around. We want to celebrate two of them, urbanist and former Vancouver City Councillor Gord Price and economist/entrepreneur Michael Brown. They’ve been thinking about how we might respond to climate change as a public health issue. We’ll also hear from two of the new generation of activists who will have to deal with the life-threatening impacts of climate change well into the future: Adriana Laurent-Seibt, the project administrator for UBC Climate Hub, and Rebecca Hamilton, a core organizer of Sustainabiliteens.

Then it’s your turn to express your opinion, make observations and ask questions. It’s a conversation! 

If you’d like to do a bit of preparation, click here to read the original Clouds of Change report. We recommend reading the Executive Summary on page i-iv (page 31-34 of the PDF file).



Registration and Password

A password to access this webinar will be sent to all registrants via email in the days and hours preceeding the event.

Technology requirements

This workshop will be presented in a participatory webinar format. To engage fully you will need:

  • A laptop, computer, or smartphone
  • A webcam
  • A microphone
  • Speakers or headphones

Protecting your privacy

To ensure that we are using online meeting technology in a privacy-conscious way, we are following best practices for this online event series:

  • We will only circulate the meeting link to those who are registered for the event
  • We will password protect the meeting
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking
  • We will lock the meeting at 12:10pm
  • We will ask that participants use their first and last name as their display name on the webinar, so we can check incoming participants against the event registration list

To protect your own privacy we suggest that:

  • You use a unique email address to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference your profile with the rest of your digital profiles under your email address.
  • We suggest you do not use your Facebook profile to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference you with your Facebook account.
  • We remind you that whatever you say in the webinar is public and recorded, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others we ask that:

  • You do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the webinar, unless permission is requested and given.

We also ask that you respect our community guidelines:

  • Be as present as possible (turn video on, put away phone, close/mute tabs).
  • Thoughtful questions are welcome in the chat throughout the session. If your question is for a particular speaker, type “@name” at the beginning.
  • Don’t assume pronouns/gender/knowledge based on someone’s name or video image. We can refer to people using the usernames they provide!
  • Step up, step back: if you’ve asked a question or shared a comment, ensure that new voices are heard before you contribute again.
  • Practice self-care: if you need to get up or take a break, please feel free.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this event’s accessibility or privacy, feel free to connect with us at


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM



A link to join the webinar will be sent to registrants via Eventbrite.

We respectfully acknowledge that this event takes place on the Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm First Nations.

Can't make it?

Watch our livestream of the event and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #CityConv

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