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(generated from captions) '30,000 doctors worldwide For Social Responsibility.' formed the Physicians

a revolution in thinking in America. What we did was, we actually led 'People all over the world nuclear arms build-up began to demand an end to the huge and the threat of war. Slowly the world began to change, the Cold War ended until finally in 1990 of nuclear war.' and with it the threat That's the miracle of this century, are friends now. that Russia and America That we're not going to... to blow up the earth. I don't think we're going in my lifetime, Having seen that happen anything can happen. having been part of that process, for integrity, peacemaking 'Helen received dozens of awards and humanitarian work, university degrees.' as well as 18 honouree if you decide to do something What I feel so strongly about is you can change the world and I did help to change the world. Paula Corvalan Closed Captions By CSI -

This Program is Captioned Live.

South Australian police have charged

an 18-year-old Kapunda man with the

murders of a Kapunda couple and

sixteen-year-old daughter last week. murders of a Kapunda couple and their A

Kapunda police station once news A large crowd gathered outside the

spread that a man had been arrested.

st Locals have been traumatised by the

stabbing of Andrew, Rose

Chantelle Rowe. It's believed the stabbing of Andrew, Rose and

was known to Chantelle Rowe, and Chantelle Rowe. It's believed the man played on a

played on a local basketball team.

Britain is rejoicing at the

announcement of

announcement of a royal wedding.

Prince William will marry his

long-term girlfriend, Kate Middleton,

next year. The second in line to the

throne has given his

Diana can be with them in spirit.

mother's engagement ring, so princess

Commentators say the 28-year-old Diana can be with them in spirit.

commoner will give the prince the

chance of something he never had - a

comparatively normal family life.

Bookies are tipping an August

wedding. Chinese authorities have

detained four unlicensed welders on

suspicion of accidentally starting a suspicion of accidentally starting

fire that

apartment in fire that engulfed a high rise

apartment in Shanghai. At least 35

people died in the building that was

being renovated. And millions of

Muslims have converged on Mecca for

the annual

pilgrims have been circling the the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The

sacred Kaaba stone structure inside

the Grand Mosque as part of the "

"Feast of the Sacrifice." More ABC the Grand Mosque as part of the

news at midday. This Program is Captioned Live (Theme music) I'm Steve Cannane. Welcome to Big Ideas Extended Mix. unmissable television On today's show, David Suzuki as legendary environmental activist delivers his legacy lecture. of his career, At 73, and coming to the end Suzuki mused on the notion, what would I say?' 'If I had one last lecture to give, The result is a very special talk, insight and passion. full of humour, warmth, at the Perth Convention Centre, At a packed house frustration Suzuki voiced his long-time economic growth at the political obsession for at the sacrifice of nature, for a sustainable future. while urging us all to strive our technological muscle power, When you add up there are numbers, our consumptive appetite, and our global economy. as has never existed We have become a force that life has been on this earth. in the four billion years chemical and biological features We are now altering the physical, on a geological scale. of the planet, Not long ago - a few decades ago - floods and drought and forest fires we referred to tornados, hurricanes, as natural disasters. Or acts of God. But they aren't anymore.

in all of these events. The human imprint is there They're not natural anymore. take our place among the gods, And human beings have tried to without God's knowledge, of what we are doing. to be able to manage the impact of Earth into different epochs - Scientists divide the history periods of geological time - the Holocene, the Miocene, You know the Eocene, the Pleistocene and so on. a Nobel Prize Winner, And Paul Crutzen, the Anthropocene Epoch - says this should be called have now become a geological force. a time when human beings and super computers But now we have scientists to tell us to look ahead tradition of human beings, to act in the best to dream of a world, using our knowledge and experience, see where we are going. to see the future, the leading scientists of the world And for over 40 years,

heading down a very dangerous path. have been telling us we have been from switching directions That there are opportunities and finding another road. when we have become so powerful But now at this moment

survival strategy of our species. we are turning our backs on the very with the immensity of our power We've got to come to grips and our impact on the planet. Even now, I meet people who say - affect weather and climate, 'Ah, human beings couldn't possibly we're not that powerful.' as it really is We have to be able to see the world and see our place in that world. challenge. And here, it's a very difficult looks at the world You see, each of us our own personal experiences. and we see the world through Through our own biases and values. socio-economic class. Gender, race, religion, the way we perceive the world. These all shape A few years ago, the mountains of the Andes in Peru I went to a village high up in are taught and I learned that the children there that that mountain is an Apu. Apu in their language means a god. shadow on the village As long as that Apu casts its of all the people in that village. it will determine the fate Imagine how those children, treat that mountain, when they grow up, who is taught all his life, compared to a kid in Kimberley, full of gold and silver.' 'I bet that mountain's shapes the way we treat it. The way we see the world, In the 1980s, I was asked by a woman, named Ruby Dunstan, Chief of the Lytton Indian Band, if I would help her prevent logging in their sacred valley. The British Columbia government had given Fletcher Challenge, a New Zealand Forest Company, a permit to log in that valley that the Lytton people regarded as theirs.

