Three Seasons to enjoy - and bonus episodes to watch for Summer 2023
Something Different This Way Comes
Oct. 25, 2022

2.4 The Places You’ll Go - featuring Paul Berger

2.4 The Places You’ll Go - featuring Paul Berger

Thunder Bay hybrid then electric car owner experience; personal carbon budgeting - get to net zero on your own terms; the sad tale of the Memorial Bike Lane proposal; the 4 scientifically proven keys to happiness; getting to our cleaner, kinder, safer fu...

Thunder Bay hybrid then electric car owner experience; personal carbon budgeting - get to net zero on your own terms; the sad tale of the Memorial Bike Lane proposal; the 4 scientifically proven keys to happiness; getting to our cleaner, kinder, safer future faster; the pleasures of leading by example

Paul referenced: 
The Future We Choose: surviving the climate crisis by Christina Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
Electrify: an optimist's playbook for our clean energy future by Saul Griffith
From What Is to What If: unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want by Rob Hopkins

Produced, performed, recorded, composed and financed by Heather McLeod in Thunder Bay Ontario Canada. Lyrics & chords to The Places You'll Go (with thanks to Dr. Seuss) on the related blog also here on





(Actually this is the script I prepared and my notes as I edited the conversation with Paul - not a transcription per se)

I saw a familiar face at the electric vehicle community show.

It was the second show I’ve heard of in town, and the first I’ve gone to. 

Held at the CLE inside because, you know: electric. No toxic fumes.

No roaring engines.

Actually I saw a few familiar faces, but only one that I asked to record a conversation with me about electric vehicles.

Because I think he is as little into cars-  as such - as I am.

I am the person who may need to resort to clicking my automatic lock in a parking lot in order to identify which vehicle is mine when it flashes its lights and beeps at me.

And not just a recently acquired rental vehicle or something,

This is something I have resorted to for a car I have been driving for years.

I am nerdy about a lot of things, but cars are not one of them.

Yet I took a few precious hours out of a Saturday to go to the electric vehicle car show.

And one of the reasons I went, was because this show is a community show

Owners, not out sell anyone anything, showing up to share their experience

As Thunder Bayers who own electric vehicles, some of them for years

Many winters experience.

Right there to answer your questions, let you sit behind the wheel if you want.

They had info sheets on their windshields that shared details like

The mileage promised in the promo when they bought their car

And the mileage they actually experienced

And how much more electricity charging their vehicle costs them

And how much the cold impacts performance, in their experience, as Thunder Bay drivers

I like information without a sales motivation.

Anyway, among the cars and their owners I spotted Paul Berger.

I invited Paul to be my guest on this episode 

because I think the reasons he was at that show,

with his new electric vehicle, 

are a lot like the reasons I was at that show trying to learn what I need to know

 in order to stop driving a fossil-fuel burning combustion engine vehicle as soon as possible.

Now there is a lot more related to Climate Action I could talk to Paul Berger about

Beyond his car

He is a passionate activist and educator who thinks a lot about what good looks like, 

and then he does a lot to help change things

He is an associate professor at Lakehead University in the department of Education

That’s where I caught up with him one lunch hour for this conversation.

He is an active member of many activist organizations,

 from Diversity Thunder Bay to Poverty Free Thunder Bay 

and Citizens for a Sustainable Planet.

I have gotten to know him through sitting on a Citizen’s Advisory Council for the City

 on Climate Action over the past few years.

In other words, I could talk to Paul Berger about many things, for a long time.

Starting with the collection of books behind his desk that caught my eye as soon as I 

Stepped in his office

And makes my own Bookshelf of Hope look modest in comparison.

But I only asked for half an hour of his time, so I had to focus.

 And promise myself - I can always ask him back for another episode.

So I started by asking Paul Berger what motivated him to buy his new electric vehicle




(ev to not burn fossil fuel or finance fossil fuel companies

First a hybrid to burn less

Personal carbon budgeting, mapping your own path to net 0 2050

Then looking for ways to get there faster

The power of leading by example

The impact of neighbourhood infill

The sad tale of the Memorial Ave bike lane proposal - needed for the people who will become cyclists

Dreaming of a great public transit system in Thunder Bay

We know where we need to be by 2050 - let’s get going now

And gain the benefits of being first

Property tax limitations and the seeds of our civic sprawl

Imagining opportunities to unlock in underservices and underused homes

Spend $225 a year more to get free & better transit, 

and save so much more by not needing a vehicle.

Focusing on the inequality crisis we have, rather than the affordability crisis we do not have

Matching basic income with fully funded essentials: food, shelter, medicine & education

Getting the Fossil Fuel companies to foot the bill

Create communities that give us what we need: connection, learning, being active & giving

Thinking proactively to mitigate disaster and minimize foreseeable losses

Building our radically better future ASAP

Building security, community and happiness

A cleaner, nicer place to live and raise kids

How best to patch the boat we are all in together: shared

Busting the myth of innate laziness

And calling for Basic Income now!)

And the places a conversation can go!

I mean we started with his journey from combustion to hybrid to electric

And invested a good fifteen minutes of our half hour in that starting place

But then we moved to how much cheaper these greener solutions are to operate

Once you make the move from fossil to futurex

Not just cheaper, but better. More connected, more secure, healthier and happier

And how good it feels when we move from knowing change is needed

To accomplishing that change


I mean public transit - 

 I mean Thunder Bay has such a history in public transit

Building buses and trains and streetcars that people ride in cities all over the world

We should be showcasing that savvy right here where we build those vehicles


Paul & I got so fired up, so excited to see these good changes coming

Paul said the science of happiness names four keys to happiness:

Connection to the people around you, 

The opportunity to learn, the opportunity to be active

The opportunity to give, to contribute

We can do that. Why wait until I am in my eighties in 2050

Let’s get started now, do all that we can.

I can’t wait!

I think I’ll feel like Paul feels in his new ev, knowing he is not burning fossil fuels

Or profiting those fossil fuel companies who have successfully convinced us to put off change

For the last 30 or 40 years of excessive carbon emissions.

Every time we finally make one of those changes - oh, how good that will feel


Here is the song I wrote for this Oh The Places You’ll Go edition

Of Something Different This Way Comes

In full:

Thank you to Paul Berger for that conversation.

It was inspiring. 

And thank you for listening.

If you enjoy this podcast, if you would like to help me keep it going

Give it a good review, recommend it, follow it. 

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Just the cost of a coffee, if you would be glad to treat me to a cup, would be great.

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Next weekend is an imaginerium

Of the neighbourhoods we need

And how to get there