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David Suzuki Quotes

David Suzuki Quotes

David Suzuki is a Canadian scientist, environmental activist, and broadcaster. He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1936 and obtained a PhD in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961.

Suzuki is known for his work in promoting environmentalism and raising awareness about climate change. He has hosted several television and radio programs in Canada, including “The Nature of Things,” which has been on air since 1979 and focuses on science and environmental issues.

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In addition to his broadcasting work, Suzuki has authored numerous books on environmentalism and sustainability, including “The Sacred Balance” and “David Suzuki’s Green Guide.” He has also been involved in numerous environmental organizations, including the David Suzuki Foundation, which he co-founded in 1990 to promote sustainable living.

Suzuki has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Order of Canada, the United Nations Environment Program Medal, and the Right Livelihood Award. He continues to be an influential voice in the environmental movement, advocating for action on climate change and sustainable living.

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1. “In nature there is no such thing as waste. In nature nothing is wasted; everything is recycled.”

2. “If we pollute the air, water and soil that keep us alive and well, and destroy the biodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us.”

3. “We all live downstream.”

4. “We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.”

We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit. - David Suzuki

5. “Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.”

6. “I can’t imagine anything more important than air, water, soil, energy and biodiversity. These are the things that keep us alive.”

7. “It is not too late to take another path.”

8. “Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come. Our breath is a part of life’s breath, the ocean of air that envelopes the earth.”

9. “There is a gyre of discarded floating plastic the size of the continental USA in the ocean. In it, plastic trash outweighs plankton 40 to 1.”

10. “Change is never easy, and it often creates discord, but when people come together for the good of humanity and the Earth, we can accomplish great things.”

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11. “Conventional economics is a form of brain damage. Economics is so fundamentally disconnected from the real world, it is destructive.”

12. “The environment is so fundamental to our continued existence that it must transcend politics and become a central value of all members of society.”

13. “Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. It is time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions that underlie our lifestyles.”

14. “Aboriginal people are key because they have a different sense of where we belong and how we interact with nature.”

15. “Protecting the biosphere should be our highest priority or else we sicken and die.”

16. “Just as fossil fuels from conventional sources are finite and are becoming depleted, those from difficult sources will also run out. If we put all our energy and resources into continued fossil fuel extraction, we will have lost an opportunity to have invested in renewable energy.”

17. “All those hours exploring the great outdoors made me more resilient and confident.”

18. “Outright bans on plastic bags may not be the best solution, but education and incentives to get people to stop using them are necessary.”

19. “Water is our most precious resource, but we waste it, just as we waste other resources, including oil and gas.”

20. “Our beliefs, our values shape the way we look out at the world and the way we treat it. If we believe that we were here, placed here by God, that this – all of this creation is for us, it’s for us to go and occupy, dominate and exploit, then we will proceed to do that.”

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21. “The human brain had a vast memory storage. It made us curious and very creative. Those were the characteristics that gave us an advantage – curiosity, creativity and memory. And that brain did something very special. It invented an idea called ‘the future.’”

22. “If we want to move towards a low-polluting, sustainable society, we need to get consumers to think about their purchases.”

23. “Our identity includes our natural world, how we move through it, how we interact with it and how it sustains us.”

24. “Conventional economics is a form of brain damage.”

25. “We have much to learn by studying nature and taking the time to tease out its secrets.”

We have much to learn by studying nature and taking the time to tease out its secrets. - David Suzuki

26. “Humans are an infant species, a mere 150,000 years old. But, armed with a massive brain, we’ve not only survived, we’ve used our wits to adapt to and flourish in habitats as varied as deserts, Arctic tundra, tropical rainforests, wetlands and high mountain ranges.”

27. “Plastic bags are bad and for the most part unnecessary.”

28. “The increasing frequency of extreme weather events, droughts and floods is in line with what climate scientists have been predicting for decades – and evidence is mounting that what’s happening is more severe than predicted, and will get far worse still if we fail to act.”

29. “We are playing Russian roulette with features of the planet’s atmosphere that will profoundly impact generations to come. How long are we willing to gamble?”

30. “Love is the force that makes us fully human.”

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31. “Doing all we can to combat climate change comes with numerous benefits, from reducing pollution and associated health care costs to strengthening and diversifying the economy by shifting to renewable energy, among other measures.”

32. “It’s time we stopped ignoring the environment. Let’s not let another election go by without making this a high priority.”

33. “Debating the best way to do something we shouldn’t be doing in the first place is a sure way to end up in the wrong place.”

34. “The truth is, as most of us know, that global warming is real and humans are major contributors, mainly because we wastefully burn fossil fuels.”

