Reflections on Dr. Suzuki’s Environmental Message.
I had the opportunity this week to listen to Dr. David Suzuki talk at the Palais des Congrès. Dr. David Suzuki’s environmental message has been relatively consistent over the last 30 years, which is more or less that the Earth has limited resources and we cannot continue to consume and waste the resources available to us indefinitely. We cannot continue to manipulate the environment to suit our needs. We cannot continue to pollute the air, the water, the soil. It is not a philosophical discussion, it is science…it’s just not possible. If we run out of air, in two minutes we are dead. Run out of water and in a few days we are dead. Run out of food that the good earth supplies and in 40 days or so were dead.
These are priorities for all life, and we are conscience and understand the importance of these things as they relate to our survival, but under our watch more species have gone extinct than any other period in Geological history. The oldest rocks on Earth date back to 4.36 billion years. Earth evolved into the abundance of life and conditions for life to exist over that time. Our early ancestors have been around for about 3 million years and civilisation so to speak started about 6000 years ago. The amount of time that mankind has been active on this planet is the thickness of a piece of paper on top of the geological time scale.
Carbon Dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have increased about 25%
since 1958 when NASA began recording and are now at record levels.
The geological time scale was established using markers, fossils and such tell us lots about the Earths evolution of life. These fossils determine eras, like the paper thin section that represents the presence of man. We still try to figure out what happened to the dinosaurs, why did they disappear…. Was it their fault? Maybe some other species will ask the same question about our disappearance.
I was once told, if you want a perspective on your life, imagine yourself dead and gone standing in front of your gravestone, what will the people left behind have to say about you… a virtual second chance like Scrooge. Now consider the paper thin section of the geological time scale representing our legacy; record extinctions, over use of resources, pollution, etc. We can do better, we just have to believe in second chances.