by Tom Henihan
I believed there could be no downside to Stephen Harper losing the last election until I read recently that David Suzuki told Rolling Stone Australia that he would have booked a one-way ticket to Mars had Harper prevailed.
It now appears that instead of a one-way ticket to Mars, Suzuki is booked on a return ticket to Australia, invited as a keynote speaker at the cultural festival WOMADelaide in Adelaide.
The festival’s blurb on Suzuki has this to say:
“For four decades, Canadian David Suzuki has been one of the most prominent, articulate, passionate and effective advocates for our planet and its environment. At 79 he shows no sign of slowing down. Spend an hour with one of the greatest eco-warriors of our time.”
Suzuki may very well have submitted the above write-up as part of his bio, but even if someone else waxed lyrical on his behalf, it is safe to assume that David voiced no objection to the hyperbole.
I am sure, being an eco-warrior and effective advocate for our planet is as glamorous and lucrative as playing any superhero.
I suspect Super-Dave finds nothing sweeter than making money listening to the sound of his own voice while having countless others listen also.
“An advocate for the planet,” is a curious phrase. When advocating on behalf of the planet to whom or to what does one address one’s advocacy. I imagine to God or to the gullible.
Suzuki choses to preach to the latter, believing himself to be on equal footing with the former.
Suzuki arrogantly pronounces on the views of others regarding climate change as if the matter is his exclusive domain and that he alone possesses the authority to make such pronouncements.
In the same conversation with Rolling Stone, Suzuki magnanimously gave Pope Francis full marks for his environmental Encyclical, which I am sure quelled any doubts the Pope had as to the value of the Encyclical.
On the other hand, he suggested that Stephen Harper “should be thrown in jail for willful blindness” regarding climate change.
Unfortunately, incarcerating Stephen Harper is an idea whose time has come and gone. David Suzuki should be reminded that willful arrogance might also be an indictable offence.
Few would disagree that enormous damage has be inflicted on the environment or that we must address the matter of climate change.
It is important to be realistic and acknowledge that for the foreseeable future, fossil fuels are essential to maintaining the economies, and the way of life we established.
It is important to acknowledge also, that we have made advances in our awareness of the environmental dilemma and in the development of cleaner sources of energy.
The consensus is that there is a problem, but we lack consensus as how to fix it.
In such a situation, an environmental evangelist with a messiah complex such as Suzuki who shouts down anyone who is not in lockstep with his point of view inhibits rather than enhances the possibility of a sustainable way forward.
David Suzuki is a product of that most paradoxical of unions, the marriage of advocacy and science. Out of the friction between these two irreconcilable entities, he has managed to conjure his doomsday climate-change scenario and at the same time derive its solution.