David Suzuki

Mon, 2012-03-12 12:59Guest
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Climate Change Denial Isn't About Science, or Even Skepticism

Cross-posted from the David Suzuki Foundation's Science Matters blog. By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Editorial and Communications Specialist Ian Hanington.

Let's suppose the world's legitimate scientific institutions and academies, climate scientists, and most of the world's governments are wrong.

Maybe, as some people have argued, they're involved in a massive conspiracy to impose a socialist world order. Maybe the money's just too damn good. It doesn't matter. Let's just imagine they're wrong, and that the polar ice caps aren't melting and the climate isn't changing. Or, if you prefer, that it's happening, but that it's a natural occurrence — nothing to do with seven billion people spewing carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere.

Would it still make sense to continue rapidly burning the world's diminishing supply of fossil fuels? Does it mean we shouldn't worry about pollution?

Sun, 2011-12-04 13:39Guest
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The twisted logic, and ethics, of nature's opponents

By David Suzuki (originally published on the David Suzuki Foundation website)

Who is influencing Canada's resource priorities? In a puzzling appeal to anti-American sentiment, some industry supporters claim that U.S. foundations are threatening Canadian policy by donating money to environmental groups here. These arguments have appeared in publications such as the Vancouver Sun and Calgary Herald, and on Sun TV.

Greenpeace has released research that points in a different direction, one that seems more logical. The Greenpeace report, “Who's Holding Us Back?”, shows that multinational and U.S. corporations in the oil, mining, and chemical sectors, among others, have been spending money and using industry trade associations, think-tanks, lobbying, and revolving doors between government and industry to block action on climate change and influence resource policy in Canada and elsewhere.

Opponents of environmental initiatives point to recent protests against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to B.C.'s north coast. They say this opposition is part of a conspiracy by U.S. funders to ensure that oil keeps flowing to the U.S. and not to Asia. That the same people also oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, which would take bitumen from the tar sands to the U.S., doesn't faze those who promote this twisted logic.

If these conspiracy theorists were truly upset about U.S. influence on Canadian infrastructure and resource development, they would lobby for greater national control of the oil industry, much of which is owned by U.S. and Chinese corporations. They might also question U.S. industry and foundation funding for organizations such as Canada's right-wing Fraser Institute, which has the same charitable status as the David Suzuki Foundation and other conservation groups and is thus governed by the same rules.

Fri, 2011-08-19 11:45Jim Hoggan
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Thich Nhat Hanh and David Suzuki on How Individual Frame of Mind Has Everything To Do With Saving the Planet

Getting people to believe that they really can make a difference in the struggle to the save the planet from human folly can be just as important as encouraging them to take action, according to one of the world’s leading Buddhist scholars.

In Vancouver for a week of teaching and lectures, Buddhist monk, poet, peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, sat down with David Suzuki and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson for an hour-long conversation on what it’s going to take to bring about the change in human behavior that is needed to put the world on a path that will ensure a healthy planet for future generations.

Faced with the question “What gives you hope that we can bring about the collective awakening needed to restore health to the planet? the three discussed a range of issues and ideas centred on actions that can make a real difference.

Their conversation, based on the premise that it is well known that humans are harming the earth, destroying its ecosystems and disrupting the climate, focused on the path forward to a more sustainable way of living.

Thich Nhat Hanh warned against the danger of people becoming overwhelmed by a feeling that the challenges are too big to overcome and therefore doing nothing to address them. Individuals need to know that they can make a difference if they remain hopeful and develop their inner strength.

Two short segments from the conversation are available here.

Thu, 2011-06-23 17:25Brendan DeMelle
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Scientists and Activists Issue A Call To Action To Stop Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

A group of eleven veteran U.S. and Canadian scientists and environmentalists today jointly issued a call to action for non-violent civil disobedience in front of the White House later this summer to stop the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.  This proposed Transcanada pipeline, which must be approved by President Obama in order to proceed, would carry filthy tar sands oil from Alberta to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, and further solidify North America’s commitment to mutual fossil fuel addiction for generations to come. 

