tv Washington This Week CSPAN October 4, 2015 5:56am-7:01am EDT
country. we have a wonderful, storied agriculture here. >> we also visit the jack london state historic mark. once home to london, author of call of the wild and white fang. s> we are on jack london' beauty ranch, also known as the ranch of good intentions. this is where jack london lived until his death. havelondon probably would been writing longhand when somebody came into his office pretty was reproductive. two thirds of his writing was published after he moved here. books like white fang were published in 1906, a year after he bought his ranch property. the big housed was published while he was living here. jack london claimed he worked two hours a day writing. he would write a thousand words a day before breakfast. i think a lot of his time was
spent because he was trying to build the ranch of good intentions. that took a lot of his time. >> see all of our programs today at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3. tinsleyed admiral david is a retired meteorologist and expert in climatology. the penn state meteorology professor recently talked about the effects of climate change on security and public policy. this was hosted by westminster college in fulton missouri. it is an hour. >> what is that? what is that black thing with the numbers on it? it is a sextant. shat do you sextant for?
>> navigation. it is for shooting the stars. maybe the professors here remember. i doubt if anybody else does, there was a time in this world where do you did not just pull this thing up and it told you where you were within 10 meters on this planet. ship,ou went out on this this was my first ship, i got to be navigator, the coolest job in the navy. you got to tell the captain where to go. nobody else got to tell the captain were to go. there was no ppf, no satellite navigation. it hasn't changed much in hundreds of years. you shoot the stars and use a lot of landmarks. what you learn pretty quickly as navigator, otherwise you would end up being a walmart greeter, is that you look at all of the evidence. you look at everything. you don't lock on or use any one particular thing 100%. and thenat everything
you look at the gray matter stuck in between your ears. you say ok. this is where we are and this is where we are going. why do i tell you all of that? about 30 years after i had that cool job of driving that destroyer around and being navigator during the cold war, the head of the navy asked me to start and form the navy's task force on clever change. i don't know if there's anything to this climate change or not, but i have a bunch of people saying this is a big deal, especially in the arctic. i have another bunch of people saying not to worry about it, there is other stuff to do. you tell me. you are the oceanographer for the navy. you are supposed to be smart on this weather stuff. figure it out. let me know what we are supposed to do. i had about two weeks between the time i was told you are going to washington and doing this to go up there.
to the pentagon. do wasused that time to to take a look at evidence. as john mentioned. a background is actually has meteorologist. as a meteorologist, we know, especially back when i started doing this over 40 -- well, just say over 40 years ago. it was a long time ago! getting a three-day forecast right was nontrivial. and yes, i know the jokes are it still is nontrivial today. but it was really hard and you would see how the computer models could be really wrong really quickly and you are seeing variations of 20, 30 degrees and seeing the computer models are kind of garbage after two days. so i was like a lot of meteorologists in the 1970's, 1980's, even 1990's saying look, how can you tell anything really?
it wasn't that i had any particular political belief on this, but from a science point. you i was not convinced that we could really do this. so fast-forward to 2009 and i was told hey, this is going to be your job but tell me if there is something here. so what i said was let's put aside all my preconceived notions as best i can. i'm human and we all that biases and stuff. but let's put that aside and see what is out there. here are a few examples of the stuff i looked at. the top left was air temperatures. this is globally averaged. i know theories a little bit areou are all graph -- you graphs but itmall basically starts from the 1880's by decade. just every 10 years take a look
at the temperatures and that goes up to about 2010. the arctic ice on the top right, ice is how much i -- left in the late summer, actually within a week of today is actually the minimum amount of ice that you see in the arctic ocean. that was a plot and you can see in the last 30, 40 years how it's coming down. but maybe you say well, you know, maybe the temperature record is screwed up. maybe it's because we've been building cities, more people, it's not really reflecting what is really going on. you might have heard that. some people say that. so the left one is really kind of interesting. in norfolk, virginia, right on the coast on the virginia-north carolina border just north of there, this is actually a neighborhood in norfolk called the hague and this is how many hours they're underwater per year. and again, the numbers themselves are kind of hard to see. the graph starts in like 1920 and they had a few hours. it's pretty low line. they had a few hours back then, but you can kind of see where that graph is going. what does that tell me? either the land is going down or the seas are coming up. on the right is a big insurance company, munich reinsurance and
their only deal in this is they want to stay in business. so if you are a big insurance company the way you stay in business is you've got to get the risk right because the risk tells you how much you charge for the premiums, right? so they go figure out and again, the -- the colors don't mean that much to us right now, but the red stuff, the red stuff is like earthquakes and volcanos and tsunamis. and i would argue at least for that 50 years or so there is not much change. there is year to year up and down but if you look at the very bottom of that, the red stuff is pretty much flat. all the other stuff is weather and climate. and that's coming up. this isn't how many dollars or something. this is just how many big events do we have? so there's all my evidence. if i go back to being a navigator, it's like, whoops,
