Tuesday, 19 October 2010

David Suzuki in Melbourne:



Last night, I went to hear David Suzuki speak at BMW Edge in Federation Square, Melbourne as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

David Suzuki at BMW Edge -
while being introduced by Don Henry of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF)


Suzuki is a great communicator and an inspirational speaker.  Personally, I found his words self-affirming of my own directions in spiritual, intellectual, political and activist terms.  

I was surprised though at the numbers who did not turn up to hear him speak.

BMW Edge is, perhaps, my favourite Melbourne venue.  It is well utilised so I have attended many and various events beneath its marvellous Yarra-viewing glassed walls.  I have been there for standing room only crammed in crowds for Michael Leunig, Tim Flannery and a Melbourne conversation on water. Last night, in spite of the Wheeler Centre site declaring the event was booked out and, at the entrance to BMW Edge, a space for waiting list placement, there were vacant seats and standing room only was not an issue.  Perhaps, there was too much on - on a Monday night? Perhaps, Suzuki has been seen and heard in Melbourne sufficiently - in a an ever-changing environmental debate?  Had Melbournians traipsed up to Ballarat the night before or been to the Byron Bay Writers Festival in August? 

David Suzuki is in Australia to promote his latest book, The Legacy, and you can hear an interview with him here as well as in the video below:


Another surprise last night came from the Q & A session after the lecture.  A member of the audience asked Suzuki his view on a carbon price, currently an angst-ridden issue in Australia.  Suzuki spoke of taxation as one means that government has to encourage or deter certain actions.  He saw no problem in government imposition of a carbon tax.  Note the word tax - not just price.  All other answers to questions received applause.  This one answer was not applauded!  What did that mean?  Apathy? Antagonism? Stunned into silence? Or, could it be, that the citizenry of Melbourne are in support of  business antagonism to this form of taxation - the great big new tax?
Related reading and media:
The Legacy: An Elder's Vision for Our Sustainable Future
The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature
The Big Picture: Reflections on Science, Humanity, and a Quickly Changing Planet
David Suzuki's Green Guide
Tree: A Life Story
NATURE OF THINGS WITH DAVID SUZUKI: VOL.1: VISIONS OF FUTURE / Region Free DVD / Special Features: Interactive Menus/Chapter Search, Theatrical Trailer / Cast: David Suzuki / 2-disc box set that includes five 45 minute documentaries / Now on DVD, the first volume of the award-winning The Nature Of Things with David Suzuki, Canada's longest-running documentary series, cuts through the hype to bring you the latest stories from the frontlines of science and the environment
David Suzuki: The Autobiography
Wisdom of the Elders: Sacred Native Stories of Nature
The David Suzuki Reader: A Lifetime of Ideas from a Leading Activist and Thinker

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