"The Legacy" by David Suzuki


Academic, activist, broadcaster, eco-champion - David Suzuki is a Canadian icon.  As a fighter for the environment, he has spent decades hosting television shows, writing books and working tirelessly to inspire others to learn more the world around them and find ways to live in harmony with the natural world.

David Suzuki has written 52 books and The Legacy: An Elder's Vision for a Sustainable Future is a culmination of his life spent showing governments, big businesses and everyday citizens how to better care for the earth.  In 2009, Mr. Suzuki delivered his "last lecture," his reflections on how we have arrived where we are and what we can do to build a sustainable future for ourselves.  This book puts that speech on paper with a few extras, sending a call to action for everyone that walks this earth.

Less than 100 pages, this book will shock and inspire you.  With decades spent immersed in the scientific world and studying the environment, Suzuki could have written a tome full of scientific data, scary facts and charts galore.  But instead, he appeals to the reader on a personal level, in a much more philosophical way, imploring us to pay attention and take action.

It's shocking to look at population growth in the form of a chart, to see the explosion of people on the earth in such a short period of time.  Now is the time for us to change our ways.  One of the biggest things I took away from this book is the need for us to redefine progress and measure our well-being in ways other than the GDP.  Current economic indicators aren't accurately showing the effect we are having on our environment and it on us.  This definitely gave me a lot to think about and helped me look at the effects we are having on the earth in a different way.

The phrase "An Elder's Vision" is the perfect way to describe this book.  Cultures around the world respect, honour and adhere to the words of their elders for a reason.  And when it comes to the environment, David Suzuki is everyone's elder.  If we are going to listen to someone on the subjects of conservation, climate change and sustainability, it has to be him.  He has witnessed firsthand the damage we are doing to the environment and been involved in the most important work being done to turn the tides.  Don't let the worrisome nature of the book scare you, it may seem bleak but Suzuki successfully argues that it is not too late to save this planet for future generations.

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