tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg March 10, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
he served as ceo of british petroleum. he also has a new book which is called "seven elements that changed the world." i am pleased to have him back at this table. good to see you. when i first picked up this book, i thought here is another book about an informed thinker writing about what doctors were affecting geopolitical decisions in the world. this is about real elements. >> it starts with a scientific theme but then moves through economics, politics and human behavior. >> you removed moved by a lecture by sir william bragg. >> my late father gave me a wartime book and said read this, you may understand something. it was about the elements. i read it and became a scientist
and then an engineer. >> what about the story you tell through the seven elements? >> all the elements do good things and bad things. people focus on the bad things but it is worth reminding people of the good and bad converted to the good with great regulation, laws, and purpose. >> i want to spend some time on one of these elements. i want to talk about carbon. [laughter] tell me where we are in terms of your own assessment. >> we are not going to run out of hydrocarbons. we will see it forever. we have enough coal, oil, and gas to do almost anything we want.
every time we think we are running out, we find more. peak oil is not something people talk about. the question is what do we do with it? i am a firm believer that we have to figure out a way of replacing over time the burning of heavy carbon with lighter carbon like gas. >> putting a price on carbon? >> making gas cheaper. we put a price on carbon. we build renewable energy. it is doing amazingly well. it is producing more electricity in the world than nuclear power. >> more? but is it yet becoming cost-effective? >> not everywhere. some places, yes. where the sun shines -- but it is getting cheaper every year. that is the important thing.
solar has come down by 50% in price over the last five years. >> is it likely there could be more technological developments that will enable us to harness the sun and wind? >> there is no doubt. every time someone says we are at the end of technology, they are very embarrassed because something happens with human ingenuity to make it better and better. i am confident we will do that. >> fracking and gas have made america face the potential of being energy free, correct? >> partly. north america being energy independent. >> if you look at china and look at other regions of the world, they have more than we do so that will happen to them also? >> maybe. it is unproven but i will expect
them to find more resources of hydrocarbon within their borders so that will help them for the future. >> do you have any problem with fracking? >> i think it is a very good thing. it will be done properly, good regulation, transparency about what is going on. it is well proven it could be done. >> there is opposition, as you know. including al gore. >> it has been done badly in some cases. the predominant amount of activity has been done very well. it hasn't affected the environment, it hasn't released methane. we have to get rid of the bad to reinforce the good. that is done by having great regulations enforced and having good people doing it. >> what do you think about the keystone pipe? >> it is a good thing because it will stop the movement of oil through less secure means. i know people are very concerned about burning oil but they
should be more concerned about burning gas. they should be very concerned about all of it. we have to burn these things very efficiently. >> what does this mean about opec's power? >> not a lot. these are the nations that are solely dependent on the price of oil. many of them are and they will act when it is too weak. they can do that. they haven't had to do it recently because the price of oil has been going up pretty steadily. the cost of producing the oil is actually going up so people need to make -- >> you expect that to continue at what point? >> it will hover around -- it is difficult to say with the price of oil is. i have spent 45 years avoiding it. i think it will hover around
this level. i think you do that. the important thing in oil companies and gas companies is that it is not just the price of the product, it is the cost of getting it out. >> productivity can change that. >> it takes time. >> technology can change that. >> right now, the margin is constant because the cost extraction goes up with the price. >> if you believe that alternative fuels are coming on stream faster than we expected -- although we thought it might happen some while ago and it didn't occur in terms of the price. it would seem to me that if more alternative fuels play a part in the energy equation, the price of oil would decline. >> it might. it depends on whether the actual supply on the market exceeds
perceived demand. that is where opec comes in. people think the price might -- correct. when people think the price might go down, investment starts getting curtailed. it is automatically adjusted. >> oil is and has always been a political element. >> always. >> now you have russia. is europe at the mercy of russia and is there anything they could do about it? >> europe, if you put in those terms, has always been at the mercy of russia. natural gas has come out of russia for many years. that gas has been supplied without interruption, except georgia and ukraine. for the bulk of europe, it is common and been vital for european interests and there are plenty of different ways that gas comes in. some through ukraine, but the