sorry -- the evidence to me said yeah, i really need to pay attention to this and that's what we told the navy and the navy then said fine, we're going to do this task force on climate change. that's kind of how it went and i'll tell you, until i really looked at this stuff, this was about a decade ago give or take, you know, i kind of thought, oh, this is a political thing, this is a this, this is a that. but when you looked at the evidence, you say ok, this is real. i'll talk in a couple slides here that not only is this real but when you dig into the science, the science has actually been known for a long, long time. it's kind of weird in that regard. there hadn't been the big oh, my god, we figured out something different. we actually figured the science out in the late 1800's, the 19th century and we've been refining it ever since. but the basic science is still
there. actual le let me stop here. any questions on the evidence and sort of how i approach that? any questions on was this all that it took? questions about weather? anything on that? sir? please use the mike so -- so everybody can hear. >> yeah, i was just wondering, i was curious. let's define catastrophe for the insurance company. >> the question is what is it a catastrophe on that? i think for munich re it was a magnitude of either the heat or the flooding. on the volcanos, they're pretty easy to measure and tsunamis and earthquakes, once you get above a certain magnitude. so it was much more of the threshold of a physical event as opposed to we had this huge
earthquake but it was in the middle of a place where nobody lives so therefore doesn't count. they're saying no, we just count everything. that's kind of how they did it. yeah, sir? >> thank you for being here, first of all. some people don't believe in climate change because there is no agnostic evidence, like we don't have data from the 1700's. so how do you reply? admiral titley: so the question of is there really enough evidence. it's kind of interesting, one of my colleagues at penn state is a professor, mike mann and he does something called paleoclimate. he tries to go back before temperature records and using things like corals, tree rings,
basically, let's see, what else does he do? he does a lot with the tree rings and the corals. you can drill into the ice cores and that did -- can get you back about a half million years and you look at things like what kind of pollens get blown around. so using all those kinds of records, and you got to be careful and calibrate them and understand adjust because you see something in a greenland ice core, was that global or local? but doing all the hard details of the science allows us to extend these records back several thousand years. you may or may not have heard of something called the hockey stick. it basically shows that for the last 1,000 years temperatures have been doing this and in the last 50 they're going up like so. so is gets a hockey stick shape to it.
so yeah, when you sort of peel the next layer down from like the modern-day record, you can use what they call the paleorecord and that evidence is still consistent with a long period of climate instability and now quite rapid change. yes? >> when the navy asked you to form this task force on climate change and look into it, they were looking at this from the perspective of a national security concern that the navy might be involved in. i was wondering, were they thinking about climate change as something that would have an impact on how the navy operated? or were they thinking about it perhaps also about how climate change would exacerbate conflict in the world in many ways? and therefore basically require
the navy to act? did they have an over-arching sense that climate change could be a situation which exacerbated tensions between nations in many, many ways? or were they thinking about it in a more local, tactical way that climate change could he -- affect the way the navy operated in, say, the arctic or something like that? admiral titley: ok. that's a really interesting question. i'll tell you, back when i was asked to do this, the full story is i was rung the navy's weather -- i was running the navy's weather and operational forecasting business. it's down in mississippi. minding my own business and i get the wall -- call from the head of the navy and my assistant, you get a lieutenant who is the assistant and she basically said, sir, it's -- we call him the chief of naval operations. it's like the head dude. she's like, why is this guy calling my boss? what would you be thinking if
all of a sudden the president of the university is, like, calling one of you guys? what did i do wrong, right? that's the first thought. then the second thought is i don't know how exactly it would work here but usually if it's number one guy calling, that's usually ok. if it's the number two guy, the deputy or the provost or the executive vice president, they're usually the guys and gals that get to say, you're not doing so good here, we're going to make a change. so the number one guy. so that's ok. it was basically to your point, it was about the arctic. specifically the navy when they asked me to go up, they wanted me to form basically an arctic task force and what i did in those sort of two weeks that i had between going up and having to tell the navy what we're going to do is i was able to show enough evidence to say bosses, the arctic is one area we need to look at because this is one of the nearest-term big
events going on and it has very serious potential effects on the way the navy operates. the last time we found a new ocean, it was because of columbus. but i also says that this is really just a harbinger of things to come and that the arctic is really the leading edge of this climate issue which is going to affect the military, not just the u.s. navy but the military in many ways. and i didn't say exactly how. there had been concurrently to me a think thank called c.n.a. used to be center for naval analysis but now they're just s.n.a., i'm not allowed to center for naval analysis any more. i don't know why not. but they had a board, retired three and four-stars and about
