He Sold a Message of Climate Doom. He Has Regrets.

Once nicknamed “Green Jesus,” Steven Guilbeault began his career as an extreme climate activist — scaling towers, chaining himself to oil equipment and getting arrested multiple times. Now he is Canada’s minister of environment and climate change. In that role, he’s had to change his absolutist approach, even making some decisions he doesn’t actually believe in. But he still considers himself an activist — just one pushing from the inside instead of the outside.

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(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

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“First Person” is produced by Olivia Natt, Wyatt Orme, Courtney Stein, Sophia Alvarez Boyd and Jillian Weinberger. It is edited by Kaari Pitkin and Stephanie Joyce, with help from Lisa Tobin. Mixing and original music by Carole Sabouraud and Isaac Jones. Fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker. Special thanks to Kristina Samulewski, Shannon Busta, Kate Sinclair, Jeffrey Miranda, Paula Szuchman, Allison Benedikt, Kathleen Kingsbury and Sam Dolnick.