Transcript: Stuck Between Hope and Fear | Nov 07, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, gray plaid tie, and a red poppy pin.

A caption on screen reads "Stuck between fear and hope. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says NEITHER THE DIRE
WARNINGS RECENTLY ISSUED BY THE
UNITED NATIONS'
INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON
CLIMATE CHANGE NOR THE
DECADES-LONG EFFORTS OF
ENVIRONMENTALISTS HAVE MANAGED
TO PUT A FIRE IN THE BELLY OF
THIS COUNTRY TO TAKE ACTION ON
CLIMATE CHANGE.
WHY NOT?
GRAHAM SAUL IS THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF NATURE CANADA AND A
METCALF INNOVATION FELLOW, AND
HIS RESEARCH SHOWS IT MIGHT HAVE
TO DO WITH HOW THE STORY OF
CLIMATE CHANGE GETS TOLD.
AND HE JOINS US NOW TO EXPLAIN.

Graham is in his fifties, with side-parted light brown hair and a goatee. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and a red poppy pin.

Steve continues NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

Graham says THANK YOU VERY
MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

Steve says THE IPCC, AS IT'S
CALLED, HAS ISSUED A NEW REPORT.
LET'S START THERE.
WHAT'S THE TAKE-AWAY FROM THIS
NEWEST REPORT?

The caption changes to "Graham Saul. Nature Canada."

Graham says THE TAKE-AWAY IS THE WORLD IS
QUICKLY RUNNING OUT OF TIME IN
HOLDING CLIMATE CHANGE TO EVEN
MODERATE LEVELS, AND THAT WE
HAVE A DECADE TO TAKE ACTION IF
WE WANT TO... IF WE WANT TO MEET
OUR BASIC GOALS.

Steve says THAT SOUNDS SERIOUS
AND WOULD SUGGEST THAT URGENT
ACTION IS NEEDED.
DO YOU SEE URGENT ACTION BEING
TAKEN?

The caption changes to "Grim news from the IPCC."

Graham says NO, THE NEWS JUST KEEPS
PILING UP.
JUST YESTERDAY, THERE WAS
ANOTHER REPORT THAT SHOWED THAT
THE EARTH'S OCEANS ARE WARMING
FASTER THAN WE THOUGHT THEY WERE
GOING TO, AND THAT THAT MIGHT
MEAN THAT EVEN SOME OF THE MORE
DIRE PREDICTIONS ARE HAPPENING
MORE QUICKLY THAN EXPECTED.
I SEE EVERY DAY, IT FEELS LIKE,
YOU OPEN UP ANOTHER REPORT ON
THE NEWS AND YOU HEAR, YOU KNOW,
JUST THE OTHER DAY THERE WAS
ANOTHER ONE THAT SAID THAT SINCE
1970, GLOBAL WILDLIFE HAS
DECLINED BY 60 PERCENT, WHICH IS
A MIND-BLOWING BIODIVERSITY
CRISIS WE'RE FACING, YET WE
STILL SEEM TO BE ELECTING
GOVERNMENTS THAT TEAR DOWN EVEN
THE MOST MODEST PROGRESS THAT
PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS HAVE MADE
AND IT SEEMS IN SOME WAYS LIKE
WE'RE SLEEP WALKING THROUGH THIS
PROBLEM EVEN THOUGH THE SCIENCE
COULDN'T BE CLEARER?

Steve says WHY DO YOU THINK?

Graham says I THINK ON THE ONE HAND
THERE'S A BIT OF A BOILING FROG
GOING ON, IN THE SENSE THAT WE
ARE GRADUALLY GETTING MORE AND
MORE USED TO THE BAD NEWS.
I THINK THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE
HAVEN'T DONE A GOOD ENOUGH JOB
OF TRYING TO GET THEIR HEAD
AROUND THE SCALE OF THE PROBLEM,
AND I THINK TO SOME DEGREE, THE
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY HASN'T
TOLD THE STORY THAT HELPS PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND THE MULTIPLE WAYS IN
WHICH HUMANITY IS UNDERMINING
THE BROADER LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS
OF THE PLANET.

Steve says I'M GOING TO GET TO
THAT IN A SECOND, THE WAY THE
STORY COULD BE TOLD BETTER.
I'VE HEARD YOU DESCRIBE THE LACK
OF INTEREST WE APPARENTLY HAVE
IN DOING ANYTHING ABOUT CLIMATE
CHANGE AS AN ETHICAL FOG.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

The caption changes to "Graham Saul. Metcalf Innovation Fellow."
Then, it changes again to "Ethical fog."

