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Protecting Our Environment, with Gina McCarthy

2016-02-05 | 🔗
What will it take to keep Earth habitable for humanity? Neil Tyson finds out from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Also featuring environmental blogger Andrew Revkin, science historian Naomi Oreskes, co-host Maeve Higgins and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Skip the commercials support star talk on patriarch to listen to every episode commercial free The American Museum of Natural history in New York, city and beaming air space and start were science up all your personal. After a meal, the grass Thyssen and tonight we're gonna be talking about keeping earth habitable for humans and in the United States there is an agency charged with doing just that. It is the environmental protection Agency and we will be featuring my interview with the head,
that agency Gina Mccarthy. So let's do this right and you know I never do this alone. I always need some help, and so tonight we have back as start talking Yeah, maybe do well known by nationalism and thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about the environment and risking your journalist, who cares deeply about the fate of life on earth. That's a good for him, and so you write a blog for the New York Times even radically for how long is it my twenty year? Writing than your time twenty twenty user. Somebody asked you You ve you been following the environment in our relationship to it. Is there any hope for restoring it? That is their hope. Well, yes, and what are you based and hope?
because recent research among I guess it, anthropologist and especially geologists- want to describe a new geologic era called the answer. Seen an ambitious means, the age of humans rights wherever the Holocene was this since the last ice age we ve been in any part of the house in, and scientists have proposed, we invented entered a geological age of our own making, which is what the new thing it's kind of cool or what get wrote Santa bacteria. Do this a couple billion years ago. They are totally, did they oxygenated the atmosphere, but they didn't know it see. That's the thing week we will have with backup so so before we have oxygen, the atmosphere. We have these Santo bacteria right that dined upon whatever with was the gases in the air and excluded oxygen
enabling subsequent creatures to thrive on that. So you can argue that they were the most disruptive creature ever to live on the face of the earth tracks so did we name that geologic period after them? No, so I ll answer for it now but do you know why you are going to or blame humans now? Well, that's what are they wanted? The debates about this is our aren't we being rather anthropocentric? I don't mind
error or an epic. Whatever is the unit to be named after us, but my feeling is that you want to call it that, because we're doing bad things, I actually think there's a decent chance. We can navigate the century and come out the other end does around. At the other end saying we did the best we could and that you know they'll be losses and look at the losses that are already happened. Eighty percent of the tuna in shark somewhere in the ocean fifty years ago, are gone, but there's plenty you can rebuild stocks of fish. The atmosphere is profoundly changed for centuries of climate change, but we can modulate that and do what we can to thrive. I told him so age engage is my thing now case. We want to fix the earth.
No, I want to fix us. Ok, well sure we're on report, ok, cassettes. Of course the appeal is trying to do that and to try to do that like starting in the United States, and so in my interview with Gina Mccarthy. I want to find out how she began in this, and how did she go from here to there from her childhood to being the head of the agency that's charged with watching out? for in Helsinki, will be on. This point was tricked out which he says I grew up in the sixties, and I know I look like that's not the case as I grew up. And when I was a kid I was outside all the time, lovely outsource outdoors to me, an ecosystem is what I looked at when I grabbed a log, and I picked it up and use all the creepy creators underneath in you realized how viper
I was so your heart and mind already here and I will be very honest with you. I think one of the biggest threats, the environment is a kiss, don't go out and play any more than I do. It's really tough take to get them to understand. If, if you don't have strong science, education in schools really tough to get, people engage and excited about environmental work, but I was outside so often that that it became really upon me. I remember I grew up in New York City and, like the rivers were not applied. Stuff floated up in the rivers with how the waterways of Boston there much better button when I was again when you were a kid how our we went to the city of Lawrence, which is the heart of the industrial revolution, and it uses run green one day, yellow one day. Blue one day, we think a bet on which one it would be the day will gone color, because that would mean that the textile industry wasn't it depended on whether they would do
yellow a blue or red textiles that when that day and that's what they call the river ran, I didn't come from a ridge family. I actually did swim in a beach off of Boston Harbour when you really weren't supposed to and we used to go there.