So I agreed to help her and the first thing she did was to take me in a helicopter

and we flew up the valley so she could show me what we were going to fight to protect. And as we flew up the valley, she pointed out the sacred burial sites in the cliffs above the river. She showed me where there were vast stretches of bushes where the grizzly bears and the people go to collect or gather their berries in the summertime. She showed me where the spawning gravels were for the salmon and the site up the valley where her people had fought a neighbouring tribe over 200 years ago. When we landed, the helicopter pilot just shook his head, he said, 'This is amazing, last week I took a group of foresters and politicians up this same valley, we went up the same route and all they talked about were board feet, volumes of wood for pulp, jobs and profit.' Two groups of people looking down on the very same forest and seeing fundamentally different things.

The way we see the world shapes the way we treat that world. Is a forest a sacred grove, or is it just timber and pulp? Is a river the veins of the land, or just an opportunity for irrigation and power? Is another species our biological kin or simply a resource or commodity? Is our house a home or is it just a piece of real estate? I can't emphasise enough - the way that we see the world shapes our behaviour towards that world. And something has fundamentally shaped or altered our perception over the last century. For most of our existence we were a local tribal animal. We didn't have to worry

whether there were people on another side of the ocean across a mountain or over a desert. We just had to worry about our tribal territory and our tribe. Even by 1900, when there were only 1.5 billion human beings in the world, there were only 16 cities with more than a million people. London was the largest with 6.5 million people. Tokyo was the seventh largest city with 1.5 million people. Most people in the world in 1900, lived in rural village communities.

Most people in the world

were involved in some aspect of agriculture. We were farmers and farmers understand that we are absolutely dependent on weather and climate for how well we do in the year. In Canada, farmers know that the amount of moisture in the soil in the summer is directly related to the amount of snow we get in the winter. Farmers know that insects are absolutely critical to pollinate flowering plants. Certain species take nitrogen out of the air and fix it as fertilizer in the soil. Farmers understand that we are deeply imbedded in the natural world and utterly dependent on it. Go ahead only 100 years, to the year 2000, now there were four times as many humans on the planet. Six billion of us. But now there were more than 400 cities, with more than a million people.

Tokyo was the largest city in the world with 26 million people Can you imagine? If you have ever been to Tokyo you know, human beings shouldn't have to live that way. Now the 10 largest cities in the world all had more 11 million people. And in countries like Canada and Australia, Where 85% of us now live in big cities. And in a big city,

it would appear we're different from any other species. We're so smart. We create our own habitat. Who needs nature? We don't need nature. As long as there are parks out there we can go camping in the summer, we don't need nature. We create our own habitat. I have a friend in Toronto - the largest city in Canada - who lives in a high-rise apartment on the outskirts of the city

he lives in. It is totally air conditioned. He takes the elevator down to the basement in the morning, gets into his air conditioned car. Drives down the freeway to a commercial building in downtown Toronto. Goes up to his office - completely air conditioned. That building is connected through a whole series of tunnels to huge shopping malls and food marts. And he told me, 'I don't have to go outside for weeks on end.' In a city then, who needs nature? Our most fundamental priority is our job because with our job, we can earn the money

that we can buy the things that we want. And so, in a city our perception changes, and we think of the economy as our highest priority. We forget then, that we are first and foremost

animals. I was in Austin, Texas a few years ago, there were a group of children in the front rows and I said, 'Now if you remember one thing out of my lecture please remember - we are animals.' Man, did their parents get pissed off at me. 'Don't you call my child an animal! We're human beings!' We think that we are somehow different from the other creatures. You can see it, if you call someone a chicken or a pig or a monkey or a snake. We look down on other species and we forget what aboriginal people know and try to tell us - that we are created by Mother Earth. They don't mean that metaphorically or poetically

