David Suzuki in Real Life and in Print
Not long after Macleans magazine published their cover story, "The remarkable transformation of Saint Suzuki", I had the pleasure of volunteering at the E.O. Wilson Circle event held in Toronto for David Suzuki Foundation donors. Dr. Suzuki gave a captivating speech that made me respect him even more than I already do. I didn't think that was possible, but it was. Amidst a flurry of interesting anecdotes, he commented on the photo caption in the Macleans article that says, "The poles are melting, species vanishing. It's a great time to be David Suzuki..." Ironic isn't it? Dr. Suzuki said it is a bitter sweet time right now with the Green Revolution picking up speed and environmental consciousness coming to the forefront. People are finally listening after decades of research, writing and activism.
Suzuki is Canada's Gore. Or Gore is America's Suzuki — the point is moot, as far as Suzuki is concerned. He'd been laying off bets for weeks that Gore would snag at least a share of the award. "It's a great thing," says Suzuki of the credibility lent to the issue by the world's most prestigious prize.
Our homegrown environmental hero said that way back in 1989 when Brian Mulroney was elected Prime Minister of Canada he appointed Lucien Bouchard as Minister of the Environment. When Dr. Suzuki went for his first meeting with the new Minister he asked him what he thought the most pressing issue of the time was. Bouchard's immediate response was global warming. Dr. Suzuki went on to ask where would we be now if we had only listened back then? It's true. Where would be now if we had listened to Dr. Suzuki or Al Gore or the plethora of other activists and scientists way back when? Although green is the new black and sustainability is the word on everybody's lips, global warming, climate change and "environmentally friendly" are not new. Just new to some. Let's make sure it doesn't become old news fast. Let's make this current "trend" not a trend and make it an actual shift and change in our behaviour. In fact, let's take out the word "trend" because trends come and go. Green is here to stay.