Our day trip. It was twenty minutes away was right in an Antelope boatyard in, but when you came off, your mother was picking that the tower off a view in the oil, but we still loved it and we still went there, but that's what we had available. We used it. Maybe everyone needs to have the kind of experience to two to jump start their immune system, what I'm pretty healthy. So maybe maybe we could it's not what I would suggest to this generation Libya's. How often do you get sick very infrequently? Are you just gotta be word? I can knock on there. You go you I'm very healthy view fixture. There is an argument about getting kids hands and soil out. Even how that exposes them at a young age to different types of of germs. Add that at that age they can they gonna be able to get some immunity to.
These arguments about that. I just think it's really fun to go outside and walk in the woods and plan the mud, necessary data. Kids, when no one told us tail, but our mothers simply wouldn't allow us to stand the house S will share. So she made a comment that more people should go out and play then they might embrace. The environment now went on players in the street, so to media environment was cards and Trieste, so you must mean go up to nature, so do agree that this is what this this will solve. All the problems work many of its it's, a wonderful and vital component of getting people to care about something beyond the built environment. Absolutely let's find out agenda either. This is what this this would solve. All the problems or many of its it's a wonderful and vital component of getting people to care about something beyond the built environment. Absolutely, let's find out Gina she's thanks a lot about awareness of the environment, and I see her continued take on that. We are still a few
thought it was just it was so everybody do. I remember nothing new. There was just the gasoline was awful when you went to to fill up your tank it just the emissions coming out of the tanks, as we didn't have the sophisticated equipment now too for all that the smoke was everywhere. Boston harbour you! U, I went in it as a kid. I also went to College along Boston Harbour, and Even at that point, you were warned when we went sailing the fall in the water or you may have to go out and get a shot. You couldn't swim in the child's river, but now we Boston Habitat is the engine of the city of Boston. That's the engine of all of our economy. There. It just things changed dramatically for the good just as much as they change for the bad. So we, what are the drivers that created this change?
awareness, because no one really does that with without feeling guilt, even if you did throw things out the window with disregard factors scimitar it seems, a madman which, of course, takes place in the sixties. You just see them doing things. Why did we do people walk into an elevator smoking a cigarette did we do that and they finished a picnic and they tossed everything on the ground. Didn't we do that so so? Why did all this change? What happen in a late sixties and you're gonna? Nineteen sixty eight the most turbulent year of a turbulent decade. Sassanian and TAT offensive the Anti war movement and in year, Earthrise APOLLO eight,
They went to the moon orbit, it doesn't fifteen times and then came back snap. This picture this was published in nineteen sixty eight and we see earth as nature intended us to view it like with oceans and land clout. We go to the moon to explore them. When we discover earth for the first time- and I looked at what happened after this photo was taken, for years that we were going to the moon. Sixty eight sixty nine, seventy seventy one and into seventy two five years, because we end of sixty eight into seventy two. That's when This happened: when was environmental protection Agency founded seventeen nineteen? Seventy? Ok, when was earth founded seventeen nineteen,
when we will go into the moon, that we have other issues and nineteen seventy right there. Assassinations and and unrest on college campuses and all the sun people started thinking about earth earth. Team. Seventy two, the and converter, is introduce leaded gas has banned. Ddt is Nineteen, seventy three and all these early years of the decade, the comprehensive, clean air act and clean water at all, was in that period, so I'm thinkin. We got a space of why we go and is based on one of the really cool thing about that image. It was you're, not you know how the NASA missions are so script. They are they plaid out the area that was unanticipated in and when you listen to the dialogue that took place, it was Hake, camera quick, no one had actually said Hale come around the backside of the moon and see their did even
and I think of the idea that that that that appreciation that the narrative power that actually was more important than the mission part of it well and start talk, returns we're going to find out what kind of new gadgets the The aim is invoking to help us all to monitor our environment getter on startup
this is stored on the American. His aim of natural history right here in New York, were sitting beneath the hating sphere that so we are joined, of course by May Higgins straight off the boat from Ireland. Yes, yes, yes, yes and Andrew Rifkind, longtime journalist for the New York Times. Writing dot earth right. One of the challenges of getting people to change their behaviour is to convince them that it is in their best interest or that those save money or that they live longer. All that will be here
