Suzuki: love, carbon and being

CdZsH3PVIAA2ENh    Rhodora! If the sages ask thee why
    This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
    Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
    Then Beauty is its own excuse for being. 

Some things just are: Too much carbon. The need for fast change. Low carbon business is profitable. We think we are motivated by money. We’re carbon change laggards.

David Suzuki, speaking at WOMADelaide, advocates answering these perplexing paradoxes by preferencing love.

David points our that love is a driving force of our species. “Our love of our kin, children and grandchildren, overrides economic pressure” he says.

That may sound limiting. Love and care. Is that all? Knowledge and understanding is equally important, if not more so?

If climate change represents the greatest challenge of our species and our greatest opportunity we surely want all the data possible.

Such hard data is necessary but not sufficient. The way we see the world, what our values are, determines how we are going to behave and act. Considering values and worldviews is important. It is a dominant focus for success in our interconnected world.

David highlights that a lot of environmental work didn’t shift the paradigm, we’re still stuck thinking about things in the old ways.

However, we’re motivated by love and care, connected and interconnected to nature. We will prioritise our family and kin. Similarly, the mother earth is our kin.

If this sounds a little too unscientific, some compelling and logical argument – on interconnection, the earth as our kin, love, the limitations of science and accepting what just is – from David’s Womadelaide talk is here.

Notes: The poem is an extract from The Rhodora by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1847. Click here for David Suzuki’s WOMADelaide bio. More on David’s argument and what ‘just is’ follows in the next blog post.