the same time i was going up to the pentagon, they came out with an independent report and basically said that climate change was going to be, their terms with a threat multiplier. if any of remember the old b.a.s.f. commercials, robert: "we don't make things, we make things better?" climate change is kind of the opposite. we don't make stuff, we make stuff worse. it takes an existing threat and makes it more challenging. we saw that play out in the arab spring and are seeing it play out now in the fertile crescent. there is a whole story linking this and the link is not anywhere as simple as we had climate, it changed, now we have isis and a massive refugee problem in europe. but it's like a chain of owe --
events, one leads to another and another and if you break a link in the chain you no longer with -- have a really bad outcome. climate is just one of the linkse -- links in the chain. you could argue if you didn't have president assad, you wopt have -- wouldn't have had to deal with some of the challenges they have. they may not have had to try to become self-susht in the 1970's. you know, everybody grow your own food. sounds good but if you don't have enough water, what snaps you use all -- up all the ground water. that's ok until you get a really bad drought, which they had and now they have a really bad problem with the ground water and then the iraq war, that was a big issue and now you have the farmers that can't grow anything because they've used all the water and it is hotter and dryer -- drier and now there is no
plan b. or c. or d. so they've gone into the cities and the whole place collapses and it's run by this guy, assad, not who you want for your president. you take all those things together and i end up with a really, really horrific situation in the middle east. climate is one of those contributing factors and i say this because i kind of cringe when i see the headline "climate change caused isis," but climate was one of the contributing factors. we've got a really bad drought in california, arguably the worst in 100 years but we don't have ice nic california. -- we don't have isis in california. and that's because we have governance, we have safety nets, you know, we have ways to mitigated this at least for now. whereas syria did not.
so i hope that answers that, john. so yeah, we started off kind of be narrow. i tried to broaden the scope of what our task force could look at and i mean, i won't -- i've kind of talked about some of these things. let me step it down to be a little bit more -- i'm not going to talk about that one. i'll talk about this. this is a graph -- actually i didn't have the colors on it and we all know on powerpoint, right, if it's a color, it must be true? you guys aren't in the sciences. in science, somebody shows me a color graph, ok, yeah, it's great. but this is actually very simple and i use aid graph like this to brief the heads of the world's navies in newport, rhode island, a couple falls ago and it really doesn't have a whole lot of things saying climate on it. it's getting down to the don't tell me the temperatures are
rising by two or three degrees or the ecosystems are changing, tell me what it means to the military. this has kind of been -- i will apologize but not apologize -- it's kind of in military-ese. if you look down the far left column, the arctic is changing. we mentioned that. the ice is coming out at a astounding rate. most people believe, and i mean i'm in this camp, that probably some time in the 2020's or early 2030's we'll start seeing several weeks each year in which there is basically no sea ice in the arctic. which is an amazing trend that's happened literally in your lifetime. even 10, 15 years ago, people thought that would take a century or a couple centuries to happen and rather than taking centuries it's taking a few decades. it's happening much, much
faster. we can talk about all the implications that means to a navy. the bases and disaster relief, a lot of people talk about, you know, you see a big typhoon in the pacific, we send in ships, troops and supplies, it's called humanitarian and disaster relief, we have to have app acronym so it's a.d.d.r.. i have that in green. honestly, certainly western militaries, the japanese, the chinese military are getting better at this and a lot of militaries can keep doing this pretty easily. if you keep doing it enough and enough and enough you will get a capacity issue but it's pretty easy to do. the impacts to bases, droughts, sea levels, forest fires, those are coming up in the longer term. i have sort of got that yellow color on there.
but at least for the bases it's probably still a few decades out until we really see the big effects. but the things i've got in the yellow to orange -- the arctic is changing very fast, as a mentioned and even just in the last year you now have russia that has certainly built up their capabilities but their intentions are frankly much harder to understand. there is a lot of very bellicose rhetoric coming out of russia. how much of that is for internal consumption and how much for other things, how much is like hey, we mean it? i'm of the view that you can't just discount this entirely because, you know, little pop quiz, what is the nation that just went and invaded a sovereign, independent european nation? oh, yeah, that would be russia. so you can't just sort of like ignore all the bombastic rhetoric because they have
invaded places. recently. the arctic is kind of a wild card. then these security threats we talked about like the arab spring, like syria, that stuff is happening right now. ok. any questions on this? yeah? [inaudible question] admiral titley: so the question was, has the navy done anything in response to this analysis? the navy has a couple of things out, and now the department of defense, who of course the department of defense is part of, there is actually a fair amount of high-level documentation. there are strategic plans, road maps as far as what to do.