beer. Nobody wants to do something they don't want to do, and in a free country at least we tell ourselves, we live in a free country if, if they can benefit from a behavior change, I don't. I wonder if that's even possible, would you agree with that? I do and that's why some things are easier to get done than others, including on the environment, though the old all the pollution that spot the environmental movement was actually not that hard to get rid of it stuck up soon. A filter on smokestack or you built a sewage treatment plants, but a novelty and an amazingly the Hudson River got cleaner and everyone could, even in on a political timescale, someone could cut a ribbon and then take credit for it and with something I global warming slowing biodiversity loss is China, things that don't have those that there the reward factors and there in some times it can be really expensive. Getting getting off of carbon and second of Egypt, so asked Gina Mccarthy. What plans does the EPA have to get people on board because without it
David without people being better off for having done so. I wonder if it's even possible its to get her take on, I think, ok started. In a pretty reactive mode where people were we're doing what they were doing and we were trying to catch up and make sure it did. It did things well now we have, I think, an opportunity use data to actually get people much more engaged in thinking about how they interact with the environment and thinking about their behaviors themselves. I'll give you a really quick example, you know that little blue energy, star label, you see an appliance and earlier on washing machines and dishwashers, and I mean it's all over the place. People love it. They recognize it because we tell them how efficient that product is and they start buying more efficient products because it
and so my base decisions on that information and guess what happens. Business start basing their decisions on on the basis of that information, because if you want people to buy a product, you make it more efficient. Those are actually that's an EPA programme who, because EPA was trying to reduce greenhouse gases, I didn't say you had to suffer by buying a really lousy piece of equipment because I'm regulating that piece of equipment. I said: let's do, let's drive the market to recognise that efficiency is good. It saves people, money, businesses who drive towards efficiency. Will do better and as a result, the greenhouse gases will will be reduced. So it's both changing. The M Human beings have on the environment in recognising that environment is changing as well as getting tools to be able to continue to
of people live the way they want to live. But can I tell you about another technology that we have? As you probably know, people have been worried about toxic chemicals for a long time, and EPA is working with a pretty outdated statute right now on how to do an assessment of how to get toxic chemicals in their place. If you will toxic one is in how to use them. How do you protect people wouldn't verses, another level right in and what's the management strategy there are always going to be to chemicals out there? How do we protect people and make sure that that we can keep putting chemicals on the market? We all need. Some of my best friends are made of chemicals, a ban all chemical lately and I dont want to ban all carbon either we'd be withering away. I get all that so evil exceed your car, because we do not embarrassed by your Boston accent, I you're not trying to suppress it
you just lay in it all out. I interrupted. Please outline what let me tell you about this really call technology. So basically, EPA has been given the job to take a look at how we manage chemicals, and so we have spent the past decade looking at doing a traditional way, I'm doing risk assessments that has in the end, we have managed to do something in the order of fifty when this thousands and thousands of chemicals out their new ones every single year, and we bent a million bucks on each one. What we're doing now is something all computational toxicology, ok now this is an ability to basically put our testing on steroids. It's basically testing now that we now
finished, but later on steroids. There would be no doubt, as I have said, this is actually basically using company robots hidden. It's a robot ized program that actually looks at testing thousands of chemicals at once for different characteristics where we can use now computerized ways of establishing strategic statistical links so that we can determine whether it's likely to be a toxic or not in four thirty thousand bucks, a chemical we can do. We can move forward to do thousands of them in a short period of time. This is some science EPA did that EPA is going to change the face of signing everywhere, and what what this does for transforming things as we don't just do the data we actually put it on the web and because businesses now know that their chemicals will be able to have this really short turnaround time where we can decide whether or not it it is a toxic or not,
in all likelihood, they now are re designing their chemicals to meet these standards, even when the not even regular looks like they ve thought this through in ways that they can change behaviour with our third there's refunds another without creating a law that requires you to change your behavior. That's brilliant, and one of the really neat thing is: there's a lot of science. It shows you the people who can be completely lighted over what we called global warming are totally in sync on energy efficiency and actually investing more in renewable energy. There liberals libertarians, who agree on that. There is no red blue states when and yielded some studies along those lines. So all purple with regard to add in front of you, we're all yet was blue linking all yes, instead of just now it s no use now. So it turns out. The EPA has other stuff up their sleeves. Let's find out. What's,
