profile image

David Suzuki

Co-founder, David Suzuki Foundation

Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 26 honorary degrees from universities around the world. He is familiar to television audiences as host of the long-running CBC television program The Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It's a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies. His written work includes more than 52 books, 19 of them for children. Dr. Suzuki lives with his wife, Dr. Tara Cullis, and family in Vancouver, B.C.
AP

Windmills Are Beautiful (Yes, Even in My Backyard)

With the growing urgency of climate change, we can't have it both ways. We can't shout about the dangers of global warming and then turn around and shout even louder about the "dangers" of windmills. We must accept that all forms of energy have associated costs. A blanket "not in my backyard" approach is hypocritical and counterproductive. I think smokestacks, smog, acid rain, coal-fired power plants and climate change are ugly. I think windmills are beautiful. And if one day I look out from my cabin porch and see a row of windmills spinning in the distance, I won't curse them. I will praise them. It will mean we're finally getting somewhere.
04/02/2014 08:53 EDT
Image Source via Getty Images

Geoengineering Is Not a Solution for Climate Change Anymore

Because nature doesn't always behave the same in a lab, test tube or computer program as it does in the real world, scientists and engineers have come up with ideas that didn't turn out as expected. We're now facing the most serious unintended consequence ever: climate change from burning fossil fuels. Some proposed solutions may also result in unforeseen outcomes.
03/19/2014 12:28 EDT
Levi Bianco via Getty Images

Canada's Cities Are Growing, So Infrastructure Must Grow Too

Despite being a vast land of mountains, forests and ice, Canada is an urban nation. Over 80 per cent of us live in large centres like Montreal, Toronto and Calgary, as well as rapidly growing communities like Regina, Surrey and Markham. This increasing concentration of people in cities is consistent with rapid urbanization over the whole planet.
03/12/2014 09:05 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wildlife Win in Court, But Lose on the Ground

Of 345 species at risk in Canada, more than 160 have waited far too long for recovery strategies. Thanks to a recent federal court decision, four luckier ones are finally getting overdue plans detailing steps needed to save and protect them. But court victories are just a start. It will take political will to ensure species and their habitats get the protection they need.
03/05/2014 12:16 EST
Lauren Nicole via Getty Images

Measuring Progress with GDP Is a Gross Mistake

Governments, media and much of the public are preoccupied with the economy. That means demands such as those for recognition of First Nations treaty rights and environmental protection are often seen as impediments to the goal of maintaining economic growth. The gross domestic product has become a sacred indicator of well-being. Ask corporate CEOs and politicians how they did last year and they'll refer to the rise or fall of the GDP. It's a strange way to measure either economic or social well-being. Whatever we come up with, it has to be better than GDP with its absurd emphasis on endless growth on a finite planet.
02/26/2014 12:22 EST
Dwight Nadig via Getty Images

Stop Trading Precious Water For Fossil Fuels

Drought and fracking have already caused some small communities in Texas to run out of water altogether, and parts of California are headed for the same fate. As we continue to extract and burn ever greater amounts of oil, gas and coal, climate change is getting worse, which will likely lead to more droughts in some areas and flooding in others.
02/19/2014 12:34 EST
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Will Thorium Save Us from Climate Change?

If the choice is between keeping nuclear power facilities running or shutting them down and replacing them with coal-fired power plants, the nuclear option is best for the climate. But, for now, investing in renewable energy and smart-grid technologies is a faster, more cost-effective and safer option than building new nuclear facilities, regardless of type.
02/11/2014 05:22 EST
Getty

Pete Seeger: "From Way Up Here the Earth Looks Very Small"

Pete Seeger, who died January 27 at the age of 94, inspired generations of political and environmental activists with songs. Like me, he was inspired by Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring to become a strong defender of the environment as well as human rights.
02/05/2014 12:55 EST
Getty

How Citizen Scientists Can Fill in Information Gaps About Fukushima

An Internet search turns up an astounding number of pages about radiation from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown that followed an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. But it's difficult to find credible information. With the lack of data from government, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is asking the public for help.
01/29/2014 12:33 EST
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rail vs. Pipeline Is the Wrong Question

