To David Suzuki this climate crisis is very simple: we are bound by laws of nature. We are bound by a reliance on clean air, clean water, fertile soil, photosynthesis and biodiversity; we are not bound by economic laws. Political parties, nationalities, economies: these are all lines drawn in the sand by humans. These things are human inventions that we are prioritizing over life itself. We are prioritizing these man-made myths over the lives of other species and even more tragically, over the lives of other people.
This is the truth: the things that matter most to us don’t have economic value. Falling in love, spending time with family, seeing a mother bear and her two cubs sprint across the road between rolling foothills, watching the sunset on a beautiful summer day – you can’t trade these experiences on the stock market.
Where do you put the sacred into your economic evaluation?
So the man who has been challenging our arrogant political and economic values for decades is warning us, once again, that we are running out of time.
We have a short window of opportunity to change the course of the world and our current systems are out of whack. Our bottom lines are out of whack. We are trapped in an economic system where very few people have most of the power and wealth while at least 80% of the world’s population live on less than $10 per day.
Before David Suzuki spoke, Elder Cat Criger, an Aboriginal Elder and Traditional Teacher and Mentor from the First Nations Peoples, explained the “Dish with one spoon” treaty. This treaty is a promise between different tribes and people within the same tribe to share and care for the environment. It is a promise to give back what you take from the land and care for each one of our brothers and sisters: human, animal and plant.
Indigenous People have much to teach us about how to care for and respect Mother Earth. Suzuki acknowledged this when he said that Canada’s 150th birthday should indeed be a celebration. We should be celebrating that despite my ancestors best attempts to eliminate and assimilate them, Indigenous People are still here to teach us the most important lesson of our time.