with the EPA, while a call things were doing right now, is our scientists actually designed a park bench that, where dropping off in a bunch of cities in this pop benches and am on and are on it, that a solar powered so that you pick up particulate matter and ozone standards just hanging around right in every location, wing and drop it in people love this because you can localize, you can make it personal UK figure out not just what the ambient air quality is. That EPA puts out that takes care of large counties and me you can personalize and figure out what the quality. Is a new war park in your community so that they can take what we do and then work with their own community to keep it safe, showed the progress is a secret laboratory, it's not so secret, but it is a laboratory actually,
People think it's really call so soft soap. It I'm. I worry from a quantum mechanical point of view. I worry that here's this laboratory you set up disguised as apartment, Jeff, and now people sit on apart bench and beat their hamburgers in spills. Things on it, doesnt that contemning the data. Actually, they beat me up on monitors a little behind Hiram. I will tell you how to do your job and the same gashes influences could influence the data. What she's talking about is is information, smart meters are really good thing. They they can connect to think they allow utilities to get a better sense
on an hour by hour minute, my by mid basis, you how their pass my our leaders at your smart metering, you home in California, had a hard time getting them in a fever sums very liberal people and very conservative people hate them. Liberals think they're gonna give him cancer because its wireless and the conservatives think that it's an intrusion into their their rights to have the power company no other using their own. Have sex with is not an intrusion right. Well there you know there there's lots of there's lots of potential to build. A smarter of grid is if we go with the flow and where- and we don't be participant in that cause, the meters would be in our homes. Yet actually new people didn't wanna cook their food in a microwave, so they thought they would they would make it.
Your active, yet I didn't know that if you just put aluminum fine in your head, it's totally fine pretends to thank you move groups. I M actually not a train scientists. I just know this stuff in eight, so We come back, you knew it was come. We could not have this conversation without go in there and yes, we're ago. There have Gallo secret for you. I'm gonna, considers consider singing all of the ads on this show there's just one way to get out a hearing. They're good
patriarch arms last started tall and supporters at the five dollar level or higher to listen? The star talk ad free. You can download all current episodes into your favorite parkers player and never hear another commercial on star talk ever again. You will definitely not have to hear me seeing if you're supporters Patria Dark coms. Last our talk, radio I mean I'm just sing, it just say on climate change. When we return.
Starter murkily real of natural history Neil digress. Thyssen may always good to have you back Andrew first time we met, evening, great too heavy on the show me her even write about environment your whole life, most of it most of your whole life. And in their began to talk about climate and what impact humans are having on climate, If my records are correct here, two thousand affords It was the warmest here on record since eighteen eighty, so we ve got these other data. Ninety seven percent of climate scientists agree
Only on that global warming is reality in humans are motivated attacks, an important fact yeah guess not. However, there is a famous quote from Galileo, who says- and I quote in questions of science Authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual so I've never been happy with people saying. Ninety seven percent of scientists agree cassettes like so so big, maybe they're wrong. What I, what they should be saying Might I am HBO in my humble opinion, is that the overwhelming consensus of experiments give these results, experiments that the results of experiments that matter here? This is a tough and though, because we're not experiment, words were running only one experiment, observations, observations, inexpert, that's what people report on that is what we should be looking at,
but we have data on the co2 levels, overtime and you see a larger scale variations in it and then you see what's been happening recently. This seems kind of convincing to me and we know that they are too is a greenhouse gas, meaning that it's one of these gases. It's ok to infrared radiation. Yes, so you know the planet, I'll get warmer with more of that gas and in the atmosphere. So so people just they is it. I don't want to know this. I don't want to believe it's true I've interests that are not satisfied. By believing that we should do something about this. We have data, we have evidence and they're just they don't want to agree and that's a mist. To me so to get to the bottom of this, we got Naomi arrests keys on video call from Harvard to give us some insight into what the hell is coming Naomi are you? Are you live with us? I am here to try
