TORONTO – David Suzuki has reportedly left the board of his charitable foundation as he felt it was being targeted due to his personal views and actions.
At 76 years old, Canada’s most famous environmentalist is an award-winning scientist, broadcaster and writer, well-known for his personal views that are causing him to step down.
Global News looks at Suzuki’s top 10 most thought-provoking quotes.
“Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism.”
“An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life.”
On social responsibility
“Now there are some things in the world we can’t change – gravity, entropy, the speed of light, the first and second Laws of Thermodynamics, and our biological nature that requires clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean energy and biodiversity for our health and well being. Protecting the biosphere should be our highest priority or else we sicken and die. Other things, like capitalism, free enterprise, the economy, currency, the market, are not forces of nature, we invented them. They are not immutable and we can change them. It makes no sense to elevate economics above the biosphere, for example.”
“Provinces have let the federal government take all the heat and all of the pressure about Kyoto, and they really have been sitting on their asses not doing anything.”
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“My Prime Minister regards the economy as our highest priority and forgets that economics and ecology are derived from the same Greek word, oikos, meaning household or domain. Ecology is the study of home, while economics is its management. Ecologists try to define the conditions and principles that enable a species to survive and flourish. Yet in elevating the economy above those principles, we seem to think we are immune to the laws of nature. We have to put the ‘eco’ back into economics.”
On the environment
“Human use of fossil fuels is altering the chemistry of the atmosphere; oceans are polluted and depleted of fish; 80 per cent of Earth’s forests are heavily impacted or gone yet their destruction continues. An estimated 50,000 species are driven to extinction each year. We dump millions of tonnes of chemicals, most untested for their biological effects, and many highly toxic, into air, water and soil. We have created an ecological holocaust. Our very health and survival are at stake, yet we act as if we have plenty of time to respond.”
“We are upsetting the atmosphere upon which all life depends. In the late 80s when I began to take climate change seriously, we referred to global warming as a ‘slow motion catastrophe’ one we expected to kick in perhaps generations later. Instead, the signs of change have accelerated alarmingly.”
On the future
“We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.”
“People…especially people in positions of power…have invested a tremendous amount of effort and time to get to where they are. They really don’t want to hear that we’re on the wrong path, that we’ve got to shift gears and start thinking differently.”
“The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected. That is our home.”