David Suzuki arrived in Coffs Harbour yesterday to introduce his latest book to a packed venue.
David Suzuki arrived in Coffs Harbour yesterday to introduce his latest book to a packed venue.

Suzuki on message

By MEL MARTIN

HE'S already inspired millions of people around the world, and last night 500 Coffs Coast residents were treated to a rare opportunity to find out more about David Suzuki, in town for his last book tour.

But for at least as many people, it was a missed opportunity ? Dr Suzuki's talk sold out within two days of tickets going on sale.

For Maggie McCue and Desnee McCosker, it was a huge disappointment.

"I'm really sad we couldn't go, I'm full of admiration for him, he's such an advocate," Ms McCosker said. "But in a way, it's wonderful it sold out so quickly, because it means the message is getting through."

She added that having Dr Suzuki come to Coffs Harbour was a great help for local environmentalists.

"It helps take the pressure off because when you work for the environment, you do get labelled, and it's great to have someone like him to reinforce the message."

And that's exactly one of the key messages in Dr Suzuki's autobiography.

"I wanted to counter the image of environmentalists," Dr Suzuki told the Advocate. "We're often portrayed as these smelly, long-haired hippies that hug trees, and who are always scolding people about living right and always talking about doom and gloom.

"I wanted to show that when you're an environmentalist, you're working towards something very positive ? a world that is richer and cleaner for future generations."

Dr Suzuki also said that, having reached 70 he felt it was time to recognise he was 'living on borrowed time', and had learned a few lessons over the course of his life that he felt were worth passing on.

"I hope I can inspire young people to say 'Gee, that sounds like something I'd like to do myself'," he said.

"I also wanted to acknowledge the people who have made my life possible."

n See Saturday's Coffs Coast Advocate for Dr Suzuki's views on climate change, the Howard Government's attitude on environmental issues, building Australia's solar power capacities, and population growth.



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