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New solutions to old problems

These days, the environment is at the top of the polls as an issue ofconcern and global warming is often the lead story in the media.

These days, the environment is at the top of the polls as an issue of concern and global warming is often the lead story in the media.

What a change!

Maybe Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth and the scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have served as a global wake-up call. It’s clear from the audiences turning out to my speeches that a lot of people want to make a difference.

In one example, Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference came to the David Suzuki Foundation to see how he could reduce his own carbon footprint. Ference even encouraged his colleagues at the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) to do the same.

The result was the launch of the NHLPA Carbon Neutral Challenge, where individual NHL players purchased high-quality Gold Standard carbon credits to offset the greenhouse gases produced by their travel to and from games. The money used was invested in renewable energy projects, such as wind farms, which produce green power that doesn’t contribute to global warming. More than 500 NHL players have signed on.

Another surprise came when I attended a dinner hosted by a well-connected business leader a few months ago. When I mentioned the planet was rapidly approaching the point at which maximum global oil production is reached he said, “I can make money on this.”

After dinner, I thought a bit more about my host’s response. In his world, the person with the most popular way to do something for less money wins.

His reaction thrilled me. Perhaps he will latch on to a great idea such as using renewable energy to power all his factories and show his competitors he isn’t afraid to try something innovative.

New solutions to old problems can only come from new ways of thinking. And having a diverse group of thoughtful people, from Canada’s corporate leaders to our best athletes, come up with creative ways to attack global warming can only be a good thing.

It’s time for all of us to reach out to others with our ideas and open ourselves to theirs. You never know when you’ll meet another person who wants to be a friend to the environment — and our planet needs all the friends it can get.

Take David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge and learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.




 
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