we're being video call with us. Thank you kindly so so, what's up with the deniers What's going on, we just wanted a graph of The two levels that have been going up those that these folks were an interest in the scientific evidence when they were interested was a kind of political arguments about preventing government injured. Twelve years ago, and it was exactly what you just said. We have all this evidence. We have all this data and many of the most promising eyes were actually scientists themselves, so wasn't plausible to think that they didn't understand the science had to be something else going on. It was the mystery that we set out to answer and that we wrote about an hour but merchants of doubt, and the short answer is that these folks were an interest in the scientific evidence when they were interested It was a kind of political argument about preventing government interference in the marketplace, preventing
The EPA and other organizations like the EPA from taking action to control the hazards in the damage of fossil fuels. So what are you saying is that there is a subset of scientists who were a whose critical thinking elements of their brain were overrun by their political leanings sends out. I wouldn't get it that way? It's more like they took the view that the end justifies the means that they thought the threat of government intervention. The marketplace was so great, and these were old. Cold warriors incense. There still fighting the core or even after the cold war is over its weight against the communist. Basically, it's way against the communists, which helps to explain why you get these strange things like when you say: there's climate change, you get accused of being a communist or rush. Limbaugh accuses climate. Scientists have been communist, so part of the mystery
trying to make sense of that, so the ideas eludes us against them: its democracy against totalitarianism, its capitalism against communism and any threat to democracy and a threat to freedom, any threat to the framework. That system is so profound than it has to be resisted, and even that means misrepresenting. The science discount the science, ignoring the science. These people were prepared to do that. I would have thought that conserving the environment would be, conservative issue, but does this where, where I get that wrong, where'd you get, that was true until late, these are the nineteen eightys. There was a time american history, where conservatives were passion about conserving the environment, but after the next ministries, the Republican Party took this very strong ship to the right under Ronald Reagan.
And started to really turn against the whole notion of regulation and turn against the notion of environmental. Regular mission as one aspect of being hostile to regulation in general, and Ronald Reagan began to spread the message that government was the problem, not the solution. We needed to get government off our backs and especially that we needed to get government out of the private sector to let the mark do it might. Even if the government has your long term interest as its highest priority arrival. Megan didn't believe that he thought that the government in other tat, was government might say that, but in the end that wouldn't be what was would happen and saw. The entire republican Party really shifted. Very dramatic way from where it had been only ten or twelve years before and that put them on a collision course with science I dont think Ronald Reagan set out to disrespect science, but the net result is that this is the political position they took were incompatible with accepting what the scientific evidence was telling us about issues like
rain, the ozone global warming, What word Naomi thanks for joining us and start off? Thank you very much climate change. That real, presumably the EPA, is ready to do something about it. I went straight to Gina Mccarthy, strategy EPA to find out what are they doing about climate change check it out. I'm moving forward to develop, standard that will lower carbon pollution. That's fuelling climate change from our power sector that companies that generate electricity, its extra Equally important for us to tackle it because they are the largest source of carbon. Look trailing window
it by developing our all we put out a proposal is called that clean power plant and basically it's an effort for the federal government to look at the signs for EPA. Look at the science into say what kind of stand as we can, over the long term, to send a signal so, the energy world that we need to me shifting towards a low carbon future. But every states going to translate into their very own plan, based on with today and that plan is to be done in a way that meets their energy needs. Doesn't Breton reliability doesn't change the affordability of of energy. For all of us know, lights be out, but we're gonna, actually and towards a low carbon future in jobs of the future as well. It was a pleasure to preserve cutter
so in total, implausible in and it's happening, and the Supreme Court gave the Ba the authority to do this. A lot of the challenge with climate is that the costs come in the future and we have this bad habit of discounting future costs. They did. They call it a discount rate that the applied in the future- and it again this, but this is a scientist you go, but what we wait is that, like people who smoke there like bats those five years, I've I've the dog, I love a rival, the real time benefit or whatever they might always the future ways their sense of that future. Doom that someone is doing this about. So you want to book that talk about the North pole. I dare you ve been to the north. By was see south and North Pole polydeuces animal. I did I just wanna verify, but he's not russian I go on Youtube. You can see proof of this funding.