majority from other places. it has always been a partner of russia if you will. the world has been a partner of russia in the oil business. they are still a very big producer of oil. it is in the club of 3 -- united states, saudi arabia, and russia. >> what should the united states do in terms of government to the development of alternative fuels? >> they need to make sure to incentivize development to get the cost down. it is very good that governments incentivize. they have done that in all sorts of energy, but that technology is incentivized, the price goes down and so should the support of government. it should do that. it should continue to do that
and the u.s. has done this quite well. it has been one of the biggest growth areas for renewable energy. >> what other countries are showing the remarkable development projects for alternative sources? >> china is doing a lot. it has been doing a tremendous amount of development. not as sophisticated as the united states when it comes to technology. the united states' technology is much better. >> but they have more money to invest. >> they do, indeed. europe has done pretty well too. >> this hemisphere, if managed well, has a strong economic future. >> that is right. it has abundant energy resources. it is quite remarkable what is here and what could be developed. therefore, what it could do. gas in particular is not part of the world market. as gas competes, it reduces the
cost of manufacturing. it incentivizes people to make different chemicals. it is an extraordinary thing which is happening to the united states economy and i would expect it would spread over a lot of this hemisphere. >> you built bp into the second biggest oil company in the world, correct? >> that's right. >> you were the first major oil company executive to publicly takethe stand about the possibility of the impact of co2 in the air and global warming as a result? >> i was the first to take a public stand. >> you said, we don't have to have 100% all the evidence is in that humankind has contributed to global warming and co2 in the air. you said, if there is a potential of that we have to
move now, rather than later. that was the essence. >> it was taking out insurance against the possibility it didn't happen. the more likely it is to happen, the more we should spend on the insurance. everybody understands that. the question is one of -- in the order of priorities, things to be done in the economy, where does this sit? >> how late is the hour? >> it is always late but i think whatever can be done will moderate what the possible outcome. it is later than it should be. we should get on and do something but to say it is past the last chance -- >> are we destroying the planet? >> this is about climate change. if this occurs, it will change the planet.
>> is it already changing? >> it is too early to say. you could only tell in retrospect. i think we shouldn't be too alarmist and be too sure. >> what would cause you to be an alarmist? >> the patterns that consistently can occur. it looks like it can be explained. >> bp had huge problems and some of them came during your administration and after.
what are some of the lessons that happened off the coast of new orleans? >> difficult to say. that happened after my departure. >> you know all the people and you know the business. >> the things that went through my head were the deaths. and the managers that i knew looking at very complex problems. social, human problems with people dead and injured. the visible impact of huge amounts of pollution. a very complex engineering challenge of how to stop it. feeding itself again and again as we can see on tv every day. i think very complex. i think the studies of what happened seeing multiple causes for what happened. it is more complex than it first seems. >> do you think bp has been able
to repair the damage to its image? >> i think it takes time. you spend time building up goodwill and reputation into a reservoir -- it is like a tank and it empties very quickly. it takes time to build up again and demonstrate that you are good for your word and i believe bp is doing that. >> do you keep a diary? >> no, i keep a head. i never keep a diary in case someone else wants to read it. >> will you write your memoirs? >> i think i prefer to write looks on topics. i wrote this book on the seven elements which is a modern industrial memoir. i have written a book which is coming out in the middle of the year on being gay in business. i have another book after that. >> what is the message of being gay in business? >> we have a lot of unfinished business. it is still a very big issue.
>> would do if come out earlier? >> i come from a generation that thought it was a defect in yourself. you had to hide it from everybody because it would surely get in the way of anything you wanted to do. how wrong i was and i hope young people today think differently. unfortunately, i don't think everybody does. >> what are your ambitions now? you have lived happy life and you want to do more and this is what you want to a cop was before you die. >> i like to keep changing the agenda. i would like to add some thinking to the helpful debate and help people through some of the challenges that i saw. i think -- >> personal and having to do with the issues we are talking about. >> personal and business. i think time allows you to reflect on lessons with a bit more clearer eyes then you might've done when you were younger. >> one last question about the environmental issue. what is the most urgent thing
for the world to say to itself now? >> we are going to stop polluting the environment. we have to stop it. places like china are beginning to do that. >> it is unbearable. >> i think the population is rising up. it shows what happens when you leave it unattended. >> thank you for coming. >> a great pleasure. ♪ >> annette benning is here. we all know her work including, "american beauty." her new film is called "the face of love." the story of a widow who falls in love with a man who looks exactly like her late husband. here is the trailer. >> something for you. 30 years. i love you.
