Mr. Suzuki, it’s evolution not revolution

davidsuzukifrenchrevolution 300x277 Mr. Suzuki, its evolution not revolution

Not gonna happen Dave!

Please Mr. Suzuki, promote evolution not revolution.

In a recent article written for straight.com,  Canadian celebrity environmentalist David Suzuki suggested that electric cars won’t be enough to curb unsustainable carbon emissions caused by transportation,

“Technological developments [such as electric cars etc.] are welcome, but maybe it’s time we started rethinking our car culture as whole.

The average car in North America carries 1.5 people, which means that most cars on the road only have a driver in them. Is it really efficient to use more than 1,000 kilograms of metal to transport 100 kilograms of human?”

I think that it’s too harsh to say that David Suzuki is being completely delusional,  as I’m sure he realizes the implausibly of his statements.  However, it is the very fact that he makes these clearly implausible suggestions with which I take issue.  Starting a dialogue revolved around something of such impossibility turns the focus of the millions of people he influences away from focusing on the incremental developments imperative to eventual structural, behavioral, and social overhaul.  Suggesting that vehicular electrictrification may “not be enough” damages any momentum towards realistic change.  In this day and age, change is slow and needs to occur in small steps if it is to have any chance of normalization.  Unfortunately, there will be no overnight revolution in the quest for environmental sustainability.

Secondly, the abandonment of something so deeply ingrained into the functionality of society simply won’t happen.   The electrification of personal vehicles has finally begun to gain serious mainstream momentum.  Having respected minds like David Suzuki irrationally question their worth hinders this progress by demanding revolution rather than evolution.  This demand wastes time,  brain power, and damages morale.  If people begin to think the little things are pointless they are exponentially less likely to do them,  especially if the cost is higher than the norm.

Even more frightening is a similar trend in Governmental response to environmental issues.  Ontario’s Green Energy Act,  which Mr.Suzuki supports,  also demands revolution rather than evolution.  It pours money into still-unproven and unreliable intermittent energy sources, which at their current technological development serve merely to minutely supplement Ontario’s energy grid, and take money away from dominant sources of energy.  Nuclear power,  which has been wrongly stigmatized over the last 50 years as a dirty and dangerous non-green energy source,  supplies 51% of Ontario’s energy.  Ontario’s Green Energy Act essentially ignores nuclear energy’s green energy potential by refusing to adhere to demands for the refurbishment of Ontario’s nuclear energy plants.  Renewable energy is absolutely the way of the future, but unfortunately reality holds us in the present.  For renewable energy to become dominant, it must be done so through evolution rather than revolution.

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The technology deserves funding for research and implementation,  but only to the degree that it doesn’t impede on keeping Ontario’s current sources of energy-efficient and safe.  Once again, change is slow- influential minds and the powers that be must remain realistic about the present, and cautiously hopeful about the future.

Mr. Suzuki: as a Canadian I believe it might be treason not to love you.  To help me keep my freedom,  please use your celebrity to promote evolution rather than revolution.  As daunting and disheartening as it may sound,  it may be the only way our planet will get itself out of this mess.

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8 Responses to “Mr. Suzuki, it’s evolution not revolution”

  1. Unfortunately the environmental realities don’t always conform to societies needs and desires.

    The evidence suggests that an evolutionary response to climate change will not be enough to prevent runaway climate change, which is why a scientist like David Suzuki promotes revolutionary change (which may or may not be enough).

  2. Green Ceo says:

    The big hurt is coming whether we like it or not, we can institute the revolution and have some control or be trampled by it in a rush to necessity.

    I prefer my visionaries to correct rather than politically correct.

  3. andypar says:

    I agree with you that a revolution would be an ideal solution, but its just not realistic. How could it be done? What level? micro or macro? I just can’t see it happening. I think if there’s to be any hope at all, it has to happen incrementally. Revolution hinders evolution, it takes the focus away from the practical. Its unfortunate, but it’s the only hope.

  4. “I agree with you that a revolution would be an ideal solution, but its just not realistic. How could it be done?”

    The economy was transformed in a couple of years for World War II. In may ways dramatically reducing carbon dioxide emissions would be easier.

  5. privacydude says:

    we no longer have time for evolution, so those of us who are romantic promote revolution
    you ignore the man’s argument, that a trend towards health is not enough, that immediate revolution is *necessary* to maintain anything resembling biological diversity on earth. and not just in energy, but in all things, which evolution would take too long to solve. we need to eat less, and decentralize, and stop driving, and realize the truth of what the world would be like if we had to average it all out (proving that your own material well-being is dependent on the suffering of the poor)
    people and animals are starving and dying and science has told us it is going to get exponentially worse because we have ignored it for so long, continuing to adore the things which kill. to bring progress and growth to a dead halt is our only hope.

  6. Patrick Izen says:

    “The economy was transformed in a couple of years for World War II. In may ways dramatically reducing carbon dioxide emissions would be easier.”

    I don’t think you can fairly compare the economic, societal and cultural aspects of post WWII 1950′s to that of today. People are not the same breed as they were then. People are more informed, opinionated and uncompromising.

  7. If you are considering the purchase of an electric car, you need to be realistic about their benefits. They’ve come a long way recently but they still have some significant disadvantages, and there are still limitations to their use and wide spread availability. Here are some disadvantages you may want to consider when evaluating if an electric car is feasible for your transportation needs:

    1. Electric cars are expensive to own. If you’ve checked into the price of an electric car, you know they are not “low end”. It’s not so much the price of the car as it is the price of the batteries which they run on. If you’ve purchased batteries you know how the costs can add up quickly, and the batteries used in electric cars are lithium-ion, which are expensive. Also keep in mind that eventually the battery packs will need to be replaced, as they have a life of approximately 3 to 4 years.

    2. The batteries will need to be recharged. A second disadvantage to an electric car is that the batteries will need to be recharged. This will require advanced planning because you’ll have to allow adequate time for the batteries to be fully charged. Now this might not sound like that big of a problem but if you are thinking of purchasing an electric car then you will need to make an honest assessment of how much you will use your vehicle. An extended or unplanned trip could be problematic if you haven’t had time to fully recharge the batteries.

    3. Limits on driving distance. If you drive long distances, an electric car might not suit your needs, so you will need to consider how far you plan on driving your car. Most of the electric cars have limits on how many miles they can go before needing a recharge. Electric car maker ZAP recently announced that their electric car could travel up to 100 miles per single charge, but many people drive more miles than that round trip on a daily commute to work. This is definitely a limitation for those who intend to use the vehicle for getting to and from their place of employment. You certainly would not want to run out of batteries if you got stuck in a rush hour traffic jam.

    4. Lack of power. Another disadvantage to the electric car is the lack of power, specifically quick pickup. If you do a lot of interstate driving there are going to be times when you will need to accelerate quickly to merge into traffic.

    Electric cars have come a long way in recent years but still have to overcome a few more obstacles before becoming widely embraced as a solution for many consumers.

    Of course these are the limitations, as there always is with any new technology, but as always a few will purchase these vehicles, especially now with a couple of the major car manufacturers on board and will actually offer these vehicles for sale. We will see more and more people begin to work with these limitations and as is human nature, people will overcome these limitations as more and more people become owners, we will over time, see the further evolution of the electric vehicle. It’s an exciting time for the electric vehicle!

  8. DSI Canada says:

    I think to achieve this “revolution” all of us must be united and do our part. The problem is not everyone is willing to participate. It needs concentrated efforts if it is to be successful. :(

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