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11 Questions For David Suzuki

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DAVID SUZUKI
David Suzuki, seen in Vancouver on June 4, 2012, said he was happiest as a child out collecting insects or fishing in ditches and ponds. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward) | CP

The godfather of green for Canada, and possibly the world, David Suzuki has imparted his wide-ranging knowledge about science and the environment to the public for decades.

The Vancouver-born scientist and author became a national figure in the 1970s, first on the CBC children's program "Suzuki on Science," then on "Quirks and Quarks," the long-running CBC Radio program he helped start in 1974.

But for many Canadians, Suzuki, 76, is best known as the host of the popular TV science show "The Nature Of Things," and for his activism on several environmental files, including climate change and energy conservation.

His charitable environmental organization, the David Suzuki Foundation, encapsulates his teachings over his lifetime. Its mission, through research, education and policy work, is to "protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for the future."

11 questions

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Camping in the mountains beside a stream filled with trout.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing my ability to speak.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Impatience.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My parents survived the Great Depression and brought me up to live within my means, save some for tomorrow, share and don’t be greedy, work hard for the necessities in life knowing that money does not make you better or more important than anyone else. So extravagance has been bred out of my DNA.

On what occasion do you lie?

If I told you, then I couldn’t get away with it, could I?

What drew you to science?

I fell in love with the elegance and precision of genetic analysis and experimentation to answer profound biological questions.

What is one thing you'd change about your industry?

If by industry you mean my industrious nature, I wish I could learn to relax and not obsess about finishing a project as quickly as possible.

When and where were you happiest?

When I was a child out collecting insects or fishing in ditches and ponds.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My children, who resulted from my marrying two women who were fabulous mothers.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Rachel Carson and Nelson Mandela

How would you like to die?

Peacefully.

What other notable Canadians would you like to see answer these 11 questions? Are you interested in taking part? Contact us with your suggestions.