- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Greystone Books / David Suzuki Foundation; 1 edition (Oct. 1 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1553650220
- ISBN-13: 978-1553650225
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.5 x 23 cm
- Shipping Weight: 590 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #560,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The David Suzuki Reader Paperback – Oct 1 2003
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This is a fine collection of writings by the respected scientist/activist on ecology, politics, economics, science, technology, and nature, and how they all interact. —Quill & Quire(2006-03-01)
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David Suzuki's collected writings on science, nature, technology, economics, politics, and the connectedness of all things.See all Product description
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"The very foundations of our lives--air, water, photosynthesis, soil, and food--are made possible by the web of life that evolved on a once-sterile planet. Living organisms on land and in oceans--including us--create, cleanse, and regenerate those vital elements.
Who needs nature? We do.
Without nature, we would not be here.
HOW DO WE PUT AN ECONOMIC VALUE ON THAT?"
The above comes from one of the essays in this book by David Suzuki. He is a scientist, environmentalist, author, and broadcaster as well as a Companion of the Order of Canada. Suzuki is a recipient of UNESCO's prize for the Popularization of Science as well as a recipient of many other awards and honorary degrees.
This is a revised and expanded edition of Suzuki's writings (essays and articles) that have been written over a period of twenty-five years. In fact, this might be regarded as a definitive selection of his most thought-provoking scientific and insightful philosophical writings.
In these writings, there is an increased emphasis on the solutions to the many environmental problems that we face, Suzuki's inspiring vision for the future, and the legacy he hopes to leave behind. There is also more emphasis on the personal.
What I like about Suzuki's writing is that they are clear, concise, and he gets to the point quickly and efficiently. And you can be sure that any science presented is accurate and up-to-date.
This book is made up of eight sections. Each section has a cover essay that introduces the ideas of the "bite size" essays that follow in a particular section. Below I will state the name of a section, the number of essays in that section [in square brackets], and my favourite essay or essays (whose title(s) will be in quotation marks) in a particular section:
(1) Interconnections : "Global Warming" and "IPCC report shows that climate change is critical"
(2) Economics and Politics : "The hubris of global economics," "Endless growth--an impossible dream," "What is the value of something we can't live without?" and "True wealth"
(3) Science, Technology, and Information : "The prostitution of academia," and "Why a warmer world won't be a better world"
(4) Science and Ethics : "Political decisions require scientific literacy"
(5) A Bio-Centric View : "The system and the ecosystem" and "Anti-environmentalists are stuck in the past"
(6) Leaders, Role models, and Success Stories : "A woman in science," "Young people," and "A new kind of political leader"
(7) Life and Family : "Lessons my father taught me are worth sharing"
(8) A Lifetime of Activism : "Starting the David Suzuki Foundation" and "The declaration of INTERDEPENDENCE"
If I was to choose one favorite essay from this collection, I would choose "The Declaration of Interdependence." As of 2014, this essay has been translated into more than twenty languages.
Don't feel compelled to start with the first essay and then read each in sequential order. What I did was that I jumped around, choosing the essays that interested me, both within a particular section and between sections.
Finally, the only problem I had with this book is that the date a particular essay was published is not mentioned on the essay itself. As well, we are told that there are "new essays never published in a book" that are included in this book. These new essays are not indicated.
In conclusion, this is a definitive selection of David Suzuki's most thought-provoking scientific and philosophical writings. I leave you with five steps (of ten) developed by the David Suzuki Foundation that can be taken by ordinary citizens to reduce environmental impact:
(1) Choose an energy-efficient home and appliances.
(2) Eat meat-free meals once a week.
(3) Use transit, carpool, walk, or bike one day a week.
(4) If you buy a car, make sure it's low polluting and fuel efficient.
(5) Learn more about conserving nature and tell others what you have learned.
(Copyright 2003 and 2014; foreword; preface; 8 sections or 105 essays; epilogue; references; index; credits; The David Suzuki Foundation)
<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>
One of the important lessons that David Suzuki teaches us in this book is about looking at the big picture, whether it be in science, the media, politics or in our own lives. As such, he demonstrates the interconnectedness of all living things. The reader begins to understand that we are not separate from nature, rather we are part of it. David Suzuki shows us that science often focuses too narrowly on components without seeing how these elements are interconnected and relate to each other. We also begin to understand that the transmission of information suffers from this dilemma as well as being compressed, sensationalized and broken up into incoherent bits.
Political leaders need to understand the basics of science. Science, as Suzuki explains, does not proceed in a linear fashion but is more cyclical in nature. Answers often lead to more questions, which require more tests in order to answer them. Breakthroughs can happen, but as the author explains, they cannot be expected. Furthermore, most of the theories that appear to be accurate today will be shown to be wrong in the near future. As such, scientists who make breakthrough claims in order to get funding are often proven wrong by time and data.
Environmentalists are often portrayed as being negative and confrontational as they take stands against projects that could harm the environment. While this has not been a bad approach in the past, there is now a greater need for positive engagement and consultation. Because of this, the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) was formed. The DSF promotes dialogue between communities and groups so that together they can protect resources and manage them in a sustainable way. The foundation also helps guide individuals to take meaningful actions that when added up, can produce significant results.
As David Suzuki explains, sustainable development is not only good environmentally but also makes business sense as well. The author shows us that by leaving the 'capital' intact, such as old growth forests or fish populations, humans can live off of the 'interest' of nature by simply taking that which the earth can regenerate. This ensures that good jobs that are created can be maintained well into the future.
An excellent, well-written and insightful book. I highly recommend it, 5 stars all the way!
our lives with the world we live in. He reminds us that as much
as our modern societies become insulated from the planet we
live on and overly rely on modern technologies, the amount of destruction and loss of what we haven't even discovered is enormous. Dr.Suzuki is clearly one of the great thinkers of our time.
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