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Conscient podcast: Art, science and climate leadership

Listen to the full podcast here.

In a June 2024 interview we spoke with Claude Schreyer from the Conscient podcast about art, science, climate change and many many things in between.

From Conscient:


  • I luckily managed to move from a space of ‘I have to save the planet or else’ (and we talk about that word ‘save’) to ‘I choose to commit my life to climate change in the best way I can’ because everything that matters to me in this world stands to be lost in a climate crisis, especially one that would play out in a very severe and apocalyptic way. (Katrine)

  • Having this I would say a calm perspective from artists, helping us get in touch with our feelings, simply, I found it to be a stabilizing force. (Sébastian)

Katrine Claassens is an artist, writer and environmental communications specialist. She has a Master's degree in Climate Change from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and an Honours degree in Visual Art from Stellenbosch University. 

Katrine’s work reflects her interests in climate change, deep ecology, urban ecology, and internet memes. As an artist she has led workshops, given public lectures and curated exhibitions all over the world from the Arctic to Antarctica. As a climate communications specialist Katrine works with governments, think-tanks, academia and NGOs to navigate complex and shifting landscapes but first and foremost I would say that Katrine is an artist, an activist and a climate leader.

Sébastian Méric de Bellefon is an engineer with a background in software development. He has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Institut Supérieur d’Électronique de Paris, and a Master’s degree in biochemistry and genetics from Université de Montréal. 

After working in other industries as a software developer and consultant - banking, online radio, healthcare - and so he met Katrine and became a nerd about all things related to climate science and decarbonization pathways. 

Three years ago, he started a new career path writing software for clean energy companies, first at General Power Systems to create Virtual Power Plants and now at Power Factors to streamline the operations of wind and solar farms. 

I first met Katrine at an online Creative Climate Leadership alumni meeting, a course I took in March 2020, organized by Julie’s Bicycle in the UK, where Katrine mentioned that she had immigrated to Canada from South Africa and like myself, as was an art and climate activist and so we decided to meet in Montreal, where I met her husband Sebastian and after a delicious vegan meal I asked if the two of them would be willing to record a conscient episode. They agreed and we talked for an hour while finishing off a bottle of homemade dandelion wine. 

I love Katrine’s current work on social media’s representation of nature, for example:

  • My practice is looking a lot at the internet and memes and how nature is consumed or understood or contextualized through TikTok videos and YouTube videos and memes on Instagram. 

Near the end I mentioned that our conversation reminded me of the CBC Radio show Brave New Waves in the 1980s in Montreal that took place over night and where guests from various backgrounds had long winding conversations…

During the conversation the following links were mentioned:

Katrine mentioned the following books during the conversations:

Sébastian recommended the following books about ‘S-Curve’ (technological transitions)

Note: after the conversation Sébastian offered this further information about s-curves.

‘Here's an introduction to adoption of S-curves and Wright’s law in the context of clean energy. S-curves refers to the pace of adoption, and Wright's law refers to the diminishing manufacturing costs due to cumulative learning.

"Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition" - Oxford 2021

This paper shows how core low-carbon technologies fit a common and predictable adoption/learning pattern, and how this pattern differs from fossil fuels. Then they estimate the cost of a full transition to renewable energy, and compare it to other possible pathways.

Technologies include solar PV, wind turbines, batteries and hydrogen electrolyzers. The latter can be useful for electricity storage, but I find it even more interesting for fuels (e.g e-methanol for cargo shipping), fertilizers and chemical feedstocks (often derived from natural gas). So the conclusions of this paper can be somewhat extended beyond the energy system.’



Here is a link for more information on season 5

Please note that, in parallel with the production of the conscient podcast and it's francophone counterpart, balado conscient, I publish a Substack newsletter called ‘a calm presence' which are 'short, practical essays about collapse acceptance, adaptation, response and art’. To subscribe (free of charge) see You'll also find a podcast version of each a calm presence posting on Substack or one your favorite podcast player.

Also. please note that a complete transcript of conscient podcast and balado conscient episodes from season 1 to 4 is available on the web version of this site (not available on podcast apps) here:

Your feedback is always welcome at and/or on conscient podcast social media: FacebookXInstagram or Linkedin

I am grateful and accountable to the earth and the human labour that provided me with the privilege of producing this podcast, including the toxic materials and extractive processes behind the computers, recorders, transportation systems and infrastructure that made this production possible. 

Claude Schryer


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