Eaten long ago by poor barriers they had received. No delays is the elves says that the US has shot guns seriously. I sat corral. The camp workers had shot guns, so he was rising, but the ads where America in the russian camp, the others, were russian, so isn't so at the North pole. What? What? What so in your work? What was so particular about, or not at all so many things are. Wonderful than I thought it would have as an indicator you anything you like. Well, scientists it. No, I was further is horrible. My life is six months of night work, always wonderful, always scientist. I was there to report on this, attend this agenda, two thousand three from two thousand:
until now, every year they go fly to the UN's under the sea ice at the North pole. Remember the North Bullyism not like
recital again, article you're in the middle of the ocean, and this year's your camped on sea ice. That's about from here to the floor since about everything and it's moving in shifting and cracking and their camp there for a number of days drop instruments down to the ocean to try to get a consistent. This is measurement measurement measure you gotta go to the same place, the same time same year, the same equipment each year by year, and you can start to get a sense of change. It's really hard to measure sea ice change, the thickness of it without being there and kind of putting instruments under the ice. So I was reporting on the process of learning about change. They haven't actually concluded. We know about sea ice, reducing intellect stuff, but the details are still hard and to measure scientist etc. That experiment properly. I was actually observations. Signed divers had to go under the ice to get instruments back and immune system is a lot of science
so coming up were actually gonna. Take questions from the public on the environment's other worlds. When start talk, returns start I do you know what time it is time for the cosmic queries. Part of start talk may do have questions for me from our and base from Twitter for Facebook. Again this morning,
Ben area in Sacramento, also California, considering earth current climate change and I were dependent on fossil fuels. What would you say would take for the planet To reach a runaway greenhouse scenario like the one that left Venus the way it is now ok, so it turns out We, as far as we can tell, will never be in a runaway tipping point greenhouse scenario because The carbon that is now underground was once above the earth's surface. So if we burn every bit of carbon fossil fuel, that's down there, we will require the atmosphere somewhere around when the dinosaurs were hanging out and it, period of when we had the dinosaur there were no polar, Icecaps war Levels were really high and their world was very different coastlines. We're different course. Continental drift had rearrange the shapes of the of the continent.
As well and the positions of them on earth. So now will not be a runaway greenhouse effect, but the war it would be really different. In fact, you know the statue of liberty, if we melted the land based ice, principally on Antarctica, when the sea levels will rise up to the elbow overhead that's holding the declaration of independence. That would be quota levels in New York, so nothing would be above order. This is serious. This is a different earth, so the problem is we built our civilization in a relatively stable period of earth's climate whenever that was that's, how we built out
We put our cities there on coastlines on rivers, water and land that intersections a fundamental part of what it was to build civilizations for commerce transportation, for four four for irrigation for your crops. So you want to change that you can have to move the greatest city our civilization is ever created you not to move em inland a hundred miles. This is not a productive
it had run your civilization either Eddie in Sacramento come on banks, so we're safe from becoming Venus. Thankfully, thank you. Don't do it. So it's interesting is right now we're just thinking about the solar system and other planets. But what is the transition? I wonder especially directed to use a journalist the transition between thinking locally. I want to clean up my river on clean, my air and thinking globally. I had to check in with GINO Mccarthy, to find out what what's there take on how we're doing in the transition from thinking locally to thinking globally, let's check as Carl Sagan famously said, pollutants don't carry passports, Air will go everywhere, Warner those everywhere. So do you have any sense of when people first started thinking globally? I'm not sure a lot of people have
I think you may be a little bit in this regard, a little more positive. They think about it. I think we're getting there. I think equality is where that became much more apparent, because everybody thinks of Wada locally. We still are challenged to figure out how to get around that equality changed everything I think and in it, but it's, but it still very challenging and on a problem like climate, if you don't think of it glow you know if you don't act locally and think globally, you're gonna be in trouble, so we ve been using that model since to exchange rate, but I'm not sure if it comes to roost until people understand that they individually have impacts are collectively. We need to resolve and your usual best in the world. Thinking globally. What country. You can see, I don't know, I guess I answer. Maybe a rich Scandinavia, like maybe
Norway has, for Norway exports an awful lot of oil, so they therefore have a very clean economy that the export, the oil in part of their wealth. They they just. They said they're gonna, that I love this. Norway has called a sovereign wealth funds. There was built on oil money and they're gonna. They want to divest from coal they're, taking that money out of coal investments, but the money came from oil so
right now call was still actually well call it oil or a kind of in a race, unfortunately they're kind of winning still, and that's what makes this a real tough challenge and by the way, that's what Sir Guild circles me back to science, because you know we are gonna, keep using fossil fuels until something comes around that is as seamlessly plug in about two hours systems, and that's not there yet well, when we come back, we're gonna talk about countries that are not thinking globally. About their economies and their environment and wonder what is anybody doing about it? When start talking.