>> you have company. what is his name? >> i want to do except him. >> i am tom. >> what are you doing? >> garrett, please. >> it is tom. >> what was your husband like? always been this big mystery. >> your father was the love of my life. i felt like being alive again. >> i could take a bath in how you looking at me. you had a life, i have had a life. i love you. >> i have always love you.
>> i am pleased to have annette benning back at this table. wow. welcome. here is this woman whose husband is killed -- who died in an accident. then years later, you are in the museum and you've met someone who looks exactly like him. >> i see him. i don't meet him. the director has a mother who is a great person. she lost her husband and she was at a museum and she walked by a man who looked exactly like her husband who had passed away. experience gave her such a sense of peace and joy. she felt right back there. she felt all of the things as if they were with her. this haunted her. he started to dream about it.
that was the story and how he started to write it. >> he said this was for me. >> i did. i read it right away. i knew the producer and i knew she had good taste so i read it immediately. i happened to be sitting by myself in a restaurant when i got it and i read it. i met ari. any movie is about the director. it is their mediaman thing which is there to help them to get what they say -- what to say across. he is it's worth a guy and i thought he had a strong idea. it was a question. >> your character, is she in love with her former husband or with her new friend? >> i think she is in love with both of them. i felt that there was an emotional -- i felt like i
believed it and understood it. any of us who have lost someone -- it is interesting how they come back into your life. whether you see someone who looks like them or smell a scent that reminds you of them are you taste something -- or you taste something -- the the way people back and reenter our lives is very intriguing. i think she does love him. ed harris is playing the part. that made perfect sense. >> should she have told him in the beginning? >> yes. it is possible she should have. i think it is one of those things where we are like in real
life. sometimes we don't always do the thing that makes the most sense. our job as moviemakers is to convince you that -- that was true for her. i did understand why because she needed to preserve the fantasy, in a way -- i don't think that was in her mind. >> she didn't want him to think that it was about her husband. it really was him. >> exactly. she felt it was him so that was not a lie. >> what else is going on with you? your husband is going back to work. >> it is not a rumor. i know. he is making a movie which is a great thing. >> a movie he has been living with for most of his adult life. >> that is a fair statement. [laughter] >> we know warren beatty is now shooting a movie about howard hughes. what fascinates him most about him is the older hughes. >> he has constructed a story around hughes he has created himself which he has worked in great detail on. it is extremely exciting.
>> nice to see him out of the house? >> yes, it is great and running round a movie set and doing everything because he is writing it, directing, acting it. that would be wrong. >> what is your role? >> there is a wonderful young girl that comes into the story -- >> that is part of the story. >> you can divulge that. that is very good. >> might be trouble at home? >> exactly. yes, i am playing her mother. >> your family -- ben is showing great talent as an actor but he loves politics and other things. that sounds just like his father and mother. >> he is very much his own man
and finding his way. i am sure he will make the choices that he wants to make. i respect that about him. he has a lot of moxie. he has a great sense of history. >> what is great is to see the kids involved in the situation. >> it is very important. it used to be that we talked a lot and now we have to be quiet which is so frustrating. i thought we bristle to be teaching them things and now they are teaching us. >> are you one of these people in the world that have perfect balance between -- you have a great marriage and you are getting interesting roles in films to play interesting women. >> i am very lucky to work in the fine work that i love. i don't think anybody has a
perfect balance and that is not possible. also, it is interesting about work and creativity as you know, access is necessary at times. do you get me? excess is necessary and that is one of the tricks of trying to have a family and work. there are times you really need to be obsessed. that is essential. >> i am familiar with the session. she runs into her neighbor, roger, who is played by robin williams. >> i will call you, i promise. >> i'm sorry. all those years of seeing you and garrett, what you have. i just wanted a little of that for myself. i hope you understand. >> i do. >> thanks. take care of yourself.
>> what was that all about? >> that was roger. >> roger who? >> he was a friend of ours. >> you don't introduce us? >> he was a friend of garrett's. >> he is gone now. >> i'm just not ready yet. >> ready for what? >> i am not ready to share you with everyone. >> why isn't she ready to share him with everyone? >> because she wants him or herself. if she starts sharing him, they might be suspicious about what he looks like. it might compromise the relationship. >> is anything different about preparing for this role? you just look at the texans
ripped and say -- you look at the text and script and say -- >> try to make connection with the emotional life of the woman. it becomes more of a question. appetizing, intriguing idea rather than that is what i will do. it is more like what will i do? that is an intriguing journey. >> somebody once told me that acting is about taking off the mask, not running them on. >> yes. >> finding the truth of yourself and the character. >> right. it seems like it might be the opposite although masks can be very freeing. in the classical greek time, they actually wore masks and that was part of the tradition. it is about peeling things away.
