David Suzuki argues that the real bottom line, and society’s challenge today, is not debts and deficits, but the need to live full and meaningful lives without destroying the Earth’s biosphere, which supports all life. Suzuki explores the physical, social, and spiritual needs that form the basis of any society that aspires to a sustainable future and a high quality life for its citizens. Those fundamental requirements are rooted in the Earth and its life support systems. They are worthy of reverence and respect; they are sacred.
Developments in science and technology have resulted in a seismic shift in the way the majority of people live, and we have now undeniably altered the biological, physical and chemical properties of the planet. Traditional people refer to the Earth as their ‘Mother’ and tell us we are made of the four sacred elements: earth, air, fire and water. Today science is now verifying this ancient wisdom – that we are all biological beings with an absolute dependence on clean air, water, soil and sunlight for our well being. Diversity at the genetic, species, ecosystem and cultural level is critical for long-term resilience and adaptability. How do we ensure this? We need a different set of priorities to become our bottom line for evaluating life in the twenty-first century.