It's David Suzuki's birthday. He's 75. And, according to Carleton Library Geogenvirospecialist's Blog, both the cities of Ottawa and Vancouver are declaring March 24, 2011, David Suzuki Day.
On March 30th, over 200 schools across Canada will get to participate in Canada's biggest virtual birthday party. Students will have a chance to chat with Suzuki online," reports Fresh Fuzz. Thousands of teachers and students will take a nature walk around their school, as a gift to Suzuki.
"It seems to me that as an elder now ... I hope there's a credibility that comes from being in the last part of my life," he told the Province.
"The bottom line is very clear. We are animals and as ... biological creatures, if we don't have clean air, clean water and clean soil that gives us our food and clean energy from the sun and biodiversity, if we don't have those things, we're dead ... And yet we use air, water and soil as a garbage can and we cut down and destroy species at the rate of 50,000 a year as if they are resources that we can exploit."
The show itself came of age as the emerging public broadcaster found its own footing on the dial, evolving from a black-and-white, half-hour series to an hour-long current affairs show that brought Canadians images from remote places around the globe.
Its willingness to tackle a broad array of medical, social, political and environmental issues brought numerous awards and audiences in 80 countries. Suzuki boasts that it was among the first mainstream programs to discuss climate change, AIDS, and nuclear power.
"We've covered so many issues. I'm very proud of the fact that we were the first major show to take global warming seriously," said Suzuki. He joined the show in 1979 and renamed "The Nature of Things with David Suzuki."
"We've covered, over the years, issues of water, issues of energy, issues of forestry, chemical pollution in the environment. I'm very proud that the series itself has brought these issues and discussed them in a way that has been very informative for the public."
Suzuki speaks on his 75th birthday, one year ago, as reported on Winnipeg Free Press:
"I'm in the last part of my life and I think as an elder now it's an important responsibility to reflect back on a life and say, 'What the hell have I learned in 74 years? Are there things I'd like to leave as a legacy for other coming generations to think about?' That's what I've been thinking about a lot."
Here are three ways you can celebrate Suzuki's birthday. And if you could, what would you give him as a gift? Tell us. Join the conversation on Facebook at The Vancouver Observer and follow us on Twitter @VanObserver. Engage in issues that matter to you. David Suzuki would even tell you so.