tv Bloombergs Studio 1.0 Bloomberg September 18, 2016 2:30pm-3:01pm EDT
announcer: big problems, big thinkers is brought to you by cisco. there has never been a better time to change the world. ♪ terre: 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 do we resolve them? -- how do we solve them? the result is big problems, big thinkers. >> what is the number one major problem facing mankind? >> i think is the lack of education. >> politics has been getting dumber and dumber. >> there is a balance of green spirit. >> if we don't have a more
sustainable way -- >> everybody has the capability of making a difference. >> remember your humanity. terre: welcome to big problems, big thinkers. i'm terre blair. in this series, we confront the most dangerous challenges facing 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'll 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? >> when i was born 70 years ago, there were just slightly over 2
billion people in the world, and now, there is almost 7 billion. the number of people on the planet has increased by three and a half times in the lifetime of one person. this has never happened before. dalai lama: i often tell my indian friends and all the chinese friends that they combined these two nations, over 2 billion, 2 billion cars or oil, pollution. i think the existing economy system is not sustainable. >> you have to think of the fact we only have one planet, so we should treat the planet as a nonrenewable resource, and obviously the more people we have on it, the more strains we put upon the planet. >> our planet is getting hot, flat, and crowded. what that means basically is that on the one hand it is getting hot, that is global warming. temperature rising, we know that
is happening. but will also happen faster as it is getting flat, that means more and more people from an american point of view can see how we live, aspire to how we live and live like we live. that means more people living in american size homes, driving american size cars, american business, eating american sized big macs. 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 not do it in a more sustainable way, we we are going to burn up, heat up, choke up this planet. and that itself will drive a myriad number of problems. ♪ >> the greatest threat facing humanity today has 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, storms where they never had them before with much greater magnitude and frequency, that sort of stuff. crops are changing, insects are killing trees where they used to be destroyed by the cold weather every year and are not. i am frustrated by the fact that it isn't self-evident, that every decision that we make should be working back from the concept of drinkable water. because that is the only thing we can't do without. and i don't understand why somebody can't stand up and tell the public, you know what, i have been thinking about it and, you know, i am going to reverse engineer our decisions from this one point. which is, if we can't drink water, you know, we're not going to be around. >> i think 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. >> i mean it is just simple math. if you enacted the most draconian environmental laws that you can imagine, the pure population increase over the next 20 years, you know would make it a wash. >> as my friend rob watson has written and i have said so many times, a guy jumps off a building, he thinks he is flying. look at me, fly. it is a sudden stop at the end that tells you you're not. >> we are going that way, and we always will. and as soon as we run out of one thing, we learn how to live without that thing 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 two, three years ahead, but we are not very good with 100 years ahead. ♪ >> we are having such a huge effect, and we're not just quite. we're about a generation or two behind the curve, on how to deal -- our progress to deal with these things. and basically, like a child with matches, we might set ourselves on fire, which, in fact we are setting ourselves on fire. we are destroying the natural, the natural world -- overfishing the oceans, over-farming the lands, and just one thing after another. and then the natural world on which we depend for our survival is collapsing all around us. and if we do not change our ways immediately, our children and grandchildren are not going to
have much of a future. 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? warren: if you go out and try to talk about problems that may manifest themselves 10 or 20 or 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 what they focus on because they are interested in their own reelection. i understand that. i have a job i love. if i had to please a constituency to keep that job next year, you know, i might do a little pandering myself. madeleine: 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. steven: i think the biggest obstacle to our solving our
problems are just entrenched ideologies, you know? when you, when you block out certain possible solutions, when your ideology prevents you from even entertaining certain possible solutions to problems, you've then got stasis. ♪ kwame: this is a democracy. everything that is done is done by us. we, the people, authorize everything. our constitution is authorized by the people. you voted for the guys who voted for these laws. 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 as a citizen. >> 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 what this is? it is a snowball. thomas: partisanship is part of democratic politics, you want contending parties, but there is such a thing as too much. interest groups are a vital part of democracies and lobbying, lobbying is in our constitution, and there is such a thing as too much. we entered the land of too much the last decade, where it became partisanship for its own sake. and in that sense, we are also responsible. we elected these knuckleheads. and so if that is who we elected and then we reelected them, then shame on us. terre: if we do not do something change, what will it cost us? what is the consequence? michael: the ultimate consequence is we are all dead. a more short-term consequence is higher medical costs, much more costs for companies and building owners and that sort of thing. so you will see much more severe consequences of our impact on
is not simply climate change, or ozone depletion, or the loss of living species at a rate 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'm terre blair. the 1992 earth summit was the largest meeting of leaders in history. 117 heads of state, 178 nations in total, gathered to discuss how to balance economic development with protecting the earth. despite the disagreements between industrialized and developing nations, the summit made sustainable development a more pressing item on the world's agenda.
fernando: from that point on, i believe that the brazilian people became more and more aware of the importance of environment. so in 20 years, the change was like that. in 2002, it was already clear that the brazilians had much more awareness of the problems of environment than other people. on the other hand, we were burning our forests. it took 20 years to realize this is no longer acceptable. so, government's response to the -- responsive to are citizens demands. you don't think so all the time there is some friction in it. , but fundamentally, governments only exist with the consent of the governed. and so, if the public demands cleaner air and cleaner water, and 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 can't see across the street. you are breathing that air. it is disastrous for 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 those people say fix it, or we are to change the government. and if they are doing that. they are closing power plants, they are closing steel plants, they are banning smoking in beijing even though the chinese government owns the tobacco companies. it really does work. thomas: china is the deferred republic -- really is the people's republic of deferred gratification, and we are the united states of get it now, instant gratification, and we have got to change that equation. terre: that can get a little painful. thomas: it is going to get painful. the only question is if market or mother nature or political
leaders, but the pain is coming. terre: do you think we have time to change? tarja: i hope so. we kind of know that whether it is already too late, but if we postpone it tomorrow, at least it does not help the situation. so it is time to act now. ♪ tarja: i think so that our children and grandchildren will say that, mommy, granny, did you really think that you did not see this? it cannot be solved at your desk. it has to be also taking a risk to try, try to make an effort in practice. and learn by doing. be ready to say that we tried enough, but now perhaps it is a new way. so i mean to take a risk to make a new action. >> we have to think of ways of incentivizing people to do the things that would be good to do.
