Philippe Cousteau has established himself as a prominent leader in the environmental movement. An award-winning television host, producer, author, speaker, philanthropist and social entrepreneur Philippe is the son of Philippe Cousteau Sr. and grandson of Jacques Cousteau. His life-mission is to empower people to recognize their ability to change the world.

Philippe is the host and executive producer of Awesome Planet a new series that airs every Saturday morning syndicated on Fox and then Sunday free on Hulu. As a special correspondent for CNN he has hosted several award-winning shows including Going Green and Expedition Sumatra.

His philanthropic efforts are focused on solving global social and environmental problems. In 2004 he founded EarthEcho International, a leading environmental education organization that is creating a whole new generation of environmental citizens; youth equipped with the knowledge to understand environmental challenges, the critical thinking skills to solve them, and the motivation to do so.

Philippe founded the GlobalEcho Foundation, a sister organization to his investment fund which donates a percentage of the fund’s management fee to support projects around the world which support woman, environmental education and micro-enterprise. Most recently the foundation made a grant to support installment of solar panels at the Panzi Hospital in Eastern Congo, an award winning hospital focused on the treatment and empowerment of women as well as much needed maternity care for thousands of women and children each year. Philippe serves on the National Environmental Education Foundation and on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund. Philippe has also testified to Congress on issues of ocean management and off-shore drilling.

Philippe and his wife, fellow adventurer and TV host, Ashlan Gorse-Cousteau reside in Los Angeles California.

I'm here with volunteer moderator u/courtiebabe420, and she's helping with me with this AMA.


So, ask me anything, Reddit!

This Earth Day, Philippe Cousteau, Jr. and EarthEcho International are raising awareness about how to protect our water resources through The World Water Monitoring Challenge. More info:

Thanks for hanging our with me on EarthDay or whatever and thank you u/Courtiebabe420 for making me say that whatever part.

Comments: 63 • Responses: 17  • Date: 

jamhands7507 karma

What project do you want to work on that you haven't started or had a chance to participate with yet?

PhilippeCousteau8 karma

On my bucket list is Kamchatka, I really want to go there and film the last wild salmon runs and see the giant bears etc. In fact there is a place called the Valley of Death where noxious gases come out of ground and kill anything that venture into it.

_korbendallas_4 karma

Thanks for doing this!

To what extent is the environmental impact of animal agriculture and factory farming addressed by your organization?

PhilippeCousteau11 karma

Animal agriculture is a huge issue, especially beef. That said I don't think the answer is to stop eating meat because that is a non-starter for most people. What I do say is that we should cut back and have a more balanced diet. We should also recognize that cheap fast food is literally killing us and a 99 cent burger is a total scam. It doesn't cost 99 cents, in fact when you factor in the cost to health, the environment and animals, it is a lot more expensive and with the average American eating meat three times a day we are eating ourselves to death.

Frajer3 karma

What can the average person do to help the environment ?

PhilippeCousteau16 karma

Lots of things, from using public transportation, to eating a more balanced diet, buying local, NOT buying fast fashion products (the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world), but also...and this is a big one...VOTE. VOTE all the time, for local, state, and federal officials. The morons in Congress are there because people put them there, and it is criminal that a larger proportion of the public doesn't vote.

NotANestleShill3 karma

Thanks for doing this! How does the environment affect you as a person, and what do you do in your daily life to foster that relationship with the environment?

PhilippeCousteau4 karma

I always try to do better, no one is perfect and we all have an impact on the world. I do things like use Terrapass to buy carbon credits for things I can't avoid, I use public transportation as much as possible, I'm a weekday vegetarian as a rule (though when I travel that can be difficult), I share an electric car with my wife, we compost, and we dedicate our lives to educating people about these issues amongst other things.

PeaceAndLove7893 karma

How did you meet your wife, and what's your best memory with her so far?

PhilippeCousteau7 karma

We met at an event in LA where I was lecturing about the BP Oil Spill, a mutual friend introduced us and I was totally blown away. We hit it off and have been together ever since. My favorite memory is when I asked her what she wanted for 30th birthday and she said she wanted to go diving with Great White Sharks. At that moment I knew (I already pretty much knew) but at THAT moment I was like...I'm going to marry this girl.

PhilippeCousteau2 karma

PS...u/courtiebabe420 just abandoned me but @emilylyman just came to the rescue

Brinothedino2 karma

I am going into my third year of a bachelor of science hoping to get into reef conservation or just marine biodiversity protection in general and I am looking to do some studying on my own over the summer to supplement what I'm learning in classes. Do you have any suggestions of new research I should be keeping up on that will help me in "the real world" of marine science?

PhilippeCousteau2 karma

One word...Aquaculture. We must find out how to do it better and with less ecological impact and it is a huge area of growth.

person2234562 karma

What are your thoughts on recycling? Do you think it has a big impact on the environment?

