From the 2013 Influencer Index: David Suzuki has leveraged his dual career to bring environmental issues to the forefront of public discourse
He dragged environmental preservation into the Canadian public consciousness 30 years ago with The Nature of Things With David Suzuki and has used Canada’s longest-running documentary series to keep it there. His columns for the Globe and Mail often sit on the paper’s most-commented slot for days. He’s written 40 books, had a dual career as a professor and geneticist with 24 honorary degrees and was voted in as the fifth-greatest Canadian by his countrymen in 2004.
Over the years, Suzuki’s stepped up the defence of his home province’s natural bounty—the same bounty that provincial and federal leaders have all but tagged and put on the rack for voracious Asian markets to browse.
How influential is the 76-year-old? He resigned from the David Suzuki Foundation last year, worried that his opinions and criticism of industrial development in Canada’s natural areas could antagonize the Conservative government, which stated that non-profits must disclose all political activity and committed millions towards increased supervision of charities. But his storytelling and PR mastery continue at his foundation with a river of visual, impossible-to-ignore studies, like one which found that the Lower Mainland’s Natural Capital is worth up to $60 billion in benefits annually. That has to be more than what China will pay for our LNG, right?