intriguingly, there is a part of one own psyche that even when you are an actor, and even when you love what you do and you are trained, there is a part of you that says, don't do this. don't give this up. don't feel this pain or whatever it is. a lot of it is working as with -- is working in within oneself. i want to go as deeply as i can into this idea that this is true for me. this is my life and i like that. i find that intriguing about acting that you could be said -- completely subjective. you are just trying to understand to that person's point of view how the world looks. >> if you could, and maybe you can, doing the movie all the time, would you choose to do that if these were films that you wanted to do? be making a movie all the time. >> i see. no, that would probably drive me mad. doing plays -- doing eight shows
a week is in some ways more day to day demanding because in movies there are days that are heavier and days that are lighter. you do a scene and you are done with it. whereas with a play, you are revisiting that entire story eight shows a week. when you open your eyes in the morning, it is the first thing you think about. >> you were able to do both. >> i love to do both. i started doing just plays and that always felt more normal to me. >> what is next for you? >> quite a few things. i am doing a play in los angeles that starts next week. >> what is it? >> there was a woman named ruth draper, who was a great new yorker.
she was an upper side society girl born around the turn of the century. she was part of the slightly, cultured high school. she became a monologist. that morphed into for her this lifelong career of creating and performing her own monologues. different ages, languages, people from all over the world, accents. she was a phenom of her time and she ended up touring all over the world. >> is it about her or the other characters? >> she did 50 other characters. it is not about her, it is about the characters. the estate allowed me to do a few of these monologues he
created. different women from different times. i am doing a few of them. >> can i embarrass you for a second? your director said, the ability for her to find the exact truth in the moment and doing it in 50 different ways, makes me wish for some scenes like a dude i've are takes into the movie. i wish i could do a little subtitle saying -- >> who said that? >> your director. >> on this movie? >> yes. >> he is a good guy. >> do believe that? >> i feel better about myself. >> you have supreme confidence in what you do. >> no, no, no one has supreme confidence. you deal with fear all the time. >> you can have the kind of performance? >> you have to learn to deal with it. you don't try to get rid of it because it won't go away. it wouldn't be good if it did totally go away. everybody deals with the
insecurities and nervousness. i used to think there was a point in which they went away and never member going onto the set with harrison ford and i felt like i was the one that had the right to be nervous and biting my nails. then, mike nichols was kind enough to break the news that, i am the same way. when i talked to students, i try to remember to say that. it is not a question of having insecurities or fear or the demons, it is a question of handling it. >> do you teach acting? >> when i can. i try to go and speak to students as much as i can because it meant a lot to me
when i was a student when people would come in and talk because having a first-hand person talking about it is sometimes more helpful than just the theoretical part of acting. >> what do you try to convey to them? >> that is one of the big ones. finding, understanding the basics of modern acting which is what you want, what are you doing, what is in your way? >> i like that generally. >> yes. if you know already and your gut is telling you what is happening, that is more valuable than anything. you don't have to go through that exercise. but if you find yourself in the moment where you are lost or feel tense or don't know what is going on, you go back to that -- what am i doing, what do i want, and what is in the way? having things in the way is a good thing. >> what would be an example of something in the way? >> your own fear. your wanting to impress someone. it can be something physical. you have a headache. you have to go to the bathroom. it can be something larger. your own insecurities could be a
big obstacle. >> this is what david thompson said about you. we found some once research on you. people thought about you and then they put it into precise words and write it down. the thought lingered that she could've been a grander actress if she had been in her peak in the 1940's. she also had a reputation of a very strong woman. she is that good. she is now close to the tricky ground dominated by meryl streep. she might go back to the stage. it sounds like more deferring where annette benning needs to be the monster got herself. have you read that? >> no. i am thrilled. that is really good. one thing i wanted to mentioned
is that michelle won the art -- the oscar for the "the artist." he is making a movie about the war in chechnya. we just finished shooting it. it is very timely given what is going on in crimea. this is a war movie that he is directing. >> about terrorism? >> about what happened in chechnya. it takes place during the second war. he was kind enough to ask me to be in the picture. we just finished shooting it and i think it will be very interesting to see that movie in light of what is going on right now. >> what role do you play in that film? >> i play someone who was working for the red cross who is running an orphanage. there was a huge amount of refugees and they were flowing
>> b.j. novak is here. you might know him as a writer or actor on "the office." he was also executive producer. he appeared in movies such as quentin tarantino's "inglorious basterds." i am pleased to have him at this table for the first time. >> it is good to be here. >> how did all this start in terms of deciding to write a book? >> i was a writer on "the office" for its run and we were in the writers room which was very all-encompassing.
