David Suzuki

Variety proved successful for David Suzuki as he and a eclectic group of entertainers took the stage Tuesday evening at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, performing to a sold out crowd of anyone from middle-aged businessmen in suits to teenaged hippies.

In his tour of six Canadian cities, the famed environmentalist was promoting his organization’s latest undertaking, the Nature Challenge, that challenges Canadians to choose three of a list of ten effective things Canadians can do to help save the environment.

“By ourselves, these actions have no impact,” admits Suzuki. “But if hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people take these steps, then the impact will be huge.”

Paths of action are divided into four key categories that have the most impact on nature: home, transportation, food, and involvement, and range from buying local produce to moving within a 30-minute walk, bike, or bus ride from work.

Jennifer May, president of the University of Calgary EcoClub, was optimistic.

“Dr. Suzuki has some great ideas of everyday things we can do to minimize our impact on the environment,” she said. “Everyone should try David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge; it would make a world of difference.”

The evening featured a variety of prominent entertainers performing brief numbers, ranging from multi-platinum rock artists 54-40 and Canadian jazz vocalist Carol Welsman to comedians Jebb Fink and Irwin Barker, interspersed, of course, with David Suzuki.

Although Kyoto was not his focus, he did mention it. “If the richest province in one of the richest countries in the world can’t afford to cut emissions, then who can?”

Dr. Tara Cullis, president of the David Suzuki Foundation, pointed out that “air pollution kills over 16,000 Canadians a year through asthma and other respiratory problems.

“That’s one person every half hour,” she added.

Suzuki concluded with a rhetorical plea. “If Rick Mercer can get one million people to sign a petition to get Stockwell Day’s name changed to Doris, then surely one million people can sign on to help save Mother Earth.”

Suzuki will speak at the Red and White Club on Tue., Nov. 26 at 
7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

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