They literally mean the earth is our mother. Because we are created by the four sacred elements - earth, air, fire and water. And we forget that in the city. The first thing that every one of us needed, the minute we left our mother's body, was breath of air. That first breath had to inflate our lungs,

and then announce we have arrived on this planet. And from that point on till the last breath we take before we die, we need air. And we don't even think about it. I want you for the next couple of minutes to think about that simple act. (Breaths) Two to three litres of air deep down in the most intimate, moist, warm parts of our bodies, our lungs. If you have ever seen a freshly killed animal and looked at the lungs or touched it, it's that kind of mushy, squishy, yukky, funny feeling thing. Well, lungs feel funny because they are mainly made of air. Each of us, in our lungs, have about 300 million capsules or alveoli, that are clustered like grapes around an alveolar duct. And we need all of those alveoli to give the surface area, to come into contact with the air. If you flattened them out into two dimensions, they would cover a tennis court. That's how much surface area is all wrinkled up in our lungs. Each alveolis is lined with the three layered membrane,

called the surfactant. The surfactant reduces surface tension

so when the air comes into contact with it, it sticks or fuses. Instantly carbon dioxide rushes out of our bodies, oxygen, whatever else is in the air rushes into our bodies. Haemoglobin molecules and red blood cells grab the oxygen,

and with each beat of our hearts, that oxygen is pumped to every part of our bodies. And when you breath out, you don't exhaust all the air in your lungs. If you did that, our lungs would collapse. About half of the air stays in your lungs even when you exhale. So the point I am trying to make is that you can't draw a line and say - 'Air ends here, and I begin there.' There is no line. The air is in us, it is stuck to us and it is circulating We circulating through our bodies.

We are air. And if I am air and you are air then I am you.

The air that comes out of my nose, mixes in this room very quickly, and soon everyone of you is breathing the air that was in my body.

We are stuck together in a matrix of air. Not just with all humans on earth, but with the trees and the birds and the worms and the snakes. They are all a part of that thin layer that we call the atmosphere. I am air. You are air. We are each other. I want you to consider the simple thought exercise an astronomer named Harlow Shapley did many years ago. He said - 'I want to follow what's the fate of one breath of air, what happens to it?' How do you follow a breath of air? 98% of the air is oxygen and nitrogen.

You breath it in. Oxygen and nitrogen go into your bodies, and then a lot of the oxygen doesn't come back out.

That's why we need air every minute for the oxygen. 80% of the air is nitrogen - goes into your body, some of it reacts chemically and doesn't come out of your bodies. But 1% of the air is an element called argon. Argon is an inert element, it doesn't react chemically with anything. So you breathe it in, it goes into your body. You breathe it out, out it comes again. So Argon is a very good - what scientists call 'marker' for a breath of air. 1% of the air is argon. How many atoms of argon in a breath of air?

Shapley calculates 3 times 10, to the super 18. That's 3 followed by 18 zeros. That's three billion billion atoms of argon, in one breath of air. Take it from me, that's a lot of argon. So let's suppose, that we follow a breath that comes -

where's Josh who introduced me? Thank you for introducing me. One breath of air, coming out of Josh's nose and within a few minutes,

convection currents have taken that breath all over this room, and all of us are breathing in a gazillions of argon atoms from that one original breath but the door's opened, eventually out that single breath goes

across Perth, across Australia and according to Shapley, one year later, wherever you are on the planet, because air is a single layer, every breath you take will have about 15 argon atoms from that one original breath taken a year before.

So on that basis, Shapley calculates every breath you take has millions of argon atoms, that were once in the bodies of Joan of Arc and Jesus Christ. That every breath you take has millions of argon atoms that were in the bodies of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. That every breath breath you take will suffuse life forms as far as we can see into the future. We breathe out carbon dioxide and within a year, every leaf and every needle of a tree will carry carbon dioxide coming from a single breath that we exhale. We breath out 80% of the air as nitrogen. And that nitrogen then enters into the nitrogen cycle

that will circulate around the planet. So air, is this wonderful substance that links all of life together. That links us from the past, through the present

and into the future. Surely air should be thought of as Aboriginal people see it - as sacred. We boast that we are intelligent. But what intelligent creature, knowing the role that air plays in all life on earth, would proceed to use air as a dump,

for the most toxic chemicals ever created? We are air. Whatever we do to the air, we do directly to ourselves. And the same applies to the other sacred elements. We are water. Every one of us is at least 60% water by weight. And when you drink water that body leaks water. And it comes out of our skin and our eyes and our mouth and crotch and so we've got to keep drinking water to top up.

When I drink that water, do you think that's Perth water? Of course not. I have, in that one mouthful of water, have taken molecules

that have come from all of the oceans in the world. Evaporated from the canopies of every forest on the planet, from every grassland and wetland. Water is like air, another glue that holds us all together.

