Letter from David Suzuki

This year we invited David Suzuki, a well-known environmentalist, author and activist to come to the Sunshine Coast to participate in the Arts Council Literary Reading Program. With funding by the Canada Council, the program brings authors and poets to the Sunshine Coast to present readings of their work throughout the year. For some time, we’ve had it in mind to have a theme evening devoted to the environment and climate change, and who would be better for that than David Suzuki?

fullsizeoutput_9a3We knew our chances of getting him were slim to none, and we were right. David reluctantly declined our offer, but he took the time to write a personal handwritten note explaining why. It was very cool for me to receive the letter because David Suzuki has been one of my personal heroes for decades. It is something I will keep and show to friends and family; however, I was also saddened by the last few lines of the letter, which read as follows:

“I am going to be working flat out on the election Oct 21st. After that, I think I will have expended all I have in me and I will withdraw from public life.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that David Suzuki, who will be 84 on his next birthday, has decided to step back from the role he has played as Canada’s leading spokesman for the environment and the danger of climate change. He has been such a strong voice for so many years that it is difficult to imagine the climate debate without him. It is, perhaps, a signal that it is time for the rest of us to step up.

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Chernobyl

It has been more than 33 years since Chernobyl, the worst man-made disaster in the history of humankind, took place near the city of Pripyat in northern Ukraine. But HBO’s recently-released mini series of the same name could not be more timely. That’s because the series, which dramatizes the events following the explosion of Reactor 4 in the dead of night on April 26th 1986, is not really about a nuclear disaster. It is about the end of truth, and in our current political context, what could be more timely than that?MV5BNTEyYmIzMDUtNWMwNC00Y2Q1LWIyZTgtMGY1YzUxOTAwYTAwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjIyMTc0ODQ@._V1_UX67_CR0,0,67,98_AL_

The main character Valery Legosov, a nuclear scientist reluctantly sucked into the vortex of the Chernobyl clean-up, tells us as much in the opening monologue. 

“What is the cost of lies?” he asks. “It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all. What can we do then? What else is left but to abandon the hope of truth and content ourselves instead with stories.”

Time and time again in the Chernobyl saga, it is the stories that go forward, not the reality. Radiation readings are ridiculously under reported. Damage to the reactor, including the breach of the core, is denied despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Communist party brass flatly states that a nuclear disaster of Chernobyl’s magnitude could not possibly have occurred in the Soviet Union because it doesn’t jibe with its glorified view of itself.

If that kind of denial sounds familiar, it should. It is modern-day Trump World where reality has nothing to do with the facts. It’s all about the stories that prop up the fantasy. Anything to the contrary is dismissed as fake news and ignored at our peril.

The world that Chernobyl shows us is not a pretty one. Despite the unmistakable selflessness and sacrifice of those who work to contain the disaster, it is a gritty, dirty world where everything is in decline: the buildings seem to crumble before our eyes, the tools and equipment are poorly designed, almost useless, and worst of all, the people are like soulless automatons sleep-walking through the most impactful moments of their lives.

We are left with the chilling prospect that if we fail to right this leaky ship soon, it is a world to which we might well be headed.

Murphy’s Law on sale this week only

For all my friends in the U.S.A., my novel, Murphy’s Law, goes on sale today in Amazon’s U.S Store. You will be able to purchase the ebook version for the low, low price of .99 U.S as part of an Amazon Countdown sale. The price will rise through the week returning to the regular price of $4.95 U.S. on May 30th. So don’t delay, buy today! 🙂

Murphy’s Law on Sale this week only

For all my friends in the U.K., my novel, Murphy’s Law, goes on sale today in Amazon’s U.K. Store. You will be able to purchase the ebook version for the low, low price of .99 GBP as part of an Amazon Countdown sale. The price will rise through the week returning to the regular price of 3.49 GBP on May 16th. So don’t miss out. Buy today! 🙂

Murphy’s Law on Sale Next Week

For all my friends in the U.K., my first novel, Murphy’s Law, goes on sale next week in Amazon’s U.K. Store. Starting Thursday, May 9th, you will be able to purchase the ebook version for the low, low price of .99 GBP. The price will rise through the week returning to the regular price of 3.49 GBP on May 16th. So buy early, and often. 🙂