David Suzuki was guest editor for the whole Vancouver Sun on Saturday May 5th. Dr. Suzuki has always been an eloquent voice in the vanguard of environmental education. His Sat Van Sun edition is definitely worth a read, is definitely a step towards a positive green transformation.
“What I would love to do is put a green slant in every area,” [Suzuki said], explaining he thinks the mainstream media do not do enough to highlight how the environment is connected to all areas of the news.
“You may get [stories] about floods in Bangladesh, drought in Ethiopia and forest fires in northern Alberta, and they are all reported as if they’ve got nothing to do with each other,” he said, adding he would like to start making those connections.
“One of the challenges we face is we are not seeing the world as a single entity and seeing how interconnected things are.”
Suzuki also said he wants to get green stories into the sports and arts and life sections.
Suzuki to be guest editor for a day (Vancouver Sun, March 24, 2007)
This longtime subscriber to the Vancouver Sun found the Saturday issue edited by David Suzuki to be a very refreshing sunny backporch read containing informative articles in almost every section, with a warm and positive green tone.
The Sat Sun is normally a bloated waste of time. It swells into over 100 pages but with little of weight for all the trees cut down. Homes sections, expanded classifieds and special advertising sections. Credit Suzuki and his David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) staff with coaxing out interesting journalism in almost every section.
You can access most but not all of these articles and op-eds at the Sun website at www.canada.com/vancouversun/features/suzuki/index.html There seems to be no paywall for Saturday.
Since some stories are only of local interest I’ve added links to the best and more universally interesting below. If you are interested in specific topics such as greening up health care, transportation or the arts check out the original.
The Sun Sports Section was least disturbed by the green editorial team; the only green mention being a weak effort by regular columnist Mike Beamish that’s hardly worth a link.
Maybe I’m being too harsh but I did predict this business-as-usual pro sports treatment. To me it exemplifies the green-lite limits of our vision. We still haven’t gotten serious about climate change and what must be done to keep below 450ppm and less than 2 degree warming.
During the past two weeks, while editor Suzuki had input to the Vancouver Sun, Jim Hansen released a very important articulation of climate change and especially the need to change rapidly to head off dangerous climate change. George Monbiot raised the alarm that governments everywhere are lying instead of trying to prevent dangerous climate change. And Ken Ward advocated nothing less than complete governance change in the US and then globally as the only path to avert this impending cataclysm.
The Sun’s readers could have benefitted by a skillful journalistic attempt to capture their language and perspective. The climate change challenge is too big for green-lite. Suzuki knows this but the Sun opportunity had to have green-lite limitations so he skillfully took what was possible. But making wise choices about green consumption is not nearly enough. Many readers will go away with a false sense of security believing that we are making the changes necessary.
My beloved Canucks didn’t get nearly enough scoring and we’re bounced in the second round of the playoffs. How to get the sports editor outta denial to understand that humanity is risking being bounced into extinction along with most of our fellow species with whom we share this present Nature? And that therefor the NHL is a luxury we can no longer afford?
Best of Suzuki’s green Sat Van Sun [Saturday Vancouver Sun]:
Two former senior provincial public servants explain why an emissions tax is at the centre of their proposed sustainability policy for B.C.
There’s a role for government and for the market economy — the essential point is we all have to pull together
Our green lustre fades as Gateway project paves way for an auto-dependent future, experts warn… The Gateway project is a “gigantic leap in the absolute wrong direction,” says University of B.C. Professor Larry Frank, who is internationally famous for his studies of the connection between obesity and the suburbs. “It will entrench us in an auto-dependent future right in the middle of a climate-change debacle.”
The pressure to present balanced accounts of controversial issues shouldn’t extend to nonsense
Everybody at the World Youth Forum last summer was expected to buy carbon offsets to compensate for the CO2 spewed into the air by the cars or jet planes that got them there.
Everybody, that is, but me. And not just because I’m a journalist and way too old to be a delegate. I got a free pass because, while most others flew in from places like Davos, London or New York, I walked to the Four Seasons from my home in the West End.
Of course, I won’t feel so smug if I attend another such event in a distant city. But, having just taken a close look at the carbon offset business, I’ll still keep my credit card in my pocket.
Which puts me out-of-step with a lot of people, including editor-for-a-day David Suzuki.
My grandparents arrived in Vancouver from Japan shortly after the turn of the last century. Like many immigrants, they were driven from their country by extreme poverty and were drawn to British Columbia by promises of vast opportunities and limitless resources.
…Today we celebrate the vibrant, more tolerant, multicultural city that Vancouver has become. The deadly smoke fogs disappeared as coal and sawdust burning were phased out, but now new pollution from vehicles frequently turns the air over the city a yellow-brown. I can’t take my grandchildren fishing where I went as a child because the creeks or the fish are no longer there. Amidst gleaming highrises, offices and homes, linked by a network of roads, we have forgotten the forest, wildlife and salmon runs that were once a part of the city.
Yet that connection is still there. One of the most uplifting local projects undertaken by the David Suzuki Foundation has been a partnership with the Musqueam Band to restore the salmon runs in the tiny creek that runs through their reserve. I have been astonished to watch the entire neighbourhood take ownership and pride over the watershed because it supports the last salmon runs in the city. That kind of kinship with nature is part of what makes this place so special.
Over the years, that kinship became buried beneath our day-to-day needs, from our jobs, mortgages, car payments and just the relentless speed of modern life. But right now we’re seeing a resurgence of it, driven by global warming