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Tread Lightly to Lift the Weight of the World


Tread Lightly to Lift the Weight of the World

David Suzuki

How much stuff will you give and receive this holiday season? Add it to the growing pile — the 30-trillion-tonne pile. That's how much technology and goods humans have produced, according to a study by an international team led by England's University of Leicester. It adds up to more than all living matter on the planet, estimated at around four trillion tonnes.


David has been a leading environmentalist for several decades. He was heading to medical school and read Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" when it came out and changed to work on bio chemistry and then to the environment. He ran an environmental TV program in Canada for something like 30 years.

He won an ethics prize in 2012 from Case Western University in 2012. Back then he said that the environment is like going down the highway at 120 miles without a driver. He has been a radical activist for decades but the deniers have held sway.

Here is the link to his talk

2012 Inamori Ethics Prize Ceremony and Lecture

He has said that a lifetime of activism is a failure because the tide has yet to turn.

Here is the Frenchman Bruno Latour in a long lecture that basically says that the Climate scientists and the climate denials are operating out of the same frame. We make decisions in the face of uncertainty: marriage, kids, buying a house, etc., etc. He makes the distinction between a police action and a war. In a police action there is an overall context and a referee. For example, US interventions around the world are police actions under the guise of our manifest destiny. There is no way we can loose. A war has an uncertain outcome and the actors determine the terms. That is what is going on in The New Climate Regime.

Bruno Latour: "War and Peace in an Age of Ecological Conflict" | Fall 2013 Wall Exchange

Published on Oct 17, 2013
Dr. Bruno Latour was in Vancouver for the fall 2013 Wall Exchange entitled "War and Peace in an Age of Ecological Conflict" on September 23, 2013 at the Vogue Theatre with the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia. Dr. Latour is professor at Sciences Po Paris. Trained in philosophy, he has been instrumental in the development of an anthropology of science and technology. This field has had a direct impact on the philosophy of ecology and on an alternative definition of modernity.

To learn more about the Peter Wall Institute, please visit www.pwias.ubc.ca. Read more about his Wall Exchange lecture in the abstract below:

While politics has always been linked to geography, the Earth itself has largely been seen as playing a backstage role, the mere window-dressing for human intention and interest. With the advent of the epoch known as the 'Anthropocene', the Earth is no longer in the background, but very much in the foreground, in constant rivalry with human intentionality. In the meantime, human action has taken on a dimension that matches that of nature itself, and consequently the definition of geo‐politics has been transformed. Appeals to nature, therefore, do not seem to have the same pacifying and unifying effect that they did in earlier ecological movements. By drawing on anthropological and philosophical literature, this lecture will discuss this new geopolitical framework and show how the extension of politics into nature must modify our views on war and peace in the future.


Dr Suzuki. Totally, Yes. You said it, "Reduce, re-use and recycle!" Those mountainous accumulations of crap come from the mindless take-and-take from our Mother and never giving back. Would any sane person stab themselves intentionally? No. But stab someone else? Possible. Why does that ring true? Deniability. And we see this twisted behavior with "consumerism" in its selfishness of deniability of these HUMONGOUS trash heaps that only get bigger. Our collective denial as humans locked into an out-of-control sprawl of capital, is only surpassed by those who perpetuate this foolishness. Wasting our life's sustenance - our connection to Earth as People-Planet beings! We are of and from the very atoms below our feet. Not possible to keep this up!


"Why do you rush to and fro in such wild confusion? Why do you pile riches on riches? You really should remember how small your bodies are! Is it not madness and the wildest lunacy to desire so much when you can hold so little? And so you may swell your incomes, and extend your boundaries; yet you will never enlarge the capacity of your bellies. Though your business may prosper, though warfare may profit you much, though you may bring together foods hunted from every quarter, yet you will have no place in which to store your hoards. Why do you search for so many things?" ~ Seneca, The Consolation to Helvia (ca. 41 CE)