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Matt Lauer Lectures: 'Our Appetite for Oil' Caused Spill

NBC's Matt Lauer, on Tuesday's Today show, blamed America's "appetite for oil" as the reason for the spill in the Gulf and asked former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw if the country will finally "take away the proper message" from the mess? For his part Brokaw responded that he hoped "young people who are coming of age" and entering public service and the corporate world will view the spill as a "defining moment" and warned if they didn't make the needed changes "we're gonna have these kinds of ecological disasters in waves coming year after year." [audio available here]

The following exchange was aired on the June 29 Today show:

MATT LAUER: Yeah I want to touch back on this oil spill as, before I let you go. You know we're, we're seeing the blame game. A lot of blame going around. We're seeing the villainization of a major corporation. We're seeing the limit of our technology-

TOM BROKAW: Right.

LAUER: -played out in front of our eyes. But on that live camera, right there, we're seeing something else. We're seeing our appetite for oil. And do you think at the end of all this Americans are gonna take away the proper message?

BROKAW: I hope so. I really believe that younger people are gonna be much more affected by all of this than people of a certain age, that includes you and me. Because we've grown up used to the idea of having oil and relying on it. I think young people who are coming of age who may want to go into public service at some point or go into the corporate world, this is a defining moment in their lives and they're going to be thinking about this in a much different fashion than the rest of us might. And I think if anything good comes out of that, that might be the case. A new generational wave of determination to find an alternative to fossil fuel. I think that the oil blow-out is a metaphor for our times. It's complex. It's everything that we've been told has turned out not to be true and it really is a signal to the rest of us that we've got to do something about energy and the future or we're gonna have these kinds of ecological disasters in waves coming year after year, decade after decade.

-Geoffrey Dickens is the Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here