Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Bottom Line with David Suzuki

I remember a couple months ago when HBO's Big Love finished its fifth and final season, one of my friends posted as her Facebook status something along the lines of "I almost cried at the end of the final episode of Big Love because it was such a great show".  I'm not quite doing her justice, but you get the idea.  Now, I am also a huge Big Love fan, so completely sympathized with this sentiment.  It was a terrific show and I enjoyed every episode completely.  I am sad to see it go, but I think it had to end before it did what so many shows do when they've been around for too long and become a bit self-indulgent.  I was actually thinking there might be a Sopranos-style final season where everything goes wrong, most people are dead and the finale is ambiguous, but no dice.  No cliffhangers.  It's probably for the best since I still debate with Tim what happened at the end in the restaurant.

All of this actually does have a point, which is this: The Bottom Line with David Suzuki conjures up very similar feelings for me as Big Love did for my friend.  I listen to podcasts on my way to work every day, and this morning, I noticed that I was listening to my last downloaded episode of The Bottom Line.  At some point during the episode, Dr. Suzuki mentioned that this was, in fact, the final episode, and I got a bit choked up.  For those of you that know about Dr. Suzuki, he is a Japanese-Canadian academic, scientist and environmentalist.  He has been an outspoken critic of the Canadian government's and other governments' failure to take action to help the environment.  He cares more passionately and more publicly about the environment than any other Canadian I can think of. I genuinely adore Dr. Suzuki in ways I have never felt for any other stranger in my entire life.

The podcast, which is available on iTunes and from the CBC website, is a frank and in many ways innovative look at the environment.  It "explores the disconnect between our modern values and our relationship with the Earth".  Some of the memorable episodes include speaking with a scientist that ran a body farm in Tennessee, and finding out the processes through which our bodies decay after death, following a carrot through its growth, harvest, ingestion and absorption, discussions about carbon sequestration and storage, and many discussions with leading authors, politicians and scientists about environmental issues.  Each episode is on a separate topic and Dr. Suzuki does a great job of making material, which could be very complicated if poorly explained, accessible to the average person.  I loved the podcast and I am sad to see it go. 

I encourage any of you that are interested in the environment that download podcasts regularly (or are willing to figure out how to), to download the episodes (there are only 10, each with a Part A and a Part B) and enjoy them.  This was by far the best environmental podcast I've been able to find.  It is timely, concise and thought-provoking, and certainly not only relevant to Canadians.  If any of you have listened to the podcast or download and listen to it, I would love to hear your thoughts!

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