David Suzuki brings his message to Burlington - we are the kind of city he likes.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

November 22, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

David Suzuki has been doing media interviews for at least 50 years – he is an old hand at it.

The energy isn’t what is was a decade ago but the passion and the belief that we are the only people who can make the change if we are going to save this planet.

Suzuki tells his audiences that we human beings are the only creatures on this planet that think in terms of having a future – our challenge is to decide what that future is going to be.

david-suzuki

David Suzuki – preaching his gospel knowing that we can save this planet on simple step at a time – he reminds us that WE have to take those steps.

Asked if it is too late – he will look at you through those eyes we have seen when he was doing Quirks and Quarks on CBC and on The Nature of Things, a CBC program he is still doing.

Suzuki works at two levels – evangelizing and getting out the big picture. He takes to the stage and repeats the same message – it is ours to live, work and play in – and now we need to save it – we have come perilously close to killing this planet.

His other level is more personal. He still rants about the damage done by the Harper government and still gets back to his core message – “pay attention to the science.”

He rails at what he sees the politicians doing and tells the story of a high school classmate who in the 50’s said he wanted to be a Politician because that is the level at which you can make a difference.

At that point David Suzuki will look at you intently and ask – “Do you know any young people who want to go into politics today?”

About a decade ago (was it really that long) the federal government decided that it would no longer have Statistics Canada do the long form census. The science community – indeed all of the academic world was stunned. (The long form census is the document that gathers all kinds of data that is used to learn what is happening in the country – what people are doing. It is a critical measuring device without which it is very difficult to make decisions.)

Long form census - cartoon

The long form census was brought to an end by the Harper government – sanity prevailed and it was brought back quickly by the government that succeeded him.

When the decision not to continue with the long form census was made by the Harper government the head of Statistics quit in protest. “They should have all walked out the door and made a statement” says Suzuki. David shrugs, looks up and without saying a word conveys the feeling that it is difficult at times to understand why people do what they do.

Suzuki asks: “How old are you” – I tell him – he says “you’re looking pretty good” – realizing that both of us are getting a little long in the tooth but don’t know how to stop fighting the good fight.

Later in the evening Suzuki will take to the stage and talk to an almost adoring audience. He is an icon that the young people admire, respect and look to for some of the answers.

When he gets going the energy comes back and he is close to unstoppable.

He touches the lives of all and he knows it – so he travels the country and spreads his gospel.

Blue dot t-shirt

The Blue Dot message.

Suzuki was brought to the city by Burlington Green – they brought Jane Goodall a couple of years ago. These marquee speakers do well with the young audience that Burlington Green attracts. They are energetic, keen, wide eyed and bushy tailed. Suzuki put it very well when he said: “They get it.”

Tied into the talks Suzuki gave was the “blue dot” which is a project that wants every Canadian to have the right to clean water and a healthy environment.

“When our provincial and federal decision-makers have recognized our right to a healthy environment, we will turn toward the ultimate goal: we seek to amend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include the right to a healthy environment, so that we can join the 110 countries around the world that already have this right included in their constitutions.”

There are now more than 150 municipalities that have signed on to the Blue Dot movement – Burlington made that decision in 2015.

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1 comment to David Suzuki brings his message to Burlington – we are the kind of city he likes.

  • S. Hutchinson

    “PROTECT THE PEOPLE AND PLACES YOU LOVE” – The Blue Dot message! I guess my question is now to the City Fathers of Burlington who signed on to accept this movement in 2015, WHY… are you not adhering to this message? When the citizens voices are not heard for more green space, re the Waterfront Hotel redevelopment, and the recently accepted 23 storey tower across from our iconic City Hall, this then tells us that this Blue Dot message is not being administered. When our political decision-makers have recognized the citizens’ rights to make a difference, then we will move toward the ultimate goal to which David Suzuki could not make any clearer to those who will listen., PROTECT THE PEOPLE AND PLACES YOU LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!

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