i would say on the disaster relief we've got that covered. the bases, they're certainly thinking through what the bases are going to do and as you recapitalize infrastructure, how it soou held it -- build it either needs less fresh water, it can have its own power supply, it can be more resilient? you understand where the critical dependencies are. if it's near the ocean, you know, you are almost always like part of a town. it does you no good to, like, armor up, put hard levees around a base if all your work force lives in the town and all you are doing is shock of the -- shunting the water out of your base and into their kitchen. you're not going to have a workforce. so down in nor foulke, virginia, there is a fight -- norfolk, virginia, there say pilot program to try it put all the pieces together, actually fund by the white house, and when you
add it up there are like 36 different agencies and they have to play nice together because, sorry for the cliche, they're all going to sink or swim together down there and they have at least realized they can't have their own individual solutions. but geostrategic risk is something i think the department of defense really needs to think about. there is good work on, as i said, on the bases and on infrastructure. i think they need to think, continue to think seriously about these geostrategic risks. to me theories the scariest ones. they will probably paradoxically look least like the climate issues but they could have the biggest threats. yes? >> you're talking about how flooding is going to be a big issue for some of these smaller towns. what about more heavily populated areas like new york, houston, new orleans, what are the plans in place for those
bigger areas? admiral titley: i understand st. louis is a nice place to live. it is going to be, as we continue through the 21st century and certainly into the 22nd century this is going to be a huge issue. you will see like in the science literature there is a lot of debate about how much sea level rise we're going to get to the year 2100. there is something called the intergovernmental panel on climate change. they're actually very conservative. talking about roughly two feet-ish in there. a climate assessment said somewhere between six and -- six inches and seven feet. my response is, well, my mother could tell me that. as we keep going, the consensus is becoming more and more like, about three feet.
but the thing which i think a lot of people are missing is the oceans are not going to, or the ice is not going to stop melting in the year 2100. the ice doesn't know it's 2100 and that's as far as our projections go. in fact it keeps accelerating. long-term, i will honestly be dead by the time this is an issue. you ladies and against the who -- and gentlemen who are students now will be at least my age or a little older when this is really becoming an issue but your children, no kidding, are going to have a massive issue on this. you know how much money we spent redoing the levees around new orleans after katrina? $14.6 billion. $14.6. you know how much money we have put into miami or new york or houston since then? basically nothing. so great.
katrina became the poster child for a little while. we dumped a ton of money into there. and we've got a system which now, in fact i was just doing some research on this a few weeks ago, in about two or three decades that levee system is not going to be big enough to deal with the sea level rise so they're going to ask for another 10 or 20 billion. you've got houston, tampa, miami, not to mention jacksonville, norfolk. oh, sandy, yeah, that was $60 billion right there. so this is going to be that sea level one over time, is going to be the dominant issue over time but it's going to take time to get there. nearer term, the security threats in the arctic are probably going to dominate this issue but you're right, i mean the -- the -- the sea level rise issue especially as we get into, late into the 21st century and the
22nd century, unless we get really serious about carbon mitigation, basically getting off carbon fuels like now, this is what is going to happen and i tell people, you know, the ice doesn't caucus with the democrats or the republicans, it doesn't watch msnbc or fox or c-span. but the ice just melts. it doesn't care about our politics and it's just melting and that's going on. so ma'am, you had a question? then sir. oh, sir, go on. sorry. and if i could get you to -- yeah, the microphone there, please. >> so i was wondering if the united states has any particular special interest in the arctic besides security threats from russia? i don't know why we would be investing so much money in building boats or other things that could handle that kind of caft of ice when we do have kind of impending threats at home.
admiral titley: it's a great question. so why should we care about the arctic? is that a fair paraphrase? given that we have a lot of other issues. i would say up to now you have accurately summarized u.s. policy in the arctic. we do some nice science up there. we're recognized as a science powerhouse in the arctic but we really haven't done any infrastructure. i don't know if any of you ladies are done -- leading -- or just -- gents have been up in the arctic. there's just not much up there, even today. the issues shall shall are going to be that the shipping routes really will be moving up there. not today, not tomorrow, but they will be moving up there. the shipping routes as i'm sure everybody knows here, they're the warehouses of the world. we don't have warehouses any more, we have a bunch of container ships.
