Posts Tagged ‘Order of Canada’

David Suzuki says he wants anti-Kyoto politicians thrown in jail.

February 7, 2008

By any means necessary

David Suzuki says he wants anti-Kyoto politicians thrown in jail. How did environmentalism become this totalitarian?

Terry O’neill, National Post Published: Thursday, February 07, 2008

(See hardcopy for Photo Description)Brent Foster, National Post(See hardcopy for Photo Description)

No one knows how many forests have been felled to print all the stories that have been published about David Suzuki, Canada’s much-honoured but continuously controversial environmental crusader. The dead trees probably number in the many thousands, a (supposedly) global-warming-causing harvest so plenteous as to lead one to assume that preacher Suzuki might have begun moderating his apocalyptic sermonizing, lest he trigger yet another round of clear-cutting.But no. Instead, Suzuki has lately pumped up his rhetoric with even more frantic language, apparently as part of an all-out, last-ditch attempt to persuade Canadians that the world is fast approaching an environmental meltdown. It’s not clear whether he’s changing any minds with his new bellicosity, but he has at least been doing his bit to keep the country’s loggers busy.

So what exactly has Suzuki, who is on the university-lecture circuit these days, been saying? For starters, he told a University of Toronto audience last month that the next federal election ought to be about the environment. No problem there. However, as reported by a student newspaper, he then opined that government leaders who aren’t acting quickly enough to save the environment “should go to jail for what they’re not doing right now … What our government is not doing is a criminal act.”

His allegation of law-breaking was apparently no mere slip of the tongue. Speaking a few weeks later at McGill University, Suzuki again equated governments’ alleged inaction on the environment with a criminal act; in fact, he is reported to have said students ought to find a legal way to throw politicians in jail for ignoring climate-change science.

The geneticist-turned-broadcaster had particularly harsh words for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Ed Stelmach of Alberta because of their alleged favouring of economic growth over environmental protection. “It is an intergenerational crime” — there’s that concept again — “that, in the face of the work of scientists over the last 20 years, they keep dithering as they are,” Suzuki declared.

Suzuki’s alarmism is nothing new, and more-prudent scientists have long ago answered his hyperbole and exposed his faulty logic. And it’s also long been abundantly clear from his speeches and books that his position is driven by both a quasi-religious zeal and a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of humanity’s relationship with the natural world.

On this latter matter, he told the McGill crowd there is actually no difference between human beings and the environment in which they live. “We are the environment. There is no distinction,” he declared, thereby equating, for example, a newborn baby with a mud puddle. How heartening.

But this is old ground. What we haven’t seen from him until now is such an incendiary call to arms. Taking to the streets to protest climatechange inaction is one thing. Calling for the jailing of politicians is quite another — especially considering the fact that, the last time I checked anyway, there is nothing in the Criminal Code of Canada to prevent the Prime Minister from attempting to enhance both the country’s economy and its environment. It’s called balance.

We shouldn’t really be surprised at Suzuki’s latest tactic. Eco-pirate Paul Watson, formerly of the Sea Shepherd Society, has long argued that he answers not to the law of man, but to the law of nature. And we’re not talking here about his need to take bathroom breaks while chasing down whaling ships on the high seas. Suzuki now seems to be adopting a similar philosophy: that human-written law should be subordinate to that of Mother Nature (except, of course, when it comes to incarceration; human-constructed jails are so much more reliable than caves or thickets). And, of course, it’s only Watson and Suzuki’s special hot-line to Gaia that allows them to interpret nature’s law; the rest of us unenlightened ones need not apply.We should also not be surprised at the intolerance that permeates Suzuki’s “lock ’em up” rhetoric. After all, despite the multicultural mantra that we “celebrate our differences,” there’s a disturbingly illiberal tendency these days (as shown in the recent “human-rights” prosecutions of Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn, for example) to censor those with whom one doesn’t agree. It’s only a very small step to try to throw such disagreeable persons into prison, too. Perhaps U.S. author Jonah Goldberg ought to be thinking of adding a chapter to his high-profile new book, Liberal Fascism, to explore this subject further.

Actually, Czech President Vaclav Klaus (who, coincidentally, is up for reelection tomorrow) has already done a lot of thinking in this area and has concluded that environmental zealotry poses as great a threat to human freedom as did communism. Klaus, whose book Our Planet is Blue not Green will soon be translated into English, believes that climate-change alarmists persuade governments to launch costly and unnecessary programs that have the ultimate effect of impoverishing people, thereby making them less free.

“When we look at it in a proper historical perspective, the issue is — once again — freedom and its enemies,” Klaus wrote last year. “Those of us who feel very strongly about it can never accept the irrationality with which the current world has embraced climate change (or global warming) as a real danger to the future of mankind, as well as the irrationality of [anti-globalwarming] measures because they will fatally endanger our freedom and prosperity.”

Suzuki is actually supporting a more direct attack on freedom than that which worries Klaus. Suzuki’s plan would lead to a loss of freedom, not though punitive economic measures, but through the incarceration of politicians with whom he disagrees. I have a better idea: Let the court of public opinion decide this at the polls. And if Suzuki doesn’t like the democratic outcome, he can always show his displeasure by giving us back his Order of Canada medal.

oneills@telus.net – Terry O’Neill is a Vancouver editor and writer.

Source National Post

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