David Suzuki

Canadian popular scientist and environmental activist

David Takayoshi Suzuki (born March 24, 1936) is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster, and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001. Since the mid-1970s, Suzuki has been known for his television and radio series, documentaries and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host and narrator of the popular and long-running CBC Television science program The Nature of Things, seen in over 40 countries. He is also well known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment.

David Suzuki in 2009




  • [I]f one day I look out from my cabin's porch and see a row of windmills spinning in the distance, I won't curse them. I will praise them. It will mean we are finally getting somewhere.
    • ibid.
  • More than a billion people lack adequate access to clean water.
    • source unknown


  • With the growing urgency of climate change, we cannot have it both ways. We cannot shout from the rooftops about the dangers of global warming and then turn around and shout even louder about the "dangers" of windmills.


  • As an atheist, Suzuki declares, he has no illusions about life and death, adding that the individual is insignificant in cosmic terms. Human beings must come to terms with the unbearable reality that they, like all life, will be extinguished. 

What he finds most difficult, he confides, "is the idea that this guy looking back at me in the mirror, this person locked into my skull full of memories that make him who he is, this fellow who has known pain, joy, thoughts, having existed for such a brief flash in all eternity, is going to vanish forever at his death. Forever is such a long time, and 70, 80, 90, even 100 years is such a tiny interval in all of time."






  • Oh, I think Canada is full too!
    Although it’s the second largest country in the world, our useful area has been reduced.
    Our immigration policy is disgusting:
    We plunder southern countries by depriving them of future leaders,
    and we want to increase our population to support economic growth.
    It’s crazy!


  • The question is have we met our match?
  • No matter what lengths politicians, corporate interests and others take to avoid, downplay and obfuscate serious issues around environmental degradation and our economic system’s destructive path, we can’t deny reality. Studies show we must refrain from burning most fossil fuel reserves to avoid catastrophic warming. In little more than a century, the human population has more than quadrupled to seven billion and rising, and our plastic-choked, consumer-driven, car-obsessed cultures have led to resource depletion, species extinction, ocean degradation, climate change and more. It’s past time to open our eyes and shift to a more sensible approach to living on this small, precious planet.
  • Many solutions are being employed or developed, but not fast enough to forestall catastrophe. In Canada, we have federal and provincial governments hell-bent on expanding fossil fuel infrastructure and development to reap as much profit as possible from a dying industry and to satisfy the vagaries of short election cycles. The fossil fuel industry continues to receive massive subsidies, including a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer bailout for an American pipeline company, while clean energy receives far less support.



Interview with National Observer

  • I think we have to stop building cities to serve the car... We have to return to the notion that cities have become human habitats, cities are human created things.
  • I meet a lot of parents that say, “what, what can I do”, you know, and I say, ‘“Stop driving your kids to school!” This is crazy. It'll be healthier for you and healthier for the environment. So it's not just the way we design our cities differently, but our own behavior within the cities.
  • We now live within a globalized economy. So to live the way we are in Vancouver, it means that people in Mexico, people in Africa are having to change the way they're living.
  • the biggest challenge we've got to do right away, stop the hyper consumption that demands that all of these areas serve us.
  • If you look at the states in the United States, or the provinces, that have not really been able to come to grips with the COVID crisis, they are the ones led by people who said, “We got to get the economy going, the economy, the economy”, so that the the health and well being of the community or the the State is not as important as the economy...the ultra rich have just been getting richer and richer. So you know, the economy's not connected to the well being of people or the well being of the planet.
  • We've got to begin to shut down fracking and the the more difficult areas, deep underground and the deep underwater. Shutdown the riskiest areas...Fracking is one of the dumbest ways that you can imagine getting your energy because of the water that you're using, polluting it.
  • We can shut down immediately all subsidizing of the fossil fuel industry. We've got to shut down their ability to advertise, the way we did with tobacco.
  • The most important thing is to say, we've got to be 50% off fossil fuels by 2030. And this is what we have to do every year, we've got to mandate reductions year after year after year, if we're serious about it.
  • I think for the individuals -- make the word disposable an obscene word. If someone says, “Well, I got a disposable cup”, you cover your kid's ear and say, “Don't listen to that man, what a terrible thing to say”. Because the whole idea of disposable, that's a notion brought in by economists.
  • We're changing the chemistry of the atmosphere. And we're doing it in a way that has never happened in nature. We're doing it so quickly. Nature, of course, has had fluctuations. We've gone from warm periods to ice ages. But that's been over 1000s and 1000s of years. We're doing it at an unprecedented rate. The experiment’s started. If we stopped all emissions today it will still take over a century to find equilibration. At the same time that we're adding stuff to the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate, we're cutting down, we're destroying the only real safety that we have, which is the web of living green things all over the planet.
  • I think even a lot of really committed environmentalists, they think, well, if everybody drives an electric car, and we have all LED lights, and and you know, that somehow everything will be fine. No, it's not going to be that simple. Reduction of our fossil fuel use by 2030. Everything is going to change and we can't go on in this hyper consuming way. There going to be massive changes.
  • the underlying root cause of our problem is that we've radically shifted in the way that we live on earth. For most of our existence, 95% of human existence, we were a nomadic hunter gatherer, we had to follow animals and plants do the seasons on their migration, carrying everything we owned. You know damn well you're deeply embedded in nature. And all of your ceremonies and in traditional cultures, their ceremonies are about thanking their creator for Mother Nature's abundance, and making a commitment to act properly in order to ensure that abundance will continue. That's what's needed, a recognition of a deeply embedded.. but we've elevated ourselves above all, we think that we're the top of the heap, and that everything is there for us to use in any way we can imagine. And now with environmentalism, oh, well, we have to be more careful. But we still are making that assumption-- we're at the top of the heap. So all of our solutions are all about serving us. We got to ensure jobs, we got to ensure the economy. We’ve got to ensure politically that… and we're not seeing that the deeper underlying thing is the way that we live on this planet
  • we've become totally narcissistic. And Donald Trump, to me, is the ultimate expression of that kind of narcissism. Me, me, me. Screw anybody else is not about me, me, me.


  • There has been no media coverage of D Suzuki's extreme anti-immigration views.What would happen if a prominent conservative said same thing?
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