our economy shuts down if those ships and shipping routes don't keep going. that will effect not only people in the ports but everybody who makes stuff or wants to sell stuff, including farmers in the midwest. so the shipping routes are one. you could argue whether we should or should not be looking for fossil fuels. but if we continue looking, the arctic is one of the places where is there is still a lot. you could, again. make some very credible arguments that the risks are extremely high in the arctic, the costs are high. but we're going to have to see. you know, what are the alternatives? weekend -- and we need to get serious, i would argue personally we need to get serious about that. there are certainly other minerals up there. we see tourism going up there.
tourism is a big driver in economies writ large. we see much-increased tourism going up there and the other part is it's sovereign u.s. territory. i think you did mention the security of heart of it, -- it, but likeart of we don't just say, you know, the coast guard is kind of out of money so we're just going to let florida go to anybody who wants to have it. why would we say the same to arctic? here's a question -- who is coming here tomorrow? secretary johnson, right? ask him this question. why would you spend, sir -- you can say sir -- all these billions of dollars to harden our borders in the lower 48 when basically you don't have a clue what's going on up in alaska. anybody could walk into alaska, get themselves an airline ticket with a made-up driver's license and you could fly out of prudhoe bay and you're in the u.s. boom. it's like the maginot wall, you have just gone around it.
so those are issues in the u.s. arctic this. picture i have up here, it sort of looks like something that came out of episode two of "star wars." it did not. this is an island called svalbard. anybody know where it is? it is to the northeast of greenland. it is norwegian kind of territory. there is something called the treaty of svalbard that came out of world war i that says it's basically norwegian but anybody else that signs this treaty can be there as well. it's very ill defined. we don't really know who controls the water around it. the norwegians think they do, but we're not sure. and we've got a whole bunch of
communications and electronic satellites that go around the earth in polar orbits. svalbard is so close you can basically control all of those every time it goes up there. that's what it does. they've got good workforce. the internet is better there than it does at my house. and it is a place where you can really do space control. think of everything that runs off of space. this is up in the arctic here. the other part that, you know, for anybody, do we have any like international affairs students here? political scientists? so nato, right? we all know about nato. norway is part of nato, right? and what's article 5? you raised your hand.
i'm going to ask you. oh who else can tell me what article 5 is? exactly. it's an attack on one is an attack on all. i'm paraphrasing but that's basically it. so you have this island up here, not totally defined much the norwegians, valued member of nato, really think it's theirs. the russians actually have a settlement up here and the russians go and poke the norwegians pretty hard. they found out that the russian who we have sanctions against was there. how did we find out? through the media the do you think the deputy prime minister of russia just accidentally ended up there? no, it was a message. the russians, this is what they do. they poke and find weaknesses and look for splits and seams in the alliance. so here is something going on in
the arctic. increased human activity of strategic space and now it's kind of ground zero in the russia versus europe kind of pushing and shoving matches that are going on. everybody says the russians wouldn't be that dumb. we wouldn't be that dumb. you know, that's what we all said before world war i, right? nobody would be that dumb to get into something like that. and we did. so one thing i've learned in the navy is never underestimate the power of people to make miscalculations. sir? >> i'm sorry. i'm kind of diverting the conversation somewhere else now but knowing very well from your study and i think from what i've heard, we clearly understand the direction in which our climate is heading. i think it was yesterday when i heard a statement that was made and it said if insects were to
die tomorrow, life on earth would cease to exist within several years. if humans were to die off tomorrow, life on earth would flourish in several years. so my question is how do we as human beings, can we reverse our climate or can we only slow down what seems to be the inevitable? continued -- and thank you, continued thank you for coming. >> ok. it's a great question and the answer is yes, we can if we want to. if we decide we have the will. and that's, you know, i mean that's the great question. will we have the will? sometimes we have seen than people actually are collectively pretty smart and we do some pretty smart things. but unfortunately we also have seen where people sometimes are collectively not so smart. i wrote an op-ed in "science"
last summer. i called it "ghosts of the past," and i actually related our lack of action on climate change to how the european powers got themselves into world war i which everybody said couldn't happen and all this. but there was a tremendous amount of hubris and ignoring the risked and we ended up with an awful situation. so we'll talk about -- i brought this slide up because it sort of gets to my, well, what can we do. first, if you want to go viral on the internet, what do you need? cute cats. i don't have any cute cats, sorry, but i do have a cute llama. i will use l.l.m.a. just the basics. there is something that the american association of advancement for science put out called what we know about climate and it's like 16 pages and it's got a lot of figures -- figures in it.
