Losing My Future is Not Like Losing an Election.

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At the age of 12, Severn Cullis-Suziki pleaded with adults at the UN’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero.

To say Severn  is an inspiration is hardly enough. When she was 9 she started the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. They were successful in many projects before 1992, when they raised enough money to go to the UN’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Their aim was to remind the decision-makers of who their actions or inactions would ultimately affect. The goal was reached when 12-year old Severn closed a Plenary Session with a powerful speech that received a standing ovation.

Quotes from Severn’s speech worth noting:

Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market.

In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see.

I’m only a child yet I know we are all part of a family, five billion strong, in fact, 30 million species strong and we all share the same air, water and soil — borders and governments will never change that.

At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave in the world. You teach us:
• not to fight with others,
• to work things out,
• to respect others,
• to clean up our mess,
• not to hurt other creatures
• to share – not be greedy.
Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?

Following in the footsteps of her father, Dr. David Suzuki, Severn leads by example and is passionate about encouraging young people to speak out.

Planet Earth is still in the same state today, and Severn is expecting her first child. She once again takes the floor in an emotional documentary explaining that although the situation is urgent, there is still time to make a change.

More about Severn Cullis-Suzuki.

Severn has done countless interviews, written many articles, and hosted a TV show for kids called Suzuki’s NatureQuest. ‘Lead by example’ was the message Cullis-Suzuki spread in the Powershift 2000 campaign when she and five friends cycled across Canada to raise awareness for clean air and action. At Yale University, where Cullis-Suzuki earned a bachelor of science, she co-founded an Internet-based think-tank called The Skyfish Project in 2002. Its aim was to find ways for people to live and work in line with their ideals.

Cullis-Suzuki regularly talks to schools, universities, businesses, and governmental conferences about the need for defining our values, acting with long-term vision, and our individual responsibility.

She lives on the Pacific Westcoast archipelago of Haida Gwaii with her husband and little boy where she studies the Haida language. She is a board member of the David Suzuki Foundation and the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society, a Spark for the Girls Action Foundation, and a Champion for WE CANada at the Earth Summit 2012 (www.earthsummit.ca). She hopes her pursuit of traditional and scientific knowledge and dedication to using her voice will help her promote a culture of diversity, sustainability and joy.

You can find Severn on facebook and follow her on twitter @SevernSuzuki.

* Originally published on my blog, I Count for myEARTH.

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About Lynn Hasselberger

Lynn Hasselberger is co-founder of GDGD Radio; The Green Divas Managing Editor; and Producer of The Green Divas Radio Show. She's also a mom, writer and award-winning cat-herder who lives in Chicagoland. Sunrises, running, yoga, lead-free chocolate and comedy are just a few of her fave things. In her rare moments of spare time, she blogs at myEARTH360.com and LynnHasselberger.com. A treehugger and social media addict, you'll most likely find Lynn on twitter (@LynnHasselbrgr @GreenDivaLynn & @myEARTH360), instagram and facebook. She hopes to make the world a better place, have more fun, re-develop her math skills and overcome her fear of public speaking. Like her writing? Subscribe to her posts.


3 Responses to “Losing My Future is Not Like Losing an Election.”

  1. I had seen the first video before, but not the 2nd…she is amazing. The Girl Scout troop I lead is very focused on environment, conservation, etc (it's actually become a big focus for GS of USA) and I think I will show them these two…thanks!

  2. Bud Wilson says:

    Thanks Lynne – I shared this on my wall with a comment. I was in the audience in Rio in '92 when Severn gave her moving talk. Unfortunately most of the diplomats were busy blocking any possible progress on Agenda 21 – they didn't bother to come into the hall to listen to the wisdom of our children.

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