I've mentioned David Suzuki's Markham Economist and Sun column before; he is a regular contributor and occasionally writes particularly silly pieces. The column below belongs to that group. Suzuki has evolved from a fruit fly geneticist to a commentator on all things environmental. Like many modern-day self-proclaimed environmentalists (or even those of the previous generation), Suzuki seems to harbour a particular disdain for human life, though he will never admit that. He and others continually harp on the idea that we are but intruders in the otherwise perfectly balanced biosphere that is Gaia. It falls on us to restrain our tendencies to procreate and expand our footprint on Earth. Failing that, Suzuki and others have developed elaborate plans to coerce individuals and nations to their vision of the world.
I came across this video of a young and rebellious looking Suzuki explaining what he really thinks of people:
The column below appeared in the Markham Economist and Sun opinion page on Thursday, September 16, 2010. My response letter (below) to this column appeared on Sept. 25, 2010 on the Economist and Sun's opinion page. An unedited version of the letter is below that.
I had to chuckle at David Suzuki’s latest column suggesting that electric car bodies can be made of hemp fibre to reduce the fossil fuel usage needed for production. He then described the HumanCar, an inexpensive vehicle conceived by a U.S. inventor that is propelled by “exercise-based” people power so that one to four persons can “row” the car around. I immediately had visions of the Flintstones, where Barney and Fred had cars made of logs and used their own foot-power for propulsion. Of course Suzuki was serious, and I believe automobiles are serious business.
Obsession is defined as the domination of one’s thoughts by an idea or desire. The private automobile is not an obsession in our society. The automobile is a tool of modern life, a tool that has altered Western civilization like the telephone, the computer, and the airplane. Are we obsessed with them as well?
The automobile has given us untold wealth and unimagined freedoms. Sure there has been a cost, but every choice made comes with cost and given a choice and if allowed, people will choose what is best for them.
Certainly Suzuki presents points that are sensible in this article, but his patronizing and paternalistic columns (like this one) show that he is more interested in controlling people’s lives rather than helping them. It also shows that he is the one that is obsessed.