tv Big Problems Big Thinkers Bloomberg September 14, 2016 8:00pm-8:31pm EDT
>> big problems, big thinkers is brought to you by cisco. there has never been a better time to change the world. ♪ we asked some of the best minds in the world from business, government, the arts, academia, what are the most urgent problems facing humanity, and how to resolve them? the result is big problems, big thinkers. >> what is the number one major problem facing mankind? >> the lack of education. >> you are dealing with a balance of things here. if we do not find a more
sustainable way -- >> everybody has the give ability. capability. terre: welcome to big problems, big thinkers. i am terre blair. we confront the most dangerous challenges confronting our survival as a human race, climate change, economic dislocation, nuclear proliferation, social unrest, and we examine each issue by asking if there is an ethical framework that can help us face these problems and solve them. to do that, we will hear from an extraordinary group of leaders, as they search for answers and perhaps inspire us collectively to take action. in this first episode, all of these exceptional men and women agree that climate change is one of the top threats to our existence.will we be up to the challenge ? will we take action? ago,en i was born 70 years slightly over 2 billion people
in the world, and now, there are almost 7 billion.the number of people on the planet has increased by three and a half times, in a lifetime of one person. this is never happened before. combined ofference, the two nations. something in the existing economy system. >> you have to think of the fact we only have one planet, so we should treat the planet as an unreviewable resource, and obviously the more people we have on it the more strange we have,. >> our planet is getting hot, flat, crowded, and what that means is basically, on the one hand it is getting hot, global warming. we know that is happening.
but will also happen faster as it is getting flat, that means more and more people from american point of you can see how we live. livespired to live what we that means more people living in, american size homes, driving cars, american business. if we do not find a more sustainable business to satisfy those aspirations of all of these people who want and now can have our lifestyle, that is a wonderful thing, but if we do it in a more sustainable way we are going to burn up, choke up this planet. and that itself will drive a myriad number of problems. ♪ >> the greatest threat facing humanity today have to be climate change, followed by the possibility of nuclear war, because those are the only two things on the horizon that could destroy all of humanity. today, people see droughts where they never happened before, floods were the never had them before, slums, much greater
magnitude and frequency, that sort of stuff. crops are changing, insects are killing trees were they used to be destroyed by the cold weather every year, and they are not. >> i am frustrated by the fact that it is self evident that every decision we make should be working back from the concept of drinkable water. because that is the only thing we can't do without. i don't understand why someone cannot stand up and tell the public, you know what, i have been thinking about it, you know, we are going to reverse engineer our decisions from this one point. which is, if we cannot drink water, you know, we're not going to be around. >> i think that the number one problem is a resource issue in the world, that whether you look
at it in terms of climate change generally, or hunger, food security, that -- and it goes again to the same issue all the time, which is the individuals that we have to worry as to whether people can survive in more and more difficult conditions. >> it is just simple math. if you enacted the most draconian environmental laws that you can imagine, the pierpont elation, you know -- the sheer population increase, you know, would make it a watch. >> as my friend rob watson has written, i've said so many times, i guy jumps off a building, he thinks he is lying. look at me, i am flying. something stops at the end that tells you you're not. and were going back, will always will, and as soon as we learn to live without that
thing, we will live until it is mad max. that is what is going to happen. >> we are not looking far enough ahead, for instance we are real good with, 2-3 years ahead, but we are not very good with 100 years ahead. >> we are having such a huge effect, and we're not just write. we're about a generation or two behind the curve, on how to deal with these things. and basically, like a child with matches, we might set ourselves on fire, in fact we are setting ourselves on fire. we are destroying the natural oceans,verfishing the over farming the lands, and just one thing after another, and the natural world on which we depend for our survival is collapsing around us, and if we do not change our waveys immediately, our children and
grandchildren not have much. terre: preserving that future may well depend on political leaders in the united states and around the world taking sustained action. but what will it take to get them to act? >> if you go out and try to talk about problems as they manifest themselves 30 years from now, and really does not do much for a politician. they have to bring home the bacon, you know, tomorrow to the constituents. that is with a focus on because they are interested in reelection. i understand that. i have a job i love. if i had to police a constituency to keep that job next year, i might do a little pandering myself. >> it is very hard not to be swayed by demagogues, because life is not simple and people want easy answers. we see it in countries where things are not going well, and some leader gets up and says, i can fix everything for you, and it doesn't happen. >> i think the biggest obstacle to solving our problems are just
entrenched ideologies, you know? certain block out possible solutions, when your ideology prevents you from even entertaining certain possible solutions to problems, you've then got stasis. ♪ >> this is a democracy. everything is done by us. we, the people, authorized everything. our constitution, you voted for the guys who voted for this, and if you did not vote, shame on you because you should be attending to the task of voting in our society, because that is the most important political job you have. it is so noisy out there. politics has been getting dumber and dumber. >> we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record.
