The AutobiographyBook - 2006
A comprehensive portrait of the visionary environmentalist and writer is a follow up to his original autobiography, Metamorphosis, and discusses such topics as his internment in a World War II Canadian concentration camp, his successes on PBS's The Nature of Things, and his hopes for the future.
Publisher Group West
Blackwell North Amer
The world has waited a long time for David Suzuki's full autobiography describing a life dedicated to making the world a better place. This complete account expands on the early years covered in Metamorphosis and continues through the past couple of decades to the present, when, at age seventy, Suzuki reflects on his entire life - and on his hopes for the future.
As a boy, Suzuki enjoyed an idyllic life, fishing, camping, and hunting for mushrooms in the mountains with his father, until World War II intervened and he and his family were sent to an internment camp in the interior of British Columbia. But plunked down in a valley where the rivers and lakes were filled with fish and where bears, wolves, and deer roamed the forests, Suzuki felt that he was in paradise. Both his experience of racism and his days of freedom in nature while he was interned marked the rest of his life.
The book goes on to describe Suzuki's teenage years in southern Ontario, his college and postgraduate experiences in the U.S., his early career as a scientist, and his forays into radio and TV as host of various science shows, including The Nature of Things. With characteristic candor and passion, Suzuki also discusses his metamorphosis into a leading environmentalist, writer, and thinker; the establishment of the David Suzuki Foundation; his many travels throughout the world and his meetings with international leaders; and his dismay at the scientific illiteracy of many political leaders and at the culture of celebrity, which gives as much weight to the opinions of film stars and other celebrities as to the words of scientists and other experts. Finally, he speaks eloquently about old age and death, the abiding role of nature and family in his life, and the legacy he hopes he will leave behind.
A portrait of the visionary environmentalist and writer is a follow up to his original autobiography, "Metamorphosis," and discusses such topics as his internment in a World War II Canadian concentration camp, his successes on PBS's "The Nature of Things," and his hopes for the future.
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The Queen Charlotte Islands are at the outer edge if the west coast, a unique setting where we can be transported back to prehistoric times when only natural laws prevailed. It took thousands of years and countless seeds and seedlings before giant trees like those at Windy Bay took root and survived, Many of them are more than six hundred years old. Once it took two men weeks to cut one of them down---today one man can do it in minutes. Is this progress? Wilderness preserves are more than just museums for relics of the past, they're a hedge against our ignorance, a tiny reserve from which we might learn how to use our powerful technologies more wisely. But in the end, our sense of awe and wonder in places like this changes us and our perspective of time and our place in the nature of things.
In the 1970s, Bob McLean was host of a noon talk show on the CBC and invited me to be a guest. At one point, he asked me out of the blue, "What do you think the world will be like in one hundred years?" My answer went something like this: "If there still are humans around by then, I think they will curse us for two things-- nuclear weapons and television." Surprised by my answer, he ignored both my suggestion that humans might not survive another hundred years and the nuclear issue to blurt out, "Why television?" My response was, "You've just asked a profound question. Suppose I had replied, 'Bob, that's a tough one. I'll have to think about it' and then proceeded to think, not saying anything for ten seconds. You'd cut away to a commercial within three seconds, because TV can't tolerate dead air. That's the problem; it demands instant response, which means there's no profundity." Thinking back on that reply, I'm rather impressed with it, because I still believe that today.
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