Yes, Mr. Suzuki, it’s what you do that re­ally counts

PressReader - BRUCE_CAROL_ROWE Channel - Yes, Mr. Suzuki, it’s what you do that re­ally counts
If in­deed all pol­i­tics is lo­cal, then surely all car­bon foot­prints are cor­re­spond­ingly in­di­vid­ual.Af­ter all, the vast ma­jor­ity of us have two feet, which we use to plod about this earth us­ing en­ergy in var­i­ous forms and dif­fer­ing de­grees.So can you imag­ine any­thing more in­di­vid­u­ally waste­ful in burn­ing such en­ergy — with those re­sult­ing car­bon emis­sions — than buy­ing and us­ing a hol­i­day home on the other side of the planet? Equally, can you imag­ine any­thing more hyp­o­crit­i­cal than turn­ing around to lec­ture other folk about the dread­ful en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age caused by burn­ing var­i­ous oils, in­clud­ing, of course, jet fuel?OK, this isn’t your neigh­bour we’re dis­cussing here. Nope, in­stead let’s have a round of hearty ap­plause for that en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard, that golly-gosh green gi­ant of Cana­dian cul­tural fame, that Univer­sity of Al­berta-anointed mega-star, the one and the only David Suzuki.Likely it won’t sur­prise many Cal­gar­i­ans to learn Suzuki, who has made an ex­tremely good liv­ing be­rat­ing the hoi pol­loi for their col­lec­tive, waste­ful life­styles, let slip he’s owned a hol­i­day apart­ment in Aus­tralia for years.Now if we as­sume the 82-year-old doesn’t jump from the dock of one of his many B.C. homes and swim the Pa­cific Ocean to that Port Dou­glas abode in the Land Down Un­der, then the car­bon foot­print in­volved in a 26,000-kilo­me­tre re­turn air­craft trip is stag­ger­ing.Just as stag­ger­ing is the wil­ful hypocrisy of mak­ing such a well-heeled liv­ing cour­tesy of the whole en­vi­ron­men­tal move­ment, de­spite be­ing an in­di­vid­ual chew­ing up far more re­sources than reg­u­lar Canucks.That’s what riles peo­ple. Re­gard­less of whether you be­lieve the planet’s warm­ing is due to ac­cu­mu­lated car­bon diox­ide or not — I lean that way,Peo­ple pick em­ploy­ment over the en­vi­ron­mentbut then I once be­lieved Pluto was a planet and the uni­verse’s ex­pan­sion was slow­ing be­cause sci­en­tists told me such was so — most folk have lives to live and fam­i­lies to pro­vide for.Which is why peo­ple pick em­ploy­ment over the en­vi­ron­ment. My fa­ther’s lungs were a third full of coal dust af­ter 49 years down the pit, but even in re­tire­ment there he was, down on the picket line, try­ing to stop his col­liery clos­ing. He knew what it meant to those far younger than him. The en­vi­ron­ment? Well, that was for rich peo­ple to worry about.But David Suzuki will never un­der­stand that. To him and his ilk, this is a morally feel-good game, al­beit a richly re­ward­ing one. What bet­ter gig than to feel su­pe­rior yet own five homes in the process? Heck, the U of A should have given the old dodger an hon­orary de­gree in snake oil sales­man­ship.Just how deep this goes is ev­i­dent in a re­cent an­swer to one of those puff­ball 20 lame ques­tion fea­tures that fawn­ing pub­li­ca­tions re­serve for the cul­tural elite, help­ing bur­nish their re­spec­tive haloes along with the al­ready in­flated egos. “What’s the best line you have ever writ­ten?” Suzuki was asked, oh so in­ci­sively.“I just re­peat what my dad taught me: You are what you do, not what you say,” his an­swer.Well, if dad were alive to­day one imag­ines Suzuki the El­der would think his off­spring an in­ter­na­tional prop­erty de­vel­oper, rather than the green move­ment’s an­swer to Mother Teresa.And don’t as­sume when he nips off for a much-needed break to Aussie-land Suzuki is con­tent to dip his tired toot­sies in the warm ocean whilst hum­ming Waltz­ing Matilda.Heck no: he’s lec­tur­ing their cit­i­zens and politi­cians with the same zest he’s per­fected here in our Great White North.When then prime min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott axed a car­bon tax, Suzuki fig­ured he should be tossed in the slam­mer for crim­i­nal neg­li­gence.Sound fa­mil­iar? It should, be­cause once he wanted Stephen Harper sim­i­larly jailed for wil­ful blind­ness over the Cana­dian PM’s en­vi­ron­men­tal record.Hey, bet­ter yet: Harper could have been shipped in irons to Botany Bay. Then Suzuki could have paid him a visit to break up those dreary va­ca­tion blahs. Suit­ably car­ry­ing a green salad for the cam­eras.

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