Meet the 2018 AHA Lifetime Achievement Awardee David Suzuki
“When we forget that we are embedded in the natural world, we also forget that what we do to our surroundings we are doing to ourselves.”
David Suzuki’s career as a scientist, writer, and television host/producer spans decades, during which time he has tirelessly fought for environmental literacy and policy change.
Suzuki has been warning the public about the dangers of climate change for a long time. Perhaps his greatest frustration is the lack of action to address such a clear and imminent threat: our own behavior. In his book The Sacred Balance, Suzuki writes: “We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.” Earlier this year, in an interview with the Globe and Mail, Suzuki said his greatest fear is “What I’ve been warning about for years actually happens.” It’s clear his greatest challenge is to break through the ignorance and denial that keeps environmental policy from succeeding.
Suzuki, a second-generation Japanese Canadian who was born in Vancouver, is a regular columnist for the Guardian and Straight.com, where he writes week after week about what effects damaging global policies have on our environment. He even hosts his own television show dedicated to environmentalism and science on the Canadian network CBC TV called The Nature of Things (which is seen in some forty countries). He has become a recognized science writer having written or co-written over fifty books tackling climate change, science education for children, fossil fuels, evolution, and genetics. He has been awarded the UNESCO prize for science and a United Nations Environment Program medal.
In 2010, Suzuki took his shot at documentary filmmaking, along together with the National Film Board of Canada and Legacy Lecture Productions, made Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie. This film won the People’s Choice Award in the documentary category at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.
In 1989, a radio program called It’s a Matter of Survival sparked what would become one of the world’s top environmental foundations. Listeners tuned in to hear of environmental issues and climate change, how human behavior is eroding the planet, and how we can stop it. When fans began writing to Suzuki asking him how they could help the climate crisis, he knew there was hope, and from that the David Suzuki Foundation was born. Today, the foundation dedicates its efforts to environmental rights, climate solutions, and biodiversity defense.
This year, we are proud to present David Suzuki with the 2018 AHA Lifetime Achievement Award for his invaluable work in science, his passion for environmentalism and sustainability, and dedication to securing a better planet for future generations of all species.
The 2018 American Humanist Association’s 77th Annual Conference will take place May 17 -20, 2018, at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. To register, please visit: conference.americahumanist.org.