David Suzuki has announced his retirement from The Nature of Things, and says he’s ready to focus more on protecting the environment

After 44 years of hosting CBC nature of thingsAnd the David Suzuki’s term will end. While the upcoming season will be the last, that doesn’t necessarily mean that audiences will see or hear less from the famous and sometimes controversial Canadian ecologist.

“This is the most important time of my life,” Suzuki declared Sunday in an interview on Sunday. the National With host Ian Hanumansingh. “I hate to call it retirement. I’m just moving on.”

Its final season with nature and science-focused series launches in January. The CBC management said in a statement that plans for the new hosting will be confirmed “in the coming weeks.”

Suzuki said he is very excited about the future of the show.

In recent years, the 86-year-old has dropped out of the series, appearing on camera more often. He mocks his age, saying that he has “beyond my best before history.”

Suzuki said he wanted to retire for a while but he continued the show to make sure of it nature of things It will not be canceled after he is gone.

“People in the media think, ‘Oh my God,’ The nature of thingsHe said, “Are you still working?”

The show—and Suzuki—has come a long way since it first started hosting in 1979.

When he began his radio career in the 1960s, Suzuki’s casual style emerged.

“I had a headband and hair up to my shoulder and grandma’s glasses, and the scientists were mad because this hippie is talking about science,” he said.

Suzuki began hosting Quirks & Quarks on CBC Radio in 1975. A scientist by training who completed eight years of post-secondary studies in the United States, he began presenting in the press with a series of television episodes on genetics, broadcast on CBC Alberta local on a Sunday morning. (CBC Still Image Collection)

But Suzuki was able to connect with the public, taking Canadians with him on the trip as he explored a range of topics.

During nature of thingsSuzuki shared his passion for science and nature with the general public—from explaining how the ballpoint pen works to discussing the 1980s battle over Log in to Haida Gwaii in British Columbiaformerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Suzuki said that by meeting people from Hida, he first realized how nature and humans are interconnected.

“Through them, I have seen that there is no ‘environment outside’…the environment is what makes us who we are,” he said.

Watch | Haida activist tells David Suzuki about opposing logging:

Guujaaw tells Suzuki why Haida is against felling trees.

David Suzuki talks to activist and artist Guujaaw (then called Gary Edenshaw) about why Haida is against cutting trees. The interview is from the documentary Windy Bay, which first aired in The Nature of Things in 1982.

Concerns about the failure of environmental protection

During his long tenure as a science communicator and environmental expert, Suzuki has earned a reputation for speaking his mind—sometimes landing in hot water.

he made Controversial statements On the safety of genetically modified foods. The general consensus among the majority of scholars and World Health Organization is that GMOs are safe, although some members of the public remain cautious, according to Survey by Pew Research Center.

Last year, it was Suzuki accused of inciting environmental terrorism To say that if the government doesn’t take climate change seriously, people will blow up pipelines. Critics have also suggested that the ecologist is a hypocrite to live in a multi-million dollar home on Vancouver’s waterfront.

Suzuki holds a sign with protesters opposing Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plans, in Burnaby, British Columbia, in March 2018. (Canadian press)

Suzuki defended himself, saying that trolls and news outlets could take his words out of context or misrepresent them.

“He uses this kind of attack as a reason to avoid everything I’m saying. But that doesn’t mean the message isn’t real,” Suzuki told CBC’s Ian Hanumansingh.

Suzuki is irreverent and self-critical as he reflects on his legacy.

Looking at his career on air, he said he feels privileged to be a part of the series He is proud of what he has achievedAnd the Although he doesn’t see it as his feat alone.

Suzuki said he hopes people have learned something from his work, but added that “When I die, I don’t care what people think of me. I’ll be dead.”

As for his environmental activism, Suzuki said he has more work to do.

Suzuki, left, and Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, 16, speak before a climate rally in Montreal on September 27, 2019. (Evano Demers/Radio Canada)

“In general, I feel like I’m a failure, because I’m part of a movement that has failed,” he said. “All I want is to be able to say to my grandchildren, I did my best.”

