David Suzuki: 24 Hours of Reality speaks up about climate change

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      Most reality TV has little to do with the real world. But here’s an online show that will reflect what is happening in and to our world: 24 Hours of Reality will feature 24 presenters in 24 time zones talking about the climate crisis in 13 languages. It starts September 14 at 7 p.m. local time in Mexico City and wraps with a live multimedia presentation from New York City by Nobel laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore at 7 p.m. on September 15.

      Climate change is reality. It’s happening in front of our eyes, and massive volumes of research from climate scientists around the world confirm that it will get worse if we fail to do something about it. The facts are no longer in dispute. Greenhouse gas emissions, mainly caused by humans burning fossil fuels, are warming the planet. And the consequences aren’t pretty: health problems caused by pollution; increasing extreme weather events leading to floods, droughts, and storms; shrinking glaciers and related impacts on water supplies and agriculture; insect infestations; conflict over dwindling resources; threats to the survival of plants and animals… the list goes on.

      Some people don’t recognize how serious the problem is, delaying efforts to resolve it. And the longer we put off finding and implementing solutions, the harder and costlier it will be to overcome the impacts. Former World Bank chief economist Lord Stern estimated that keeping heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions below levels that would drive climate change to catastrophic levels could cost up to two per cent of global GDP, but failure to act could be economically disastrous.

      People accuse me and other environmentalists and scientists of being “alarmist”. But the situation is alarming, and it’s even more alarming that some people ignore it, perhaps believing it will go away – or that the crisis doesn’t even exist. In part, this disconnect with reality is because industrial interests spend billions of dollars sowing doubt and confusion, continually promoting discredited theories―just as they’ve done with issues including the dangers of tobacco smoke and the harmful effects of chlorofluorocarbons on the ozone layer. They tell us climate change doesn’t exist, or that it’s caused by volcanoes or the sun, or that it’s part of a natural cycle―even that God will regulate the climate to the advantage of humans.

      But as Al Gore points out, “The deniers may have millions of dollars to spend, but we have a powerful advantage. We have reality”. That reality includes mountains of published, peer-reviewed research by close to 98 percent of the world’s climate scientists, as well as real-time observation.

      The David Suzuki Foundation’s executive director in Quebec, Karel Mayrand, will deliver the 24 Hours of Reality French presentation at 7 p.m. French Polynesia time (midnight Montreal time). He’ll be joined by two more Canadians, Peter Schiefke in Victoria at 7 p.m. Pacific Time on September 14, and Carl Duivenvoorden from New Brunswick at 7 p.m. Greenland time (6 p.m. New Brunswick) on September 15. They and others will show there is no debate among scientists and knowledgeable people over the existence of human-caused climate change. If there is to be debate it should focus on what to do about it. Doing nothing, as some of the industry shills argue we should, is not a viable option.

      Solutions exist, although the cost and severity of the challenge is greater now than in 1988 when climatologists first called for emissions reductions. As more people become aware of the problem and its causes, and learn about the motives of the deniers, it becomes more likely that we’ll find ways to reduce the consequences and put humanity on a path to healthier lives on a healthier planet.

      We can’t argue with people who deny reality. All we can do is to make sure the voice of reason speaks louder and that those of us who care about humanity join together to find better ways to live on our Earth. Visit ClimateRealityProject.org to find out how you can tune in to 24 Hours of Reality. Choose the presentation and time zone you want, or take part in the entire event. You can even set up viewing parties with family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues. And spread the word. We need to speak up for the future of humanity.

      The time to act is now.

      Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation editorial and communications specialist Ian Hanington. Learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.



      Meme Mine

      Sep 6, 2011 at 4:46pm

      Dying a slow painful death from a catastrophic climate change crisis would be preferable to living on a planet whose temperature is managed by Carbon Trading Markets run by corporations and politicians. This wasn't about climate "change" , it was about climate "control " as in taxing the air to make the weather colder and lower the seas. Pure insanity as history is calling it. Studying the effects instead of the causes of a “crisis” that didn't even happen is not scientific consensus and REAL planet lovers and REAL scientists are happy it was all a tragic exaggeration from exploiting lab coat consultants. Yes the same "science " that gave us pesticides, germ warfare, cruise missiles and light cigarettes gave us climate change. Since Obama axed the EPA today and didn’t mention the crisis in his Feb. state of the union address.


      Sep 6, 2011 at 5:02pm

      Vote BCLiberal Suzuki.

      Your chickens home to roost, as public school-boards shovel out millions of dollars to the Pacific Carbon Trust in a twisted form of corporate welfare.

