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David Suzuki on Peak Oil

In a long interview, Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki spoke about Peak Oil:

Question: .. what is the critical tipping point?

David Suzuki: Well, that's what you hope, that there is a tipping point. But the reality is that this huge juggernaut of a globalized economy and transnational corporations is hugely powerful -- it's just got so much momentum that it's going to be very, very hard to begin to deflect it.

To me, a hope is that we are going to hit peak oil [when oil resources begin to decline] -- and some geologists say we already hit it last year. The business community is now starting to take this very seriously.

The first thing to happen would be the big-box stores, like Home Depot and Walmart, collapsing because they are dependent on cheap oil to ship cheap goods. Also, in the suburbs of Canada we have these gigantic homes with two or three people in them, and the heating and cooling bills are enormous, and they depend on cars.

But the big thing is food. In Canada, food travels an average of 5,000 miles (8,000 km) from where it's grown to where it's eaten. This can't go on.

The impact of [fossil fuel depletion] is going to create enormous suffering, no doubt about it.

Suzuki is one of our planet's most passionate advocates, as well as one of Canada's most respected citizens: his compatriots recently voted him the greatest Canadian alive, for his decades of work on behalf of the environment.

Suzuki, 69 is best known for his ability to articulate scientific and environmental issues in plain language. He is the author of more than 30 books, and has produced award-winning radio and television shows, including "The Nature of Things" and "It's a Matter of Survival.''

Born and raised in Canada, Suzuki received a doctorate in genetics from the University of Chicago and taught from the early 1960s until his retirement from the University of British Columbia in 2001. He now heads the David Suzuki Foundation, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Editorial Notes: For the complete text, see the original interview ("Matters of survival in a 'shattered world'"). -BA

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