we have to give tax advantages to green businesses so that the , whichogies develop means that industries are on the side of making money, now are making the world's carbon neutral technology and so on. so i think these are manageable things. they need time, and we need to transition out of the old things. as you take some of the old harmful practices out, people's jobs disappear, communities get affected. you need to make sure that the benefits of the new which are shared among everybody aren't bought at the experience of destroying a particular community. >> it is true you lose jobs and, for example, coal mining, although that is pretty automated in the u.s. so that is not that many jobs. every single job you lose is tragic to the person losing the job. but we are creating a lot more
jobs in clean energy, solar and wind, than we're losing in coal. the real conundrum for us is we have got to find some ways to help the people who lose their jobs get the jobs that we are creating, and the difficulty is the different skill sets, they are going to be in different parts of the country and there are different compensation systems, so you just cannot net them out. there are no easy answers. 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. there will be plenty of people that benefit, but it is also true you are not going to slow it down. wishing that the tide does not come in does not work. >> prosperity can work to solve the population problem. the data show that prosperous countries tend to hit replacement value, replacement
rates were slightly below, when people do not think of children as being their social security. if you think that you need seven kids because five of them are 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. but as countries have become more prosperous usually the , fertility rate has gone down significantly. >> our only hope is that great leadership will rise to the occasion, and that the majority of people will be persuaded that it is worth -- that the world and the future is worth making a few sacrifices for today, so that our great-grandchildren will have the same kind of life that we have had. president obama: the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other. 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. it is 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 something about it. terre: the cop21 conference in paris in 2016 produced a landmark agreement. 195 nations committed for the first time to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. later generations may well look back and say this was the turning pot, the moment when rising carbon emissions that began with the industrial revolution finally began to slow and then fall. michael: what came out of cop21, i think something like 440 cities signed something called the compact of mayors, where they agreed to annually provide economic data for their city on -- about their city on economic -- on a comparable basis. and the idea is, if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.
and if you think about it, most of the climate change causes come from cities. why? because that is where people are. so we may have a power plant outside the city that pollutes the air, but if people in the city reduce their energy consumption, you can reduce the pollution there. so the pollution that comes from trucks, buses, cars, that is in the city, that is where the people are. so the cities are were the problem is and the cities are where the solution 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 here. they are buying cars that are more fuel-efficient. a lot of places, they paint their roofs white which reflects off the sun and reduces the cost of air conditioning. if you think about it in the united states, the only country, the only major developed country
that has reduced greenhouse , gases the last couple of years dramatically. why? because we have closed 200 out of the 500 odd coal power plants. why did we do that? because the public went up wind and said to the power company, i am going to stand outside your door and i do not want a truck to path through here unless you stop killing my kids and relating the air that we breathe and the water we drink. and in fact, because of the public, pulled together by the sierra club, funded by bloomberg philanthropies and others, they really have closed or announced the closing of over 200 out of the 500 power plants. that is the only big change. terre: so you are saying individuals can make a difference. michael: i think individuals have shown they are the only ones willing to make a difference. in the united states, closing 200 power plants literally saves about 7000 lives a year because the modeling says 13,000 people were dying from the effects of coal-fired power plants, the
pollutants in the air, so now down 6000 or 7000 instead of of 13,000. terre: which is good. michael: yeah going the right , direction. >> i believe that the key question for human beings is the capacity to take decisions. so you have to have choices. but what makes a man compared to , animals?he planet the fact is, a man can make a choice. and the man have awareness, the y are choosing. of course a dog can make a choice. he choose also, but not awareness. in our case, we can anticipate the future and make a choice. >> 95% more on this planet with this richness of flora, fauna, clean water and clean air, that is a huge part of what i need to -- what i enjoy about life. god says if we do not pass --
god save us if we do not pass that on to our kids either. >> let's say the human condition right now is like a baseball game. and if it was a baseball game, it would be the seventh inning, and we are down by two runs with two innings to go. it does not mean that we are beaten. we are way behind right now, we are behind the eighth ball. but we have not lost yet. we have time, if we hold the other team right where 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, but basically. now doing about half the things right and half the things wrong, but the conditions call 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 us with wisdom that looks beyond today's headlines. and we need to help those human beings who are displaced as the paradigm shifts. we have the knowledge to succeed and the ethical markers as well. now, do we have the will to act? that's a question for all of us. i am terre blair, and thank you for watching. ♪
john: i am john heilemann. mark: i am mark halperin. with all due respect to those conspiracy theorists who think hillary clinton has got a body double, don't be ridiculous. who would ever do that? john: thanks, guys. we will take it from here. ♪ john: welcome to this edition of the best of with all due respect. this past week was all about health, the health of the candidates and the health of the campaigns. let's take you back to where it all started. mark: democrats today are dealing with the fallout from a medical incident that forced hillary clinton to leave a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at ground zero here in gotham city earlier yesterda