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tv   Climate Change and Environmental Policy  CSPAN  December 4, 2016 12:55am-1:36am EST

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and talk conditions. regarding egypt, i have normal relations. embassy and chiron, we have had some relief. is just aggravations between two normal states. regarding the relations with saudi, of course weregarding arg to fix things in that region. talks and we are looking for a deal between saudi arabia and egypt.
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public statements will be necessary regarding that issue. >> i think i speak for everyone when i say thank you so much. that is all the time we have. i appreciate it. marks the 75th anniversary of the japanese attack on pearl harbor. we are featuring programs remembering that event. the u.s. army film directed by frank capra, know your enemy, japan. for trays japan as a nation
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determined to rule the world. factories of los angeles and detroit are producing for the trip been -- japan's war machine, then the world would fall. plus survivors -- >> survivors from the uss arizona. they recall what they witnessed on that day. and on american artifacts. >> the misery was commissioned in 1944 and saw action in the pacific. she is remembered for one event, the surrender of japan at tokyo bay. >> pearl harbor attack sites and emorials on the island of oahu. for our complete schedule, go to time.ecided to spend more
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point, a week on west trying to figure out how he could finish 21st out of 39 and therefore viewed as an intellectual lightweight. and yet he said, i must apologize. i spent all my time reading novels. >> the life and career of the 18th u.s. president in his ulysses."k, "american convene a meeting of african american leaders. he said, i look forward when you can ride on the railroad car. do so along with every other person, regardless of their race. that day must come. it took 90 years for that day to come. grant was the last american
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president to hold those kinds of views. president of gore recently shared his views on the environment and efforts to combat climate change. he also discussed the implications of the presidential election on environmental policy. currently chairs the climate reality project. this is 40 minutes. >> i am here. this is great. what a thrill for me to interview one of my true heroes and i think, an authentic american hero and global hero. i say that without restraint or embarrassment. it is great to be here. congratulations on your new book.
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brilliantly written. >> thank you. >> all of you should buy. >could you give us a climate audit? we have a new administration. it feels like a really pivotal time. >i don't know if we are 52 midnight --5:00 two to midnight. where are we on this process and what about the next four years? gore: i will do the best i can briefly. questionsonly a few about the climate. we need to change. we still use fossil fuels for 80% of all of the energy in the economy. notwithstanding,
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the disagreement facades that built here in our political culture. there is a massive consensus worldwide, the paris agreement signed by every nation in the world. it is not enough, it is for real. mother nature is increasingly insistent with extreme weather events that are growing more destructive and more frequent all over the world. >> can you give us a feel for it? we had not had winter yet. >> we will have winters. ,f the north pole is 36 degrees that is normal. last year, it last year it was 60 degrees fahrenheit above normal for a
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stretch. at the north pole, after the darkness -- half of the years darkness and half of the year is sunshine. in the dead of winter, in the temperature was above freezing point and it was six degrees above normal. we are seeing all of the regions in the world do that. spectacular coverage of this. i hope i will have another opportunity to brag on your individual columns about that. they are really great. especially the recent ones and that the president elect. but today, worldwide, we will put another 110 million heat trapping pollution into the sky. today. and, our visual impression of sky is that it is best. it is a very thin shell.
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the good news is that we have gone three years in a row without an increase in the annual emissions. suggesting we may be at an inflection point. i do believe we are. the bad news is that we are still adding to that cumulative amount. a nontrivial fraction will still be there 1000, 10,000 years from now. if we were to magically stop doing that, half of that would fall out in just a matter of decades. that is really amazing. we can have that impact if we choose to. so the cumulative amount now traps as much heat energy every day as would be released by 400,000 hiroshima atomic clouds exploding every four hours.
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90 percent or more goes into the ozone. a lot of consequences. storms are significantly stronger. it disrupts the cycle because the evacuation rate of the oceans increases. traveled thousands of kilometers overland so we get these massive downpours of mud and mudslides interspersed with longer periods of drought. this is why we are seeing tropical disease, transportation revolution has a lot to do about that. zika disease. pregnant women getting zika every day. you did reporting on the connection between this and
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political instability showing how the scientists have connected the doubts with the drought in the eastern -- have connected the dots with the drought in the mediterranean. that was really the single most important cause of the gates of hell opening up and syria. by the way, we have a persistent confusion between linear cause and effect and systemic cause and effect. you cannot say there is one cause, one effect. in a complex system, it manifests a lot of consequences. all of the consequences. the bad news is, we are still in a reckless way proceeding. people do know the answer to the first question is yes. the second question is, can we change?
