To mark Earth Day, The Globe and Mail asked people either working in or connected to environmental issues to answer this question:
What one thing or factor gives you reason to be positive about the future of Earth's environment?
- "We see a huge and genuine interest on the part of corporate and government leaders to take meaningful actions." Ron Dembo, Founder and CEO, Zerofootprint, Toronto
- "The widespread concern I encounter all across Canada when I meet folks on the street. The impact of environmental degradation, especially on climate, is now undeniable and people are concerned about the future for their children. What I really find encouraging is the number of companies and individuals who are getting on with doing something." David Suzuki, Environmentalist, author, broadcaster
- "A changing attitude. For example, it is becoming more common to argue that we need to create images of desired futures to figure out how to get there. This is so much more powerful than painting doomsday pictures. I hear prominent industrial leaders say that we are past 'green washing,' that those who don't take action now will die and that business must identify its role in a sustainable future." Gunilla Oberg, Director, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
- "I am so inspired by this very moment. We are more committed as a society than ever before to facts and science, allowing us to make decisions for the future that are based on reality, not on fear-based doctrine or mythology. I believe that we are more clear than ever on what is truly happening, and so we are armed to fight the most important battle of our civilization: protecting this incredible world for our children."Chantal Kreviazuk, singer
- "The one thing that gives me reason to be positive about the future is the growing awareness of Canadians towards the environment. Whether it's conservation of our parks or protection of our wildlife, fighting climate change, or protecting our water, Canadians have taken a passionate interest in ensuring a healthy environment for current and future generations." John Baird, federal environment minister
- "I don't know any ecologists who are truly optimistic about the human environment in the short term (three or four generations). Long term is another matter. Ecosystems go through cycles of change involving four stages: organization, growth/accumulation, asset protection/conservation, collapse. The bad news is that collapse is inevitable and the impact on humanity will be profound. The good news is that collapse is always followed by reorganization and recovery." Mike Healey, professor emeritus, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, UBC, Vancouver