Graham says I THINK THAT EVERY SOCIAL
MOVEMENT FROM THE PAST, WHETHER
IT WAS THE ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT
AGAINST SLAVERY OR THE WOMEN'S
MOVEMENT OR THE GREAT
ANTICOLONIAL STRUGGLES AROUND
THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
AT THE TIME THAT THOSE MOVEMENTS
WERE REACHING BREAK-THROUGH
MOVEMENTS, SOCIETY IS SHROUDED
BY A KIND OF ETHICAL FOG.
WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS EVEN
RELATIVELY WELL-INTENTIONED
PEOPLE END UP DISCUSSING DEEPLY
ETHICAL ISSUES IN POLITE, ALMOST
TECHNICAL FASHION, RATHER THAN
ACKNOWLEDGING THE BROADER
INJUSTICES THAT ARE UNFOLDING
AROUND THEM.
SO, FOR INSTANCE, IF YOU TAKE
THE ANTI-SLAVERY MOVEMENT, IN
THE 1800s, PEOPLE HAD POLITE
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT WHETHER OR
NOT A GIVEN COUNTRY COULD AFFORD
TO END SLAVERY, ECONOMICALLY.
THERE WAS A TIME WHEN A MEMBER
OF PARLIAMENT COULD STAND UP IN
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, AND
WITHOUT BRINGING HIMSELF INTO
ANY DISREPUTE, COULD ESSENTIALLY
SAY, IF BRITAIN ABOLISHES
SLAVERY, THE FRENCH ARE JUST
GOING TO PICK UP THE BUSINESS.
AND SO IT'S SORT OF LIKE ALL OF
SOCIETY GETS SHROUDED BY A KIND
OF ETHICAL FOG, AND
ABOLITIONISTS OR
ENVIRONMENTALISTS OR WOMEN'S
RIGHTS ACTIVIST OR PEOPLE
INVOLVED IN ANY SOCIAL MOVEMENT
NEED TO FIND WAYS TO DRAG
SOCIETY AS A WHOLE OUT OF THAT
ETHICAL FOG AND GET THEM TO TAKE
A BETTER LOOK AT THE ACTUAL
IMPLICATIONS OF THE DECISIONS
THEY ARE MAKING IN A REAL
ETHICAL AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE
DECISIONS THAT SOCIETY IS
TAKING.

Steve says IN WHICH CASE, IF WE
CAN EXTEND THE METAPHOR, YOU
KNOW, THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT A
GUY NAMED WILBERFORCE CAME AROUND.
WHO IS WILLIAM IS GOING TO BE AS
IT RELATES TO CLIMATE CHANGE?

Graham says ONE OF THE ARGUMENTS I WOULD
MAKE IS WE HAVE A TENDENCY TO
FOCUS ON LEADERS LIKE MAHATMA
GANDHI AND OTHERS.
IT INVOLVES PEEK WORKING IN
THEIR OWN WAYS IN A VERY MESSY
WAY.
I THINK WE AT OUR PERIL WAIT FOR
A WILBERFORCE WITHIN THE BROADER
ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS, IT'S THE
EVERYDAY FOLKS AND THE ACADEMICS
AND THE JOURNALISTS AND THE
POLITICIANS WAKING UP EVERY DAY
AND DOING THEIR LITTLE BIT TO
MOVE US IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
THAT ULTIMATELY MAKES FOR A
POWERFUL SOCIAL MOVEMENT.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME THERE'S NO
QUESTION THAT WE NEED MORE
LEADERSHIP.
IN THE CANADIAN CONTEXT, FROM AN
EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE, FROM THE
PERSPECTIVE OF PEOPLE THAT ARE
ACTUALLY LEADING GOVERNMENTS,
WHERE YOU SEE IT COMING FROM
MOST RIGHT NOW IS INDIGENOUS
LEADERSHIP.
THEY'RE REALLY THE ONLY ASPECTS
OF THE FIRST NATION AND
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY, REALLY THE
ONLY AREA OF GOVERNMENT OR THE
ONLY AREA OF LEADERSHIP WHERE WE
ARE SEEING PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE
ISSUES WITH THE KIND OF MORAL
AND ETHICAL CLARITY THAT WE
ACTUALLY NEED TO FIND A WAY TO
GET THROUGH TO PEOPLE.

Steve says WELL, IT'S NOT
SURPRISING IN SOME WAYS, RIGHT?
STEWARDS OF THE LAND FOR 10,000
YEARS.
MAKES SOME SENSE.
I WANT TO PICK UP ON SOMETHING
YOU SAID A COUPLE OF ANSWERS AGO
IS THAT ENVIRONMENTALISTS HAVE
TO TELL THE STORY DIFFERENTLY
FROM THE WAY IT'S BEEN TOLD IN
ORDER TO ENGAGE PEOPLE BETTER.
AND TO THAT END, YOU WENT OUT
AND INTERVIEWED MORE THAN 100
LEADING ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND
ASKED THEM A PRETTY SIMPLE
QUESTION: WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING
FOR?
WHY THAT QUESTION?

A picture of a book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a drawing of the Earth as seen from space. The title reads "Environmentalists, what are we fighting for?"

The caption changes to "What are we fighting for?"

