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No less interesting, the great Canadian redeemer has no compunction against soliciting funds from children. His Foundation appeals for help from the toddlers of the world, letting it be known that “Santa Claus is in trouble! Due to climate change, the North Pole is not safe enough for his elves to make the millions of toys he delivers to nice boys and girls.” Kids and parents are exhorted to “purchase a gift to help Santa and the elves temporarily relocate their workshop elsewhere in Canada” (sofii.org). As radio/TV personality and newspaper columnist Rex Murphy comments, “there’s something of an all-points bulletin,” and, without leveling charges of immorality, concludes that “Scaring kids and guilting parents is monumentally tacky” (FullComment, December 3, 2011). It is certainly that, and possibly more than that.
Does Suzuki really believe what he preaches? After all, he did buy carbon credits to run his supersized, emission-belching tour bus—though, according to reports, it carried only eight people (The London Fog, February 23, 2007, etc.). And seeking to avoid media embarrassment, his Foundation released a statement to the effect that “the carbon emissions associated with the tour are offset through its investments in sustainable energy projects, such as wind farms, solar installations, or energy efficiency projects” (Canadian Press, January 29, 2007). The reasoning is circular and smacks of self-justification. Producing what you condemn in order to condemn what you produce seems distinctly disingenuous. Nor does Suzuki seem at all fazed by his predictive incompetence or his cavalier attitude towards unassimilable facts.
Ultimately, only Suzuki really knows whether his convictions are genuine or not, which is no consolation for the rest of us. Perhaps we can take some comfort from the fact that he has just stepped down from his Foundation’s board of directors “over fears that his political views could put its charitable status at risk” (National Post, March 14, 2012). It seems that Suzuki may have been right about one thing at least; the National Post reports that his Foundation “may soon be probed for alleged violations” (April 25, 2012).
Nonetheless, whatever decision may be rendered by the Canada Revenue Agency, it is becoming increasingly difficult not to regard David Suzuki, formerly a fruit fly geneticist, as the Fu Manchu of the environmental movement. Or perhaps as the reincarnation of Rashid ad-Din Sinan, aka the Old Man of the Mountain, fundamentalist leader of the infamous 12th century Hashshashim sect. Immured in his high castle and convinced he was carrying out a sacred mission, the “elder of the mountain,” wrote Marco Polo in his Travels, enchanted his minions with “a certain potion” and proceeded to sow havoc among the people. Suzuki’s ideological potion has certainly been effective among the flock of true believers while the leader himself retains his Teflon immunity in academia and the compliant media, in particular the left-leaning and tax-funded CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Like his medieval precursor, Suzuki, whose dogmatism resists the influx of fresh data and operates selectively to keep his hobbyhorse rocking, remains safely ensconced among his retinue in his fortress of debatable and self-infatuated rectitude.
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