Dr. David Suzuki on Education for a Changing Biosphere
Education for a Changing Biosphere: Ecology and Economics.
Dr. David Suzuki's keynote address at Simon Fraser University's "First Year in Focus: Engaging Students in their First Year and Beyond" conference on Wednesday May 13, 2009.
Human beings have exploded in numbers, technological prowess and consumptive demand with a consequent ecological footprint that is undermining the very life support systems of the planet.
As we have moved to an urban environment, the economy has become our highest priority predicated on the notion that a healthy economy is constantly growing in order to afford to do everything that matters.
We have come to see the twin crises of economic meltdown and ecological degradation as mutually exclusive so we tackle one or the other. Yet ecology, the study of survival and well being of species, informs us that without clean air, water, soil and energy and biodiversity, like any other species, we suffer and die.
Environmentalism recognizes that we also have social and spiritual needs that are just as essential for the full development of our potential.
The economy, like the market and currency, are not forces of nature like gravity or the laws of thermodynamics. It is a human invention and since it is deeply flawed, it is a mistake to do all we can to perpetuate it, we have to fix it.
Two fundamentals flaws are the dismissal of natures "services" (pollination, cleansing water, exchange of CO2 for O2, etc) as externalities and the belief that the economy can and must grow indefinitely.
Dr. Suzuki explores some of our misconceptions, fundamental truths and reconciliation of ecology and economics.