David Suzuki, Environmentalist and Activist
“I have never been more aware of what it means than when I was living and studying in the United States from 1954 to 1962. Sputnik was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 and triggered a space race between the two superpowers. The U.S. poured massive amounts of money and effort into NASA, universities, and research facilities, and even as a foreigner, I was offered several university positions without even applying. It was a golden time for budding scientists. Nevertheless, I decided to decline all American offers and returned to Canada, because Canada was different from the U.S., and for me, that difference was preferable. Canada to me meant the CCF, later called the NDP, could be a legitimate and respected political party. To me, Tommy Douglas, an idealistic politician, was a hero and role model. Canada meant equalization payments whereby the good fortunes of the wealthy provinces were shared with those less fortunate. Canada meant medicare and a society that tried to care for all instead of allowing Darwinian competition and survival of the fittest. Quebec, the National Film Board, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation were also critical differences that appealed to me, and I have never regretted committing to Canada as my home.”
David Suzuki talks about hope for the future and why it comes down to older generations to shake things up.