We are water and yet we use water as a toxic dump and somehow think that we will escape the consequences of that. We are the earth because every bit of our food was once alive and most of what we eat was grown on soil, on land. We are the earth through the very creatures that we consume for our nutrition. And yet we use the earth again to dump our waste and toxic material.

And we are fire because every bit of the energy in our bodies that we need to move and grow and reproduce is sunlight captured by plants in photosynthesis, converted into chemical energy, then we get that energy by eating the plants or eating the animals that eat the plants. And we store that chemical energy in our bodies until we need it and then we burn those molecules and release the sunlight back out into our bodies. These, then, are our most fundamental needs

as biological creatures yet we use them without a thought to absorb our wastes and toxic chemicals. Well, where does that take us then?

Economics and ecology are based on the same root word, ecos, the Greek word meaning household or domain. Ecology is the study of home. Economics is the management of home. What ecologists try to do is determine what are the principles and the conditions that enable a species to survive and flourish. Not a bad bit of information that we should know. I would've thought that any group in society, any company, any group of politicians, any businesses, before doing - undertaking any major new program would say, 'Wait, wait, before we do anything, what were those ecologists telling us now?

what were those principles and conditions? We don't want to do anything that will violate those fundamental ecological principles.' And yet what we have done is elevated the economy above those principles. My Prime Minister, I'm embarrassed to say, is carrying on in the tradition of Bush and Howard and he says, 'We can't do anything about climate. It will destroy the economy.' So we now place in Canada the economy above the very atmosphere

that keeps us alive. The minute one of the ministers of the environment in Alberta, which is our province in Canada that is like Texas, it's the energy province - an environment minister said,

'We can't - those environmentalists better understand, we can't afford to do what they're demanding if we don't have a strong growing economy.' So even the Minister of the Environment, whose job is to protect the environment, believes the economy is the source of everything that matters, that it must come before anything else. Let's put the 'eco' back into economics. I'm told by politicians and business people I have to be realistic - that the economy is the bottom line. I'm sure you've heard that all over the place here in Perth. That's why I did a series on CBC this summer - ten-part radio series - called The Bottom Line, because as a scientist, I know there is a fundamentally different, more profound bottom line that is dictated by our biological nature. You see, we live in a world that is determined by certain laws and principles that we have to live with. We can't do anything about them. In physics, the first and second laws of thermodynamics tell us

you cannot build a perpetual motion machine. We know there are laws of gravity which mean you can't have an anti-gravity machine here on earth. We know that we can't build a rocket that will travel faster than the speed of light. These are principles that emerge from the laws of physics and nobody tries to transcend them. We live with them. There are laws of chemistry that determine the kinds of reactions that we can carry out that limit what we can do in transforming atoms into molecules, there are diffusion constants and reaction rates. And we live with those because they are the laws and principles of chemistry. We also have laws and principles of biology. And we know that biology dictates that as biological creatures we have an absolute need for clean air, clean water, clean soil and clean energy and biodiversity if we are to be healthy and to survive. These are facts.

These come from the world that we live in.

Other things - capitalism, free enterprise, the economy, currency, markets - these are not forces of nature for heaven's sakes, we invented them. and they're the one thing we can do something about, we can change them. They're certainly not perfect. There's no such thing as perfection in anything humans do and yet it's really amazing, you can talk to some of these neo-conservatives, but you mention a word like market and suddenly it's, 'The market, oh yes, the market! Free the market! If we have free markets everything will be fine.' What kind of nonsense is this for God's sake? We created them.

It wasn't long ago that people believed in dragons and demons and monsters, they really believed in them and by God if we thought they were mad at us we'd throw jewels and gold and anything to placate them. Well today we know those are figments of our imagination, nobody believes in dragons or demons. But what do we do? We replace them with another figment of our imagination called the economy and by God we react every bit as much. If we think the economy's in trouble, boy do we - we'll pour money into them, anything to get them back - to get the economy back going again, but we invented it for God's sake. Why do we sanctify the economy and the market as if somehow they are untouchable? In 2008 we had a global economic meltdown and that crisis was a huge opportunity.

When you have a crisis, that's the moment to sit back and say, 'Wait a minute now, what the hell went on here?' We can't afford to have this happen again, we can't afford to have a dot com boom and a bust and then a housing boom and a bust, let's get this right and do something about it, but no - what happened? Mr Bush and then Mr Obama began to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the very banks that created the crisis, into the auto sector without any strings attached and all they asked was, 'Please, please, please get back up running again and keep on growing.' Wasn't it Einstein that said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

(Applause) We cannot continue to treat the market and the economy as if somehow they are inviolate, because they have become unbelievably destructive. We compound the problem of this human-created, flawed thing called the economy by constructing other things, human constructs - we draw borders around our property, around our cities, around our states, around our countries and by God we take those borders seriously. We'll go to war, fight, kill and die to protect those borders, but you know what? Nature couldn't give two hoots about human borders. You know, I was in Alberta a few weeks ago

and I said, 'I couldn't care less what you do with the tar sands,

the dirtiest oil on the planet, you can do anything you want as long as that stuff only stays within Alberta air.' You think there's such a thing as air that belongs to your province? So how can we think that our borders matter, when air is a single unit around the earth?