Graham says SO I COME AT THIS FROM TWO
APPROACHES: ONE IS THAT I'VE
BEEN INVOLVED IN ENVIRONMENTAL
ISSUES FOR OVER 20 YEARS AND
I'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK
ON A WIDE RANGE OF ISSUES AND
WITH MANY OF CANADA'S BEST
ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS.
I'VE ALSO ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED
IN HISTORY'S GREAT SOCIAL
MOVEMENTS.
THE EPIC STRUGGLES THAT REDEFINE
HOW PEOPLE RELATE TO EACH OTHER,
SUCH AS THE CIVIL RIGHTS
MOVEMENT AND THE ANTI-SLAVERY
MOVEMENT AND THE ANTICOLONIAL
MOVEMENTS AROUND THE SECOND
WORLD WAR.
AND AS I LOOKED MORE AND MORE
INTO SOME OF THOSE PREVIOUS
MOVEMENTS, I BEGAN TO REALIZE
ONE OF THE LESSONS YOU COULD
DRAW FROM THEM IS GREAT SOCIAL
MOVEMENTS USE POWERFUL WORDS TO
SUM UP THEIR ULTIMATE GOALS,
WORDS LIKE EQUALITY, LIBERTY,
INDEPENDENCE, FREEDOM...

Steve says I'VE GOT THEM HERE.
CAN I GIVE YOU THE LIST?

Graham says SURE.

Steve says OKAY...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "What's the goal?" The quote reads "Survival sustainability, justice, conservation, human health, human rights, protection, preservation, balance, life, world safety, species' rights, climate justice, green energy, greenhouse gas reduction, cultural change, species preservation, social justice."
Quoted from Graham Saul, "Environmentalists, What are we fighting for?" 2018.

Steve says IS THERE A THEME RUNNING THROUGH ALL OF THESE?

The caption changes to "Graham Saul, @GrahamSaul."

Graham says SO WHEN I TOOK THE TIME TO INTERVIEW 116 LEADING
ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND ASKED THEM
THE QUESTION, WHAT ARE
ENVIRONMENTALISTS FIGHTING FOR,
AS OPPOSED TO THOSE PREVIOUS
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS WHERE THERE WAS
A RELATIVELY SMALL COLLECTION OF
WORDS THAT PEOPLE COULD
GALVANIZE THEMSELVES AROUND,
WHAT I FOUND WAS THE WIDE
DIVERSITY OF ANSWERS THAT YOU
HAVE JUST READ.
AND I COME TO THE CONCLUSION
THAT THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS
REALLY DON'T HAVE A CLEAR AND
COMMONLY USED EXPRESSION TO SUM
UP THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE
ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT.
IT DOESN'T EXIST.
BUT I DO THINK THAT WE HAVE A
COMMON PROBLEM, AND I DO THINK
WE HAVE A COMMON SOLUTION THAT
WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO BETTER
EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE, BECAUSE RIGHT
NOW, WHEN I LOOK OUT ON WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN THE WORLD, I FEEL
LIKE THE DOTS ARE NOT BEING
CONNECTED.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says HMM.
THE THREE MOST FREQUENTLY
MENTIONED GOALS IN YOUR RESEARCH
THAT WERE EVINCED WERE...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "The 3 most popular goals."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
22 percent OF RESPONDENTS SAYING SURVIVAL.
14 percent SUSTAINABILITY.
9 percent JUSTICE.
WHAT DO YOU INFER FROM THOSE
ANSWERS?

Graham says SO IN THE CASE OF SURVIVAL, I
WAS SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT
SURVIVAL ALMOST ONE IN FIVE
PEOPLE SAID SURVIVAL, BECAUSE IT
HADN'T REALLY COME UP IN MY MORE
AD HOC CONVERSATIONS.
I THINK THE REALITY IS THAT MANY
PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS AS A MATTER
OF SURVIVAL, AND THERE'S A GOOD
REASON TO DO SO.
IF THE PROBLEMS WE'RE FACING
TODAY ARE LEFT UNCHECKED, WE'RE
LOOKING AT A SCENARIO THAT WILL
AFFECT THE LIVES OF BILLIONS OF
PEOPLE AND THREATEN THE VERY
EXISTENCE OF HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OF SPECIES.
SO THERE'S A CASE TO BE MADE FOR
PUTTING IT IN THOSE KINDS OF
STARK TERMS, AND "SURVIVAL" IS A
TERM THAT PEOPLE CAN KIND OF
UNDERSTAND BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN
TRYING TO SURVIVE FOR THOUSANDS
OF YEARS.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME IT'S ALSO A
VERY NEGATIVE WORD.
IT RAISES THE SPECTRE OF AN
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY THAT
TRAFFICS IN CATASTROPHE, AND IT
DOESN'T REALLY INSPIRE THE KIND
OF HOPE THAT WORDS LIKE
"FREEDOM" AND "EQUALITY" AND
"INDEPENDENCE" DO.

