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Severn and the Day She Silenced the World

Janet Wilson
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Status: Available
Authentic Canadian Content

“We raised all the money ourselves to come six thousand miles to tell you adults you must change your ways.”

With those words, Severn Cullis-Suzuki began her riveting speech to officials from all over the world who had gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June of 1992 for the very first Earth Summit. Severn was just twelve years old.

Politicians and environmentalists had gathered at the Summit to find solutions to problems such as air pollution and the shrinking rainforests. But for all their talk, they could find little to agree on. It took Severn’s clear, bright voice – challenging the adults of the world to take action – to bring home what was at stake.

The daughter of environmentalists David Suzuki and Tara Cullis, Severn had a deep love of nature. At age nine, she had travelled to the Amazon and seen the terrible destruction of the rainforest. Back home, she and four friends were inspired to start ECO, the Environmental Children’s Organization. They made it their goal to travel to the Earth Summit. Their journey wasn’t easy. They faced obstacles, but also had amazing good luck.

More than twenty years later, the video of Severn's speech has been seen by millions of people on YouTube. Her story is about the power that children have to create change, and to make the adults of the world sit up and listen.

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