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the hopeful news is the answer to that question is now very clear in very persuasive. the down curve we saw with mobile phones, flatscreen tvs, does not take place in every area of technology but the good news is it really does take place in renewable energy. solar, wind is quite dramatic. abu dhabi, water electric. a contract for unsubsidized electricity at 2.4 two cents per kilowatt hour. the number might not mean much but it is way, way, way below what you can buy electricity for . batteries are also no coming down. we have a sustainability revolution that is now gaining
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momentum worldwide. think about the agricultural revolution, industrial revolution, and the information revolution. the sustainability revolution is as big or bigger than any of the pre-history and it has the scope of the industrial revolution with the speed of the digital revolution. we have gone through 150 years by trading. we have avoided adding warner insulation to the windows, the light, going carefully with cost to save and energy use. now that the true cost of energy especially from fossil fuel is becoming more apparent, there is
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all this low hanging fruit. and fruit on the ground. it is there. with the digital tools, especially with the internet of things that now make factories into computers, the ability to harvest those inefficiencies, reduce emissions, reduce waste, increase profit, that is everywhere now in the business world. medium-size, large-size businesses. everybody. but not everybody is getting at. customers are demanding a because the difference between profit and loss is always at the margin and a significant and growing fraction of customers are saying, i want this agreement and the ability to hire in retain the most talented new employees. the millennials are not just different than our generation. they are way different on this matrix and particular. they want to work for companies that get it and share their values.
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they want to get paid good but they want to be able to tell their friends and family, i am helping. i feel good. i am making the world a better place. mr. friedman: people from the apparel industry, hotel industry. what are the opportunities for them? inc. about that and a little bit more about what you just talked about? wise is a great is this opportunity now? mr. gore: the old ways of doing business have a lot of inefficiency and waste. inertia being what it is and human nature being what it is, it is always difficult to make a big change. but now, walmart is an example. after hurricane katrina and hurricane rita, they had a real epiphany on the east coast and worldwide.
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they are an example of a company that may have originally gotten into some things for brand enhancement. i don't know fully. i did not work with them at the time. but i think there was a mixture of motivation but when they realized that they were going to be able to save a heck of a lot of money and enhance their profits by making these sustainability investments and making these changes, then they were like, "well." and everybody knows an example in every industry now. young people coming in, they know how to do it. we can do this, we can do that. so it is moving very quickly. mr. friedman: talk about what you are going to be doing in the next week to try -- a key point,
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the president-elect. what are you doing next week in this discussion while there is still some elasticity in his decisions? mr. gore: a week from right now i will be in the middle of a 24-hour global reality. we go around the clock live and we are live in the prime time of each of the major countries that we are broadcasting to. we had tens of millions in our audience last her, this year is going to be significantly larger than that. coverage and distribution in more than 100 countries. we are devoting each hour to each of the 24 largest national emitters. going to what they pledged in paris, what more they could do, how they are doing, interviews
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with thought leaders in each country. original videos of hopeful projects in each country. we will take them one-by-one each hour for 24 hours. it is one of many reality projects. the ngo, we have been working on this. we talked about generation investment management. my partners and i invest according to sustainability models. i knock on wood before i say this, our mission is to prove the business case that in the investment part of the market, full integration should be best practice. there is now a very large amount of academic research showing that when it is integrated, investors get better returns and in virtually every sector of the
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economy, businesses that fully embrace sustainability are performing better. there are many, many studies now. it is becoming an established reality. mr. friedman: if president-elect trump are here, knowing what we know about when he said during the campaign, now he told us at the new york times last week that he was open at least to some of these climate questions. what advice would you give him? what advice would you give to him about two things. one, about the state of the climate right now. and about the environmental community. mr. gore: i know you have advice on that. i read the transcript of this meeting with the new york times
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it i really appreciate the way you were leaning forward and it was really well done. a lot of people would want to say what i am saying. thank you very much. and thank you to arthur in putting that whole thing together. i would say to him, congratulations. you have got an incredible responsibility now but there is only one that is critical and this is a critical moment because going back to your original question on the state of the climate crisis, we are beginning to cross an inflection point. we are winning. in the united states lester, three quarters of all the new energy electricity generation came from solar. for all intents and purposes, coal is dead. declined 96% in the last several year.
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oil is a full's errant to predict the future of oil but we see signs, exxon, mobile, forced to take 20% of its reserves up the books. they know, some of them realize they are facing a sub prime interest rate. the subprime mortgages had an artificial value that was levitated by the illusion that you give more to people can't make a payment or a down payment, you can get rid of them by lumping millions of them together and attaching a phony insurance like document and selling it to the global market but when people peel back the top layer they said, oh my gosh. the value suddenly collapsed. the value of $22 trillion of a reserve is based on an allusion
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that is even more absurd than the subprime mortgages. the assumption is that all of that is going to be put to its intended use. if not, whether the paris agreement is fully implemented or not, regional government, state government, city government moving forward to medically. china is moving forward. next year, you can get on the list. but mother nature is not going to allow it. they had to close powerplants in india the share because the two -- the water was too hot to cool it. the fracking process demands enormous amounts of water, in areas where there is a shortage of water. the tar sand center had to be evacuated. 100,000 people. 40-50 degrees above normal. for weeks on end. forest fires. it is happening right now in my home state of tennessee.