Water doesn't stop at human borders, it cartwheels around the planet. We get dust and seeds that are blown from Africa all the way across to North America. Do you think that dust stops at the border and says, 'Uh oh, I've got to have a visa to get into North America.' It doesn't care about our borders. And then you think about animals - insects, birds, fish, mammals that don't stop at a border, because they're Canadian animals. They behave according to different principles and yet, look at what happens then. Copenhagen, December of last year, 192 countries all trying to deal with what is a single entity, the atmosphere, through the lenses of 192 national borders. And then we make it even worse by saying each country has its own economic priorities. So we use economics and our national borders as the highest priority in negotiating with the atmosphere. Of course it failed, failed miserably. It's bound to fail and these kinds of arrangements can never work so long as we elevate human constructs above the natural world that we depend on. Yet we try it all the time. Whenever we have an economic meltdown we ask nature to pay the price, we try to shoe-horn nature into our economic priorities. In British Columbia, where I live, we have a law that says you can't export raw logs out of the province. That's because we want to add the value to those logs in our own province,

but the minute there's an economic downturn the government always says to the forest industry, 'OK you can cut down more trees and ship those raw logs anywhere you want. We need the revenue.' Or we say to the fishing industry,

'Oh yeah, I know we're at the sustainable level,

but you can catch more, because we've got to get that money coming into the economy.' Or we tell the polluting company, 'OK, we'll relax our pollution standards, because I know that costs more money.' We always ask nature to fit our flawed economic systems and it just wont work. An economy is made possible by the biosphere. It gives us everything that we use in our economy. Everything, the raw materials, come form the earth and when we're finished with it we throw it back into the earth and that's a very, very thin layer. The biosphere is the source of our wealth. It's what makes an economy work. Yet the economic system ignores or discounts many of the services that ecosystems around the planet perform to keep us healthy and flourish. I once had a confrontation with, ah, the company -

with the CEO of a very large forest company in Canada and he was not very happy with me. We were screaming at each other and finally in frustration he said to me, 'Listen Suzuki, are tree huggers like you willing to pay

because if you're not willing to pay money to protect those trees, they don't have any value till someone cuts them down.' And that's when I realised that was an epiphany for me. In our economic system he was absolutely right. You see, the forest we were arguing over - as long as it's standing and intact is taking carbon dioxide out of the air, putting oxygen back in it - not a bad service for an animal like us. If plants in the oceans and on land don't do that, we're dead. But economists are so smart, they say that's not an important part of the economy, they call that an externality. That's why you try to put a price on carbon, man the screaming that goes on, because we want to use the atmosphere as a free thing, we don't want to pay money to dump stuff into the atmosphere. That forest as long as it's standing is pumping millions of gallons of water out of the soil, transpiring it into the air and modulating weather and climate, an externality. The forest is providing pollinators - mammals, birds, insects

that pollinate all of the flowering plants on the land and that is to an economist an externality.

That forest is holding the soil, so that when it rains the soil doesn't run into the spawning gravels of the salmon, an externality. Think of all the species that survive and flourish in an intact forest. Economists don't care about that. That's an externality. So all of the things that forest is doing that keeps the planet habitable for an animal like us, economists dismiss as irrelevant. You have to ask - what planet is that economy designed for? Because it sure as hell isn't the planet that I depend on. What kind of a fundamentally flawed system is this that fails to take into account natures services on which we absolutely depend for our survival? The minute I landed in Australia a week and a half ago, what do I hear? The Murray-Darling watershed and all this arguing about, 'We need the water for irrigation and we've been promised this and that.' Nobody is saying, 'Wait a minute now, the health of that watershed, the health of that great system is what we depend on not only for our wealth, but our survival.' That's got to come before everything else. (Applause) This is the challenge that we face, that we have an absolutely flawed economic system and then we compound the problem, this thing that we all look up to that says it's our highest priority, we compound the problem by enshrining growth as our highest priority, our most urgent need. Growth, think about it - what does growth do for us? Growth by itself is just a description of the state of a system. How can growth be the very purpose that governments exist or businesses exist for? Growth does nothing for us. It's just a means for some other end