i asked the chair, you know they said? it is a snowball. >> partisanship is part of democratic politics, you want that, but there is such a thing as too much. interest groups are a vital part of democracy. lobbying is in our constitution, and there isn't a thing as too much.we have in the land of too much the last decade, where became partisanship for its own sake. and that sense, we are responsible. we elected these knuckleheads. and if that is who we elected, and we realize that, then shame on us. >> if we do not do summit about by the change, what is the consequence? >> the ultimate consequence if we are all dead. a more shirt term is higher medical costs, costs for medical companies and building owners, so you will see much more severe consequences of our impact on
simply climate change, or ozone depletion, or the loss of living species that are 1000 times greater than the natural rate of extinction, it is, in my opinion, a spiritual crisis, which has to do with the relationship between human civilization and the ecological system of the earth. terre: welcome back to big problems, big thinkers. i am terre blair. the 1992 earth summit was the largest meeting of leaders and d history. balancing the earth. despite disagreements between industrialized and developing nations, the summit made sustainable the moment a more pressing item on the world's
agenda. >> from that point on, i believed we became more and more aware of the importance on the environment. in 20 years, change was like that. clear thats already brazilians weresilienc had a much more aware than other people. on the other hand, we were burning our rainforests. it took 10 years to know this is not acceptable. government's response to the citizens' demands, there is some friction in it. but fundamentally, governments only exist with the consent of the governed. so, if the public demands cleaner air, cleaner water, less traffic and whatever,, the government will deliver it.
and if you say you do not believe that, just take a look at china. the 10 biggest cities, all of which are well over 10 million people, you cannot see across the street. you are breathing that air. it is disastrous to your health. everybody knows it. and the communist party that runs the country is very sensitive to the demands of the middle class that they have created, the 150 million people they have brought out of poverty, and the people say fix it, or we are to change the government. they are closing steel plants, power plants, banning smoking in beijing even though they own the company. >> china is the deferred gratification, and we are the united states of get it now, instant gratification, and we have a change that equation. terre: that could get painful. tom: it will get painful. the only question is if market or mother nature or political
leaders, but the change is coming. terre: do you think we have time to change? >> i have so. it is already too late, but if we start tomorrow, at least it does not help us. it is time to act now. ♪ that our children and grandchildren will say mommy, granny, did you really think you did not see this? they cannot be solved at your desk. and has to be also taken the system, try to make an effort in this. and learn by doing. enough,ay that we tried but now perhaps it is a new way. so, i mean, make a new action. >> we have ways of incentivizing people to do the things that would be good to do. we have to give tax bonuses to
green businesses. the technologies developed, that will mean that industries on the side of making money, now are making the world's carbon neutral technology and so on. i think these are manageable things. we need time to transition out of the all things, as you take some of the old harmful jobsices out, people's disappear, you to think about the transition your unique to ur need to make sure the benefits shared among everybody are not destroying a particular community. > it is true you lose jobs>, for example, home on a, although that is pretty automated in the u.s., every single job you lose is tragic to the person losing the job. but we are grading a lot more jobs in clean energy, solar and
wind, then we're losing in coal. the real conundrum for us is we have to find ways to help the people who lose their jobs get the jobs that we are creating, and the difficulty is the different skill sets, many different parts of the country, different compensation systems, so you just cannot net that out. >there are no easy answe. s. there is disruption that takes place as the world changes. that is always going to happen. and it is not going to be easy for everybody. and sadly, there will be people suffering. plenty of people the benefit, but also true you will not slow it down. wishing that the tide does not come in does not work. >> prosperity can work to solve the population problem. that prosperous countries tend to hit replacement value rates slightly
