Saturday, January 23, 2010

KCI Talks With David Suzuki

It's the end-of-term busy marking time again, and I've gotten sucked into a few good books lately, but I really must write about talking to David Suzuki.  KCI won the honour after making a video-letter to Harper about climate change. Here's the video, but you have to start it at 3 minutes in unless you want to watch us nervously waiting for Suzuki to show up. 

It was pretty exciting sitting sort-of face to face with him....

I had many questions to ask but took a back seat as much as possible (the very back).  I'd like to know his thoughts on concerns with employment reduction and industry shut-downs due to environmental controls - if that actually ever happens.  But the students had a some great questions. It's unfortunate that several students got cropped out of the file they sent us. We recorded it ourselves, but didn't get much of the students in that one either.

I also watched the calls he made to the four other winners.  He gave pretty similar lectures to all of us:

* Students have to talk to politicians and tell them the importance of the environment.  Well, we all do, but students are special because they are least likely to have ulterior motives.  They just want the planet clean so they can live. 

* Students should demand of their parents:  "What are you going to do to protect the environment for me and my kids?!"  Mom and dad need to become eco-warriors for their children and grandchildren!

* Schools should challenge other schools to be more environmental.  Our Ecoschool Gold certification is our attempt at that - although many schools are getting on board with that.  We'll have to get the platinum standard at our board like they have in Toronto schools.

* Canada is more vulnerable to climate change than most developed countries because of our northern areas and because we have the longest marine coastline in the world.  The sea-level rising will greatly affect us.

* We're losing the fight "big time" and we need to focus our thoughts long term.  Education and spreading the word is key.  Our most pressing issue is how we think.  We need to keep the future in mind and stop getting sucked into needing so much unnecessary stuff. 

* Stay positive by spending time with people we love.  He told a lovely story of his father dying, happy with his memories of his family and never once speaking about things he knew along the way.  We won't be reminiscing about our cars and iPods on our deathbed.  And spend time in nature as much as possible.  "We can't afford to get worn down." 

This April 22nd is the 40th anniversary of the very first Earth Day celebrations ever.  Millions of people took to the streets to bring environmental concerns to the forefront.  It was during 1970 that Nixon, of all people, had this to say:

"In the next 10 years we shall increase our wealth by 50 percent. The profound question is: Does this mean we will be 50% richer in a real sense? Or does it mean that in the year 1980 the President standing here will look back on a decade in which 70% of our people were suffocated by smog, poisoned by water, and deafened by noise. The great question of the seventies is, shall we surrender to our surroundings, or shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations, for we still think of air as free. But clean air is not free, and neither is clean water. The price tag on pollution control is high. Through our years of past carelessness we incurred a debt to nature, and now that debt is being called."

He, and millions others, were affected by this picture taken a year and a half earlier:

Last year we were hard pressed to get 100 people to our Earthfest celebrations.  This year, we're going to have to really do it up right!  Maybe re-posting this photo everywhere will  help get the message across.  We only have one inhabitable planet.  Let's stop messing with it.


Christine said...

Bravo KCI One Earth Movers and Shakers,
Your video totally rocks, and the conversation with David Suzuki was inspiring. Keep doing what NEEDS to be DONE! Your voice will be heard!
C. Liedtke KCI

Marie said...

Thanks Chris!