I can't believe it. Within minutes I learn 1) how much I really owe environmental scientist David Suzuki, and 2) how much I really owe environmental scientist David Sukuki. No typo here. Just two quick points.
First, I owe David Suzuki for alerting me to the recent release of a report we all need to take to heart: the Global Footprint Network's just released Living Planet Report 2006. Its message is both startling and clear. Dr. Suzuki says it best...
"On October 9th, according to the Global Footprint Network, humanity went into ecological debt for the year, where demand for resources and the production of waste outpaced the planet's capacity to produce new resources and absorb the wastes."
In terms of framing an issue, how much more clear and memorable can this be? Many sustainability issues are complex and confusing, but this one isn't. There is a limit. And the speed at which we're approaching it is increasing, just as the date we go into ecological debt comes earlier each year. As described in the Living Planet Report 2006, we have hit ecological 'overshoot'. What does that mean, exactly? Well--and this too is an easy factoid to remember--it means that...
"...it now takes about one year and three months for the Earth to regenerate what we use in a single year."
Think about it.
So there you go. It's for bringing me this kind of clarity and needed information that I owe David Suzuki.
But here's the second reason realize how much I owe him. And that is that he won't be giving us his vital knowledge and breadth of understanding any more. If a Reuters report from Wednesday, October 25th is on the mark, Dr. Suzuki has decided to "quit the spotlight for a simple life." Away from the stages, and the lecture halls, and the book tours I suspect.
I can well understand how the man who inspired me with his unforgettable The Sacred Balance may deserve a better balance of his own now. But I will miss him. And work harder.