Steve says THERE IS SOMETHING
ABOUT BEING ABLE TO PUT WHAT YOU
STAND FOR ON A BUMPER STICKER.
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.
WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT,
EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS WHAT IT
MEANS.
YOU HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO DO IT
WITH CLIMATE CHANGE YET.

Graham says YOU CAN'T DO IT WITH CLIMATE CHANGE.
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY
CLIMATE CHANGE IS ONLY ONE
COMPONENT OF A BROADER
ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS.
WHEN WE LOOK AT THE BROAD RANGE
OF CHALLENGES THAT WE'RE FACING,
TOXIC CONTAMINATION, HABITAT
DESTRUCTION, MASS EXTINCTION,
OCEAN ACIDIFICATION, AND CLIMATE
CHANGE, WHAT WE SEE THERE IS IN
FACT A COMMON DENOMINATOR THAT
RUNS ACROSS THOSE ISSUES.
AND IN THE SIMPLEST SENSE, IT'S
THE FACT THAT HUMANITY IS
DESTROYING THE LIFE SUPPORT
SYSTEMS OF THE PLANET.
AND IN MANY WAYS FOR THE FIRST
TIME WE'RE NOW IN A POSITION TO
TRULY UNDERSTAND THE PLANET IN
TERMS OF ITS HOLISTIC SYSTEMS.
WHEN I WAS BORN, FOR INSTANCE,
IN 1971, THE WORLD DIDN'T HAVE A
PROPER PICTURE OF THE ENTIRE
PLANET EARTH, RIGHT?
IN 1961, THERE WERE ONLY SIX
SATELLITES ORBITING THE PLANET.
AND SINCE THEN WE'VE PUT UP
7,000 SATELLITES, OVER A
THOUSAND OF WHICH ARE STILL
FUNCTIONING.
SO IN A VERY REAL WAY OVER THE
COURSE OF THE PAST 50 YEARS, THE
WORLD HAS WOKEN UP AND IS ABLE
TO IMAGINE THE PLANET AND SEE
THE PLANET AND THE FULL LIFE
SUPPORT SYSTEMS OF THE PLANET IN
AN INTEGRATED WAY.
AND IN THE PROCESS AS WE'VE
LOOKED AT THIS MYRIAD OF
PROBLEMS, WE'VE BEEN FORCED TO
COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT WHAT
THEY HAVE IN COMMON IS THAT
HUMANITY IS DESTROYING THE LIFE
SUPPORT SYSTEMS OF THE PLANET.
AND THAT'S A TERRIFYING IDEA.
BUT IT'S ALSO AN IDEA THAT SUMS
UP THE DISPARATE PARTS OF THE
ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT, AND AT
THE END OF THE DAY, CLIMATE
CHANGE IS JUST ONE SYMPTOM OF A
BROADER PROBLEM IN RELATION TO
PLANETARY HEALTH.

Steve says HERE'S A QUOTE WE
GOT. WE GOT THIS FROM YOU.
THIS IS BY AN ANONYMOUS
POLITICIAN WHO SAID...

Another quote from the book appears on screen, under the title "Easy does it." The quote reads "The average person thinks the environmental movement is about recycling more. The average person doesn't see the world in terms of radical transformation. They are more instrumentalists, and so the radical terms don't resonate with the average incrementalist."

Steve says HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

Graham says WELL, I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT
THAT WHEN YOU ASK PEOPLE WHAT
THE SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
IS THESE DAYS, ONE OF THE TOP
ANSWERS IS TO STILL HAVE MORE
RECYCLING.
THAT'S THE DEFAULT POSITION.

Steve says AND IT'S EASY TO DO.

Graham says IT'S EASY TO DO AND SOMETHING
WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR A
VERY LONG TIME.
AT THE SAME TIME, ON THE ONE
HAND I AGREE THAT WE NEED WORDS
AND EXPRESSIONS THAT CONVEY HOPE
AND INSPIRE PEOPLE TO TAKE
ACTION, BUT I ALSO THINK THERE'S
SOMETHING TO BE SAID FOR TALKING
ABOUT THE VERY REAL DANGERS THAT
WE HAVE RIGHT NOW.
I MEAN, IN THE PAST... SO IN
PAST SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, IT WASN'T
JUST... PEOPLE, FOR INSTANCE,
LIKE TO SAY THAT MARTIN LUTHER
KING DIDN'T SAY "I HAVE A
NIGHTMARE," HE SAID, "I HAVE A
DREAM."
BUT THE REALITY IS MARTIN LUTHER
KING SPENT A LOT OF TIME TALKING
ABOUT THE NIGHTMARE THAT WAS
SEGREGATION IN THE SOUTH.
AND "I HAVE A DREAM" WAS ONE
PART OF THAT STORY.
WE NEED TO FIND A WAY TO SHAKE
THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF PEOPLE.
THE SCALE IS ONE THING.
BUT PUTTING FORWARD A MEANINGFUL
AND INSPIRING IS ALSO PART OF
THE CHALLENGE.

