Friday, June 29, 2018

Suzuki Wants to Save the World

David Suzuki has a plan to save the world. Boiled down, it's rather simple. All we need do is reverse our priorities, the same pursuits that got us into today's mess.

In the era of neoliberalism, the environment was to be accommodated within the economy. This is Justin Trudeau's vaunted "compromise" only the economy always comes first, as in here and now, and the environment will be taken care of later - perhaps by the next government or the government after that or... whenever. A booming economy solves every ill.

Trudeau, unconvincingly, claims he supports both - economy and environment - yet he plainly subordinates one to the other in every case, at every turn. And most of us just play along. Cue, Suzuki:

Approximately 70 percent of our residents live in cities, where jobs—and thus the economy—become the highest priority. The result is that we no longer feel connected to nature, and we do not realize we are embedded within it. So we make decisions that cost nature dearly, under the misguided notion that they won’t harm our well-being.

...Economics and ecology come from the same root, oikos, meaning “household” or “domain.” Ecology is the study of the rules of sustainability, while economics is the management of our domain. Economics, therefore, should be applied under the laws of ecology. In other words, our economic choices should make sense within the natural world’s limits. Investing in nature is best for the environment and the economy. And yet we’re still fighting the reality that powerful industries can stall progressive environmental decision-making. The approvals of the Site C dam in BC and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project come at a time when Canada is already unlikely to meet its Paris climate accord commitments.

The transition to clean, renewable energy must be immediate. The sun and wind generate monumental energy, and increasingly affordable technologies now exist to help us harness it. To move these forward, we should enshrine the right to a healthy environment into Canadian law. More than 100 countries have done so. What is our federal government waiting for?


Toby said...

Suzuki wants to save the world but very few are listening. Most people are too distracted with watching super heroes . . . ah . . . save the world.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Mound of Sound said...

Sorry, Anon, but you're gone. I knew this was going to draw trolls who would go on about their views of Suzuki and completely ignore the subject matter. No one needs your shit whinging.

The Mound of Sound said...

Toby, it's a fundamental principle that unless the economy is maintained as a subset of the ecology you're headed for disaster. Bad things will happen - oceanic dead zones, algae blooms, worsening pollution of all types, exhausted groundwater resources, soils degradation, the collapse of fish stocks, and more - all the things that are happening.

The hidden curse is the powerful dependency that emerges. We become mortally dependent on access to resources at levels far beyond what the Earth can provide. Even today we're still pursuing perpetual, exponential growth. Humanity/human civilization is a fine example - our numbers are more than twice what the Earth can carry and yet we're growing. At the same time we've increased our longevity substantially and all the while we have increased our overall and per capita rates of consumption.

I once did a rough calculation of where we were at the start of the 20th century, 1900, and where we are today working with per capita GDP, population growth, a near doubling of longevity, and a massive expansion of per capita and overall resource consumption. I concluded that mankind's overall ecological footprint had grown well over 30 times larger in barely one century. We exceeded the Earth's carrying capacity when we hit 3 billion in the early 70s. We're now past 7.5 billion, soon to reach 9 billion. To meet our needs in a sustainable way we would need 1.7 planet Earths. And the degradation has set in. A planet that once could support a 70s level of 3 billion, can now sustain no more than 2 billion. That is not going to end well.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Mound of Sound said...

Again, dipshit, if you have something to say on-topic, fine. If you want to slag Suzuki get off your arse, set up your own blog, and slag away to your heart's content.

the salamander said...

.. when I am in the garden with my hoe (gee that does not sound good !)
I am under no illusions or delusions.. I am weeding.. and snacking
Depending on the recent weather, I may have a watering can handy
and a ready to rock hose.. Environment ! It will feed me !

But it needs my help.. Cattle in the barn will also feed me
and probably hundreds of others.. but they need to be fed !
Its a different Environment.. but its a useful subset..
Out there in the south 40 is a clover Environment ?
it is supercharged with bees, tearing into the clover
like, walk out there only if you are fearless of bee sting
Its a late 1st cut this year.. but we will.. cut n bale & sun dry
into the barn...

Its nice to be able to wrap onesalf in such a visible Emvironment
In my urban mode it aint so obvious.. our plants are ceremonial
herbs of course and strawberries as ground cover
and the robins and little dogs duke it out for the red berries
maybe leave us a few..
We are in the midst of a milkweed failure this year
had 250 2 years ago, 150 last year,in the backyard

There is a very cool cat in south Las Angelese
who is turning inner city boulevards into productive Environment
That's right.. growing tomatoe, carrot, lettuce, radish
on all the boulevards down there
the tiny strips on the wrong side of sidewalk & lawn

These folks are miles n miles from a grocery store & good greens
but there are coffee shops and donuts on every corner
motorized scooter rentals.. and a guy on the corner
with stuff in little bags.. Environment ! It can shape you
or it can eat you alive.... or one can navigate it ..
with a hoe and a watering can ..

Dude in south central L.A. decided to manage a bit of it..
People would furtively grab a carrot or tomato
and he would boom out, 'here ! take a dozen tomatoes
and heres a batch of radishes' ..And so he gained disciples
and the boulevards became watered garden havens,
5 yr old kids with hoes growing tomatoes ! Who knew ? !

