According to CHEK News, hundreds of people marched from Centennial Square to the steps of the B.C. Legislature on Saturday, November 20th. The “Funeral for the Future” was organized by Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island, and featured Dr David Suzuki as a speaker.
“No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threat will be lost,” said the former host of the Nature of Things. “We are in a sixth spasm of species loss. In May, a United Nations report announced a million more species are in imminent danger of extinction … There’s no mystery to why species are vanishing so rapidly. We are the cause. There are too many of us demanding too much from Mother Earth.”
Suzuki added, “The planet is not in trouble. It did fine for 4 billion years without us and will carry on after we’re gone.”
He pointed to the environmental crisis which humanity is bringing upon itself after a mere 200,000 years of existence.
Suzuki traced the roots of this threat to a “mindset that regards everything around as a potential opportunity for us,” complex legal systems and the artificial ”boundaries of nations, provinces, and municipalities.”
“Nature doesn’t give a damn about human boundaries,” he said.
“While laws define human and property rights, what about the right of a songbird to live its life as it evolved to live? What about the right of the forest to exist as a community of organisms or a river to flow as it has for millennia? Who the hell do we think we are?”
“ … So while most scientists believe the economy must shrink, politicians and the business community continue to push for more and fail to address the important questions. What is it economy for? Are there no limits? Are we happier with all this stuff? How much is enough? What are the necessities of life?”
The IMF reported that the fossil fuel sector received $5.9 trillion in subsidies during 2020.
“Yet the rich countries will not provide the $100 billion annually to help the victims of climate change,” said Suzuki.
Ignoring this speech, most media coverage focused on a comment Suzuki made to CHEK news:
“We’re in deep, deep doo-doo and they’ve been telling us – the leading experts – for over 40 years. This is what we’ve come to. The next stage after this, there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.”
BC’s Minister of Public safety, Mike Farnworth, shot back, “I think statements like that are not helpful.”
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said, “This type of rhetoric is dangerous and undemocratic.”
BC Liberal leadership candidate Ellis Ross said, “You can’t tell me he didn’t know exactly what he was inferring.”
Suzuki called the suggestion that he was inciting people to violence ‘absurd’ – “It’s exactly the opposite of what I was trying to say.”
Campbell River resident Don Goodeve, who organized the Extinction Rebellion event, told Cortes Currents, “We demand that our government get response. That they get aligned with the science that they take the actions in British Columbia which we need. That they declare an emergency and get organized around what is going to be necessary to protect the safety and livelihoods of British Colombians now and into the future.”
Top photo credit: Funeral for the future procession to the provincial legislature. David Suzuki in centre, Don Goodeve to his right – Courtesy Fairy Creek protest Facebook Page.
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