and yet we've ensconced the notion that growth is the very definition of progress. Ask any politician or company executive how well they did last year and within seconds they'll talk about whether the economy, the GDP, market share, jobs profit, whether they grew or did not grow and that becomes a definition of how well they did the year before. Growth has become the very definition of progress. Nobody wants to impede progress, but if growth is what progress is about, we don't ask the important questions - what the hell is an economy for? Are there no limits? How much is enough? Are we happier with all of this stuff that comes out of this economic system that serves consumption? We don't ask those questions. We just want growth. Period. And this is sheer lunacy. Nothing in a finite world can grow forever. Take our bodies. Each of our bodies has on average about a hundred trillion cells. That's a one followed by 14 zeroes. That's a lot of cells. We're losing cells from our body and our hair and our blood cells are dying and skin cells being shed all of the time, but if one out of a hundred trillion - that is insignificant, one cell out of a hundred trillion says, 'I'm going to divide forever. I'm not going to stop, I live in a big body.' You know very well, long before that cell has created a very significant mass, if you don't get rid of it, it'll kill you. Cancer attempts to grow forever and the result is death. We live within the biosphere. The biosphere is the zone of air, water and land where all life exists. It's fixed. It can't grow. Carl Sagan, the late astronomer, told us - that if you shrink the Earth to the size of a basketball, the biosphere - the zone of air water and land where 30 million species live - would be thinner than a layer of varnish that you paint on that basketball. That's it. That's our home. And nothing within that layer of varnish can grow forever. Now, I am going to show you why this constant demand for growth is suicidal. Anything growing steadily over time - whether it is the size of your city, the amount of garbage you make, the amount of water you use, the number of people - anything growing steadily over time is called exponential growth. And anything growing exponentially has a predictable doubling time.

So, if it's growing at 1% a year, it'll double in 70 years. 2% a year, it'll double in 35 years 3%, 24 years. 4%, 17.5 years.

Anything growing steadily, will have a predictable doubling time. I'm going to give you a system analogous to the planet. I'm going to give you a test tube full of food for bacteria. That's the Earth. And I'm going to put one bacterial cell in it and that's us. And that bacterial cell is going to go into exponential growth. It's going to divide every minute. OK? So at time zero there is one cell in the test tube.

In one minute there are two. Two minutes there are four. Three minutes there are eight. Four minutes, 16. That's exponential growth. And at 60 minutes the test tube is completely packed with bacteria, and there's no food left. OK? It's a 60 minute growth cycle. When is a test tube only half full? Of course the answer is - at 59 minutes. 59 minutes it's only half full and one minute later it's completely full. Right? So at 58 minutes, it's 25% full. 57 minutes it's 12.5% full.

At 55 minutes of a 60 minute cycle, It's 3 % full.

So, if at 55 minutes one of the bacteria says - 'Hey guys, I've been thinking, we got a population problem,' (Audience chuckles) The other bacteria would say - 'Jack, what the hell have you been smoking, man?' (Uproarious audience laughter) 97% of the test tube's empty! And we've been around for 55 minutes! (Audience laughter) They'd be 5 minutes away from filling it. So bacteria, you know, are smarter than people at 59 minutes and go - 'Oh my god, Jack was right!' (Laughter) We got one minute left. What the hell are we going to do now? 'Don't give any money to those economists... ..Give it to those scientists!'

And by god, in less than a minute, those scientists invent three more test tubes full of food for bacteria. They quadruple the amount of food in space. That would be like us discovering three planet Earths right near by we could start using immediately. So they're saved, right? So what happens? At 60 minutes the first test tube is full. 61 minutes the second's full. 62 minutes, all four are full. By quadrupling the amount of food in space, you buy two extra minutes. How can we add even a fraction of one percent more

of air, water, soil, biodiversity to the planet?

We can't. It's fixed. It's the biosphere. You can't grow it. And every scientist I've talked to agrees with me. We are already past the 59th minute. So all of this discussion about 'More, more, more!' Is we've got to accelerate what is a suicidal path.

Do you guys need more? Are you so bad off in Perth, you've got to have more?

I mean, how much more do we need? Why are all these politicians saying we've got to have more? When it's taking us on a suicidal path? When I say this in front of politicians, and business people, they get very, very angry at me. 'How dare you say, we're past the 59th minute?

Look at our stores, they're filled with stuff.