Steve says IS IT POSSIBLE,
GRAHAM, PEOPLE AS THEY LEAD
THEIR DAILY LIVES DON'T FEEL
THAT THEY ARE, THROUGH EVERYDAY
ACTIONS, DOING ANYTHING THAT IS
PARTICULARLY HARMFUL TO THE PLANET?

Graham says SOMETIMES I DESCRIBE THE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS AS DEATH BY
A THOUSAND CUTS.
AND THAT'S BECAUSE WE GO ABOUT
OUR DAILY LIVES AND WE DON'T
REALIZE THE WAY IN WHICH WE'RE
CONTRIBUTING TO SMALL PROBLEMS
THAT ULTIMATELY ADD UP.

Steve says FOR EXAMPLE...

Graham says FOR EXAMPLE, OUR USE OF
FOSSIL FUELS.
OUR WASTE HABITS.
THE CHEMICALS THAT WE PUT INTO
THE ENVIRONMENT.
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY WE
HAVE A BROADER PROBLEM, AND
PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT
THAT BROADER PROBLEM IS WHAT
WE'RE ULTIMATELY GOING TO SOLVE.
AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO SOLVE IT
JUST THROUGH INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS.
WE NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE
WORLD IN ITS TOTALITY AND INSIST
THAT OUR GOVERNMENTS TAKE THE
KIND OF ACTION THAT THEY NEED TO
TAKE.
AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO TALK
TO CANADIANS AND PEOPLE AROUND
THE WORLD ABOUT THE BROADER
MESSAGE AND ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS
TO DEMAND POLITICAL LEADERSHIP
FROM YOUR DECISION MAKERS,
BECAUSE THIS IS A COLLECTIVE
ACTION PROBLEM AND WE'RE ONLY
GOING TO ULTIMATELY SOLVE IT
WITH COLLECTIVE SOLUTIONS AND
GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP.

Steve says I'M GOING TO GO OUT
ON A BIT OF A TANGENT HERE,
ADMITTEDLY.
BUT I KNOW EVERY TIME WE DO THIS
SUBJECT ON THIS PROGRAM, THERE
IS A VIEWER AND HE SENDS US
INCREDIBLY LENGTHY EMAILS,
MULTIPLE, ON HOW WE'RE MISSING
THE BOAT HERE.
HE DOESN'T BELIEVE CLIMATE
CHANGE IS HAPPENING.
HE THINKS THAT EVERYTHING THAT
WE... HE THINKS THAT OUR
BRINGING YOU ON TODAY TO TALK
ABOUT THIS IS JUST MORE
PROPAGANDA.
AND, YOU KNOW, I TRY
TO BE POLITE IN RESPONDING TO
HIS EMAILS WHEN HE DOES EMAIL
IN, AS DO OTHER PEOPLE HERE ON
THE PROGRAM, BUT I DON'T KNOW
THAT... I DON'T KNOW THAT WE'RE
CONVINCING HIM THAT THERE'S A
REAL PROBLEM AND HE CERTAINLY
DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE
FORETURNING.
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THAT?

Graham says I'M NOT SURE HOW TO CONVINCE HIM.
IF HE WAS A SCIENTIST AND YOU
WERE TO BRING 1,000 SCIENTISTS
IN THE ROOM, THERE WOULD BE ONE
OF HIM AND THOUSANDS OF OTHERS
THAT HAD AN OPINION SAYING WE
HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM ON OUR
HANDS.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says WE'VE SAID THAT TO HIM.
HE SAID YOU'VE DRUNK THE
KOOL-AID AND I'M DEALING WITH
EMPIRICAL FACTS.

Graham says THERE'S A DIFFERENCE TO
RESPONDING TO THE CRISIS IN THE
SHORT AND MEDIUM TERM AND
CONVINCING EVERYONE AT A VERY
MUCH DEEPER LEVEL.
IT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
TAKING ACTION TO ELIMINATE LAWS
THAT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE
AND REMOVING THE STAIN OF RACISM
FROM PEOPLE'S HEARTS.
THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY THERE
ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN SOCIETY
WHO ARE CLINGING TO AN IDEA
BASED ON A SET OF CONVICTIONS
AND BELIEFS THAT ARE REALLY NOT
BORNE OUT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR
FORM FROM WHAT THE WORLD'S BEST
SCIENTISTS ARE CONSISTENTLY
TELLING US.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT A
CRITICAL MASS OF PEOPLE CAN'T
COME TOGETHER AROUND THE REALITY
OF WHAT THE SCIENCE IS TELLING
US AND MOVE THINGS FORWARD.
I THINK WE DO HAVE TO FIND WAYS
TO TALK TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T
SPEND MUCH TIME THINKING ABOUT
THESE ISSUES, BUT I'M NOT SURE
OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM IS
CONVINCING THAT PERSON BECAUSE
I'M NOT SURE THAT PERSON IS EVER
GOING TO BE CONVINCED.