PhilippeCousteau3 karma

It depends, not all recycling is created equal. That said it is a good thing overall. However, there is a reason the phrase is REDUCE, REUSE RECYCLE. It is the third option because it is the least good of the three. First, we need to stop coveting huge houses, closets full crappy clothes etc. Second of all, we should use find ways to reuse things and then as a last resort we should recycle.

loremusipsumus2 karma

What is your opinion on a very very small number of scientists saying global warming is not caused by humans?

PhilippeCousteau7 karma

One word...Peabody. The largest private coal company in the world, Peabody Energy just filed bankruptcy and in there financial disclosures there is a treasure trove of information about how much money they paid to so called 'independent' think tanks to try to debunk climate change. There is a special place in Hell for these people that have sold out humanity for a few bucks.

suaveitguy2 karma

What is the status of the oil in the Gulf of Mexico? What is its impact so far? What about the impact of the oil dispersant used, how much worse did it make it?

PhilippeCousteau4 karma

It's a disaster, still. The oil is out of site and that is the problem, people have short memories. The oil is still in the water especially in the deep water and it is still impacting the wildlife. As for dispersant, it was a terrible move and one that added a lot of really toxic chemicals to the Gulf, the impact of which we still don't fully understand

CarlosWeiner2 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA!

I remember meeting you back when I was about 16. You were giving a speech at the Pomfret School.

Anyways, I was wondering what your thoughts are on protected waters. We here in Bermuda have been fighting for what's called the Blue Halo, which would be an exclusion zone for all long line fishing and dredging. Our Government has dragged its heels and a lot of excuses have been trotted out, like the impossibility of patrolling the waters to make sure people aren't fishing, as well as the concern that excluding these zones could prevent our country from making money off of dredging for minerals.

In your experience, are these fair complaints?

PhilippeCousteau8 karma

I know about Blue Halo and am a big advocate. It is a great project and while it is true that patrolling such large areas is a challenge - you have to start somewhere. As for minerals, that is a stupid argument, no technology exists to extract minerals at any scale in deep water and it won't for a long time. That is just a scare tactic used by fishing interests.

suaveitguy2 karma

Can you ELI5 the causes and wider ecological impacts of the Great Barrier Reef's coral bleaching disaster?

PhilippeCousteau5 karma

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef track on the planet. You can see it from space. But Coral, like people, can only live in a narrow range of temperatures. When it gets too hot for too long, they die, just like people do. That is what is happening to the Great Barrier Reef as the ocean gets hotter. Coral reefs are the rainforests of the ocean and without them a lot of the animals that we rely on for food would die out. That would be a very bad thing for the billion people whose only source of protein is seafood. Coral is also critical to protecting coastlines from storms because they act like barriers against big waves. And animals living on coral reefs provide us with lots of medicine for things like HIV. So the ecological impacts, and impacts on our economy and our health are really big.

rbevans2 karma

Where is your favorite place to visit and why?

PhilippeCousteau5 karma

Honestly, my favorite place to visit is home. I am home three days this month, a staycation is my happy place. Outside of that, I love a place called Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris, sitting outside with a glass of wine.

rdrnation19842 karma

Often, environmental groups take a "save the planet" stance at all costs. Obviously there is also a large segment of people who don't think about the environmental impact of things that are done. There needs to be a balance between the two. Where do you strike that balance?

PhilippeCousteau9 karma

I do think environmentalists take it too far sometimes, they can be just as bad as those people to fight against it and by being so aggressive and angry they turn people off. It is hard to strike a balance but i can say this...WE NEED TO GROW UP AND ACT LIKE ADULTS. In other words, we need to stop arguing back and forth and start trying to find common ground. When I am in the room with skeptics, rather than argue I try to find common ground around things like security or health, build trust and then have a reasonable conversation.

SittingOnSandwich1 karma

If Jimmie cracked corn and the singer doesn't care, then why did he make a song about it?

PhilippeCousteau2 karma

I have no idea but THANK YOU for reminding me of that song because now it will be in my head all day.

courtiebabe4201 karma

In a world full of suffering people with little to no food, water, or safety - what do you think of the celebrities or other people of the world who could use a little dose of reality as to the conditions of others?

PhilippeCousteau4 karma

I think we should do a reality show called "Get It Together" and gather up all these poor little rich famous celebrities and ship them off to a refugee camp in and make them live there for a year. After 12 months of eating rice, washing out of a bucket and using filthy holes in the ground for a toilet with no privacy, and fearing constantly for your life. Then maybe they will get their shit together, get some perspective and realize that they don't have so bad.

Oprahs_Mingie1 karma

Hi Philippe,

What is your "Go-To" kind of beer?

PhilippeCousteau3 karma

That's easy, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.