What is the real bottom line in today’s Canada?, asks award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster Dr. David Suzuki.
It’s being prepared to cope with climate change and taking action now to help cushion its impact for future generations.
That’s the message that brought to the Barrie Campus of Georgian College on Earth Day, Friday, April 22.
Suzuki shared his insights on The Challenge of the 21st Century: Setting the Real Bottom Line with more than 1,400 Georgian students, alumni, staff and supporters. His talk was also livestreamed to students at schools across Simcoe County.
“We’re at a critical point — right now we are determining the survival of our species by the end of this century,” Suzuki said. “It’s an urgent crisis that, for young people, will ripple through your entire lives.”
He urged audience members to examine everything in their lives and consider how they can modify their lifestyles to reduce consumption of everything, including “stuff” in general.
The hour-long presentation was part of the President’s Thought Leadership Speaker Series, which engages the broader community in the exceptional learning experiences available at Georgian. Georgian College President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes said that playing host to Suzuki on Earth Day had special significance for her and the entire Georgian College community.
“Having the renowned thought leader Dr. Suzuki, address students and residents from Simcoe County right here at Georgian on Earth Day, is just one of many examples showing that we are all concerned and ready to innovate and act to sustain our great community,” West-Moynes said.
Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, introduced Suzuki to the crowd.
“It is an honour to celebrate Earth Day with one of the world’s most important and influential environmentalists — Dr. David Suzuki,” said Murray. “His quest to raise awareness of the impacts our actions have on our habitat, wildlife and environment has led to important behaviour changes here in Ontario, across Canada and around the world.”
Suzuki was "drummed in" for his presentation by Coldwater Ojibway First Nations drummers.
More than 700 Simcoe County secondary school students attended the keynote session, with about 100 of them staying to participate in full-day environmental workshops organized by Georgian College.
The event was sponsored by TD Friends of the Environment, Johnson Inc. and AMG Environmental Inc.
Cover: Dr. David Suzuki gestures during his presentation to an audience of 1,400 during Earth Day 2016 celebrations at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College.
Article and cover photo courtesy of Georgian College.