it's written i think the grade 11 or grade 12 level and i'll tell you, if people read that you would know everything the general public needs to know about climate change. you would know for -- more than 95% of the people. if that's not good enough, the national society and royal society put out a 30-page memo and now you're up to the higher percentile of no. it's not like, oh, my god, i've got to be michael mann. it's sort of like the time you would spend on two commutes, you can read enough to have a sufficient citizen working knowledge of climates. i'm not trying to troll for people to get masters in science at penn state or anything. the second l. is basically local action. local action is what can you do? i'll just give a little story. we moved from washington, d.c. to penn state.
obviously got a budget like everybody else does when you go buy a house and our kind of choices were we could have a really big, nice house that was six or seven miles away from the university and i drive every day or we could have a smaller, somewhat older house but it was within walking distance of my office and that's what we chose. and being able as time and finances have allowed, we've upgraded the windows. it was the pennsylvania rural style of architecture, i call it, which means no insulation. we put insulation in, that really helps. i don't know that i can get solar on it. i think i'd have to knock a neighbor's house down and they don't seem happy about that. i would have much better southern exposure but they seem to be grumpy about that. so we may not do that. but there are things you can do
when you buy your next car. think about the gas mileage. i'm not saying you have to just have a bicycle and get rid of whatever. if you are working on a farm, you probably need a pickup. that's fair. but if you will you are doing is taking your kids to the hockey game or the soccer game and you are in jacksonville, florida, where it never snows, maybe you don't need a pickup or big s.u.v., maybe you can have something that gets 35 or 45 s to the gallon. so this is not live in a cave and wear a hair shirt or anything. but what can you do? there is a ton of stuff. in rough terms i think we as americans, we all, we waste about a third of our energy, a third of our food, a third of our water roughly. so, you know, i just try to think of, ok, what little things can i do that sort of knock that down?
am i perfect? no way. i would be the last person to say i'm perfect but we try to work on that. so there is local action you can do. the m i realize say little geeky. it's for my science friends. we don't do a good enough job of monitoring the earth to really understand in a consistent, time series way to know how things are changing the so the m is monitoring and that's just really supporting nasa and noaa in their missions because they get beat up by the congress a lot. and the a is advocacy. the way i look at this, whenever you, and i use the broad "you," have an opportunity to engage with elected officials really at any level from frl on down, my question is, sir or ma'am, what are you doing to stabilize the climate? that's not do you support revenue neutral carbon tax, do you support cap and trade.
it's like dating 101, don't ask a yes or no question. it's an open-ended question. you might get a thoughtful answer. but even if you do not get a thoughtful answer, what you get is somewhere in the back of that politician's brain it's registered that ok, you actually cared enough to ask about this. and if enough of us do, congress probably won't lead on this issue, but they can be led. they will follow the voters because they want to get re-elected. right now, i hate to say it, but this issue just doesn't register that much. there's a few people that are really committed, a few that think it's all -- all b-you know what. and rest, it's like watching the dishpan slosh around, it's
really thin and kind of depends. we need to have enough advocacy to say yeah, this is important, especially in places where you have a politician who is like on the center or even better yet, center right so that they feel, he or she feels i'm not going to get fired by the voters if i stick my hand up and say you know, maybe we need to look at this thing. there was a congressman in upstate south carolina and in 2010, he basically said -- and he's a hard-core conservative, can quote the bible with the best of them, all that stuff, but he said you know, maybe they're not crazy, these science guys. maybe we should at least figure out what it is they're saying the and basically the voters gave him a blindfold and cigarette and shot him in the next primary. so now he's a climate hero but he's a climate hero who is out of a job. at least out of congress. all the other people on the center right said i don't want
to be bob english. that wasn't any fun. so we are the ones who are going to ultimately provide that advocacy. we know intellectually this is super, super important for the long term. if we ignore it today, tomorrow, yeah, ok, but it's super-super important but it's going to be for us ultimately and our system of government to give the congress enough top cover so that they can take those votes and not get fired by their electorate. so that's my way more than two cents' worth but hope that answers that. yes, ma'am? [inaudible question]
>> hi, i was just answering what governmental policies you were first like to see from the united states? admiral titley: the first thing to know is i probably couldn't even get ected as dog catcher so it's not going to matter what that is. i would at least explore and i don't do -- i don't do the detalede policies so i probably should not like not even say anything, but i will. i would explore some of the ideas that places or organizations like citizens climate lobby has of the so-called revenue neutral carbon tax and if you really construct it so that it's revenue neutral, can you convince folks who think their -- already that our government is too big already or certainly shouldn't be bigger, that that money goes back to people who really do need help with their energy? but you at the same time probably remove subsidies for renewables but at the same time remove subsidies for fossil fuels and there are big-time subsidies for fossil fuels and for oil. and you price, have some sort of
fair price for the kind of damage that the car bopp -- carbon pollution is doing. so we're sort of dumping the trash. you see like the monty python movies of medieval times or whatever, people just dumping the trash out their doorstep. that's kind of what we've been doing. we haven't been pick up the trash for 150 years. every man, woman, and child in america every day generates about 120 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution. when you average it all out, that's the kind of number. so you know, that's a lot and we haven't done anything with the trash. we don't dispose of it. it's just out there.
