Time to Get Real On Climate Change

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As the White House issues a frightening National Climate Assessment reporting that global warming is real and that "summers are longer and hotter...than any living American has ever experienced," This week on Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill Moyers talks with a scientist who has sounded the alarm for decades. For nearly 35 years, David Suzuki has brought science into the homes of millions on the Canadian television series, The Nature of Things. Along the way he has become a godfather of the environmental movement, and in a poll of his fellow Canadians last fall he was named that country's most admired figure. Nonetheless, his outspoken views on climate change and the government's collusion with the petrochemical industry in developing the Canada's oil-rich tar sands have made him the target of relentless attacks from his nation's prime minister, corporations, and right-wing ideologues. "We've failed to shift the perceptual lenses through which we see our place on the planet," Suzuki tells Bill Moyers. "We thought if we stop that dam, whoa, we've won, that's it. And we didn't point out why are we stopping the dam... We just saw the battle as the issue. And we never saw it as simply part of the symptoms of a greater change that's needed... The challenge of environmentalism is really about seeing our place in the world in the way that humans have always known up until very, very recently -- that we're part of nature and utterly dependent on the natural world for our wellbeing and survival." Suzuki believes that the current situation is not hopeless but says, "Our politicians should be thrown in the slammer for willful blindness. I think that we are being willfully blind to the consequences for our children and grandchildren. It's an intergenerational crime."

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