01 David Suzuki on Donald Trump, Fake News, Justin Trudeau and Pipeline Politics

"How can you make big decisions on your life if you're not scientifically literate?" 

Dr. David Suzuki is Canada’s most iconic environmentalist and at 81 he’s more passionate than ever about saving the world for his grandchildren — and yours. Suzuki talked with Mark Leiren-Young about alternate facts, toxic whales, taking the heat off the planet and putting it on politicians and more. 

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Quotes for Your Notebook

How can you make big decisions on your life if you’re not scientifically literate? The most powerful factors shaping our world today are science.” [3:55]

“But if we live in a world of alternate truth, then we really have entered an Orwellian world of 1984, where you can tell people literally 2 + 2 = 5 and people will believe it.  And we’re at that point now.  You only have to look at the Trump use of facts.” [17:58]

“We’re playing in the same goddamn game, and yet the rules are rigged so that we can’t possible win in a game that is dictated and constrained by economics.  Economics is so fundamentally dysfunctional.” [18:09]

“As a Canadian I want my prime minister to make commitments we will then live up to, and he’s not doing anything.  Pipelines should not be on the agenda.  Rail expansion should not be on the agenda.  Coal terminal expansion… we don’t want any of that stuff.  We want to get off fossil fuels.  Period.” [16:50] 

“I have hope, and that has got to drive us on.  And the fact that people are saying it’s so late, yes, for Christ’s sake listen to that. We can’t piss around anymore.  This is really really serious. I ain’t going to be around, but I know damn well my grandchildren are going to feel the impact if we do, or do not do anything Now. We can’t wait any longer.” [40:58] 

Show Notes

  • Suzuki talks about alternative facts, and problems facing our use of the internet and the importance of a scientifically literate audience. [03:19]
  • BC Premier Christy Clark and the hacking scandal, how she is using the same tactics as Trump. [07:18]
  • Why corporate people are human too, but constrained by shareholder interests. [09:30]
  • Economics and externalities. [16:47]
  • Pipelines and the Trudeau commitments. [20:07]
  • Orcas will be wiped out by the pipelines. [21:41]
  • How Orcas and other whales are some of the most toxic mammals on the planet. [21:51]
  • The first time he saw a whale. [24:18]
  • How little we know about nature, and how amazing creatures are who survive [26:28]
  • The biggest threats facing our oceans are Us. [28:58]
  • The importance of biodiversity. [27:19]
  • Personhood and the state of the human mind as the biggest challenge we face today. [35:08]
  • The importance of talking to kids about our environment, and the challenges of emerging technologies. [37:50]
  • “The one thing I have is hope.” [44:50]

 

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