      Rape of River projects run by IPP's have destroyed the precious few intact spawning grounds for anadromous species.

      Suzuki's support for Gordon Campbell and the BCLiberal environmental policies has left this province in fairly sad environmental shape.

      At least the Cons in Ottawa had the balls to stop Fish Lake from being destroyed. Perhaps Suzuki should publicly endorse and congratulate Harper et al!


      Sep 6, 2011 at 8:36pm

      Another ghost written con job for the fruit fly professor. Annual DSF public donations have doubled since 2006 after "his come to Jesus" conversion. We know who's getting rich off the CAGW scam and it isn't those on the skeptic side.

      Just Disgusted

      Sep 6, 2011 at 10:22pm

      Another BS propaganda article to keep the crap about "Climate Change" alive. Man has VERY LITTLE to do with the climate of this earth, any good scientist that comes out and speaks the truth about the real reason "Solar Flares affecting Earths Climate" is blackballed in the science community, cut off all funding and tossed out into the dark as a whacko that has gone insane. This GREEN/ ECO / CLIMATE CHANGE bull is ALL pushed and controlled by big business trying to make a buck on GREEN products. If you do not agree put on your tinfoil beenie, and keep up your chanting GREEN SLOGANS. Do not get me wrong, to be a wise steward of our planet is awesome, but to believe MAN is changing the climate and nothing else, TINFOIL BEENIE TIME!!!!


      Sep 7, 2011 at 7:31am

      God the deniers are so tiresome. If you want to believe the Tea Party loonies, oil industry shills, weathermen, religious nuts, and fake British Lords over the world's climate scientists and oceanographers, scientific academies, governments, and all major scientific journals and publications, go ahead. But who but rabid conspiracy theorists are wearing the hats? Fear = denial.


      Sep 7, 2011 at 7:59am

      David Suzuki, like Al Gore, is a lying sack if s**t, and like Al Gore stands to make more money by scaring the hell out of people. That is the end game here folks. It has nothing to do with the environment and all to do with eco-activists building their little money making enterprises.

      James G

      Sep 7, 2011 at 9:41am

      Sowing doubt and confusion is what this column is all about. 98% of scientists agreement in any field of study is not uncommon and jut as often when they are wrong. That is what orthodoxy pretty much is and what doctrine means. Those who dare to question it, at any time, are usually the ones who come up with the answers since they are not afraid of free thought. In my opinion, Dr. Suzuki has never been one of those but instead is Canada's own Trofim Lysenko.

      I know that seems a little harsh but each scientist did encourage their respective countries to invest in scientifically poor observation to great detrimental effect (crops that could acquire and pass on characteristics in one case, biofuels, run-of-river and wind power in the other) and with devastating consequences. One held back an entire country in great need of agricultural success and the other went after virtually every available last government cent to spend on non-workable solutions to a worldwide environmental crisis.

      The differences were not only that Lysenko's mistakes were geographically limited but that Suzuki was dealing in a market economy which saw charlatans of every stripe pick up his musings and mimic the chameleon in becoming green. They sell every type of profitable device and plan (the new snake oil and kitchen slicer) to half-witted governments and political movements (like Vision Vancouver) until what is left of democratically inclined citizens rise up to expose them. It is still somewhat unfair to compare these two men, though. Both lived well while seemingly oblivious to the economic wreckage their beliefs had wrought to their neighbors but Lysenko at least had training in the discipline on which he was consulted.

      On Fire in Texas

      Sep 7, 2011 at 10:09am

      It is time to accept that global warming is reality and human caused, and get moving on real solutions. Unfortunately David Suzuki, who is great at describing the problem and some of the solutions, has an organization that seems afraid to advance the big changes needed.

      As Suzuki has been saying for decades, we need to get off the suicidal (un)economic growth path. But to date, the Suzuki Foundation board and staff been too timid to really work to advance Suzuki's position and has mainly focused on timid half measures. What is needed is a real change to our economic system as being explored at www.systemchange.ca

      I hope the people appearing on this 24 hour show will tell it like it is, most people are ready for change and are tired of being pandered to.


      Sep 7, 2011 at 11:31am

      We are stupid and we will die.


      Sep 7, 2011 at 12:17pm

      Hmm interesting, "building their little money making enterprises." Sounds a lot like Oil, Gas, Car companies etc. Really though, whats the difference between said eco-activists vs. industry. We all need to make money, at least they are trying to do it for the better of the planet as a whole. Not just for their pocket books, so what if they make a little extra money, wouldn't you want to get paid for something you are passionate about?