Look at our people, we're living longer, we're healthier. How dare you say that?' I say it without apology. We have created the illusion that everything is alright, by using up the rightful legacy of our children and our grandchildren. You don't have to believe me. Ask anyone who's lived in Perth over the last 80 or 90 years. Ask them, 'What was it like here when you were a kid?' Oh, yeah, there're a lot of cars and fridges and televisions and all those things, but ask them what was it like in the surrounding area.

I've been to the Amazon, to the heart of the Amazon, to the Serengeti, to the Arctic. And when I go to these places

I try to find the oldest person in the village,

to say, 'What was it like when you were five or six years old?' And everywhere, including in the middle of the Amazon, the answer is terrifyingly similar. It used to be so different. There used to be trees as far as you could see, there used to be - the air used to be black with birds at certain times of the year.

Rivers used to be jammed with fish. All over the world, our elders are a living record of enormous changes that have happened in the span of a single human life.

We, er, Americans are always saying, 'Well, there's plenty more where that came from.'

There isn't plenty more where that came from. For hundreds of thousands of years, the Earth has been fully occupied and fully developed by 30 million species. If we drive plants or animals out of the places that we live, there isn't empty space where they can go and inhabit somewhere else. If they're not here, they're not anywhere. 'Well,' Americans say, that's the price of progress.' I don't think it's progress to use up the rightful legacy of our children and grandchildren. That is a weird definition of progress, if you ask me. We know, in our guts, that something is wrong, even though the media will try to hide it from you. You know, I landed in Australia and every big headline's, 'Australian dollar reaches parity with the American dollar.' Oh! Isn't that wonderful! Isn't that fantastic! You're dollar is so strong! Meanwhile, on the same week, there was a report that 20% of all plant species could be extinct by the middle of this century,

in our papers in Canada, buried on page 18 in a six-inch column. What the hell is going on? You know, anything to do with the economy - banner headlines. Anything to do with the state of the planet that keeps us alive - buried somewhere in a one-day wonder in the newspapers. We know something's wrong. Oceans cover 70% of the planet. They're a mess. We've used them as a garbage can. There are islands of plastic in the Pacific Ocean

bigger than the state of Texas. There are dead zones where nothing lives growing in size, duration and number in every ocean on Earth. We know that if we continue fishing and polluting as we are now, that by 2050, there will not be a single commercial species of fish left on the planet. And now, with increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the carbon dioxide's dissolving in the oceans as carbonic acid, acidifying the oceans with consequences ecologists tell us are terrifying. 80% of the forests on the land have been fragmented and destroyed. If we continue at the rate we're going today, in 20 years there will not be a single large intact forest

left on the planet. We've used air, water and soil to dump our toxic chemicals, and I know what a wonderful place Perth is, but every one of you is filled with dozens of toxic chemicals and over a pound of plastic dissolved in your bodies. And we know that climate is changing and that burning fossil fuels is at the heart of it. So here we are - as a species, we've shown ourselves to be incredibly inventive and clever but we've lacked the humility to realise there are limits and that we don't know enough to manage the biosphere. So, I think that this moment we have to ask, 'What the heck is life all about?' My great hero and teacher, my mentor, was my father. And in 1994, when he was 85, he was dying of cancer.

I moved in to live with him the last month of his life. He was fully prepared to die, he was not afraid of it. And we had, I think, the happiest time of my life was that last month - we laughed and cried, pored over scrapbooks and talked and talked and talked. Every night my wife would come with my children, and slides of pictures of trips that we'd taken together with my dad, and he kept saying over and over, 'David, I die a rich man.'

My father was never a wealthy person, but he kept saying, 'I will die a rich man.' In all that month that I lived with him, he never once said, 'Gee, do you remember that closet full of fancy clothes I had? You remember that car I bought in 1987, or the big house that we owned on Broughdale Lane?' All we talked about were family, friends and neighbours, and the things that we did together. That was my father's wealth. And in those things, he was truly a wealthy man. We've got off on some weird idea of what life is all about. A few years ago in the 1990s, before Hong Kong reverted to China,

I got a letter in the mail from a real estate agent. Now, my wife and I now have lived in the same place for over 35 years. We live right on the water in Vancouver. If you've ever visited our city, you'll know that it's one of the most beautiful cities in North America. And we have one of the most lovely places. And I got a letter saying, 'Offshore money is pouring into Vancouver.

Now is the time for you to sell your property and buy up.' I'd never heard the use of the word 'buy up' in that way. I didn't know you bought a house in order to invest in it, so that you can eventually sell it, make more money

and get a bigger or better piece of land. I thought you bought a place to make it your home. Well, I was really very angry to receive this letter, and so, I thought, 'Alright, mister real estate agent, if I'm gonna put my home on the market, what would I list as the things that gave it the highest value to me?'

