My Legacy

Last night I saw David Suzuki on his book tour for The Legacy. I had read the book, and had never been able to get tickets to his talks at Ottawa University. David Suzuki is 74, so sadly I figured this was probably my last opportunity to hear him speak. I don’t think anyone living has done as much for this country as he has, and I have always been in awe of his ability to teach and entertain simultaneously. I’m not going to re-hash his lecture, or the book. I recommend both. I’ll just leave you with what I was inspired to write down last night. Obviously these quotes, questions, paraphrases, and ideas struck a cord with me, maybe they will with you too.

  • When you are an elder you can offer a gift without a hidden agenda of fame money or power. You can speak the truth.
  • Biodiversity in the web of living things.
  • We became the dominant species of the planet by using foresight, a capacity our minds have like no other living thing. So why now are we so blind? –Me
  • Humans defy the basic size-scale seen in nature. If you are a species of bacteria there are billions of you. If you are a species of mouse there are millions of you. If you a species of whale, there are only hundreds of thousands of you. There are 6.8 billion humans.
  • We are a discernible part responsible for forces of Nature. We are a geological force.
  • The Global Village. What is the collective impact of all 6.8 billion of us?
  • Our brains actively edit everything we take in based on our own background and feelings. We all see the world through our own lens.
  • If kids don’t go outside and learn what the world is all about, they won’t love it; and they won’t protect it.
  • The word ‘economy’ means “the management of home”.
  • Climate change will affect Canada more than any other industrialized country. We are Northern. We have the largest coast line. We are dependent on our natural resources. Let’s use them sustainably.
  • Rethink the meaning of ‘value’. Your home has more value than what a Realtor sees. Just as a forest is a sacred grove and not timber and pulp.  If we are determined to put a monetary value on everything: he forest provide a service by cleaning the air, filtering water, holding the soil, being a home for wildlife. Yet politicians scream and cry at a carbon tax? There is a disconnect; Nature is not an externality of the economy.
  • Why are we so obsessed with growth? Why do we always want quantity? Quality should be the focus.
  • Only cancer cells and economist thing they can grow forever.
  • Forest as far as the eyes can see. Rivers filled with fish. The sky black with migrating birds. All over the world, in the span of a single life time, these things have been lost.


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