David Suzuki's Mock Trial is Out of Touch with Reality
By: Shawn Alli
Posted: November 14, 2013
In November 2013 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, David Suzuki hosts a mock trial for himself in order to change Canadian policies on climate change and invigorate the Canadian public to take action. Suzuki is an esteemed environmental activist and as much as I disagree with him about his policies, his conviction to be a caretaker to the Earth is both honourable and impressive. That being said, let the criticism begin.
Suzuki's mock trial exhibit presents himself on trial against the Canadian government for seditious libel. And that's where the problem starts. Seditious libel, speaking against the government, is a charge originating in 17th century England. The US repeals such laws in the 1960s and Britain does so in 2009. Oddly enough, Canada's 1122 page criminal code does list seditious libel as an indictable offence.
However, because of free speech laws, seditious libel only refers to speech that advocates overthrowing the government by means of force (select pdf, p. 63 of the Canadian Criminal Code). Technically speaking, this is an archaic law that does need to go, but no Western or European court will ever find Suzuki's Carbon Manifesto guilty of seditious libel now or most likely in the near future. More importantly Canada's blasphemous laws (as an indictable offence) are definitely archaic and need go (select pdf, p. 341 of the Canadian Criminal Code).
Yes, the US government is notorious in shutting down free speech rallies and protests with brutal crackdowns, but the end result is usually lawsuits that are successful for the most part (Toronto's 2010 G20 summit is an exception). Accusing Canadian politicians, Canadian corporations and Canadian citizens of shameful behaviours and wilful blindness is not treasonous, it's free speech. And Suzuki is entitled to this right in Canada, US, UK and European countries.
The second problem is Suzuki's Carbon manifesto, specifically a quotation he uses from the World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, in November 1992:
Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course...If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future we wish for human society...No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished...A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.
The main problem with this quotation is that it proves itself to be incorrect and is nothing more than environmental propaganda fear mongering.
On a collision course? One or a few decades?
Two decades later humans are carrying on just as they were in the '70s, '80s and '90s. Individuals still go to the mall and buy goods and services; kids still play in the parks (some are a little obese from parents not knowing how to parent, but they still enjoy themselves in the outdoors). Individuals still travel overseas and explore different cultures and civilizations; families still brainwash themselves with TV shows and Hollywood movies; and governments are just as corrupt as they were in the '70s and prior.
Aside from technology adding more convenience to the modern lifestyle, nothing is changing in regards to human societies.
Great change is necessary to avoid vast human misery and a mutilated planet.
What are these environmentalists smoking? Coal, the oldest of the petroleum family has been used for 250 years. But the first or second decade of the 21st century is apparently the point of no return? Give me a break.
Now we stand on the edge of a precipice that is of our own making.
There is no precipice except for the one Suzuki and environmentalists create in their own minds. Heather Mallick, a columnist for The Toronto Star supports Suzuki's mock trial:
My dreamed-of grandchildren would be starting university, probably in haz-mat suits.
This is similar to a scenario in Captain Planet, an environmental cartoon in the '90s created to scare people into changing their ways.
Under the banner of a righteous cause, Suzuki, environmentalists and doomsday cults will forever hold the threat of imminent global catastrophe against the global general public.
This isn't a righteous battle; it's merely intentional deception and manipulation by both sides for their own self-interest.
I'm not against solar, wind, geothermal or water as a source of energy, in fact my 2012 book Oil, the 4th Renewable Resource, advocates for solar energy as the best alternative energy in the future; it merely dispels the ludicrous myth that petroleum fuels are the result of dead dinosaurs and vegetation.
I also don't support oil corporations like BP that pollute the ocean and are allowed to continue to exist as a corporation. The fines and penalties against industrial polluters is a sham and environmentalists should work on changing global polices to criminalize such actions such as revoking corporation charters and blacklisting CEO's and the board of directors from ever working in the energy sector again.
Suzuki claims that:
We have failed our children and our planet because of our fear of change and our fear of the future.
No, the global general public doesn't fear change, they just prefer rhythm and continuous actions. Neither do they fear the future. In Western society no one wakes up in fear of what the future will bring (except high school students who fear bullying which has somehow morphed into an epidemic instead of a right of passage).
Suzuki asks the global general public to take pledge to uphold his carbon manifesto. But this is merely brainwashing in the hopes that the global general public doesn't see the deception and manipulation. I'll break down the points with my responses in bold.
1. Human beings have become so powerful that we are altering the biological, chemical and physical properties of the planet on a geological scale. We must look to the future, and science must be our guide.
Does that mean genetically modified food and pharmaceutical products are the answer?
2. I know our dependence on fossil fuels must end.
If there are vehicles that use an alternative means of energy that's equivalent to a gas-powered one and more environmentally and economically efficient, I'd love to see it. Give the general public better options and let them choose.
Electric cars and biofuels are great but is it feasible economic-wise? If not, then environmentalists need to stop complaining and build the infrastructure they need.
3. I know it will take massive change for us as a species to survive let alone thrive in the converging global crisis around climate, food, water, fuel and the economy.
There is no global crisis. Environmentalists have been saying this since the '70s and 40 years later there's no colossal collapse, and there's nothing wrong with the supply of food and water. High school students learn in their classrooms that supply isn't the problem, but rather the distribution of goods and services, along with corrupt politicians, unethical warlords, and greedy corporations.
The human species is in absolutely no danger of surviving now or anytime in the future. In fact, humans are incredibly resilient to any changes in the earth and are capable of adapting accordingly.
4. I pledge to stop the epidemic of blame around the climate crisis and recognize my own responsibility.
I will never feel guilty for breathing out carbon dioxide as a human being and no else on the earth should feel guilty either. Industrial polluters that emit anything other than carbon emissions are to blame for releasing chemical pollutants into the air.
5. The way I live my life is part of the problem.
Too vague to respond to.
6. I believe we need a new vision for our future as Canadians and as humans.
I agree. New innovations are only as good as the vision an individual has in their mind, or as good as the vision that a city, province or country decides on democratically.
7. I pledge that I am ready to implement change. I want to be part of the solution not part of the problem.
Again, too vague to respond to.
8. I stand with the Carbon Manifesto. This is our way forward.
No, I don't stand with the Carbon Manifesto, and fear mongering isn't the way forward.