David Suzuki, a former fruit fly geneticist, is now an aging television celebrity thanks to the government-funded largess of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (where he hosts The Nature of Things). Suzuki is a standard-issue environmental scold. Lately he has trumpeted his harangues from the ramparts of the modestly named David Suzuki Foundation.
Suzuki is also an environmental hypocrite of Al Gore proportions. While he lectures the rest of us on the importance of sustainability he owns a big second home on a large property in a pricey area of Vancouver. He has not one, not two, not three, not four, but five children. During a recent speaking tour, his large diesel bus was left idling during his lectures.
And then there are the little touches: behaving like a douchebag at his own book signings and calling for the jailing of politicians who don’t toe his particular line of climate science. David Suzuki’s smug self-satisfaction did not develop late in life; here is a video of him preening before a bunch of adoring undergraduates in the 1960s. They love it when he compares humans to maggots—wow, man, that’s like, so deep.
How does Suzuki light up our radar here at FirstNerve? Certainly not through his knowledge of smell and odor perception. You Are the Earth: Know the Planet So You Can Make It Better, is a book for elementary school kids that Suzuki co-authored with Kathy Vanderlinden. On page 16 we find this gem of misinformation:
“As the air rushes along the nasal chamber, getting warmed and moistened, it passes the olfactory bulb. This area sends messages to the brain about the odor of the air coming in.The only way air rushes past your olfactory bulb is if the base of your skull is fractured and your brain is exposed. If Dr. Suzuki doesn’t understand the basic anatomy of olfaction, how far can we trust him on any other smelly topic?
Two weeks ago we were treated to another bit of his patented finger-wagging: an editorial titled "Has your workplace gone fragrance-free yet?" In it, Suzuki and one of his foundation’s
This latest eco-alarmism is a follow up to last October’s “news story” carried by Suzuki’s ever-obliging enablers at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: “David Suzuki targets ‘dirty dozen’ toxic ingredients”.
The “news story” is a completely uncritical account of “a chemical survey” conducted by the David Suzuki Foundation. The story quotes from the foundation report, from a foundation spokeswoman, and no one else. The graphic slugged “The Dirty Dozen” is reprinted in full, “courtesy the David Suzuki Foundation.”
You might think a “chemical survey” is carried out by experts in a laboratory with, you know, chemicals. Silly you. The Suzuki survey was conducted online. They posted their “dirty dozen” list—ingredients which the Suzuki Foundation alleges are harmful to humans or “to fish and other wildlife”—and asked people to search for those ingredients in consumer products in their homes. A total of 6,200 people responded with 12,550 products, many of which contained the specified ingredients. All of which proves . . . absolutely fucking nothing.
Suzuki foundation logic runs like this: we think these widely used ingredients are bad; by asking a lot of anonymous people on the internet, we’ve determined that these ingredients are widely used. Therefore they should be banned. Because we think they’re bad.
This is not science. This is not even an argument. This is a seventy-five-year-old man’s tantrum.
David Suzuki is to environmentalism what Hugh Hefner is to sex: a gibbering, dessicated parody kept in the public eye by a compliant media pushing a progressive agenda.