Debating the best way to do something we shouldn't be doing in the first place is a sure way to end up in the wrong place. The recent spate of rail accidents and pipeline leaks and spills doesn't provide arguments for one or the other; instead, it indicates that rapidly increasing oil and gas development and shipping ever greater amounts, by any method
01/22/2014 12:08 EST
Getty

If You Don't Believe in Climate Change, Just Look Out the Window

The world first heard urgent climate change warnings in 1988, issued by an international meeting of climatologists in Toronto. The evidence then was so compelling that one report declared global warming a threat to human survival second only to nuclear war and called for a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 15 years. The anecdotes in a new film, Climate Change in Atlantic Canada, add up to an overwhelming warning that social, economic and ecological costs are rapidly mounting and we must take climate change seriously. As one person says, "If you don't believe it, just look out the window."
01/15/2014 08:15 EST
WikiMedia:

Where Would We Be if These Greats Never Stood Up for Change?

Change is never easy and it often creates discord, but when people come together for the good of humanity and the Earth, we can accomplish great things. Those are the lessons from Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and all those who refuse to give up in the face of adversity when the cause they pursue is just and necessary.
01/08/2014 12:21 EST
Wayne R Bilenduke via Getty Images

Let's Make Sure 2014 Isn't an "Annus Horribilis"

It's been a strange year. From the never-ending carnival of calamity at Toronto City Hall to the scandalous subterfuge on Parliament Hill, from horrific attacks by the Syrian government on its own citizenry to disasters inflicted by extreme weather on the people of the Philippines, 2013 recalls Queen Elizabeth's description of 1992 as an annus horribilis. On top of it all, those of us who have taken on the often thankless task of trying to encourage people to care for the air, water, soil and diversity of plants and animals that keep us alive came under increasingly vituperative attacks from the media and even our own government.
12/11/2013 09:06 EST
Shutterstock

Canadians Have the Right to Live in a Healthy Environment

Canada is blessed with some of the last vestiges of pristine nature on Earth -- unbroken forests, coastlines and prairies, thousands of rivers, streams and lakes, open skies, abundant fresh air. We are also defined by our Constitution. Our Constitution's Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives us freedom of expression, equal protection from discrimination and the right to life, liberty and security of the person. But it doesn't mention the environment. How can we fully enjoy our freedoms without the right to live in a healthy environment?
12/04/2013 08:19 EST
PA

The Deadly Price of Being An Environmentalist

Too often, governments are quick to use excessive force and even pervert the course of justice to keep oil and gas flowing, forests logged, wild rivers dammed and minerals extracted. As the Global Witness study reveals, citizens are often killed, too. A recent report by human rights organization Global Witness documents the murders of more than 700 environmental and indigenous-rights activists over the past decade.
11/27/2013 12:25 EST
Getty

Climate Change Could Throw Atlantic Canada into Chaos

We sometimes too easily overlook Canadians in the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador -- coastal regions, like ours, on the front lines of climate change. Atlantic Canada faces risks if climate change is left unchecked, with more severe storms causing surging tides, flooding and widespread coastal erosion.
11/20/2013 12:31 EST
Getty

Philippines Tragedy Shows Canada Needs a Climate Change Wake-Up Call

As people in the Philippines struggle with the devastation and death from the worst storm to hit land in recorded history, world leaders are meeting in Warsaw, Poland, to discuss the climate crisis. Given the slow progress at the 18 meetings held since 1992 -- when countries from around the world joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change -- it's hard not to be pessimistic. Canada, in particular, has been repeatedly singled out among the close to 200 member countries for obstructing progress and not doing enough to address climate change at home.
11/13/2013 08:59 EST
Shutterstock

Getting Dirty May Be Good for You

For much of human history we lived close to the natural world. As civilization evolved we became increasingly urbanized, and most of us now live in cities. As we've moved away from nature, we've seen a decline in other forms of life. Biodiversity is disappearing.
11/06/2013 12:39 EST