David Suzuki’s Earth Day Reflections
By Lynne Nittler
Just today I signed up for another irresistible daily news email that I don’t have time to read: EcoWatch: Transforming Green. A friend sent me a dazzling article from it, and once on the site, I couldn’t stop clicking from one article to the next. I was preparing articles for this Cool Davis newsletter, pondering a reflective piece for the 2014 Earth Day edition when I discovered an Earth Day contribution by one of my favorite writer-activists – Dr. David Suzuki. Read it here.
He began simply but truthfully, “April is Earth Month, and April 22 Earth Day. We should really
celebrate our small blue planet and all it provides every day, but recent events give us particular cause to reflect on our home and how we’re treating it.”
I do reflect often on this Earth that I have loved since the first Earth Day when I was a sophomore in college. I fell in love with The Earth when I saw the first photographs taken from the moon in 1968, and I believed the first Earth Day in 1970 meant protecting and restoring our blue-green jewel for evermore. For awhile during the 70’s and 80’s I was reassured that we were indeed on a healing path.
But things don’t look so good now, and since my retirement I have dedicated myself to climate action. I helped to found Cool Davis, believing that we could transform ourselves and soon our whole community would follow. If we can free ourselves from our fossil fuel addiction and gain health and a deeper sense of community along the way, then there is hope.
Suzuki suggested we’re out of balance. Actually, he was more emphatic. We’re the very ones who are upsetting the balance of nature , and the result is sobering.
Suzuki juxtaposed the lost Malasian Airlines Flight 370 with the Fifth Assessment Report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as they shared media attention. At one point the searchers mistook streams of human garbage for plane debris. Suzuki points out, “We now have massive swirling garbage patches in our oceans, and thousands of birds and fish from remote seas turning up dead, their bellies full of plastic and flotsam.” Is that our image for Earth Day 2014?
The IPCC report warns, “Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger.”
Suzuki adds in his no-nonsense way, “That’s if we do little or nothing—which is not a viable option. We must reduce our individual impacts, but more importantly, we must tell industry and governments at all levels that we’ll no longer support the fouling of our planet and the madness of putting short-term economic growth ahead of protecting everything that keeps us alive and healthy.”
We must reduce our individual impacts, but more importantly, we must tell industry and governments at all levels that we’ll no longer support the fouling of our planet and the madness of putting short-term economic growth ahead of protecting everything that keeps us alive and healthy.”
“We elect governments to act in our best interests, not to promote polluting industries at the expense of human health and long-term prosperity. One of our species’ unique abilities is foresight, the capacity to look ahead to avoid dangers and exploit opportunity. It’s time for our leaders to be visionary and steer away from hazards while taking the enormous opportunities offered by renewable energy sources.”
Being visionary is a very tall order for each of us, not just for leaders. I have no idea if enough of us will step out of our comfortable lives to take on the serious work of holding government and industry accountable or changing the people who hold office, of finding visionary leaders or stepping up to become such leaders ourselves, of taking responsibility for the climate our children will live in. But I’m with Suzuki; complacency and shrugging helplessly are not options if we love our children, the Monarch butterflies, the almonds and cherries and avocados…
complacency and shrugging helplessly are not options if we love our children, the Monarch butterflies, the almonds and cherries and avocados…
Let this Earth Day be a call to action!
When each of us acts with compassion for the people and places of our community, we fuel our common courage to address this crisis. Thank you for your past compassion for our organization and your courageous donation to Cool Davis today. @JasonBone @Johannes Troost Chris Granger @juliehaney
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When we act with compassion for the people and places of our community, we fuel our common courage to address this crisis. Take advantage of our special matching fund, available for gifts of any amount up to $10,000! Give today! #givingtuesday
When each of us acts with compassion for the people and places of our community, we fuel our common courage to address this crisis. Thank you for your past compassion for our organization and your courageous donation to Cool Davis today. #givingtuesday
There's still time to change some of those holiday mainstays to plant-based #veganrecipes
Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency seeks volunteers to assist with COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Volunteers must complete the “Medical Points of Dispensing (MPOD)” course at http://yolopodclasses.org.
There is a difference between "carbon neutral" and "fossil free" and these students have hit on it. They report emissions have not dropped significantly despite so many efforts.
I call on all UC Davis affiliates (students, staff, faculty, alums, etc) - please sign ✍🏼& share🐦 this petition for the bold action we need to fight the #ClimateCrisis. Let's #decarbonize.
Press release: https://davisite.org/2021/11/activists-launch-fossil-free-uc-davis-campaign.html