Silencing Leaders Who Are Deaf

Svern Cullis-Susuki

Watch and listen, really listen:  Sometimes we don’t have to say anything, just listen.  In the video from the link below, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, from The Environmental Children’s Organisation (ECO), addresses the very first U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Rio.  After watching I thought, WOW this will have an effect.  It has some real power and maybe it will catch the hearts and influence the actions of leaders around the world.  What I didn’t catch, initially, was that the year was 1992 and though it was definitely a fantastic speech, deaf ears and existing agendas do not easily change.  So much for the effect on those who could have actually done something.  The second video shows Cullis-Suzuki 20 years later, now a mother herself, but still fighting as she recaps where we are today.  Frustrated, but not quiting she says,  instead of acting to change / correct the sources of the problem, leaders (in Canada, likewise the world) have moved “to gut conservation legislation, to devalue science and now to discredit environmental non profits in Canada. Finally, Canada left the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol, even though they were one of the first governments to sign back in 1998”.  Her 1992 speech should be consistently played before environmental leaders, particularly where she says “You don’t know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer. You don’t know how to bring salmon back up a dead stream. You don’t know how to bring back an animal now extinct. And you can’t bring back forests that once grew where there is now desert. If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!”.

Watch these two videos and and wonder, Why?  How could they?  How do we change this?  The answer, like Tom Hartman says as he ends his radio and TV shows, “Democracy, tag, your it”.  We all have to become players.

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