Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Suzuki, sustainability and Sex in the City


Thanks to CBC's Quirks and Quarks for this "bitchin'" photo of the now 70 year-old Suzuki. Just thank your lucky stars I didn't choose one of his two... count 'em TWO nude promotional pics. Though his impression of Atlas is impressive for his age, I don't think I need to subject you all to it.

You might be asking yourself what it is about David Suzuki that I suddenly felt the need to present you with his likeness. Am I considering a new hairstyle? Glasses for fashion? A new wardrobe? Nah, I just saw him as part of his Autobiography book tour this evening. What a life the man has led. From internment during WWII to facilitating major environmental and social change around the world, the dude is pretty cool. Probably the coolest 70 year-old that I know.

While he was there to tell a bit of the story of his life, it would be impossible for that not to intersect with his environmental efforts. I think he may have even been MORE effective because he wasn't trying to hit us over the head with that side of things. It is at once inspiring and shaming. What little one needs to do to make positive change. What little has been done. What little I have done. For me, one of the most moving portions of the event involved him showing the video of one of his daughters speaking to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992. She was inspiring as a reminder of who these efforts are supposed to be for, those who come after us. She was 12 at the time. When I was 12, I can assure you I didn't have Al Gore telling me how inspiring I'd been.

David put it plainly at the end. Interestingly, he used a very simple tool to do so which I had used earlier in the day in planning for future events. All it requires is to think of how you want things to be. Not how you think they will be. The ideas that he put forward should get universal acceptance throughout the world. To be able to breath our air without fearing pollutants and illnesses like asthma. To be able to drink from a river and not to have to pay more for water than gasoline. Simple things that everyone could agree on. So why can't we make change to something that we all believe in. Public will can direct political power. As he highlighted, our government is all about getting re-elected. That isn't different from any other government out there. If we as people lucky enough to vote can emphasize the importance of this to us and our future generations then change may be possible. One of his many efforts is the Nature Challenge. A list of 10 things that anyone could do. The kicker: he's only asking people to do 3 of the 10. It's awfully like being let off the hook but it can still create change. The goal: Sustainability within a generation. Acheivable? Yes. It reminds me of a quote: "If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way." So join the challenge. Do those small things. Be concious.

Maybe conciousness is the most important aspect. Why? Well, I seem to float in and out of conciousness (figuratively, not literally... though there was that knock on the head... what am I talking about?). Tonight's talk shook my complacency. Reminded me of things that I already know but had allow myself to forget or ignore. The thing is... I didn't finish my evening by starting a worker's cooperative. I went and watched Sex in the City and got to know just a little bit more about the female psyche. Who's to say that's not living conciously? I think it important that I am aware. Of the world around me. Of why I like Coke sometimes, even though it's not good for me. Of who I am and my ability to change if I so desire. I can't imagine anything worse than not being aware. That is, except for the joyous inawareness of sleep. Ahh sleep. You can thank my pillow for shutting me up.

2 comments:

les said...

We all and I in particular can take one little step, rather than eating just "one more thin chocolate wafer!" Consciously take a positive step rather than one more bite of consumption

Christine K said...

Wow! What a comprehensive summary of David's time there, felt like I was with you. Thanks for the reminders, nudges like that are oh so useful. Love you. CK