we can't see it, we can't touch it, so we don't really see it that way but it's a lot and it does, it has been harming the ecosystems and again why do i care about the ecosystems? because ultimately people depend on that. somebody brat -- brought that up. you know, if the bugs go away, that's bad. if it's just people that go away, maybe not quite so bad. unless you're a person. so that's, there is real harm to the things that sustain us. fresh water. the ability to have productive agriculture. the ability to have our cities and our centers of commerce in places that we know are not going to get totally flooded out by the ocean. all those things. so i'm actually writing something right now, hopefully it will be published next week, that says, you know, we're paying a carbon tax today. $14.6 billion in levees, that $60 million for sandy, that's a carbon tax today.
so the question is, are we going to pay a carbon tax that we vote on or just keep paying the taxes when the bad things happen, after the fact. we're not going to walk away from new york, from los angeles, from napa, california, which is just north of there or new orleans or pick your place. miami. we're going to pay. we're going to pay. so we can either decide how we're going to pay or we can just be told how to pay after the fact. but i would start with that. it may not be the best policy, but i would start the discussion with that. sir? and then we'll go -- >> sir, my question to you is
you mentioned about reducing fossil fuel consumption or reducing co2 levels. my question is do we have a viable alternative? because other than using fossil fuels for oil consumption, we also use it for plastics and other things. is there a way to have a viable alternative? admiral titley: let me see, do i have that slide in this deck or the next one? it will be the next one. what i think we look at on there is a couple things. one, despite kind of what we've been doing, a lot of. renewables are starting to become competitive just on price. now again, how much of that is subsidies, but then the fossil guys have subsidies and it's really hard to disentangle all of that. but sort of by themselves they're getting close. i would -- maybe this gets back to your question, ma'am, you know, if i were king for a day, which i will never be, but if you look at how the u.s. over the last 50 or 60 years when we have a problem and we all say we
have a problem, we tend to invest our research and development pretty heavily to try and fix that problem. so there say graph and i'm afraid i just don't have it in this deck but it's maintained by the american association nor -- for the advancement of science and it's the nondefense research and development. i know this sounds really geeky, wonky, all that stuff but it's, what it is, it's color coded and you can see almost to the year, to the day, when president kennedy said we're going to go to the moon. you watch the u.s. investment in space go like this and then like this. you could stull -- actually see in the 1973 oil shock that believe it orn, we put a lot more money into investing in energy. but then it all kind of went
away. so we have a lot of rhetoric in the president's second term. we had -- have the congress who hasn't bought into this by and large. but when you look at the money, when you look at the budgets on research and development, we really haven't done much. we've gown -- done a little but nothing that sort of aligns to what this country has bun -- done in the past when we say we've got a problem or we have to fix something and i think that's going to be another way to drive the cost down. we've seen this time and time again. you know, if you invest heavily by and large you can drive these costs down and you can get probably solutions that we're not even thinking of. the military has bun -- done this time and time again. we all note stories. g.p.s., trancistors, all the stuff but we're not going to do that at $300 million a year. we're just not going to get there. who else? yeah, go ahead. time for the bonus rounds here. >> so i found it interesting
that we were talking about how climate chain creates a lot of conflicts globally when it is inherently a global phenomenon. app issue that affects everyone on earth. so i think it's kind of hard, for me to say but i'm thinking there should be more of a synergistic attitude toward climate change. it's great to suck -- talk about policies we can take on in this cli -- country and get the public law that can reduce a little bit in the house and these are all great but i feel like this is such a global crisis that we need to be you can -- to be talking to other countries as well. what kinds of policies or stands should we be tampa baying? i know we have those global conferences on climate change but those are rather ineffective. i don't know if you have any other suggestions or how can we really unite countries to fight this issue?
