David Suzuki!

Suzuki
I made the coffee David Suzuki’s drinking! We’ll never wash the mug again.

A living Canadian legend dropped by Prairie Dog’s office this afternoon! David Suzuki is in town for the Blue Dot Tour, which goes tonight at seven at the Conexus Arts Centre. You can and should buy tickets here. Musical guests include Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor and Royal Wood. It will be tons of fun. I won’t be there because I have to work. Sad face. Oh well, at least I got to meet Suzuki — and yeah, as you’d think, it was terrific spending half an hour chit-chatting with this titan of environmentalism. As anyone (well, anyone reasonable) would suspect, Suzuki is a warm, intelligent and charismatic person. If you ever have the chance to meet him, take it.

Suzuki, me, Darrol Hofmeister and designer Awesome Klassen talked about climate change and climate change denial, politics, science, science education, the Apollo program, urban sprawl and urban wildlife, and fun stuff like that (well, it was fun for us). At one point, Suzuki brought up Tommy Douglas as an example of Saskatchewan’s progressive history, and I had to break the news that a lot of people here hate “Tommy The Commie” — and in general, we’re now a less progressive province than Alberta.

I think it’s fair to say Suzuki was baffled. He thought we’d all be proud of our history. He’s right. We should be.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

35 thoughts on “David Suzuki!”

  1. Did you ask him which of his several large suburban properties he’d be returning to after his lecture on the evils of urban sprawl?

  2. Tommy’s a cultural wedge issue now. David should understand Tea Party/Ford Nation/Harper politics by now!!!

  3. Jason: no, but we talked about how his detractors are douchebags! We had a good laugh.

  4. If “fair” = petty, contrary, unconstructive, oblivious and tedious, it might be the most fair comment I’ve ever seen.

  5. Talbot: he does, but he wasn’t aware Saskatchewan had embraced them.

    He was shocked (and amused) that our city’s motto is “infinite horizons”.

  6. Just because you don’t like it and have a case of hero worship doesn’t make the question unfair, Stephen. He goes around lecturing on the evils of crap that he himself does every single day. Explain how questioning him on why he himself continues to act in a way that he lectures others on as being irresponsible is unfair.

  7. I imagine if Mayor Fougere owned several suburban residential properties and was constantly prattling on about how bad urban sprawl is and how we need to build up not out, you might call him on it…well, a real journalist (maybe, Dechene) would anyway.

  8. Yeah what an asshole. He has stuff and he dares to tell people about the environment.
    If he walked to Regina in a loin cloth I bet Jason and Barb would be able to see the merits of his message.

  9. You have to admit, Rusty, that as Mr. Doan has said above, if the shoe was on the other foot, PD and others would be all over the guy for hypocrisy and poor cred.

  10. It’s not that he “has stuff”. It’s that he has the exact stuff and acts in the exact way that he preaches against, while collecting tens of thousands of dollars per speech to let you know that it’s wrong for you to do what he became rich and famous doing. It’s the literal definition of hypocrisy.

  11. I wonder how many tickets would be sold to hear the leader of the KKK or the Aryan Nation give a lecture on racial harmony….

  12. Stephen: Granted. We did seem to fast-track the new culturally-regressive, business-progressive attitude. What’s the scoop on his houses? Has he invested in Harbour Landing?

  13. while I accept that there is aherd mentality in the world I do not accept that ‘PD and others’ are a homogeneous group. There are alwys plenty of opinions I disagree/agree with on this site.
    Lumping people together is as wrong as ad hominem attacks on Dr Suzuki.

  14. Where’s the Ad Hominem in pointing out that he acts in the exact way he speaks against and people like Stephen give him a free pass on it because they share the same political bent?

  15. I did some brief research, and didn’t find anything regarding what properties he owns. I did, however, come to a realization in the process.

    It is irrelevant.

    It is impossible to be part of this society, and not be part of the problem he is fighting against. We have to live somewhere, we have to eat, we have to wear clothes. The fight to save the planet requires doing some of the very things that are damaging it. The key is to minimize that damage, and for our impact to be net positive.

    I would say that his impact is net positive.

    Also, I would point out that you are a hypocrite, I am a hypocrite, and likely so is every other human on this planet. A demonstration of hypocrisy does not refute anything per se, and I’m not sure that the claims made above of hypocrisy are even substantiated.

    I believe the most apt description of some of the comments above is “trolling”.

  16. One person’s “trolling” is another person’s fair comment and legitimate questioning. A consistent reaction on this blog, which is too bad, is to call someone you disagree with a “troll”. What that reveals is an inability to tolerate free discussion, and/or a lack of debating skills.

  17. A. Johnson is bang-on. Barb: you and Jason are trolling while the planet burns, and it’s obnoxious. And that’s coming from someone (me) who often finds you both delightful.

