Dr. David Suzuki brought his Human Element Tour to Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts last week to talk about the challenges we face with our environment and to urge Canadians to take his Nature Challenge.
By doing at least three of 10 simple things he said, Canadians can improve their quality of life and push the government to stop looking at the economy as the bottom line.
“As a biologist, I could never understand how the economy can come before everything else, after all, everything we live with and use has come from the earth.”
Suzuki, best known for his CBC television show The Nature of Things, is on a mission. He is currently touring six major Canadian cities to raise funds for the David Suzuki Foundation and help promote environmental awareness in terms of four basic elements: water, air, earth and fire.
“We are animals and as animals if we don’t have clean water, clean air, clean soil and clean energy, we suffer: strong economy or not!” argued Suzuki.
Suzuki said various environment ministers told him they couldn’t afford to protect the environment if there isn’t a strong, growing economy to fall back on. Suzuki then exclaimed “some things we do because it’s right!” as the crowd roared and cheered in approval.
Highlights from the CBC television series The Sacred Balance were shown that juxtaposed images of the slow paced serenity of nature with the frenetic pace of industrialized city life. Included in the screening were interviews with noted biologists, other scientists and Canadian astronauts including Montreal-born Julie Payette.
Following the intermission, Dr. Tara Cullis, president of the David Suzuki foundation and Suzuki’s wife, presented the “ten most effective ways individuals can protect nature.”
“We chose the ten steps that would make the most difference to greenhouse gases, air pollution, water pollution and habitat change,” she said.
Cullis added that although these simple steps might seem like a drop in the bucket, “the David Suziki Nature Challenge is the bucket so that all these drops in the bucket have somewhere to be collected.” She affirmed that this is the way to show the government that if they don’t do anything, Canadian citizens will rise up to the challenge and take responsibility.
On a final note, Suzuki emphasized our interconnectedness with nature: we will inevitably face repercussions for whatever we do to the environment. He urged people to take the challenge because he believes that “if there are hundreds of thousands of us or millions of us, that will not be ignored by any of our leaders.”
Suzuki was backed up with feature performances from the Trio Lorraine Desmarais, Hip Hop artists the Rascalz and comedian Barry Julien.
Visit www.davidsuzuki.org for more information.