Barry Smit in a headshot against beige background
Barry Smit

In two pieces published Feb. 28 in The Globe and Mail, U of G professor emeritus Dr. Barry Smit offered commentary on the changing attitudes of farmers toward the existence of climate change and the move away from fossil fuels.

In his own piece, Smit compared the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy to similar changes of the past that humans quickly adopted upon discovering the benefits.

He reflected upon how the invention of the automobile surpassed the use of horses, and how fibreglass and other similar materials have replaced asbestos.

These transitions, he wrote, were born of scientific insights, technological developments and realizations of new business opportunities.

“At the moment, Canada is a laggard in the energy transition, and we are missing out on the economic benefits that arise,” he argued.

Smit, recently appointed to the Order of Canada, is professor emeritus of geography and a lead author in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.