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March 28, 2015

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Pick of the Day: Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie (DVD)

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Man sitting at a bonfireForce of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie. DVD. 93 min. Prod. by Entertainment One and National Film Board of Canada. Dist. by Bullfrog Films. 2012. ISBN 1-93777-234-9. $295.
Gr 10 Up–Scientist and TV personality David Suzuki is well known in Canada where he is revered as the host of the long running science program, Nature of Things, and as an environmental activist. This film honors his career by weaving together the story of his life with his last lecture outlining the concerns which have become his lifework. He makes a convincing case that the Earth cannot long support the environmental attacks being inflicted upon it by pollution of the air, seas and soil. Combining archival footage of his life as a scientist, activist, and civil rights advocate with contemporary illustrations of the havoc being sown upon the Earth by humans, he presents his thesis that mankind is the environment. He warns that the continuing unabated plundering of our natural resources, along with the strains of overpopulation and overuse, will result in calamitous consequences of overfishing, over harvesting of timber, and the ever growing population. Suzuki offers no recommendations for immediate solutions, but does suggest that without international cooperation to hold back rampant growth and the degradation of natural resources, the Earth we leave to our grandchildren will be a far different place from what it is today. Although the message is dire, the presentation is not overwrought. The combination of personal narrative with a global perspective makes this very valuable for both lessons in environment and 20th-century history.–Eva VonAncken, formerly Trinity-Pawling School, NY

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