  18. Although the Sun News spin about Suzuki’s properties, etc. is a classic logical fallacy and is not a relevant response to the arguments Suzuki makes, here’s some light on the subject nonetheless:

    http://davidsuzuki.org/blogs/panther-lounge/2013/10/false-allegations-pollute-the-well-of-public-discourse/

    I realize that will do little to change the minds of his detractors, but it would be nice if some of them actually engaged in rational debate about the subject matter rather than red herrings and personal attacks.

    Ian Hanington
    David Suzuki Foundation

  19. Dear Stephen: your characterisation of Mr. Doan and myself as “trolling while the planet burns” is on the same level as characterising concern for civil rights as aiding and abetting terrorism.

    As to “engag[ing] in rational debate…rather than red herrings and personal attacks”, I must smile’ especially considering Stephen’s ripostes above and elsewhere.

  20. Congrats on the interview Steve! I would have loved to have been there to eavesdrop from behind my little divider.

    JD & BS: Dr. Suzuki has been a proponent of purchasing carbon credits to offset carbon emissions/consumption. Do you know that he hasn’t done this?

  21. Blaine: did either Mr. Doan or I say or even imply that he hasn’t? Talk about red herrings.

  22. Oh right, carbon credits… Those magical things that clean all the bad stuff out of the air for a fee. No. Wait. They don’t actually do anything except generating fees in some sort of environmentalist Ponzi scheme. You know what’s better than buying carbon credits? Not burning fossil fuels. But what do I know, I’m just some right wing nut job douchebag Internet troll.

    I actually agree with most of Dr. Suzuki’s thoughts on urban sprawl. Of course, I live in a centrally located 900 square foot house that’s walking distance to both my work and a grocery store. I’m also a capitalist so have no ill will towards him for his great success. I just can’t stand the “do as I say not as I do” crowd.

    Oh and Ms. Saylor, please it’s Jason or just J., even my dad won’t answer to Mr. Doan :)

  23. Jason: You’ve repeatedly characterized Suzuki’s properties as “suburban” and implied they contribute to sprawl. Two of his properties (including his main residence) are in Kitsilano, a neighbourhood in Metro Vancouver that is easy biking distance to both downtown Vancouver and his primary work site, UBC. The neighbourhood goes back to the early 20th century and contains a multitude of heritage buildings. It’s walkable (sidewalks on every street), has good public transport (it used to even have a streetcar system), has a variety of local shops, allows no box stores with acres of parking and in no way requires a car to live. The most analogous Regina neighbourhood to Kits is Cathedral (with Suzuki’s house in their version of the Crescents). If you think living in that neighbourhood diminishes Suzuki’s environmental arguments and criticisms of modern sprawl, you’re a jackass. His other island properties would be properly characterized as rural. I don’t know enough details about the environmental friendliness of his properties to comment, but their locations are hardly the evidence of hypocrisy you’re trying to make them out to be.

  24. This is exactly the same kind of shit Al Gore got when he did a tour promoting awareness on climate change.

    What the fuck is he supposed to do, bike across the world?

    The simple fact that it is next to impossible to be carbon neutral helps Gore and Suzuki’s points and any attack on their lifestyle is simply ad hominem and should be disregarded as such.

  25. I thought the point with carbon credits was that the money was used to plant trees or research green energy. But I will defer to the native Reginans’ greater knowledge of Ponzi schemes… so how’s Capital Pointe coming along?

  26. Did I mention ; ALL of You Are going to be the best 67 yr old #harp0 zombie, crossing 9 intersections , in search of.. a litre of milk. / or water..

  27. This is hilarious and a little sad. I saw there was 28 comments and I was expecting they’d be about how inspiring his event was the other night… but nope, we’re talking about what properties Mr. Suzuki owns. I have no idea where his other properties are, but Brad is right, his main home is in Kits in Vancouver. I know this because I grew up there and saw him the neighbourhood all the time. His daughters went to my high school. If you haven’t been there, Kits is an environmentalist’s dream neighbourhood and is the furthest thing from suburban sprawl…

  28. OK, Jason; glad to make your acquaintance. I was being polite, and respecting you for commenting under your own full name.

    The idea of carbon offsets looks good on paper (or on a computer screen), but it seems designed more for corporations and other entities who can afford to have full-time managers/auditors to provide oversight and make sure that one’s investment is going where it should go, or doing what it should do.

    There’s plenty of space here for people to comment on Dr. Suzuki’s presentation.

  29. Wow. What an authentic Halloween costume of David Suzuki. Next to Don Cherry, he’s the 2nd oldest geezer CBC currently has. Be afraid! Be very very afraid! WOOOOOOH! Happy Halloween!

  30. Why does Mr. Suzuki always request young attractive women to accompany him on speaking tours? Hmmm, I wonder. This old bugger has no credibility at all.

  31. Only thing I remember is seeing Suzuki speak several years ago at the U of R and spouting off knowledge that First Nations have been talking about for years regarding the environment, it’s circular and everything effects everything…and then my friend’s cell phone rang, totally by accident, because you know…KIDS, and he yelled…”Shut that goddamn cell phone off” and he was applauded.
    They edited that out of the Access replay…

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