Edmonton – David Suzuki issued an apology On Thursday after he drew the ire of Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney and others for comments last weekend in which the prominent environmentalist commented that pipelines could begin to explode in the face of climate inaction.
Suzuki made the comments about the pipes during an interview with CHEK News on Saturday after a protest in Victoria, BC.
“In the next stage after this, there will be pipelines exploded if our leaders do not pay attention to what is happening,” Suzuki had said.
He later clarified that he did not want pipelines to be bombed in a separate press interview with the National Post.
Still, the comment sparked an outcry in Kenney, whose large oil and gas industry in the province has been fighting for years over low oil prices and an uphill battle to get pipelines built.
“It is absolutely an implicit or winked incitement to violence,” Kenney said earlier this week during a news conference.
“It’s like in the gangster movies where they say, you know, ‘a nice little conduit you have there, it would be a terrible thing if something happened to it.’
Suzuki’s apology on Thursday was posted online and he said, in part, that his comments were “poorly chosen.”
“Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead to a desperately needed solution to the climate crisis,” he said. “My words were spoken out of extreme frustration and I apologize.”
Tensions have been high over climate change in recent weeks as storms off the country’s east and west coasts have swept through, causing extensive damage to businesses, homes, farms and infrastructure.
“We must find a way to stop the environmental damage that we are causing the planet and we must do it non-violently,” Suzuki said.