David Suzuki on the Fourth Gathering of Knowledge

David Suzuki on the Fourth Gathering of Knowledge



The prominent Dr. David Suzuki, in an interview about our fourth edition of the Gathering of Knowledge, an academic event taking place in the National Library and Archives of Quebec for the oncoming November 28 in Montreal, spoke with the staff of the Venezuelan Consulate in Vancouver; his opinion was the following;

1. What are your expectations for this event? The dominant worldview today is shaped by the lens of capitalism that sees the economy as the engine of progress and the reason for governments to exist.  María Páez Víctor has convinced me that Venezuela has chosen a different path and I would like to find out at the meeting.

2. Why do you think it is important to address this invitation?  Capitalism that does not see itself as subordinate to ecology is inevitably destructive.

3. What are the main topics to develop in your presentation?  I talk about the destruction of our life support systems - air, water, soil, photosynthesis and biodiversity - as the consequence of placing the economy above nature and then demanding growth forever.  Why? I am an old man with little at stake for what happens over the next few years but my grandchildren will spend their entire lives with the consequences of what we do or do not do.

4.  Do you believe that the oncoming Paris summit about Climate Change on November 2015 will be a significant one?  20 COP meetings have failed to affect the output of greenhouse gases, so I had little expectation that a 21st one would be any different.  But three things give me hope that this meeting will take a different path:

1) The reports of scientists have become louder and more urgent as we find the consequences of the warming that has already occurred are far greater than anyone expected and we seem to be on our way to a 4 to 6o rise which will be catastrophic if we don't avoid it.

2) The agreement of the US and China, the two largest emitters in the world, to act on climate change is a huge change.

3) Pope Francis' Encyclical is a magnificent document and his influence may be immense.

These three factors, I hope, will lead delegates to put the atmosphere above political and economic agendas, but I am still far from convinced it will happen because of the deep embeddedness of the belief that the economy comes before all else.  

The Gathering of Knowledge is an initiative generated since 2012 by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and their Consulates General in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver; with the objective of promoting a space that would allow for discussion, reflection and comprehension of global realities and their current issues.

In our past editions, we have counted with the participation of world-renown prominent personalities from the academic and investigative fields, among them are the following: Carlos Taibo (author, editor and tenured professor of Political Sciences at the Autonomous University of Madrid), Michel Chussodovsky (Canadian economist, author, emeritus professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa), Michel Collon (author, Belgian freelance journalist, war strategy specialist as well expert on North-South relations and media/propaganda manipulation), Arleen Rodriguez Derivet (Cuban journalist and hostess of Cuban TV show “Mesa Redonda”), Jorge Valero (Venezuelan diplomat, Permanent Representative of Venezuela at the OAS and current Permanent Representative of Venezuela at the UN), Otilia Lux de Coti (Guatemalan social leader and politician, executive director of IIWF), Moni Pizani (Venezuelan regional director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean), Yves Engler (Canadian author and political activist), among others.

This fourth edition of the Gathering of Knowledge has been dedicated to the discussion and debate of ideas in regards of environmental issues, specifically about Climate Change and its impact on global ecosystems and their economies.

We are aware that this specific topic is one of the most serious environmental issues that humanity faces at current times; in order to find a balance between conservation efforts and sustainable development, it is necessary for every individual to develop a culture of respect and appreciation for the environment as well as to count on the will and compromise by governments and politicians around and the world, and by civil society organizations such as NGO’s.

For this important event we will count with the presence of especial guests such as: Dr. David Suzuki, Canadian scientist and environmentalist who cofounded the David Suzuki Foundation; Karel Mayrand, President of the David Suzuki Foundation for Quebec as well as President of the Climate Reality Project Canada founded by Al Gore; Dr. Isabelle Thomas Maret, specialist on sustainable development, urban vulnerability and regional development at the University of Montreal and M.S.Nicolas Turgeon, expert on air treatment and climate change at the Center for Industrial Investigation of Quebec (CRIQ).

For more information and registration visit: http://www.changementclimatique.ca/index.php/

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"Veterinarian Doctor Day"

On July 21, the National Day of Veterinary is celebrated in Venezuela. This date was chosen during the I Grancolombian Congress of Veterinarian Doctors, event that took place from July 21-28, 1946, in the Andrés Bello High School, in Caracas, Venezuela.

In the afore-mentioned event, representatives from Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela discussed several professional, academic and social proposals, and they agreed to celebrate the "Veterinarian Doctor Day" on 21 July of each year; however, today, this day is onlycelebrated in Venezuela.