In from Canada comes this scientist and environmentalist with a ‘Carbon Manifesto’ and the kind of speech on youtube which makes him stand out as one of that kind of climate crisis leaders humanity as a whole has been missing in this last decade where politicians have allowed carbon emissions to escalate to this point where they threaten to destroy the planet as we know it.
The global cost of oil is more than five times the cost to abandon it, and switching over to renewable energy sources would not only save the planet and the livelihood of future generations in our families, it would also save us money and improve our health.
Already now, climate change is estimated to be killing 400,000 people a year — and these figures are destined to get worse and worse over the next decades.
According to the Cambridge University Global Review, Economics of Climate Change, the cost of fixing the climate change problem is one percent of global GDP. That is it. The equivalent of $1,000 a year in a household that has an income of $100,000.
Even so, our politicians are not fixing the problem as they should. Which is because our elected representatives in this case are not representing or protecting the future generations. They basically represent and protect the powerful and rich fossil fuel industry which uses every trick it can to keep its oil, coal and gas revenues flowing.
Now, could a speech like this one by David Suzuki become that turning point which some of us have been impatiently waiting for? — like we saw it happen in Egypt two years ago when a simple youtube speech by a young woman in Alexandria kicked that a whole movement off which made people gather on Tahrir Square and eventually turned into a revolution?
David Suzuki speaks with credibility, and he points out exactly what is wrong in this world, and what we need to do about it.
“We have failed our children and our planet because of our fear of change,” he says and accuses Canada’s politicians as well as its citizens of wilful blindness.
He believes that the actions — and inactions — of Canada’s politicians, corporations and citizens have brought our country to the brink of an environmental crisis that will affect our way of life for generations to come.
With his ‘Carbon Manifesto’, he aims to stop these crimes. Enough of the carbon doublespeak. “The party is over,” says David Suzuki:
“Governments and corporations are not just failing us, they are the driving forces that are taking us to the brink, wilfully ignoring the consequences, and thereby committing what can only be called an intergenerational crime.”
“Our so-called leaders must be held accountable.”
On 6 November 2013, David Suzuki will stand trial to defend his manifesto in front of the largest jury in history: Canada.
‘The Trial of David Suzuki’ is not a real trial, though – unfortunately – it is a production created and produced by Laurie Brown in partnership with Donnelly Law, presented by Cape Farewell and ROM Contemporary Culture, as part of the ‘Carbon 14: Climate is Culture’ exhibition programme.
Regardless, the content and the pledge is as real as can be.
“I pledge that I am ready to implement change. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” as David Suzuki states.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I have signed his manifesto pledge, and I am ready to go with David Suzuki on this, all the way.
» Here: trialofsuzuki.ca/#manifesto (Press the button ‘TAKE THE PLEDGE’)
What do you think? Are you going to sign?
If not… Why are you not signing? I’d really like to know — and to understand — what it would be that is holding you back.
Only 124 people have signed til now (as of 27 October 2013).
I think we must show David Suzuki and his team that this initiative of his has a bigger potential than being part of an art production. It should not be just a few thousands or hundreds of thousands, but millions who can unite on signing this one pledge.
» You can also join the jury at trialofsuzuki.ca and follow @trialofsuzuki on twitter for live updates.
» You’ll be able to watch the live stream of the court case on trialofsuzuki.ca on 6 November – and deliver your verdict.
Suzuki’s Carbon Manifesto
“I’m David Suzuki. I stand here today as an elder, beyond the temptations of money, fame or power. I have no hidden agenda but to speak the truth.
Human beings and the natural world are often too beautiful for words. I’ve spent much of my career filming the wonders of nature and our place in it – many times words would fail me. As I near the end of my life, I am amazed at how much power, technology, wealth and consumption humanity has acquired, and that has transformed our lives while at the same time undermining the very life support systems on which our existence and well-being depend – air, water, soil and food, photosynthetic activity and biodiversity.
Now, my grandchildren are the joy of my life, but I know how uncertain their future is and all the baubles of our consumer society cannot compensate for the rich wonders and generosity of nature. But you don’t have to be moved by the beauty of the world to understand that we depend on it utterly for our very existence. My postwar generation and the boomers who followed lived like kings and queens as we partied as if there was no tomorrow, never worrying about the kind of world we were leaving for our children. Well, the party’s over.
“Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course… If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future we wish for human society… No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished… A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.”
Those words are taken from the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, from November 1992, over two decades ago. It was signed by over 1,700 senior scientists from 71 countries and included more than half of all Nobel prizewinners.
Since the World Scientists’ Warning, scientific study after scientific study has documented the perilous state of the atmosphere, oceans, forests, vanishing species, toxic pollution and the unanticipated consequences of powerful new technologies.
Now we stand on the edge of a precipice that is of our own making. In less than 100 years, we have managed to lose sight of our absolute dependence on nature, and our responsibility not to foul our own home. We congratulate ourselves for growth, expansion, technological advances, and profits, and we live with the illusion that our inventiveness enables us to keep the economy growing without limit.
Canada has been near the head of the line when it comes to growth and profits in the world. And the tyranny of the belief that the economy is what matters most to the country has transformed us to a point where we can hardly recognize ourselves. George Monbiot writes “Canada: a liberal, cultured, decent country” has been “transformed into a thuggish petro-state.” I believe this is who we are. A country that in spite of everything science tells us, what the changing weather tells us, is determined to squeeze every bit of oil out of the ground to grab the last of the profits to feed an addiction that we know is destroying a future from coming generations.