And so the first thing I put down was the fact that when we bought the house, we moved my wife's mother and father into the upstairs to live with us. So my children have had Grandma and Granddad upstairs their entire lives, and I put that down as something very, very worthwhile for me. My father was a carpenter, and when Tara and I were first married, he built a kitchen cabinet for our apartment. When we bought this house, I tore that cabinet out and installed it in our kitchen - looks like hell there, doesn't fit - (Laughter) but every time I use that cabinet, my father is there, and I put that down. My best friend came out to stay with us for a week when I was building a fence along the waterside, and he spent days carving a handle for the gate, and every time I use that gate, I think of my best friend,

and I put that down as something of great value. My father-in-law planted a beautiful clematis plant

along the side of the gate, and when my mother died, we put Mom's ashes onto that plant. And when my niece, Janice, died unexpectedly, we put her ashes on that plant. And every year when the beautiful flowers, the purple flowers, appear above the gate, I know that my Mom and my niece are there. And I put that down. My children have dragged, oh, dead snakes and squirrels and birds

off the street, and made a little animal cemetery under our dogwood tree. And I put that down. And as I look over that list, I realise that those are the things that have transformed my property into a home, and those are things that, to me, are priceless. And yet on the market, those things are absolutely worthless. And I think of aboriginal people around the world who see the Earth as sacred because she is our mother. For whom rocks and rivers and forests and soil are sacred. How do you put a value on something that is sacred?

And that's a problem when we evaluate everything in economic terms. Those things that matter most to us have no value at all in our economic system. Somehow we've got ourselves into thinking we need more and more, bigger and better, more recent, more modern.

And that is going to make us happy. And yet, we know in our hearts that's not true. So what then at this moment is the challenge? First of all - slow down. What the hell is the rush? We're all going to die anyway. We are just rushing to drop off the end. Slow down. Get to know each other. Think about our children and grandchildren. And ask what we are going to leave them. And then get on with the most important part - we have to re-imagine our future.

Our great ability was imagination, which enabled us to dream of the world yet to come. Dream of something we could try to achieve. And once we have that dream, we can work to achieve it. That's what we've done since the beginning of our species.

Imagine a world where we live, work and play in the same area. So, we don't need a car, we want to go outside because that's where all the fun and the action is. Imagine where the streets and houses and roads all have the ability to trap every bit of sunlight falling on it to convert it into electricity. Imagine every roof capturing water and growing food. Imagine our cities filled with orchards of fruit and nut trees and community gardens so we can celebrate the seasons through the various plants that mature over the year. Imagine extracting heat from the earth in the winter and putting heat back down into the earth, in the Summer. Imagine cancer and asthma rates plummeting because we no longer put toxics into our surroundings. Imagine zero production of waste, because we design industrial systems like nature -

where one species waste, is another species opportunity. Imagine doing, as I did when I was a kid, drinking the water out of any river or lake. In Canada, when you catch a fish you now have to consult a big book

to find out what chemicals are in it and how much you can eat each week. Imagine catching a fish and eating it without worrying about what's in it. Imagine an Australia with rich forests that can be logged forever,

because we are logging them the right way. Imagine lighter than air ships that transport massive payloads at very little emission. Imagine taking tourists on wonderful trips across the earth at a rate, at a speed that makes earth sense.

Imagine an economy that is in balance with nature's productive capacity, that incorporate's natures services into it.

I could go on and on.

I've only hinted at some of the possibilities. But these are not pie in the sky dreaming of stuff like carbon capture and storage. These are all actually things that are going on in different ways,

in different parts of the world. These can be done. They are being done. So let us dream of what is possible so that we can come together and put our efforts into working towards that dream. And then, let us show what we are truly capable of as a species.

Thank you. (Applause)

That was David Suzuki delivering his Legacy Lecture in Perth. Well that's it for today, don't forget for more of the best talks from the world's top thinkers

Head to our website: where you'll find a vast selection of top notch chat from at home and around globe. I'm Steve Cannane, thanks for watching.

Captioned by CSI

This Program is Captioned

Relieved residents hear the

news they have been news they have been waiting for We have arrested an

18-year-old Kapunda

man. Reigning in the banks - the Greens rate rises. This is massive

profit taking at the ex pension

of the public. Now it is shop till you drop without leaving

the house. We notice a people are searching online. A

Royal wedding is in the air.

Prince William and Kate

Middleton get engaged. Did you

get down on one knee? That's

going to stay a kret. Obviously thrilled. Been

practising for long enough.