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gatlinburg. the southeast -- sorry i'm getting exercise. [laughter] mr. gore: the point is, $22 trillion in reserves on the assumption it is going to be burned. at some point, i do not know when but at some point that value is going to collapse the same way the subprime mortgages did. and so they -- you know -- we're going to win this. we are winning this. but, we are not winning it fast enough because we are doing considerable damage every day. and, how much more damage can we build into the system question mark it is a large system that moves slowly.
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the famous metaphor decades ago was it is an angry beast and we're poking it with a stick. we're already seeing and feeling the consequences. we have already programmed in more severe consequences in the years ahead, but we still have time to avoid the most catastrophic consequences almost certainly. almost certainly. mr. friedman: i will finish that thought. therefore, president elect trump hears this energy policy. where does he have to go? mr. gore: i would advise him to come back to your question of ink careful about who he appoints because the great historian robert dowling road
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new presence are shockingly vulnerable to the headstrong impulses of the people they appoint in the first month and the first year in office and whatever his management style has been, the ability to balance these different factors in one sphere, when the president has to have a span of awareness and control that covers all of the operations of federal government -- it is daunting. into the people he appoints well first of all run with it. and you should be careful of that and about thinking that balanced rhetoric and saying he has never mind, for example, is going to matter that much if he puts hard, right wing agency and agents. mr. friedman: it could set us back. mr. gore: that seems to be the direction we're going in. but we are still in the weight-and-c time. i am hopeful. mr. friedman: let's take it one step further.
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fill in this blank for me. the economic arguments and the environmental arguments. there are also geopoliticalarguments. because china is going down this road whether we go down it or not. and by ceding our control of what has to be the next great global industry ever, because we won't be able to breathe, by even taking a four-year hiatus, we are ceding economic and geopolitical control to china. what could we tell the president-elect right now. you better understand what the chinese are going to do over here if you do this. mr. gore: yes and the world has recognized the amount at stake as the de facto thought leader of the world for a long time
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now. many have worried that mental is being passed over. i do not think it is passed over. i think we still have advantages we can play, but if we do not choose to lead on the climate crisis and see the opportunity in the sustainable revolution, china will do that. it is a national security issue in the mediterranean. across asia, you can see the list. mr. friedman: the pentagon seems to be shocked. mr. gore: totally focused on an and libby make another point on the economic reality. it is an incredible opportunity to invest in green infrastructure and job-intensive projects like retrofitting
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buildings and building the high-capacity lines that we carry solar and wind from the places where it is generated to the cities where it is needed into a variety of other similar projects and that is exactly what the global economy needs now. we have what larry summers and others have called secular stagnation. others have different labels, but for more than 100 years, the developed countries have had a consumer demand economy with henry ford's aphorism. we have been recycling middle income wages back into a consumerist economy. the combination of hyper globalization, flinging wages to lower cost venues and matching them with i.t., the combination of that phenomenon and the introduction of intelligence
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into automation which makes a fallacy. the long-held assumption which evidence has proven to be true that automation creates more jobs than it eliminates, the mounting evidence now is that that is probably not going to be true. no more blue-collar occupation. self-serving cars and trucks. bots. sew-bots. all of the women. they just bought 2 million robots in one industry. a combination of outsourcing and intelligent automation is causing the hollowing out. people know this. at the macroeconomic
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consequences is that somehow that income has to be replaced if we are going to continue to rely on the consumer demand economy which china is trying to transition into. so, a global project that puts tens of millions and more to work in navigating this sustainability revolution, you know, it it could actually boost the global economy just at the time it is needed and a pleasant side effect would be -- friedman and it strengthens our technology. i want to give the audience a chance. fire away. right there. and could you introduce yourself. >> hello. thank you so much for all that you do on behalf of the planet. dan roth. my question is, we all know the ongoing drought we're facing as well of the rest of the world.