Suzuki said he believes the key to tackling climate change is to get people to change the way they think about nature.

“We are closely related. There is no separation from us and from the air, between us and nature,” he said.

He is looking forward to soon having more free time to devote to the environmental movement.

“We can now tell the truth.”

As he moves on to the next phase of his life, Suzuki said he believes that now more than ever, it’s his responsibility to call it what it is.

“You don’t have to kiss anyone’s ass in order to get a job, a bonus or a promotion,” he said. “I am free now, as an elder.

“As an elder, you are far from worrying about more power, money or fame. We can now tell the truth. We can look back and say ‘This is BS.'”

Just days ago, Suzuki did just that at a press conference in British Columbia, accusing the federal government of “nonsense” for promoting tourism while falling short in tackling climate change.

He credits his father with teaching him to take a stand. Suzuki remembers receiving a lecture from his father while in high school for taking a “Nambi-Bambi” stance on an issue as student body president.

“He said, ‘If you want everyone to like you, you won’t stand up for anything. There will always be people who will oppose you or disagree with you.'”

Young Suzuki, right, a third-generation Japanese Canadian, is shown with two of his sisters in a concentration camp in the inland city of Slokan, British Columbia, between 1942 and 1945. (National Archives of Canada)

A third-generation Japanese Canadian, Suzuki spent part of his childhood in a concentration camp in British Columbia with his family during World War II. His father was sent to forced labor by the Canadian government.

He said his experience during the war is part of why social justice and social activism are so important to him.

When asked what he would think of his childhood as where he is now, Suzuki paused.

“I think he’ll be surprised. I have no idea what he’s going to think.”

Journey from a “hot scientist” to a TV presenter

Suzuki, a scientist by training, said he never planned to become a full-time broadcaster. After eight years of post-secondary studies in the United States, he returned to Canada in 1962 with plans to pursue a career as a geneticist.

“In my opinion you were a great scientist,” said Suzuki. “I wanted to make my name in genetics – and to my shock, when I applied for a research grant, I got $4,200.”

Suzuki said he can’t believe the lack of funding for Canadian research, compared to his American peers who receive grants in the tens of thousands of dollars.

I said, ‘What the hell is going on? Canada and science are like standing water. “

Watch | David Suzuki, “The Sexy Boy of Science”:

David Suzuki, “The Hot Science Boy”

David Suzuki raises eyebrows with a bold promotional ad.

This is part of what motivated Suzuki to share his passion for science with the country.

His acquaintance with the press began with a series of television episodes about genetics, broadcast on local CBC Alberta on Sunday mornings. Suzuki was studying in the Department of Genetics at the University of Alberta at the time.

“I started meeting people on campus who said, ‘I really liked the show you gave last week.'”

Suzuki said he was surprised by how many people were watching TV on Sunday.

“That’s when I realized that this is a powerful method.”

He later became the first host of a CBC radio show Quirks and quarksand in 1979, he took over as host nature of thingswhich first appeared in November 1960.

“I wanted Canadians to know that science matters,” Suzuki said.

Although people now have a wealth of information at their fingertips now, Suzuki is concerned about losses in misinformation.

A Japanese-Canadian man with white hair smiles and laughs in the middle of a conversation as he sits inside his house.  In front of him is a glass of water on the table, and a window behind him shows the green foliage of the outdoor patio.
Suzuki, who was filmed in conversation with CBC’s Ian Hanumansingh, says his goal has always been to teach Canadians that science matters. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

He said, “I wanted people to have more information. Well, now they’ve got it… It’s really a horrible situation, and people don’t know how to wade through this quagmire of information.”

“But I hope that even though it’s a sink there, that nature of things You will continue to shine like a jewel.”

Suzuki said he greatly appreciated the time he spent on the show and the opportunities it provided for him to learn from others.

“I had a great run,” he said.

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