35. “We are upsetting the atmosphere upon which all life depends. In the late 80s when I began to take climate change seriously, we referred to global warming as a “slow motion catastrophe” one we expected to kick in perhaps generations later. Instead, the signs of change have accelerated alarmingly.”

36. “For the first time since life appeared on earth, one species- us- is single-handedly altering the physical, chemical and biological nature of earth. We have become a force of nature.”

37. “We can’t blame children for occupying themselves with Facebook rather than playing in the mud. Our society doesn’t put a priority on connecting with nature. In fact, too often we tell them it’s dirty and dangerous.”

38. “We humans have become dependent on plastic for a range of uses, from packaging to products. Reducing our use of plastic bags is an easy place to start getting our addiction under control.”

39. “And that, quite simply, is the issue. We live in a finite world with finite resources. Although it may sometimes seem quite big, earth is really very small – a tiny blue and green oasis of life in a cold universe.”

40. “Nature surrounds us, from parks and backyards to streets and alleyways. Next time you go out for a walk, tread gently and remember that we are both inhabitants and stewards of nature in our neighborhoods.”

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41. “Our choices at all levels-individual, community, corporate and government-affect nature. And they affect us.”

42. “The damage that climate change is causing and that will get worse if we fail to act goes beyond the hundreds of thousands of lives, homes and businesses lost, ecosystems destroyed, species driven to extinction, infrastructure smashed and people inconvenienced.”

43. “On December 7, 1941, an event took place that had nothing to do with me or my family and yet which had devastating consequences for all of us – Japan bombed Pearl Harbour in a surprise attack. With that event began one of the shoddiest chapters in the tortuous history of democracy in North America.”

44. “Canada, more than any nation, will be affected by rising sea levels from global warming.”

Canada, more than any nation, will be affected by rising sea levels from global warming. - David Suzuki

45. “Just as human activity is upsetting Earth’s carbon cycle, our actions are altering the water cycle.”

46. “I see a world in the future in which we understand that all life is related to us and we treat that life with great humility and respect.”

47. “Human beings are often at their best when responding to immediate crises – car accidents, house fires, hurricanes. We are less effective in the face of enormous but slow-moving crises such as the loss of biodiversity or climate change…”

48. “Conserving energy and thus saving money, reducing consumption of unnecessary products and packaging and shifting to a clean-energy economy would likely hurt the bottom line of polluting industries, but would undoubtedly have positive effects for most of us.”

49. “More than a billion people lack adequate access to clean water.”

50. “The medical literature tells us that the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and many more problems are through healthy diet and exercise. Our bodies have evolved to move, yet we now use the energy in oil instead of muscles to do our work.”

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51. “Our planet has not seen an extinction crisis as serious as the one in progress for 65 million years.”

52. “When I was a kid, being outside was the norm. Rain or shine, our parents would tell us to get out of the house.”

53. “It’s not unexpected that shooting massive amounts of water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure into the earth to shatter shale and release natural gas might shake things up. But earthquakes aren’t the worst problem with fracking.”

54. “But human borders mean nothing to air, water, windblown soil or seeds or migrating fish, birds or mammals.”

55. “Feeding our energy appetite is top of mind for many people these days.”

56. “Think about a seed. Once it lands, it’s stuck. It can’t move to find better soil, moisture or sunlight. It’s able to create every part of itself to grow and reproduce with the help of air, water and sun.”

57. “Humans are now the most numerous mammal on the planet. There are more humans than rats or mice. Humans have a huge ecological footprint, magnified by their technology.”

58. “With an estimated population of nine billion people by 2050, we cannot continue to consume resources at the same rate and maintain our quality of life.”

59. “Thanks to evolution, our bodies have powerful ways to ward off illness and infection and enable us to live long and healthy lives. Why, then, do health costs continue to climb at unsustainable and frightening rates?”

60. “If we continue to set human borders and the economy as our highest priorities, we will never come to grips with the destructiveness of our activities and institutions.”

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61. “Global trade has advantages. For starters, it allows those of us who live through winter to eat fresh produce year-round. And it provides economic benefits to farmers who grow that food.”

62. “A book is like a single tree in a forest, in that it exists in conjunction with and because of a great many others around it.”

63. “Ultimately we need to recognize that while humans continue to build urban landscapes, we share these spaces with others species.”

64. “Any scientist who tells you they know that GMOs are safe and not to worry about it, is either ignorant of the history of science or is deliberately lying. Nobody knows what the long-term effect will be.”

65. “One of the joys of being a grandparent is getting to see the world again through the eyes of a child.”