Governments and corporations are not just failing us, they are the driving forces that are taking us to the brink, wilfully ignoring the consequences and thereby committing what can only be called an intergenerational crime. The consequences of their actions — and inaction — will reverberate for generations. Wilful blindness is an indictable offence as is criminal negligence, but intergenerational crime is so recent a concept that we have yet to develop the legal mechanisms to act. Our so-called leaders must be held accountable.
This accountability must extend to every citizen of Canada. We have failed our children and our planet because of our fear of change and our fear of the future.
I accuse corporations, including the automobile, energy, pharmaceutical, chemicals, and agricultural sectors; of putting profit and growth before all else including the survival and health of society. That their corporate lobbying is setting our country’s agenda is shameful.
I accuse Canadian politicians of intergenerational crimes. Their actions will affect our grandchildren, and their grandchildren.
I accuse Canadian corporations and government of immoral activity with devastating consequences for the poorest, most vulnerable nations on the globe.
I accuse Canada’s politicians and its citizens of wilful blindness, of failing to be informed about critical issues that they have the power to influence and of failing to take action when they are aware of avoidable ecological crises.
If my country refuses to exonerate me, then it stands guilty of failing to defend its vaunted claim of freedom of speech. If my words are judged treasonous, then so be it.
With my carbon manifesto, I aim to stop these crimes:
1. Fossil fuels as our primary energy source are over. Within a generation they must stay in the ground. That means exploration and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry end now.
2. Save the earth’s largest carbon sinks: Canada’s Boreal forest and our oceans must be protected.
3. Seventy per cent of our energy must be renewable energy within one generation.
4. A carbon tax of $150 per tonne starts now.
5. Canadian climate scientists must be able to share their findings uncensored and unimpeded by political and corporate interests.
I hereby offer a manifesto pledge:
Human beings have become so powerful that we are altering the biological, chemical and physical properties of the planet on a geological scale. We must look to the future, and science rather than politics or economics must be our guide.
I know our dependence on fossil fuels must end.
I know it will take massive change for us as a species to survive let alone thrive in the converging global crisis around climate, food, water, fuel and the economy.
I pledge to stop the epidemic of blame around the climate crisis and recognize my own responsibility.
The way I live my life is part of the problem.
I believe we need a new vision for our future as Canadians and as humans.
I pledge that I am ready to implement change. I want to be part of the solution not part of the problem.
I stand with the Carbon Manifesto. This is our way forward.”
A Dutch foundation, Stichting Urgenda, is suing the Dutch government for failing to act to meet the European Commission’s climate goals. These include a target of 25 to 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 in order to maintain a 50 percent chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
The planned legal action was announced in November 2012. The court filing will take place on 20 November 2013 (and this one is not an art happening).
The Dutch court case is the first in a series of cases against governments and politicians. Currently, more legal action against governments are being prepared in other countries, reports Stichting Urgenda, and as such, this first Dutch case is being closely followed by climate activists around the world.
Mosaic – 19 October 2013:
100% Renewable Energy Isn’t Theoretical, It’s Reality
100% renewable energy to some may sound like nothing more than a pipe dream, but in reality, it already exists. Article by Jeremy Gottlieb
Ecowatch – 25 October 2013:
Stanford Professor on Letterman: Powering Entire World on Renewable Energy No Problem
“There’s enough wind to power the entire world, for all purposes, around seven times over,” the professor of civil and environmental engineering told David Letterman. “Solar, about 30 times over, in high-solar locations worldwide.” Article by Brandon Baker
So, folks: It is time to stand up for some principles. Governments’ job is to protect the citizens, and that includes our children and grandchildren. When politicians are corrupt and have no moral, then it is our duty to take action and make everyone aware of what is going on.
I hope a LOT of Australians saw this interview with Al Gore on ABC in the 7:30 news.
And thanks for Al Gore for cutting through all the cloudy ‘carbon doublespeak’ which is going on at the moment – not just in Australia, but around the world.
For instance, just take a look at this disgrace.
“Our job, as citizens, is to work for the formation of public policy based on reality. Based on logic. Based on reason. In support of the public interest, not private special interest. And because [the fossil fuel industry] have achieved so much control over the operations of our democracy, doesn’t mean that we cannot take it back.”
Humans are putting 90 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every day, as if it is an open sewer. That pollution traps the same amount of heat as the energy from 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs going off every 24 hours.
“Our addiction to these high-intensity, dirty carbon-based fuels? You know, junkies find veins in their toes when the ones in their arms and legs give out. We are now at the point where we’re going after these ridiculously dirty and dangerous carbon-based fuels, and we’ve got to stop that.”
ThinkProgress – 27 October 2013:
Al Gore On Solving The Climate Crisis: ‘You’re Damn Right I’m Passionate About This’
Zero emissions technologies can be implemented right now
Billions of dollars currently invested in fossil fuel industries can and should be withdrawn and re-invested in zero emissions technology immediately. This is the message Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO of climate solutions think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions delivered to a Brisbane audience on 17 October 2013.
“Beyond Zero Emissions’ research is demonstrating that zero emissions technologies can be implemented in Australia across all sectors of the economy right now,” said Dr Bygrave.
“Investment in these technologies is already a reality at a large scale around the world. Divestment from dirty technologies is inevitable, and for investors, every day is a day’s missed investment opportunity. There’s no reason to wait and every reason to act.”
» Continue reading on bze.org.au
Culture|Futures – 22 November 2013:
Canada: Sold-out theatre production on climate change
In Canada, the theatre production ‘The Trial of David Suzuki’ became a sold out event which intrigued an audience of all ages. To the Canadian scientist, broadcaster and author David Suzuki, it provided a way to discuss the threat of human-induced climate change without first having to “prove” it is happening. By Mik Aidt
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