Dean Gus Speth on Presidential Picks & Developing Countries

With a huge environmental debt, America should be leading the global movement.
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TRANSCRIPT

Question: Who do you endorse for President?

Gus Speth: I'm supporting Senator Obama, I think, but in part for the very reasons that people have gravitated to him. So many people have, which is-- I think he has the capacity to reach people and to communicate a new vision for our country. And internationally, I think he-- we really need to overcome this deficit in our international standing that we've built up so terribly over the, you know, past decade.

Question: Is it fair to ask developing countries to develop sustainably?

Gus Speth: Well, my book talks about the affluent countries and particularly about the U.S. because I think it's very important that we do the right thing, that we set the right example. And I doubt if, until we do, that things will really change much anywhere else in the world. That said, we do need to assist, promote and otherwise, you know, work to ensure that growth patterns in the rapidly industrializing countries of China and India and elsewhere, Brazil, that these growth patterns are sustainable. Because China is already a larger greenhouse gas emitter than the United States. And we won't make it internationally without their change as well as our change. But really, it's, you know, we've enjoyed living so high on the hog for so long that the first and the biggest steps should come from us. 

Recorded: 3/23/08