David Suzuki compared inaction on climate change to slavery. on the CBC, with Evan Solomon. Here’s the excerpt:
SOLOMON: You talk about 2006. But the CBC has obtained documents that raise questions about the government’s ability to even meet that 20 percent reduction from 2006 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Today the environment minister, Jim Prentice, he did stick by that goal. But there is word that they’re thinking about giving the oil sands perhaps a different break on that.
SUZUKI: Of course.
SOLOMON: And in fact, what’s your view on that?
SUZUKI: Of course. Well, you know…
SOLOMON: And by the way, they’re saying because it is, by the way, because the oil sands creates jobs, creates money that is transferred to other provinces, and that’s their notion of the balance.
SUZUKI: You know, that’s what they used to say in the southern states. We can’t give up slavery because it’ll destroy our economy and slavery gives us jobs and we have to have slave runners and all of that. Some things you do because they’re right. And you know, the problem is…
SOLOMON: But David, just for the record, and I know you’re passionate, but is comparing this to slavery, is that fair, to demonize the other side like that?
SUZUKI: We’re talking about the fate of all of humankind and the kind of future we’re going to leave for our children. Yes, I think this is criminal what’s going on now, to act as if the economy. Remember, the economy is a human- created construct. It’s not a law of nature. You know, some things like gravity and the speed of light, you can’t do anything about that. We can’t do anything about the fact that we’re animals, and if we don’t have clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean energy and biodiversity, we’re dead. So, surely to goodness that should come before anything else.
I am currently reading Somaly Mam’s The Road of Lost Innocence, her memoir as a sex slave in Cambodia in the late 20th century. I’m almost half-way through it, the poor girl is not 20 years old, and already she’s been raped more times than I’ve had frappucinos in my entire life. And savagely beaten. Repeatedly. And degraded. And killed inside. Because she was simply considered a piece of meat that could be bought and used at the discretion of others. This book makes me shake with fury at the injustice of it all – the fact that countless other girls, some as young as five years old, are RIGHT NOW being used as sexual slaves (sold as virgins then sown up then sold again as virgins then sown up again, etc). And David Suzuki would have us believe that not acting fast enough for his taste on climate change amounts to treating human beings the way Somaly Mam was treated?
Shame on him.
Andrea adds: Suzuki has established in different forums that he is prepared to make outrageous statements that he hopes will remain unchallenged. I heard he walked out of a Toronto talk radio station once because he got offended. Apparently the host asked a critical question (how shocking). In short, I have come to see Suzuki as a kind of petulant mini-tyrant. Perhaps he and Diane Francis could room together or something.by