admiral titley: you're absolutely right. when you take a look at where the carbon pollution is coming, and we're not, we're number two. we're the largest capital but overall china has surpassed us. this is something, and i don't have as much evidence for this but it is a belief that america can still lead the world in many, many things, and the world in large cases does still look to american leadership. so yeah, i was talking about, you know, whether we invest and all the way down to small-scale actions and getting enough support in congress so we look like we kind of have a unified position to the outside world. it's like oh, they're serious now. that, think then puts our negotiators and our senior politicians in a much, much stronger position to say ok,
this is what we're doing and we're serious. you know, we share the technology. that would be something we could do. how would you, if you want to set, like a big, hairy goal, it's like how let's say by the year 2100, 2110, would we assure not carbon-based power to every single person on this planet at least at the level of what an average european has today? maybe can you do that? can you not do that? not go build a bump of coal-fired things but how do you figure out, how do you store that energy, mow -- how do you move that energy? those are places we have invest i think it starts at home, it's credibility.
otherwise it's talk, talk, talk but you guys aren't doing anything. once you have that i would use american leadership. maybe that sounds corny, but i do believe america can still lead, but we've got to have credibility to do that. we can't be the laggard and tell everybody else that they should be fixing this problem. how are we doing? ok. any -- one last question? any last questions? sir? >> i appreciated mason fox's question because that brings us back to something i wanted to ask a number of minutes ago, and that is, it seems to me that climate change is a scientific problem, political problem, economic problem, to me it's also a moral problem. it's a moral problem for the following reason. if boston or miami or houston face rising sea levels, we have the technology and the money to respond. just as my adopted country of the netherlands had technology and had money to respond and so my house in the netherlands was 18 feet below sea level but i was not fearing for my life.
a number of countries around the world that are going to be severely threatened, i think, by rising sea levels have neering the technology nor the money to -- neither the technology nor the money to resist or it bangladesh --. bangladesh and the maldives would be just two examples. coy -- so i would appreciate your comment n on the moral demonstration -- demefpks -- them in tension of why mccain. >> it's a wonderful comment. one reason i put this slide up, have i intentionally is that we have seen in the last couple of years more and more different groups from their perspective -- groups, from their perspective, including the moral perspective, i work with this group calmed catholic climate covenant, a lay person, is super guy runs this. the pope obviously had his en --
encyclical come out. i was actually down there on a panel about that -- but this is why it's a moral issue if you are a follower of catholic teachings. same with the evangelicals. i'm doing a panel with some jewish organizations in philadelphia here in about two months. so what i've seen and that moral or religious component. let's say that's the 12:00. you can sort of go around here. the insurance guys for insurance reasons are doing it. another moral component. it's a kooky symbol i use but the divestment of fossil fuels from universities. you know, harvard did that. the president of harvard. my personal opinion, it was pretty condescending to the
people who started that. she said, don't worry, children, we know what we're doing. fortunately the students said no, i don't think you do, ma'am. they're going to keep pushing on that. the health aspect. i talk about the security aspect. chasing ice, go watch "chasing ice," it's pretty impressive. and yes i do have my polar bear floating out on the ice because in all fairness the environmental movement has been talking about this for decades. hank paulson, risky business. we've got to know the price. got to know this. i think it's very useful to have all these coming to talk to their stakeholders with credibility, but they're all coming to the same answer, we have to deal with this.
long-term we have to get ourselves off carbon because otherwise the consequences -- i think i was saying at lunch, the earth will be fine but the ecosystems may not make it. but we'll make it. ok. is this it? all right. thank you very much. i appreciate it. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [indiscernible] >> next, live, your calls and comment on "washington journal". then newsmakers with ellie
angle. after that they hope -- house oversight committee hearing. >> tonight on q&a, national law journal -- supreme ft. worth bonded -- correspondent tony return --his report supreme court new term. court dealt with it. court said that he probably deserved some money of the remedy that commerce has authorityoes beyond authoritys
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ek's house republican leadership elections. and, angela stent discusses russian president vladimir putin's authorization of a military campaign in syria. "washington journal" is next. ♪ host: good morning. president obama traveling to maryland later this morning to deliver remarks at the national fallen firefighters memorial service. it will take place on the cap is about st. mary's university come about an hours drive from washington, d.c. meanwhile, here in the nation's capital, the race to succeed john boehner is on, now with two candidates. the house gop conference right now is scheduled to vote on thursday. it is sunday morning, october the fourth. we will type but syria,