Thursday, 28 October 2010

David Suzuki at the Opera House

David who? Exactly.

Those of you that read my recent blog will know that I'm keen for lots of new and random experiences here in Oz. So when my friend Maria invited me to join her to hear David Suzuki talk at the Opera House I jumped at the chance. It wasn't important that I didn't know who he was, I'd never seen a performance at the Opera House before!

Those of you more cultured, or wordly, than myself might have heard of David Suzuki. If you haven't he's quite a big cheese as an environmentalist. Famous enough to fill the Opera House concert hall (~2,000 people) on a rainy Sunday night.

Suzuki is a very good public speaker. He took the audience on a journey, convincing us of the importance of the environment to humans and the urgency with which we need to do something about the problems mankind has created. Costa was sitting just in front of me taking notes. The atmosphere was so electric that he even got a standing ovation from parts of the audience.

However, I couldn't help feeling that the speech had missed the point. Admittedly I'd inadvertently stumbled in, but most people were already concerned about the environment. They didn't need to be convinced there was a problem. I would have preferred an agenda for change. Ten things we could all do to make a difference. And another ten things we could lobby politicians to do.

Despite all of the re-assuring nods and gasping agreement during Suzuki's speech I couldn't help thinking how hypocritical most of the thirty something audience with their disposal lifestyles probably were. It's a lot easier to agree that there is a problem rather than not take that next holiday, buy the laest gadget or use your car for a month.

I've taken my environmental philosophy from the side of London's bin lorries. Reduce, re-use and recycle. We should look to reduce the amount we consume, rather than do what we like and have the attitude it's ok because we recylce.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the review Richard, I'm still kicking myself for not being able to make it!!!

    I've read most of his books and he is a really good writer (and lecturer), but you were probably right about the speech not giving anything concrete or practical for the audience to take with them (as in, tips, advice, etc.)

    And I totally agree with you on the hypocritical bit! It's almost trendy now to be "green", but most people still don't practice what they preach or cut corners to accommodate a comfortable lifestyle instead of making a real difference.

    I urge you to read some of his books (I can lend them to you if you like), his style of writing is so captivating that it really makes you want to be part of the movement and do something for the common good!

    Glad you went to see the speech. I hope it was still inspiring and interesting!