David Suzuki's 30th book, The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering our Place in Nature, called for no less than a complete rethinking of our relationship with the world and each other. Renowned biologist and author E.O. Wilson called it "the most complete expression to date of an environmental ethic from one of the world's leading conservation writers, combining science, theology, poetry and philosophy to express a world view towards which the human species must shift in the 21st century."
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Written with Amanda McConnell and published by Greystone Books, The Sacred Balance was launched in 1997 at the Squamish Recreation Centre in North Vancouver. With 700 people attending, David gave the book and its royalty payments as a gift to the Foundation, with the hope that it would inspire us all with a vision to work toward. Since its publication, it has sold more than 130,000 copies in Canada and around the world. It was revised and updated for its 10th anniversary in 2007.
The book begins with the recognition that we all depend completely on the gifts of the Earth: air, water, soil, energy from the sun and the diverse and interconnected web of life. As social animals, we have an absolute need for love, and we have spiritual needs that are rooted in nature. The Sacred Balance offers concrete examples of how we can meet these basic needs and create an ecologically sustainable, fulfilling and just way of life.
In 2003, this seminal work took on another form, broadcast as a four-part documentary television series on PBS. Bill Moyers interviewed David Suzuki on the PBS program NOW in August 2003, introducing the upcoming series, which followed David as he travelled on five continents searching for a new vision for our place on Earth, and celebrating the interconnectedness of human beings with the world around them. Part 2 of the series, called "The Matrix of Life", won the Science and Society Prize at the International Television Science Program festival in Paris, France.
A Community Education Guide was also published to supplement the series. It included activities aligned with National Science Education standards, and was primarily designed for informal education programs in science centres, libraries, after-school programs, Boys and Girls Clubs and other youth programs.
Now, 16 years after its initial publication, the principles and wisdom of The Sacred Balance continue to inform and inspire our work at the David Suzuki Foundation.