below, when people do not think of children as being social security. you think that you need seven kids because fiber going to die and you need the remaining two to take care of you later on, you will keep having kids as fast as you can. as countries have become more prosperous, the mortality rate has gone down cynically. >> the hope is that great leadership will rise to the occasion, and the majority of people will be persuaded that it is worth -- that the world in the future is worth making a few sacrifices for today, so that our great-grandchildren will have the kind of life that we have had. >> the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than anything else. and what should give us hope, that this is a turning point,
that this is the moment we finally determine we would save our planet, the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge, and a growing realization that it is within our power to do some thing about it. inthe 21 conference in paris 2015 reduce the landmark agreement. 195 nations committed for the first time to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. later generations may well look back and say this was a turning point, the moment when rising carbon emissions that began with h the industrial revolution began to fall. >> the cities signed the compact of mayors, where they agreed to annually provide economic data for their city on economic basis. if you cannot measure what you cannot manage, if you think
about it, most of the climate change causes come from cities. why? because that is where people are. we may have a power plant outside the city that pollutes the air, but people in the city needing energy could consumption, you can reduce the pollution that come from practices of cars, in the city where the people are. so, the cities are the problem is and where the solutions are. and in fact, it is cities that are leading the charge, far and away compared to federal governments and state governments around the world. cities and individuals. individuals are really making a big difference, buying cars that are more fuel-efficient.a lot of places roofs white that reduces the cost of air conditioning. if you think about it, the u.s. is the only country -- the only major developed country -- that has reduced greenhouse gases the
last couple of years dramatically. why? because we have closed the coal plants, because the public went ind, i want not a truck pass through here, and polluting the air that we agree. breathe. and because of the public, pulled together by the sierra club, funded by bloomberg v's and others, really have announced the closing of the 200 of 500 power plants. that is the only big change. terre: you are saying individuals can make a difference. . michael: the only ones willing to make a difference. in the u.s., closing 200 power plants literally saves about 7000 lives a year because the model says people were dying from the effects of the pollutants in the air, so now
down 6000 or 7000 and that of 13,000. going the right direction. >> i believe that the key thetion for human beings is capacity to take decisions. so, you have to to have trust. what makes a man a man, compared to other mammals, animals? a man can make a choice. and the man has awareness, the choosing. of course, you can make a choice. but you are not having awareness. in the future, you can make choices. ♪ planet withon this this richness of flora, fauna, clean air, water, that is a huge part. god says if we do not pass that on to our kids, let us say the
human condition right now is like a baseball game. and it was a baseball game, it would be the seventh inning, innings touns with 2 go. it does not mean that we are beaten. we are way behind. we are behind the eight ball. but we have not lost yet. we have time, if we hold the other team they are. if we all of a sudden wake up tomorrow and we decide that we are going to do everything right, instead of half the things right and half the things wrong, we used to be doing everything wrong. basically, now doing about half the things right and half the things wrong, but the conditions for us to survive, we have to do everything right. terre: the urgency of global climate change is now recognized by almost every nation. what is needed, as we have heard, is global action for our ailing planet and from our leaders, to inspire the wisdom
donny: i'm donny deustch. mark: and i'm mark halperin. "with all due respect" to all the other campaign issues out there -- ♪ mark: we are going to get to that as soon as we determine hillary clinton's vitamin b intake levels. ♪ mark: we've got your daily dose of news nutrients for both candidates here tonight. hillary clinton late today gave the world a fuller look at her