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why are we so slow on the west coast to embrace desalinization plants when we know they are working in other parts of the world indoor cost effective. it is a shock we continue to deal with what we deal with. will there be any groundbreaking for this kind of movement and usage? mr. gore: when you say cost-effective, that term needs a definition. simple reason it has not spread more widely is because it is extremely expensive. it requires a lot of energy. however, what we are now seeing with renewable energy is the emergence of zero margin cost. and long segments of time when the demand for consumption of electricity drops off while the production is still high. it may well be that this will match the energy -- the expensive energy requirements of
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desalinization plants. we are seeing a huge share of electricity -- interesting, there are several utilities in texas now that have introduced a new rate plan because of this zero-margin cost of energy. your rates go up a little bit during the peak hours of use during the day but from 9:00 p.m. at night until 6 a.m. the next morning, here is the plan. use all you want for free. people go, what? but, that is now a thing. and, it is a growing phenomenon. and adjusting to the concept of zero marginal cost energy is challenging. and of course we have -- i am sifting the subject a little but now -- but we have the old
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fossil fuel burning single station model utilities using their legacy political and economic power to try to hold back this renewable energy revolution and what naomi calls a strange new form of denial. where you see the fossil fuel companies out there actively using their puppet front groups to say, this global energy is not going to make any difference. it is strip young pathetic, don't pay any attention to that. well, actually the global investment in renewables has over-toppled six years ago and the gap has been growing year by year. take the case of florida. the sunshine state. the utilities have such a hammerlock on the state government there.
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doing their bidding, the state government has made it illegal for any homeowner or business owner to lease a solar panel from anyone other than the fossil fuel utilities. in florida. they are behind massachusetts, new jersey, new england in solar deployment because the old dinosaur legacy model has geopolitical power to stop things. and they are now trying to do that in a lot of other states. but desalinization probably will have a resurgence when it is matched with supplies of renewable energy. mr. friedman: another question back there, please. go ahead. mr. gore: i heard you several
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years ago in a talk. it has only increased since then. what are your views on the growth of renewable energy in the last seven years, that is when i heard you last and what is your view on fracking? mr. gore: first of all, i am not disappointed in the growth of renewable energy. it is exploding worldwide. the analogy i have used for several years now is through the cell phone revolution. back around 1980, i was an early adopter of the big, clunky cell phones. i thought they looked so cool. could not wait to show my teddies. now they look so ridiculous. at that time, at&t hired a consultant -- i have to stop identifying him as a consultant -- they are actually in good
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humor about it. they would have to figure out how many of those could be sold in the year 2000, 20 years later in the came back and said, good news -- 900,000. when the year 2000 can round, they did sell 900,000. in the first three days of the year. mostly in developing countries that did not have landline telephone service. here's the analogy. we do not have landline is electricity grids that are worth their salt in most developing countries, so leapfrogging the old model of electricity generating with solar panels and windmills, is the same as the old landline technology. it is spreading incredibly rapidly, especially in the developing countries and i did not bring slides but i could sure use some that are truly astonishing. so no, i am not disappointed. i think it is picking up speed and if we're the united states
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had a new approach to the federal energy regulatory commission, they just did a good thing in allowing energy storage and batteries online to compete but we need to do a lot more to open up competition. if we did, we would make some much money we would win. we would be tired of winning. mr. gore: now, on fracking. you know for many years i was of the view that fracking is a bridge away from coal and toward renewables. i have modified that view in recent years for a couple reasons. first, the leakage of methane from the compressors and from
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the pipelines is a significant issues because each molecule molecule of methane on the bases of heat trapping is more than 80 times as powerful as a molecule of co2. you take the 20 having your number, that is what it is. if you leak one or two or 3%, all of the advantages are wiped out. secondly, the consequences for water supplies and the pollution of water supplies are quite real. in oklahoma, you see the earthquakes now that are induced by the reinjection of the water back into the ground. there are many problems associated with it.
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and finally, you can say the last is half full or half empty when the co2 emissions from gas are half that of coal. the problem is the glass of the atmosphere ofis already overfilled. we have to move to a renewable economy. the second, final reason i have begun to change my view is that the massive estimate of this pipeline infrastructure projects will be amortized over 50 to 75 years, and we need that capital to flow into renewables. this standing rock project is an atrocity. it is an absolute atrocity. and i wish that president obama would step in before there is more violence out there against those -- they call themselves water protectors. this is an embarrassment to our country. all of those promises have been broken for so long using water cannons in subfreezing temperatures. that is inhumane. i got sidetracked here.
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>> i want to get one more question in. >> a different topic, but one on which i'm sure you have an interesting opinion. does the electoral college remain the best system by which the american people can elect our people -- our president? >> even after the supreme court decision in december of 2000, i continue to support the electoral college because one of its original purposes was to tie the states to take -- states together. i have changed my view on that. i do think it should be eliminated. i think moving to a popular vote system is not without perils, not without problems, not a simple one choice is all good, the other is all bad.
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it is a balancing act here but i think the bounce has shifted, in my mind at least. and i think we should go to the popular vote. i think it would stimulate public participation in the democratic process like nothing else we could possibly do. and in the internet age, having people more involved, we've got to get back to harvesting the wisdom of crowds in the united states. we have to get back to the kind of conversation of democracy that allows good ideas to rise to the surface. we lost that in the television age, even though the internet age is filled with all this junk . it still brings the possibility and real hope of reestablishing the forces of democracy. our democracy has been hacked now. it is pathetic how our system is not working today. and i think that moving to a


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