“Imagine two elders with no vested interest in the status quo speaking out about climate change and the kind of world we are leaving to our children.” — David Suzuki
A Brief News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted September 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
It is heartening to know that not every person over the age of 70 is either treating the climate emergency our world faces as some kind of joke or commie plot, or is out there saying; “Why should I care what the world’s like in 20 or 30 years. I’ll probably be punching out before then anyway. So I’m supporting politicians like Harris and Scheer, just to long as they keep their hands off my pension and health care, and give me cheap gas and more tax cuts.”
We’ve got what a recent best-selling book by the same title calls “a generation of sociopaths” – otherwise known as aging baby boomers and older – who we can count on to drive to the polls in droves in this October’s federal election, to vote for any candidate that promises to strike down putting moe of a price (what the likes of Harris and Scheer demonize as a “tax”) on climate-changing carbon pollution.
So thank God there are at least some people over 70 out there – in this case, 83-year-old David Suzuki, a scientists and host of the long-running CBC program, A Nature of Things, and 81-year-old Stephen Lewis, a former Ontario politician and United Nations Ambassador for Canada – who are prepared to go out there and speak out for climate action and our children’s future.
Suzuki, Lewis and another great Canadian over the age of 70 – 78-year-old folksinger and social justice activist Buffy Sainte-Marie, who is joining them as a special guest – are embarking on what they are calling a “Climate First Tour” of five key cities across the country this September and October, starting at 7p.m this September 14th, at Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto.
One of the messages, these three elders want to get across during the tour,” said Suzuki during a recent CBC Radio interview, is that young people, who are notorious for not voting, have to get out and vote as if their whole future depends on it this time, but “you’ve got to do more than just get out and vote,” he added.
“You’ve got to galvanize your peer group,” Suzuki said of younger generations. “And you’ve got to demand of everyone running for office — whatever party they’re in — you’ve got to say, “Is climate change your No. 1 issue?” Because this must not remain a partisan issue. This is an issue as if we are at war.”
“You know, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and [then-U.S. president Franklin] Roosevelt declared war then, nobody said, “Aw, this guy is going to break the bank. Our economy is going to go to hell. These damn Democrats don’t have the right priorities.” Everybody got together.
When the Raptors were playing in the finals, you know, all of Canada — even Montreal, for God’s sakes — was rooting for Toronto. We need that kind of spirit.”
All I can say as a father of a person in their 20s is kudos to these three elders for doing this because they certainly don’t need to do anything like this for notoriety or money, and it is more likely that the extremists on the right will be using this as an opportunity to call them some very bad names.
If as one of our Niagara At Large readers reminded me, trolls on the right are willing to use social media to call 16-year-old, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg “mentally ill” and “retarded,” there probably is no bottom for how low they will go.
In the meantime, here is a video message David Suzuki prepared for the tour that you can listen to by clicking on the screen below
And here is a video message from Stephen Lewis –
Click on the following link for a CBC story on the tour – https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-thursday-edition-1.5281084/david-suzuki-joins-stephen-lewis-buffy-sainte-marie-for-climate-first-tour-1.5281085
For more details on the tour, click on – https://www.climatefirsttour.ca/the-tour
Coming Soon To A Book Store Near You, and just in time for Canada’s Federal Election. More on Naomi Klein’s new book on the climate emergency on NAL later –
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“A politician thinks of the next election. a leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders