David Suzuki Interview

David Suzuki is one of those names that Canadians hold near and dear to their hearts. The political, environmental and social activist and PhD. has stood up and spoke out about issues many Canadians are passionate about for decades now. As the host of The Nature of Things on CBC, which is heading into it 52nd Season this year, he has been one of the loudest voices defending the environment. We are on the cusp of a pivotal turning point in the environmental landscape in BC.

When asked about the Enbridge pipeline, Dr. Suzuki was quick to establish his view – “What happens over the next few years will have very little affect on my life. I’m an old guy. I’m at the end of my life. But what is, or isn’t done now will reverberate through the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Every parent, every grandparent ought to be thinking about that. A LOT.  And that means, ‘how do I exert pressure?’ Whether that’s to tell our premiere to get the hell off the pot and come make a stand on where she stands on Enbridge and on Kinder Morgan. Let’s demand that the people we elect to represent us, look out for our best interests.”

I have been to a few Anti-Pipeline rallies and the message that has resonates with me, and other young BC residents who are shaping the future of this province and region, NOT IF, BUT WHEN. Suzuki responded “Exactly, we keep getting told over and over it’s foolproof. You know what a foolproof technology is? A technology free of fools. I put my life into an incredible technology. It’s called airplanes. Yet, I know they still fall out of the skies. 9 times out of 10 when they crash, it’s human error.”

I pressed Suzuki to elaborate on what he meant by “human error”. “The problem with these technologies, is that people are going to out fool the most foolproof technology. The people of Hervey Bay know that a ferry, the Northern Queen, hit an island for Christ’s sakes. You know how the story goes, someone in the bridge was making out with someone else in the bridge and they crashed. We always will out fool the technology. How dare these people come and tell us ‘Don’t worry. It’s all safe. Nothings gonna happen.”

Going to rallies, signing petitions and voting in the elections are some things we can do to help shape the future into what we want it to be. But there is always room for more to do in your life. Suzuki had a few choice words for how to help “Get rid of your car. Maybe you have a car, stop using it. Take a bike. Or take the bus or walk. The car has become the single most unhealthy technologies we use. So leave the car at home for one.

Give up meat one day a week. Meat is one of the most energy intensive foods that we eat. Meat has HUGE reverberations. Davidsuzuki.org website has several lists of the quick and simple ways you can make a difference in your home.”

Being that through his broadcasting career, David Suzuki has become a Canadian Icon. I felt I had to ask, what other country would he live in, aside from Canada? “15 years ago, I could have easily said ‘We could have a great time in Australia’. But I made my commitment to this country. I live in the United States for eight years. From 1954 to 1962. When I graduated with a PhD. I was offered jobs at Stanford University, University of California Davis, San Diego State, but I chose to leave the United States. I chose to come Back to Canada. To me, back then, Canada meant Tommy Douglas, it meant the C.C.F., it meant medicare, it meant the national film board, it meant Quebec, it meant the C.B.C. Now, those are things that have been radically degraded since I came back. But I will still not live anywhere else.”

You can catch an all new season of The Nature of Things with David Suzuki on Thursdays at 8PM on CBC Television.