Steve says NO, HE WON'T BE, AND
HE TAKES UP A GREAT DEAL OF OUR
BANDWIDTH HERE IN DEALING WITH
HIM, BECAUSE WE FEEL AN
OBLIGATION TO RESPOND.
BUT COULD IT ALSO BE THAT WHEN
YOU AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTALISTS
SAY, "WE ARE FACING THE PROSPECT
OF A 2.7 degree FAHRENHEIT RISE IN
TEMPERATURES PERMANENTLY," AND
PEOPLE THINK TO
THEMSELVES, "THAT'S JUST NOT
VERY MUCH," HOW DO YOU GET
PEOPLE SORT OF ALARMED ABOUT THAT?

Graham says WELL, I MEAN, LIKE I WAS
SAYING EARLIER, WHAT WE NEED TO
DO IS WE NEED TO MOVE BEYOND
SIMPLY TALKING ABOUT THE SCIENCE
AND WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE
VALUES THAT UNDERLIE THE ISSUE
AND WE NEED TO FIND WAYS TO TALK
ABOUT THEM IN WAYS THAT TRIGGER
THE EMOTIONS AND THE ETHICAL
IMPLICATIONS AND VALUES OF THE
PEOPLE THAT WE'RE SPEAKING TO.
THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY WE'VE
MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES AROUND
TALKING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL
CRISIS FROM A TECHNICAL
PERSPECTIVE.
YOU KNOW, WE USED TO TALK A LOT
DURING KYOTO ABOUT WE NEED TO
REDUCE GAS EMISSIONS BY 25 percent
BELOW 1990 LEVELS BY 2020.
BUT WHO TALKS THAT WAY?

Steve says EXACTLY.

Graham says YOU DON'T SAY I WANT TO BE 25 percent LIGHTER THAN I WAS IN 2010 BY 2018.
YOU SAY I WANT TO LOSE
30 POUNDS.
SO ON THE ONE HAND WE GET
TRAPPED IN SOME OF THIS
SCIENTIFIC DISCOURSE AND WE FAIL
TO TALK ABOUT THE IMMEDIATE
IMPLICATIONS.
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND WE JUST
HAVE TO FIND EASIER AND CLEARER
WAYS TO NOT JUST TALK ABOUT THE
PROBLEM BUT ALSO TO INSPIRE
PEOPLE ABOUT THE SOLUTIONS.

Steve says HERE'S VERY CLEAR
TALKING FROM YOU.
SHELDON, LET'S BRING THIS
GRAPHIC UP HERE...

Another quote from the book appears on screen, under the title "The times they are a-changin'." The quote reads "A generation is being born that looks at the environmental crisis not just as a complicated regulatory and legislative problem, but as an ethical issue that reflects our commitment, or lack thereof, to address questions of environmental justice, inter-generational justice, and interspecies justice."

Steve says THIS SOUNDS LIKE YOU WANT A PRETTY TOP-TO-BOTTOM REVOLUTION.

The caption changes to "Uncomfortable truths."

Graham says WELL, THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THE MOMENT WE'RE IN IS
ULTIMATELY REVOLUTIONARY, RIGHT?
THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT HAS
FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED.
WE'VE GONE FROM A PLANET THAT
HISTORICALLY HUMANITY WAS HAVING
IMPACTS AT A VERY LOCAL LEVEL TO
A SITUATION WHERE WE'RE
LITERALLY AFFECTING THE ENTIRE
WORLD AT THE SAME TIME THROUGH
THINGS LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE.
AND IN THE PROCESS, WE'VE RAISED
SOME VERY IMPORTANT MORAL AND
ETHICAL QUESTIONS, LIKE, FOR
INSTANCE, CLIMATE CHANGE IS A
GOOD EXAMPLE.
A DIS... CLIMATE CHANGE IS
ULTIMATELY BEING FUELLED BY
RELATIVELY WEALTHY AND SMALL
PERCENTAGE OF HUMANITY, AND YET
IT IS THE POOREST AND MOST
IMPOVERISHED PEOPLE IN THE WORLD
WHO ARE GOING TO SUFFER THE
FIRST AND WORST.
IN OTHER WORDS, THOSE LEAST
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROBLEM ARE
GOING TO BE MOST DAMAGED BY IT.
THAT RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS OF
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE.
WE KNOW AS WELL THAT IF WE FAIL
TO TAKE ACTION TODAY TO ADDRESS
PROBLEMS, IT'S OUR CHILDREN AND
GRANDCHILDREN THAT ARE GOING TO
HAVE TO DEAL WITH THOSE
PROBLEMS, AND I WOULD ARGUE THAT
THE DECISIONS WE MAKE TODAY,
KNOWING THAT THAT'S GOING TO
HAPPEN, HAVE PROFOUND ETHICAL
IMPLICATIONS FROM AN
INTERGENERATIONAL JUSTICE
PERSPECTIVE THAT HUMANITY HASN'T
REALLY COME TO TERMS WITH.

