scientist David Suzuki, host of the acclaimed television documentary
series "The Nature of Things," discussed the factors that
are endangering the environment September 29 during a Voices of
Discovery lecture and presented a plan to enhance environmental
his Elon audience he cannot take his grandchildren fishing in the
Vancouver streams where he fished as a child "because there
aren't any fish left." Extinction of various species on the
planet, although natural to some degree, is accelerating at an alarming
have always been fond of saying there's plenty more where that came
from," Suzuki said. "Well, there ain't more where that
came from. It's gone."
said the world's rapid population and economic growth has caused
whole societies to lose their "world view," the concept
that everything on Earth is connected to everything else. He said
this point has been magnified for him over the past 20 years because
he has lived with indigenous peoples such as American Indians from
time to time.
of these societies literally view the Earth as their mother,"
Suzuki said. "They understand that everything they have comes
from the Earth and is related in some way. Many of us have lost
that along the way. We don't consider the impact the things we buy
have on the environment. Until we understand that we are
the Earth, we will not understand that we are all interrelated."
of people alive today were born after 1950, when rapid economic
growth became the norm, Suzuki said.
people have spent their time in an unprecedented and unsustainable
environment," he explained. "If they want something, they
go to the store and buy it. They don't think about the consequences
of what they're buying. We don't know any different."
the wealth of information available to people today, through the
Internet and other forms of media, is both good and bad. He cited
the insistence by some that global warming is not happening. "Make
no mistake, global warming is happening," he said. "We
live in an age where we are overwhelmed with information. People
can find a book or a Web site to support anything."
He also decried
the world's economic system, saying it makes no allowances for the
environment. "Economics is not a science," Suzuki said.
"Economics is a set of values posing as a science. (Economists)
render the real world we live in an externality."
lives and works in Canada, is advancing a cause he hopes can bring
environmental sustainability within a decade. "These are things
people can do now, decisions they can make about their lifestyle
and the products they buy," he said. "We must establish
a vision and work together to achieve that."
made science relevant and meaningful for the masses through his
award-winning work in broadcasting. He became host of "The
Nature of Things with David Suzuki" on CBC television in 1979,
winning four Gemini Awards as best host of a Canadian television
series. His David Suzuki Foundation, founded in 1990, uses science
and education to "protect the balance of nature and our quality
of life, now and for future generations." Its projects focus
on climate change, energy needs and the promotion of sustainable
use of forests, wild lands, oceans and fisheries.
of Discovery science speaker series, sponsored by Elon College,
the College of Arts and Sciences, invites noted scholars in science
and mathematics to share their knowledge and experience with students.