This special 10th anniversary edition re-examines our place in the natural world in light of the sweeping environmental changes and the recent advances in scientific knowledge.
Since its first publication, Sacred Balance has sold over 100,000 copies. In the meantime, global warming has become a major issue as glaciers and polar ice caps have begun to melt at an alarming rate, populations of polar bears have dwindled, the intensity of hurricanes and tsunamis has drastically increased, coral bleaching is occurring globally, and the earth has experienced its hottest years in over four centuries.
At the same time, scientists have made significant discoveries about the current state of the Great Lakes and other ecosystems of the world; the science behind the mother/baby interaction and the relationship between deprivation of affection in childhood and serious illness in midlife; the workings of the brain, including its ability to create a narrative, anticipate the future, and order the past; and the biological underpinnings of religion, among other findings. In this new and extensively revised and amplified edition of his best-selling book, David Suzuki reflects on these changes and examines what they mean for our place in the world.
The basic message of this seminal, best-selling work remains the same: We are creatures of the earth, and as such, we are utterly dependent on its gifts of air, water, soil, and the energy of the sun. These elements are not just external factors; we take them into our bodies, where they are incorporated into our very essence. What replenishes the air, water, and soil and captures sunlight to vitalize the biosphere is the diverse web of all beings. The recently completed human genome project has revealed that all species are our biological kin, related to us through our evolutionary history. And it appears that our need for their company is programmed into our genome.
As social animals, we have an absolute need for love; without it, we suffer dire psychological and physical consequences. The strength of that love is reflected in healthy, vibrant families and communities supported by full employment, security, and justice and free of threats of genocide, terror, or war. Finally, we have spiritual needs, which are ultimately rooted in nature, the source of our inspiration and belonging. These are the real requirements of all humanity and should form the basis of any society aspiring to a truly sustainable future.
These truths remain. But the cataclysmic events of the last decade require that we rethink our behaviour and find a new way to live in balance with our surroundings. This book offers just such a new direction for us all.
David Suzuki donates his royalties from sales of The Sacred Balance to the David Suzuki Foundation.
David Suzuki is an acclaimed geneticist and environmentalist, the host of The Nature of Things, and the founder and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is the author of more than forty books, including Good News for a Change, From Naked Ape to Superspecies (both co-authored with Holly Dressel), The Sacred Balance (co-authored with Amanda McConnell), and David Suzuki: The Autobiography. He is the recipient of the Unesco Kalinga Prize for Science, the United Nations Environmental Medal, the UNEP’s Global 500 award, and has been named a Companion of the Order of Canada. In addition, he holds eighteen honorary degrees and he has been adopted into three First Nations clans. He was selected as the 35th most important green campaigner of all time by the British newspaper, The Guardian. Suzuki lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Amanda McConnell has written more than one hundred documentary films, many of them for The Nature of Things. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature, and she writes and gardens in Toronto, Ontario.
Adrienne Mason is the author of numerous books for adults and children, including The Nature of Spiders, The Green Classroom, Living Things, and Oceans. She is managing editor of the science magazine KNOW: The Science Magazine for Curious Kids and has been nominated four times for a Science in Society book award. She holds a B.Sc. degree in Biology from the University of Victoria, and she lives in Tofino, British Columbia, with her husband and two daughters.
David T. Suzuki, PhD, is an internationally renowned scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster who has spent over 40 years educating people about science and environmental issues in the classroom and over the airwaves.
Dr. Suzuki is acclaimed for his ability to explain the complexities of science in a compelling and easy-to-understand way. His face is familiar to millions around the world from the popular science TV show The Nature of Things, which he has hosted since 1979.
David Suzuki: School Years
A third-generation Japanese-Canadian, David Suzuki was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1936. During World War II, six-year-old David and his family were sent to an internment camp in the Slocan Valley in the B.C. Interior—a wartime measure prescribed by the federal government.
After the war, the Suzuki family moved east to Ontario: first to Islington, then to Leamington, and finally to London, where David attended high school. He continued his education by winning a scholarship to Amherst College in Massachusetts, graduating with an Honours B.A. in Biology in 1958; which he followed with a PhD in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961.
A respected geneticist and a gifted lecturer, Dr. Suzuki was a professor in the University of British Columbia’s zoology department for 30 years (1963–93). For the eight years leading up to his retirement in 2001, he taught as a professor at the university’s Sustainable Development Research Institute, where he is now a professor emeritus.
David Suzuki: Television and Radio
After dabbling in the medium since 1962, David Suzuki’s television broadcasting career began formally in 1969 when he appeared on screens across Canada as the host of Suzuki on Science. The show played only two seasons but led to Dr. Suzuki hosting another Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) series called Science Magazine for five years, from 1974-79.
David Suzuki shifted to CBC radio in 1975 to host Quirks and Quarks, a weekly science show. He hosted for four years.
In 1979, David Suzuki left both Science Magazine and Quirks and Quarks to become host of CBC television’s The Nature of Things. Seen today in over 50 countries around the world, The Nature of Things has helped make David Suzuki a household name.
In addition to hosting The Nature of Things weekly, David Suzuki has produced numerous other television series and specials, including:
A Planet for the Taking (1985), which won an award from the United Nations,
The Sacred Balance (2002), which was later turned into a book,
A PBS series on DNA, The Secret of Life (1993), which was praised internationally,
A five-part series for the Discovery Channel, The Brain: The Universe Within (1994).
For CBC Radio, David Suzuki created two influential documentary series on the environment: It’s a Matter of Survival (1984) and From Naked Ape to Superspecies (1999).
David Suzuki: Author and Books
In addition being a broadcaster, David Suzuki has authored more than 40 books for adults and children. His most recent is the second volume of his life story, David Suzuki: The Autobiography, published by Greystone Books in hardcover (April 2006) and paperback (April 2007) editions.
David Suzuki: Awards and Accolades
Over the years, David Suzuki has received numerous Canadian and international awards for his work. Some notable awards include:
UNESCO prize for science
United Nations Environment Programme medal
Companion of the Order of Canada
19 honorary university doctorates from schools in Canada, the United States, and Australia.
In addition, David Suzuki has received many tributes from Canada’s First Nations people, along with five names (Big Mountain; Man Who Knows Much; My Own; Sacred Mountain; Mountain Man; Eagle Child) and “adoption” by both Haida and Heiltsuk families.
In 2004, CBC television viewers nominated him as one of ten “Greatest Canadians” of all time.
David Suzuki Foundation
David Suzuki is recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology. He has devoted himself wholeheartedly to educating the public about the importance of the natural world and the need to protect it.
In 1990, David and his wife, Dr. Tara Cullis, co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to find ways for people to live sustainably in balance with the natural world and which uses science and education to promote solutions that help conserve nature. David Suzuki currently serves as chair of the Foundation.
David Suzuki lives with his wife in Vancouver, British Columbia. In his little free time, David says he enjoys fishing, camping, and exploring the world of insects and tidal pools.
David Suzuki Interviewed at Occupy Montreal
Why? Simply Because and Jobbook scores an impromptu interview with known social activist David Suzuki on the first day of the Occupy Montreal movement. This protest was a satellite protest to Occupy Wall Street. Follow the movement at #occupywallstreet -
Thanks to Antoine de Brabant from Jobbook for the great help on the interview!