Steve says CAN YOU ALSO SEE
PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE LEADING,
QUOTE, UNQUOTE, THEIR NORMAL
DAILY LIVES IN ONTARIO, MIGHT
NOT BE TOO ALARMED ABOUT THE
NOTION THAT IN 10 OR 20 YEARS'
TIME, PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE
SOUTH PACIFIC ARE GOING TO HAVE
THEIR ISLANDS OVERRUN BY RISING
OCEANS?

Graham says YEAH, I DON'T THINK, THOUGH,
WE'RE JUST TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE
IN FAR AWAY COUNTRIES.
I THINK THE REALITY IS THAT
CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING NOW.
WE SEE IT AROUND US.
WE'RE SEEING THE WORST FOREST
FIRES IN THE HISTORY OF THE
COUNTRY.
WE'RE SEEING FLASH FLOODING LIKE
WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
WE'RE SEEING THE MOVEMENT OF
CERTAIN KINDS OF DISEASE, LIKE
LYME DISEASE, THAT'S COMING IN.
THIS IS VERY REAL.
AND AT THE SAME TIME ANY
GENERATION DURING MOMENTS WHEN
GREAT INJUSTICES WERE UNFOLDING
AROUND THEM WOULD HAVE PREFERRED
TO JUST NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH
THOSE PROBLEMS.
IT WASN'T LIKE EVERYONE WOKE UP
EVERY MORNING WITHIN THE CONTEXT
OF, WHEN WOMEN'S RIGHTS WERE
BEING SYSTEMATICALLY DENIED ON A
GRAND SCALE OR WITHIN THE
CONTEXT OF THE UNITED STATES
PRIOR TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS
MOVEMENT AND WANTED TO DIVE IN
TO ALL OF THOSE DETAILS.
BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE
CAN TURN OUR BACK ON IT.
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO COME TO
TERMS WITH THESE PROBLEMS ONE
WAY OR ANOTHER, AND THE MOST
RESPONSIBLE AND IN FACT ETHICAL
THING TO DO IS TO DO IT SOONER
RATHER THAN LATER.

Steve says WE'RE DOWN TO OUR
LAST FEW MINUTES HERE.
I WONDER IF YOU'RE UP FOR A VERY
WEIRD QUESTION.

Graham says SURE.

Steve says GIVEN THAT WHERE
WE'RE AT TODAY IS A BIT OF A
LOGICAL EXTENSION FROM THE
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION THAT
HAPPENED 100 YEARS AGO, WOULD IT
HAVE BEEN BETTER HAD THAT
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION NEVER
TAKEN PLACE?

Graham says I LIKE TO SAY THAT WE DON'T
HAVE A... WE DON'T HAVE AN
INSULATION PROBLEM, WE HAVE AN
ASBESTOS PROBLEM.
WE DIDN'T HAVE A REFRIGERATION
PROBLEM, WE HAD A CFC PROBLEM
WITH RELATION TO THE OZONE
LAYER.
AND WE DON'T HAVE AN ENERGY
PROBLEM, WE HAVE A FOSSIL FUEL
PROBLEM WITH RELATION TO CLIMATE
CHANGE.
AND THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT
FOSSIL FUELS WERE AN AMAZING
SOURCE OF ENERGY THAT WERE
CAPABLE OF UNLEASHING ALL KINDS
OF PRODUCTIVITY THAT WE DIDN'T
REALIZE THAT WE WERE GOING TO BE
ABLE TO UNLEASH.
BUT THE TIME HAS COME TO PUT
THOSE RESOURCES TO BED.
THE TIME HAS COME TO REALIZE
THAT LIKE ASBESTOS OR LIKE
CFCs, THAT BURNING OIL, COAL
AND GAS, IS KILLING PEOPLE AND
DRIVING SPECIES TO EXTINCTION.
AND THE REALITY IS THAT WE DO
HAVE ALTERNATIVES.
AND MANY COUNTRIES ARE DOING FAR
MORE THAN WE ARE.
AND SO AT THE END OF THE DAY, I
DON'T WANT THE PROGRESS THAT HAS
BEEN MADE OVER THE PAST... OVER
THE PAST 50 TO 75 YEARS IN TERMS
OF HUMAN LIFE SPANS OR NUTRITION
OR EDUCATION TO BE SWEPT AWAY.
I JUST WANT US TO TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR ACTIONS
AND MOVE SWIFTLY TO DEAL WITH
THE FACT THAT WE'RE UNLEASHING
TOXINS INTO THE ATMOSPHERE THAT
ARE LIFE AND DEATH CONSEQUENCES
FOR BILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
SPECIES.

Steve says BUT IF WE'RE
PREPARED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE
WANT ALL OF THE ADVANCEMENTS
THAT COME WITH
INDUSTRIALIZATION, IS THIS NOT A
KIND OF A NECESSARY BY-PRODUCT
OF ALL OF THAT?