“This is one issue where the president has total control–he has to grant or deny the necessary permits. Congress can’t get in the way. It’s where Obama can get his environmental mojo back. But we need him to lead,” said Bill McKibben, author, DeSmogBlog contributor and signatory on the letter.

The letter ask citizens to come to Washington for a peaceful and dignified protest against the Keystone XL pipeline, which the authors describe as a “1500-mile fuse to the continent’s biggest carbon bomb.”

Mon, 2011-04-25 07:25Richard Littlemore
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Sun TV (aka Fox North): No Goths; only vandals

Full disclosure: I have not actually spent any time watching the new Sun TV channel, which promised in its debut last week to bring Fox News-style partisanship to the Canadian airwaves. But one of my favourite provocateurs sent me the Youtube link below to a skit in which Ethical Oil author Ezra Levant belligerently prunes a tiny cedar as an insult to “Saint Suzuki” and a Koran-burning-style assault on the sanctity of Earth Day.

Seriously. Mr. Tough Guy can’t even start his own chainsaw.

Regrettably, I have been unable to confirm the rumour that, for his next demonstration of man’s dominion over nature, Levant is going to buy a really pretty ficus - and not water it.

Tue, 2009-10-13 06:45Richard Littlemore
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David Suzuki wins honorary "Alternative Nobel"

Canadian environmental icon David Suzuki has won the honorary Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the Alternative Nobel prize, “for his lifetime advocacy of the socially responsible use of science, and for his massive contribution to raising awareness about the perils of climate change and building public support for policies to address it.”

Contrasted, say, to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose climate change policies are currently an embarrassment to the country and an affront to the world, David Suzuki was also named this year as the person Canadians trust most. He outpolled the Queen and Rick Hillier (former Chief of Defence Staff) - combined.

Sat, 2009-04-18 07:52Richard Littlemore
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David Suzuki speaks up personally for the carbon tax

“If [BC Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell] goes down because of axe the tax, the repercussions are the carbon tax will be toxic for future politicians. No politician will raise it. That’s why environmentalists are so upset.”

David Suzuki

With that quote in the Globe and Mail today, David Suzuki explained why enviromental groups (and the DeSmogBlog) are criticizing the BC New Democratic Party, which is continuing to campaign against the tax.

Suzuki also said:

“If environmental voters decide they can’t stomach voting for the NDP or the Liberals, they have got the Greens. If you vote for the Greens, you are making a statement about the carbon tax and the other things you don’t like about the Liberals and the NDP.”

Fri, 2008-02-15 20:25Richard Littlemore
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National Post "Rabid Response Team" Assails Suzuki Over Jail Quote

The Post's pages of outrage (O'Neill, Gunter) were inspired (this time) by a Suzuki speech to the students of McGill University.

“The Doc,” as he is known to friends and insiders, apparently took full flight in exhorting students to action on the environment and, especially, on the issue of climate change. The Post reports the following, culminating quote:
 

What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there's a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they're doing is a criminal act.”
Wed, 2007-10-17 06:10Ross Gelbspan
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Speak Up, David, Goliath Has A Hearing Problem

David Suzuki, Canada's best-known environmentalist, has spent a generation encouraging Canadians to look after the environment, but it seems they have not been listening.

While Canada ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on limiting greenhouse gas emissions, the current, Conservative government says the standards cannot be met, reopening a debate he thought had been won.

“We've already been here before, and that's the thing that breaks my heart,” he told Reuters during one of his frequent trips to Toronto from his home in Vancouver. “If we had taken it seriously and done something, we would be so far past the Kyoto target today, and the problems would be infinitely simpler and cheaper.”

Fri, 2007-03-23 12:35Bill Miller
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Gore says Quebec is Canada’s climate-change conscience

The former U.S. vice-president said the rest of Canada is “pretty good” but he singled out Quebec as the “conscience of Canada” on global-warming.

Gore and green-guru scientist David Suzuki chided the mass media for ignoring scientists’ warnings about climate change and giving too much space and credibility to skeptics and deniers.

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