Oct 26 2006

It’s all going green

David Suzuki is a momma’s boy.

Of course, the momma I’m referring to would be Mother Nature. Canada’s most celebrated environmentalist was certainly the most dutiful sort of offspring, plugging green thoughts into our collective consciousness for decades in books, TV shows and myriad press conferences. But today Vancouver’s 70-year old sustainability icon is hanging up his shingle. And even though he did everything he could, his guilt at not achieving more for his “mother”is still apparent:

“Nobody any longer knows what a sustainable future is… I feel like we are in a giant car heading for a brick wall at 100 miles an hour and everyone in the car is arguing where they want to sit. For God’s sake, someone has to say put the brakes on and turn the wheel.”

That said, Suzuki’s uncritical support of the Kyoto Protocol is one little thing that bugs me. Kyoto is an agreement that does very little to improve the environment while giving governments that signed the agreement an excuse to seem like they are doing something – and giving the world’s biggest polluters (who didn’t sign the agreement) a free pass. In the minds of the public, signing an agreement has somehow been confused with taking action. When the Conservative government in Canada repudiated such two-faced enviro-diplomacy, they ought to have gotten more active support from Suzuki and his ilk.

But on the whole, Suzuki has a legacy to be proud of. Raising awareness of environmental issues may not have gotten us to a greener world just yet, but these things take time. Hopefully, we still have enough left to make a difference before the polar ice caps have drifted down to Burrard Inlet.

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