Graham says I DON'T THINK THAT HUMANITY
HAS TO BE ESSENTIALLY CANCEROUS
IN TERMS OF ITS RELATIONSHIP
WITH THE BROADER NATURAL WORLD.
I DON'T THINK WE INEVITABLY NEED
TO FIND OURSELVES IN A SITUATION
WHERE WE ARE UNDERMINING THE
LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS OF THE
PLANET.
I THINK THAT HUMANITY IS AN
AMAZING SPECIES.
I THINK WE ARE A SOCIAL SPECIES,
ONE THAT'S JUST AS CAPABLE OF
ACTS OF LOVE AND COMPASSION AS
WE ARE HATE AND INDIFFERENCE.
AND WE HAVE SERIOUS PROBLEMS IN
FRONT OF US FROM AN
ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVE, AND
THEY HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES,
BUT THERE'S NOTHING PREVENTING
US OTHER THAN THE MOVEMENT THAT
WE NEED TO BUILD THAT CAN
BRING... PREVENTING US FROM
BRINGING THIS ALTOGETHER AND
SOLVING THESE PROBLEMS.
THESE ARE SOLVABLE PROBLEMS.

Steve says LET'S FINISH UP ON
THIS.
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WOULD BE
MORE RECEPTIVE TO THE MESSAGE IF
IT WERE PRESENTED IN LESS THAN A
WOE IS US, WE ARE BAD, BAD, WE
ARE KILLING THIS PLANET,
EVERYTHING WE DO DURING OUR
REGULAR LIVING DAYS IS RUINING
THIS PLANET, AND WERE REPLACED
WITH A MORE PRAGMATIC ACCEPTANCE
OF THE FACT THAT CLIMATE CHANGE
WAS GOING TO HAPPEN IF WE AGREE
THAT PEOPLE NEED TO BE FED, THEY
NEED TO BE HOUSED, WE NEED TO BE
MOBILE, WE NEED TO BE FREE?
CAN WE TAKE THAT LATTER APPROACH
AND HAVE THE IMPROVEMENTS YOU
WANT TO SEE?

Graham says NO, I DON'T THINK THE PROBLEM
IS LACK OF OR TOO MUCH
PRAGMATISM.
IN FACT, IF ANYTHING, PRAGMATISM
IS ALSO USED AS AN EXCUSE FOR
THE STATUS QUO.
AND I DO THINK THAT THERE'S AN
ARGUMENT TO BE MADE THAT WE
CAN'T JUST ALWAYS KEEP IT IN THE
NEGATIVE.
WE CAN'T ALWAYS BE TALKING ABOUT
ISSUES FROM A DOOM AND GLOOM
PERSPECTIVE.
AND LET'S BE HONEST,
ENVIRONMENTALISTS DON'T DO HOPE
VERY WELL.
WE TRAFFIC MAINLY IN FEAR, IF
WE'RE GOING TO BE HONEST WITH
OURSELVES.
SO I DON'T THINK THE QUESTION IS
EMBRACING PRAGMATISM.
OUR PRAGMATISM IS WHAT GOT US
INTO THIS PROBLEM IN THE FIRST
PLACE IN TERMS OF NOT BEING
WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE
BROADER CONSEQUENCES OF OUR
ACTIONS.
I THINK WHAT WE DO NEED TO DO,
THOUGH, IS FIND WAYS TO TALK
ABOUT THIS IN HOPEFUL AND
INSPIRING TERMS.
YOU KNOW?
SOME PEOPLE LOOK AT PAST SOCIAL
MOVEMENTS AND THEY WISH THEY
COULD HAVE BEEN PART OF THOSE
BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS IN HUMAN
HISTORY.
I LOOK AT THE MOMENT THAT WE'RE
IN RIGHT NOW, AND I FEEL LIKE I
HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE PART
OF ONE OF THE MOST HOPEFUL AND
AMAZING THINGS THAT HAS EVER
HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF THE
HUMAN RACE, AND THAT'S HUMANITY
COMING TO TERMS WITH THE PLANET
AND BECOMING A HEALING AND
RESTORATIVE FORCE IN THE WORLD.
AND I THINK THAT'S ULTIMATELY A
MORE EXCITING AND COMPELLING WAY
TO TALK ABOUT THE PROBLEM THAN
WORRYING ABOUT OR THAN GIVING UP
ON THE FACT THAT WE'RE NOT GOING
TO BE ABLE TO DO AS MUCH AS WE'D
LIKE AROUND CLIMATE CHANGE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Wodek Szemberg, @wodekszemberg."

Steve says YOU HAVE A DREAM.
YES, YOU DO.
THAT'S GRAHAM SAUL, EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF NATURE CANADA AND A
METCALF INNOVATION FELLOW AND
WE'RE SO GRATEFUL FOR YOU FOR
COMING IN TO TVO TONIGHT.

Graham says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Steve says THANKS, GRAHAM.

Watch: Stuck Between Hope and Fear