James Gustave Speth, Co-Founder NRDC, and Former Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

“We scientists don’t know how to do that”…..what a commentary!

Living on Earth – Gus Speth calls for a New Environmentalism

First aired on February 13, 2015

In conversation with host Steve Curwood, NRDC co-founder Gus Speth reflects on the environmental movement both as a previous ‘insider’ and now as a reformer. In his new memoir “Angels by the River” Gus Speth calls for deeper challenges to the economic status quo, and explores his life and career at the nexus of race, environment and politics.

Read the Interview Transcript >>

Gus Speth, a US advisor on climate change said:

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”

 

10 comments

  1. Joachim Schoder

    Where is this quote supposed to be from? Neither scientist nor science is EVER mentioned in the transcript of the interview.

          • I. Oevermann

            What Gus Speth used to think, is still correct – the same problems remain.
            The BIGGER problems are twofold: 1) Scientists speak in dramatic negative
            fashion which makes people tune out, and 2) Scientists speak in detailed
            ‘Scientific Geek’ which is not understood by the average person. Like a
            teacher speaking trigonometry in Grade 1 arithmetic class – the message
            simply won’t be understood, and again people will tune out. That appears
            to be apathy, but it’s not – it’s just the result of poor teaching skills. When
            you speak to people with passion and conviction in terms they understand,
            people will listen and people will learn, and people will make better choices.
            Sincerely, I. Oevermann

          • Janus Matthes

            |Author

            From Gus….NRDC.

            Living on Earth: Gus Speth Calls for a “New” Environmentalism

            In conversation with host Steve Curwood, NRDC co-founder Gus Speth reflects on the environmental movement both as a previous ‘insider’ and now as a reformer. In his new memoir “Angels by the River” Gus Speth calls for deeper challenges to the economic status quo, and explores his life and career at the nexus of race, environment and …

            loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=15-P13-0000…

            The Need for New Environmentalism: Gus Speth Urges Radical …

            In a recent interview with Steve Curwood for the Living on Earth program at Public Radio International, renowned environmentalist Gus Speth exclaimed that there is …

            environmentalgovernance.org/featured/2015/02/need-new-environmentalis…

            Living on Earth: February 13, 2015

            This week’s Living on Earth, PRI’s environmental news and information program. … Gus Speth Calls for a “New” Environmentalism (stream / mp3)

            https://loe.org/shows/shows.html?programID=15-P13-00007
            The Need for New Environmentalism: Gus Speth Urges Radical …

            In a recent interview with Steve Curwood for the Living on Earth program at Public Radio International, renowned environmentalist Gus Speth exclaimed that there is …

            environmentalgovernance.org/featured/2015/02/need-
            Gus Speth Calls for a New Environmentalism – YouTube

            In this video, Dr. James Gustave Speth briefly recaps the 44 years that have transpired since the first Earth Day and discusses the urgency for a new …

            youtube.com/watch?v=ch5i1zEsXZA

  2. Nedim Kemer

    I would like to begin a talk that I will give in an international ‘Human Dimensions’ symposium with this quote. Any recommendations please! You will be greatly appreciated.

    • Janus Matthes

      |Author

      Nedim, NRDC did this interview so get ahold of them or the author. Also, Naomi Kleins’ “Disaster Capitalism” is a great start to any conversation about greed and destruction of our environment.

  3. Dr Speth is absolutely right. The top problems are not environmental health, air and water pollution and climate Change but unlimited human greed and yearing to possess and consume more and more. It is primarily because of pollution of mind and the disconnect with spirituallity in man.
    Scientific advancements and technological developments shall provide tangible solutions but it is the mental of man that will ultimately decide whether we have a better world or the worst.
    We need to pay a greater attention to developing responsible citizenship that cares for self and the Mother Nature . *Sustainability* need to be embedded in the DNA of Man to save us from disaterous concequences.

    Integration of education with universal values such as truthfulness, heartfulnes, compassion and care of Mother Nature will create a better world . But that will not absolve the governments of Nations from their responsibility of good governance protecting the interest of man and nature together.

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