Lose stored with many fear in New York City move thank here, Andrew Water, the address a country's leading the world in polluting the air and water whose at the top of the list, China leaped, pass us some two years ago to become the first for carbon dioxide, the main
Greenhouse gas there there, the dominant, so we were not number one in that anymore, but other either way there also topical we're gonna try harder to their trade. They know that the said that very there call uses unsustainable in domestically. They realised its unsustainable. They actually couldn't imported and minded fast enough to keep up with the rate at which they were electrifying. Ok, so through the worst opponents, but their self aware and it, but there also where markets that are building is solar panels. Faster, more cheaper than anyone else, so they could be leading the world and, though, in a corner of the market in the stuff, that'll keep them clean while they're making the world there is. In fact the availability of those cheap panels is partially was facilitated, booming industry here and installing those panels, so it is it's become you're killing. Whenever industry with there was nascent here. Well, you know that's. This is big, theirs economy balance balanced trade issues with getting the right technology out there. You know it becomes interesting
in my interview with the head of the EPA Gina Mccarthy I had to ask her. You know: environment is not just the United States. Are they think about the rest of the world? I had to go there Vienna, which he says that China has some difficult air quality problems in their cities. One of the things that brought that to the four was in vain. And we put in a monitor and the U S embassy and we started tweeting out what those levels said to our own staff, because they were concerned about their own kids. Being out in an area where the equality was so bad that started getting picked up by the people who live in Beijing and the people who live in Beijing looked at what the federal government was telling them the central element and realise that our data didn't work like that. Resolved now you have China recognising that problem with their. U S, text Energy is their monitoring in a good system and things
Oh I'd say: China was delighted with that: have you been up in power, the tweet and so other any examples of pollution crossing. There was an estimate that a third of the smog in California was chinese pollution. A third yet- and I am quite sure that number I could look it up on it, but don't converted to Fahrenheit. And what do you mean they see that that, like in China there making stuff being used in America, the radio's like their manufacturing products, that we use that you're all time. Yes, isn't like sources like fair and often a weird way that, like we get there pollutants also,
exactly Fairylike phone. Oh, I say intervention is right. There you know they're. There actually have been studies that are measured. The M, the embedded energy or carbon in it in export good whose whose carbon is that is a China or is it the country? That's that prove so China, the coal or is its person? That's buying the toaster from China there you can do those analyses and turns out, like Europe got kind of cleaner, less decade or so, but that was because a lot of european manufacturing moved to China, and so is that and the good still go to Europe or to wherever, so that you actually you're you're on it you're on a point that people are trying to figure out its sets a facet, so you so nature is forcing the United States to share in the pollutants of the products made by China that we are consuming.
Yeah, that's karma for you, radio, so Andrew you haven't really left us with much hope in anything that come out of your mouth. I don't even know if you know how to write about, and so I ask Gina Mccarthy Is there no hope for any of this? Let's, she said? I think our challenge is to make sure that people recognise and if your face the science, if you have a problem running towards it as we want to go being afraid of it, cause you worried about the actions and need to fix it. Just hold you in place in the world, never changes, you never innovate. You never develop next technology. What we have seen is the growth of technologies that never would have happened because with identified a problem and begun to tackle it, can you imagine in fifty years you are so effective that you put yourself out of business, when that be lovely. But right now is beyond my goods to towards fantasy
really what mobile you could just fix all the problems that life changes right. Everything changes and you know as well as I that the more you learn the more you see. You know you realize the challenges and that next come up with it. Able to reduce air pollution. Seventy percent since EPA came around and at the same time our gdp tripled, don't tell me. This is not somehow gonna be irrelevant to the future Andrew is there is anyone still talking about? The guy is purposes of earth. We're earth will heal itself. That is almost like a an organism that has self interest in mind Are people still talking about the those all the rage back when, as other age, but James Lilac, love, locker wrote they tend the guy hypothesis with others.