Does anyone believe Donald Trump or Ezra Levant
ever plan to know what a boulevard even is..
much less turn one into a tiny slice of urban Environment ?
They wouldn't know an Environment
if it sprung from the bushes & dragged them away
Its just fake news, 'The Environment'

Lorne said...

Just a side note to the requirement of a healthy environment in sustaining and nurturing life:

Although I do not possess a green thumb (except for perennials, which are idiot proof), these days I take solace in puttering around in what I charitably call a garden. The weeding, the transplanting of hostas, the addition of a few annuals, etc. provide for me an escape from this increasingly fraught world. The psychological benefits of time spent in nature are well-know, but unfortunately, the masters of the universe who call the shots cannot put a direct economic benefit on spiritual renewal.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi, Sal. Last night I watched a short video about a guy in Detroit who, together with his partner, are using a minuscule part of that city's abandoned land to set up a bee keeping operation. They managed to go from three (learning stage) to thirty to a thousand hives in three years.

There is also a growing movement in that city to take those cleared lots and temporarily (they hope) transform them into urban farms. Everyone benefits - nature, the city and the volunteers putting that wasted land to productive use.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, Lorne, gardening is a powerful respite from our chaotic world. I missed the season this year - a health problem. There's always next year (I hope).

Anonymous said...

You have deleted my second post.
I guess, you had a look at your mirror/soul and did not like what you found there.
For your info, I agree to a large degree with Suzuki's position on climate change.
However, adjustments to a said change would require painful personal sacrifices from all of the populace. (Your past blogs are in an agreement with that). A leader of a movement who asks the followers to forfeit and relinquish their current comfy lifestyle while, in the same time, enjoying the extravagant perks, do not pass my smell test.

the salamander said...

.. here ya goe, Mound
Guy will knock you out.. He blew away the urban 'government'
judge said 'why are you fighting this guy?'
'why not assist him?'

BTW?. Detroit leads the world in urban farming..
all those vacated deadlands..
Plus they have an inner city population
desperate for healthy foods..
Grocery story an hours bus ride away
for folks who don't have the fare

No recreation budget for inner city youth.. so give em hoes
Mini plantations in front of every home..
next step is greenhouse windows all winter, parsley !
Lots of construction material abound for 'hot box' seedlings

The Mound of Sound said...

Look, Anon. If you stay on topic, your comments won't be deleted. If you're just out to sow some agro, they will be. It's that simple.

Yes, the changes we must have will require sacrifices, some perhaps painful. I no longer have much confidence that our society, our global civilization, is strong enough to bear that burden. We will probably stick with aspiration goals and gestural responses.

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks for the link,Sal. Mr. Finley sounds like one of those rare guys who figure out how to make a real difference. Guerrilla Gardening - that does have a certain appeal.

Anonymous said...

"We will probably stick with aspiration goals and gestural responses."

No. That's all you Boomers ever brought the world. Gen-X will bring Something Completely Different, or let rapacious upper-crust looters take us all down with them.

BTW, if you thought you were jumping all over my posts, the Anon on this thread is a different Anon.

(And BTW, free-thinking Anons are nothing like those Guy Fawkes idiots. Did they ever read about the Gunpowder Plot of 1605? If they did, they would've chosen a different mask. Just more Fake Resistance stamped out by The Machine.)

I did have an essay fired up for this thread, but didn't get around to posting it. No biggie. I write these essays largely for my own personal development in understanding subjects like politics, economics and history.

(Of course, you have to be honest with yourself to develop. You can't build up many layers on a foundation of lies. The layers just keep getting weaker and weaker.)

the salamander said...

.. you know dick on a stick about 'boomers' like me
anonymous 3:36 .. like nada.. nothing, no thing
Your arrogant 'thread contribution' duly noted
& you're anonymous, but not that anonymous
you're a different anonymous..among the anonymous..

So shove off with your little bo peep pithyness
It reminds me of Stephen Harper.. or Ray Novak
and a screetch from the pulpit
& not even on a Sunday ...

Anonymous said...

All the screeching seems to be coming from the Cultural Left.

They believe they are so right, there's no discussing it. They feel they are the nannies in charge of the kindergarten class. Self-appointed culture and values police.

They say you're an evildoer if you have a different opinion. If you don't accept their political rhetoric, whatever it happens to be at the time.

"Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia."

Whatever squawks that come out of their beaks are infallible. The song remains the same. The MOAR things change the MOAR things stay the same. The message is the medium.

You listen to us. Not to what we say. The listening is the point of it, not the content. There is no content. There is no thinking. Just instinctual and conditioned responses to stimuli. OUR stimuli. Like in 'The Book' they demand double-think. (That you not notice. And that you not notice not noticing.)

The cult of the NOW. The gravitas of fashion. The ornate values just a pretty mask the monsters wear to feed upon their prey.

I'm not saying these birdbrains aren't entitled to their opinions or wacky lifestyles. They're just not entitled to force their cult-of-crazy on other people. It's called the freedom of religion. Or freedom for short. (That's what American Christians brought to the world. Of course, Canadians don't know much about democracy. Funny they don't even try to teach it in the schools.)