The Banality of Oil is a book by Robert Shirkey, a Toronto-based lawyer and founder of the environmental non-profit Our Horizon, to be published in 2024. The book explores Robert’s proposal for governments to legislate climate change and air pollution warning labels for gas pumps. It also shares the personal journey behind his advocacy and the highs and lows that come with lobbying governments across North America. Enter your email below to be notified when the book is available for pre-order and save 15% off the cover price.


Robert Shirkey is a lawyer and founder of Our Horizon. His advocacy for government-mandated climate change disclosures (“warning labels”) for gas pumps has been featured in media all over the world. Robert is a recipient of Canada’s 2017 Clean50 Award, a Centre for Social Innovation & Green Shield Canada Foundation 2016 Agent of Change, and was inducted into the Friends of Europe’s prestigious European Young Leaders program in 2017. He also once rode his bicycle across Canada! Check out his full bio and TEDx talk at Our Horizon.


“I have never seen an idea as brilliant as this one. It’s very cost effective… I have to congratulate Mr. Shirkey on an absolutely outstanding job. This is the best thing that I’ve seen come across my desk in 10 years.”
>> Guelph City Councillor Bob Bell.

“I heard Rob speak at a Net Impact event for MBAs. The idea is elegantly simple and scalable.”
>> Rick Smith, prominent Canadian author and environmentalist.

“Warning people about the dangers of unchecked fossil fuel consumption at a primary point of purchase is a stroke of subversive genius. It would force us to consider the true cost of every tank of gas, not just the price per litre. It would challenge our willful blindness reflex.
>> Eric Rumble, Editor-in-Chief, Alternatives Journal.

“Rob is an eco-visionary who will stop at nothing to drive positive change.”
>> Brad Zarnett, Founder and Executive Director of The Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series.

“Rob gave an hour long guest lecture to my MBA class on his climate change labelling proposal. It was one of the most compelling talks I’ve seen in a while. There’s a lot more to the idea than is evident at first glance… I’m glad we got the full pitch.”
>> George Fleischmann, Lecturer at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

“Rob is a visionary who is not only looking to change the course of climate change, but our relationship with the environment. Through the Our Horizon initiative, Rob will revolutionize how we think about our environmental impact.”
>> Alex Meers, Director, Me to We Leadership Programs.

“Rob is a very engaging speaker and brings a refreshing and unique perspective to the discussion of climate change and social action… This talk is well constructed, visually appealing and engaging for diverse audiences.”
>> Dr. Erik Krogh, P.Chem., Co-Director, Applied Environmental Research Laboratories, Vancouver Island University.

“Labels on gas pumps? Brilliant!”
>> Tzeporah Berman, Canadian environmentalist, campaigner, and writer.



Have any questions? Want to book Robert to speak at your event? Thinking of sending us a big fat cheque to fund our global outreach strategy? Get in touch!


Our Horizon
c/o Centre for Social Innovation
720 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON, M5S-2R4

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