He then Margolis. I think we wrote a book called guys revenge which was about us getting pounded by this force. It because we're messing with it so earth will kill us that was his thesis. Although he's now he's in his nineties and he's writing another book, he says written another book, this more actually hopeful, terrific us, but not other lifeforms. Well, this is an evil mother nature right in that, while he was seeing us as the sort of the disease that needs to be managed. So when we come back, we will find out where in the universe, we will catch up with bill nigh the science guy. My friend and colleague, we return on startup.
The future of space and the secrets of our planet reveal this star die well. Well, we ve been talking about climate. We ve been. Talking about the environment right now, it's time to check in on my good brand bill. Neither science guy, former resident of California he's lives in New York City. Now, and we got him and I never know where he is, and I don't even see
he's until like right now, but he's gonna share with us his reflections and his understanding of what invite it means that check him out the bird the bees, the butterfly the trees there all from the earth and so are weak. We're all earths stuff in today's beautiful today is a walk in the park. Where is your pork and is right here in the city? Half The people in the world now live in cities and so many others, Think of cities is being separate from nature, but how can it be. Nature built us, and we all of this is our home. But it's also our house. Here's what I mean if you have a house UK just call the landlord and complain if something goes wrong with awaiting the plumbing you I've gotta, get it fixed
everyone you'll ever meet is from the earth. The earth is our home, but is also our Andrew. What you think about by that date were owners. Not tenants of that bet. That's pretty sensible perspective. Would you agree yeah, there's no way back in college. I remember a professor of comparative literature told me that in Italian you, don't you don't own property, you hold property at me. I am not from ITALY, and I am he said. Historically, it was holding and I think that's actually a valuable way to think about it as well. I have actually have a bias.
In terms of what kind of pollution I care most about, and I brought that up with Gina Mccarthy, let's check it out, you ve had initiatives about trying to get people outside to explore nature and to me part of exploring nature is looking up without like pollution, we have a relationship with the night sky and with it you don't even know it's there. I did Darwin emotion of Canada. Can come no child left inside It didn't happen to connect kids when the outside world and families. We did a lot of running round impact, but one other thing we did was bring them out to the night sky rigidity did telescopes. Did I tell you this, but the other thing we did, and this is what impact it means we just made them go in a quiet They didn't have everybody around and look up. It gives you a sense of the term so the universe.
Small? You are, I want every teenagers and do that who thinks there world? Is this small and worries about the next, a male that they might see, that talks about going the big world and see how how vast it is and get a sense of self in it and in how one an amazing thing it is. It changes perspective forever in you're. Absolutely right! That's one of the reasons why we have to be worried about like pollution, because the way in which we disconnect ourselves from the natural world means at my job guess: hotter So he's really describing the early stages of a cosmic perspective. Again, I'm an astrophysicist, and so we live big. All our numbers are big and the sizes of things are big and timescales.
Big and when I look at earth rise over the moon. I remember that old I remembered when that photo was published. We all had to stop and take cause the meaning and significance of that image. Here's earth rising over somebody else's horizon afloat there in the dark vacuum of space, and I think it's possible to affect you emotionally, even subliminally you down or anything I gotta. Take the whole thing, not just my stream. My pond want to protect the whole earth, and this is not a new thought. I dug up a few lines from tee associate with which we will end the show we shall not cease from export. Patients and the end of all of our exploring will be
to arrive where we started and to know the place for the first time you ve been watching startled and as always, I neither grass Thyssen your personal astrophysicist, Did you to keep looking up? Lockdown may adopt the organs which you can listen to star talk commercial, free, Joe Star talk on Patriot on for as little as five dollars per month and the ads will disappear, learn more at patriarch dot com last star talk, radio,
Transcript generated on 2020-01-25.