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JM Cousteau Calls for "Slimming" Action on Climate Change

04/04/2012 03:48 pm ET | Updated Jun 04, 2012

Ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau had some provocative advice for those seeking to combat climate change. Action begins at home... and with our stomachs.

Last Friday in Silicon Valley, Fresh Dialogues sat down with the French film maker, Jean-Michel Cousteau to get the facts from an expert who is seeing the impact of climate change deep in our oceans and beyond. He had some provocative advice for us, especially for climate change deniers and, er, chunky people.

"Climate change is a reality," says Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau. "What we are responsible for and the consequences we'll have to face up to is that because our emissions of CO2 are accelerating the process, things are happening much faster."

One of the biggest impacts he highlights is the vulnerability of our coastlines due to coral reefs dying and sea level rising. He anticipates increased storms, like this week's tornadoes in Texas, and flooding; with millions of people being displaced around the world.

In a wide-ranging interview, we discussed China vs US action on climate change; President Obama's response to climate change; and the important lesson his father, Jacques Cousteau, taught him. Finally, I asked Cousteau: what advice does he have for people seeking to reduce their carbon footprint?

"It starts at home and by better managing our home, we save money and... we save energy and emit less CO2," says Cousteau, who drives a hybrid, but doesn't yet have solar on his home in Santa Barbara, California. He says he'll get an electric car when he goes solar.

"The other one is our consumption," he continues. "People eat too much. People are FAT!"

His forthright answer caught me off guard. Was he trying to tell me something?

No more crème brûlée for me. We all have to make sacrifices for the planet.

The interview was recorded backstage in the Artists Room, at Foothill College's Celebrity Forum Series in Silicon Valley, California.

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