- By ciuttech
- 18 September, 2016
- Comments Off on Daryn Caister: One to Watch (or Listen To)
By Melissa Rodway
When Daryn Caister was in grade 6, he wrote a paper on a naturally occurring poison called dioxins. Despite the fact that they are everywhere in nature, taken in concentration they are devastating to the reproductive system and hormone production. A young boy’s mind was fascinated at this invisible danger all around, to which most people never gave a single thought… which lead to a lifelong fascination with the beauty and savagery of the natural world. He was officially hooked on science. When I was in grade six, I was writing comedy sketches about chewing gum and poems about zoo animals.
As he grew older, Daryn’s fascination with science grew, as did his intrigue with public policy. Recognizing that the planet is in terrifying trouble, he also believed that what we were learning in the media and what was actually happening to the planet were not consistent; the disconnect between government decision making, science, and how we were behaving as a society was astounding. Thus, an activist was born.
Since 2009, Daryn has been steering the Green Majority, an environmental spoken word show at CIUT. His mandate is to tell us what is really happening in the world, to encourage us to dig a little deeper, and to challenge what we are being told. He tells people what we need to know about environmental issues, instead of talking about something we can read about ourselves or hear in the news. Not known as a shrinking violet, Daryn relishes a good debate and the challenge of changing peoples’ minds. He doesn’t care what you believe, he cares why you believe it. Like any responsible advocate, he is also open to changing his own mind but leave your personal opinions at home… the cold hard truth of data, research and testing are the only opinions that matter to this activist.
Daryn joined the Green Majority as a bit of a fluke. He stumbled upon the show in 2007 and started listening to every episode ever made the summer before he was to begin his urban studies major at U of T. During the first week of school, he just happened to walk by a building that said CIUT on it and said to himself, “Hey, this is where they do that show I like!’”. He walked in, met the team, became a reader when one of the crew was late and began pitching in more and more for the show. Within a year and a half, he was co-running the program. A few months later, he was indeed the captain of the ship and since that time nine years ago, has only missed three shows and has never accepted a job that wouldn’t give him Fridays off. He has literally organized his life around the Green Majority. Daryn had the unfortunate luck of being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2015; it literally took putting him in a hospital bed to keep him away. Note to readers: Daryn is doing very well and is back on track, feeling healthy and positive!
In 2016, Daryn was awarded with the Volunteer Toronto Legacy Award which honours 25 individuals in Toronto for their contributions to the community. This award was based on the work Daryn does advocating for a sustainable environment on the Green Majority. He is recognized throughout the city for his environmental activism, and often for his voice. Tune in on Fridays from 11am to noon to hear Daryn fight for our planet and to arm us with knowledge not readily available at our fingertips.