AToMiC CSR: BRONZE
The Trial of Suzuki
Canada is home to some of the world’s most precious natural resources, but its environmental record is among the worst in the developed world. Canadians would be shocked to learn just how bad their country’s policies have become, but the government and fossil fuel industry control the message the public receives by spending millions on pro-oil PR campaigns and muzzling federal scientists whose work contradicts their economic agenda.
Cape Farewell, an international nonprofit working to drive action on climate change, wanted Canadians to hear both sides of the story. So they worked with Dr. David Suzuki, Canada’s most famous and beloved scientist, to create The Trial of Suzuki, an event that would bring national attention to the government’s actions and expose Canadians to the information they have been missing.
On October 9, 2013, Suzuki held a press conference on the steps of the Toronto Courthouse. There he released his Carbon Manifesto, an environmental call-to-arms that accused Canadian politicians and corporations of serious crimes against the environment and Canada itself.
His statements were so bold, they could be considered treasonous according to Canadian law. So he prepared to take the witness stand to defend them. While Suzuki’s positions were clear (his Manifesto demanded massive changes including the end of fossil fuels, a carbon tax of $150 per tonne and the uncensoring of federal scientists), the campaign leading up to the trial encouraged Canadians to explore different arguments and form their own opinions.
A poster campaign brought the public into the debate by presenting opposing points of view on subjects including the environment, green energy and species conservation. On the trial’s microsite, users could view and submit evidence that either supported or contradicted Suzuki’s claims.
On November 6, 2013 Suzuki took the stand. The Trial Of Suzuki featured a real judge, real lawyers, and very real arguments by expert witnesses including economists, Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner and Suzuki himself. The on-site audience combined with users watching the online Live Stream to form a nationwide jury deliver the final verdict. Suzuki was found Not Guilty. But most importantly, the trial gave Canadian citizens a chance to take back the conversation about their country’s environmental future.
On November 6, 2013 The Trial Of Suzuki took place in Toronto, Canada. The mock trial featured a real judge, real lawyers, and very real arguments by expert witnesses from both sides of the political spectrum. Climate change is a complicated issue with passionate voices on each side of the debate. Climate change is a complicated issue with For over 30 years, Dr. David Suzuki taught Canadians about the wonders of the natural world on his long-running television series “The Nature Of Things”. He also spent decades as an outspoken advocate for action on climate change. But after becoming increasingly frustrated with the public’s lack of awareness about Canada’s environmental policies and the government’s in the Fall of 2013, he decided to take on the government in his boldest act yet.