One of the joys of being a grandparent is getting to see the world again through the eyes of a child. - David Suzuki

66. “The voluntary approach to corporate social responsibility has failed in many cases.”

67. “With the world’s human population now at seven billion and growing, and the demand for technology and modern conveniences increasing, we can’t control all our negative impacts. But we have to find better ways to live within the limits nature and its cycles impose.”

68. “Some argue we should get coal, oil and gas out of the ground as quickly as possible, build more pipelines and make as much money as we can selling it here and abroad. Their priorities are the economy and meeting short-term energy needs so we can live the lives to which we’ve become accustomed.”

69. “Planting native species in our gardens and communities is increasingly important, because indigenous insects, birds and wildlife rely on them. Over thousands, and sometimes millions, of years they have co-evolved to live in local climate and soil conditions.”

70. “How you imagine the world determines how you live in it.”

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71. “We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.”

72. “Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism.”

73. “We have become a force of nature.”

74. “My earliest memory from childhood is of fishing with my father. And I remember vividly we were in a store, and we were buying a pup tent to go on our first camping trip.”

75. “The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected. That is our home.”

76. “So we draw lines around our property, our counties, our cities, our states, our countries. And, boy, do we act as if those lines are important. I mean, we go to war. We will kill and die to protect those boundaries. Nature couldn’t give two hoots about our national boundaries…”

77. “For the sake of our health, our children and grandchildren and even our economic well-being, we must make protecting the planet our top priority.”

78. “A balance between sustainable ecology and sustainable human life, on the one hand, and the unfettered drive for profit, on the other, is just an oxymoron.”

79. “Each time I visit Japan, I am reminded of how Canadian I am and how little racial connection matters.”

80. “If we humans are good at anything, it’s thinking we’ve got a terrific idea and going for it without acknowledging the potential consequences or our own ignorance.”

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81. “If Canada, one of the richest nations in the world, can’t meet Kyoto targets, why should China or India give any considerations for meeting the targets?”

82. “The future doesn’t exist. The only thing that exists is now and our memory of what happened in the past. But because we invented the idea of a future, we’re the only animal that realized we can affect the future by what we do today.”

83. “Each of us has the ability to act powerfully for change; together we can restore that ancient and sustaining harmony.”

84. “We now have access to so much information that we can find support for any prejudice or opinion.”

We now have access to so much information that we can find support for any prejudice or opinion. - David Suzuki

85. “Hydraulic fracturing requires massive amounts of water. Disposing of the toxic wastewater, as well as accidental spills, can contaminate drinking water and harm human health.”

86. “Rapid population growth and technological innovation, combined with our lack of understanding about how the natural systems of which we are a part work, have created a mess.”

87. “Treaties, agreements and organizations to help settle disputes may be necessary, but they often favor the interests of business over citizens.”

88. “Other things, like capitalism, free enterprise, the economy, currency, the market, are not forces of nature, we invented them. They are not immutable and we can change them.”

89. “What about our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren? Do we not want them to live healthy and happy lives?”

90. “Environmentalism isn’t a discipline or specialty. It’s a way of seeing our place in the world. And we need everybody to see the world that way. Don’t think ‘In order to make a difference I have to become an environmentalist.’”

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91. “If we have any hope of finding ways for seven billion people to live well on planet with finite resources, we have to learn to use our resources efficiently. Plastic bags are neither efficient nor environmentally friendly.”

92. “Environmentalism is really about seeing our place in world in a way that humans have always known up until very recently – that we are part of nature-utterly dependent on the natural world for our well being and survival.”

93. “Japan is a model already to the lie that economic growth is the key to our future. If they can really show an alternative to nukes and fossil fuels, then they will be the poster boy for the renewable energy for the future.”

94. “There are some things in the world we can’t change…”

95. “The failure of world leaders to act on the critical issue of global warming is often blamed on economic considerations.”

96. “Birds are, especially canaries, are super sensitive to hydrogen sulfide and sour gas.”

97. “Some solutions are relatively simple and would provide economic benefits: implementing measures to conserve energy, putting a price on carbon through taxes and cap-and-trade and shifting from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy sources.”

98. “The current economic system is fundamentally flawed and inevitably destructive.”

99. “We must pay greater attention to keeping our bodies and minds healthy and able to heal. Yet we are making it difficult for our defences to work. We allow things to be sold that should not be called food. Many have no nutritive value and lead to obesity, salt imbalance, and allergies.”

100. “As parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts we need to start getting out into nature with the young people in our lives. Families play a key role in getting kids outside.”

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