every idea you had in your life when into these characters in the room. i have collected a lot of ideas over the years that had not found any outlet on the show. i love them but made no sense for jim and pam and dwight. i wanted to clear my head and write something that was clearly my own and not have the other writers' voices in my head which they had been very trying way -- very charmingly but i wanted to know what i sounded like when i wrote on my own. i didn't know how these ideas fit together so after a couple of months of not knowing what to write -- if an idea lives for only half a page -- i wanted the book to be a jagged feeling book where some thoughts might be sharpened and short and some thoughts might be expensive. >> there is a story -- >> it is a strange fact of the
life that i have led. i was at a barbecue. my assistant at the time was the daughter of jane seymour and she invited me to a barbecue at her house. she said, what season are you one, three? i said, yes. you are sick of going to work everyday. if you have a million ideas that are better. you are brilliant and no one understands you. i said, yes. what kind of medicine do you practice? that is what happens to every writer on the show at this point. do not leave your show. she said, steven spielberg, whoever you picture is the most powerful person in hollywood, they cannot make what you have right now.
you never know what it is going to take the something to be the special like your show is right now. ride that as long as it is there because you would be membered -- you will be remembered. write down every idea you have and do not touch it until you are done and that is what i did. >> these stories. tell us about them. >> the first one i wrote was about the duke of earl visiting america in 1962. every time he introduced to people, a kind of smile. he thinks, what an amazing country. he goes back to his home and dreams about america. it is a very selective experience he had. all of the stories start with a flight of imagination that could start anywhere. they would not make the final book -- >> let's assume it is genius. the creation of character.
is that what you do best? >> i think the perspective of a character, the voice of the character is what i am good at and what i have learned and honed. every character speaks a little differently and text and e-mail a little differently. knowing and respecting that, each character's voice whether they are a millionaire or a tortoise, all of these characters i wanted to do justice to their voice. >> is this any part of the stage act?
>> in a way. david sedaris makes his reading to show. i love that. i love that you can see a writer read. it feels like a concert. i thought i was in my head when i decided to write the stories and perform them onstage. i would go on stage once a month in los angeles and i would edit in front of a hundred people. it really -- >> based on their reaction? >> yes. often i knew it was keeping myself honest because there is a group tendency in writing to think you are brilliant and except that you are building. you called me a i genius and i think that is fair because you qualify to make those assessments. it is easy to think you are brilliant when you are reading something alone or sending it to a friend. when you are standing alone on the stage reading for an hour, it is very visceral and personal and if you are feeling it in
your bones -- i knew it from stand-up. i wanted to subject myself to that test. i knew i could do it. i felt that was the hardest thing i have ever done. it would make the failures in my writing personal and it would make the successes personal. >> was this easier or more attractive for better for you than writing a memoir? >> i first thought i would write a memoir because that is what mindy kaling did and my contemporaries. it wasn't coming to me. i sort of thought i would hide myself. i felt myself in my brain constructing the sort of charming and self-deprecating. >> you feel like your life is not that interesting but you can make a character very interesting? >> it is that, too. i think the most interesting thing about me is what i thought that day. not what i did. i don't live that bold of a life. the things i'm thinking when
people say, pay attention -- to me that is interesting. these ideas were the most personal way i could express myself. i caught myself being of their remember -- a very modern type of vain. i felt it would be better to write stories. i found myself revealing myself more because once i wasn't technically involved in the stories, i was not self-conscious. >> the character from kellogg's. where did that come from? >> i had a childhood experience where i did insist that my mom buy a box of cereal that had apprised. -- had a prize. i thought i would win. >> you thought you were robbed. >> yeah. eventually i got fascinated by the small print where it says employees are barred from
entering the sweepstakes. i thought, what if someone thought out what their real lineage was? it became about finding out who your parents were. >> a recurrent bittersweet theme is about how people -- how far people will go in a desperate search for true love. is that central to some of the stories? >> i found a lot of themes. i wanted to write a book that did not have the theme. that desire for perfection. to me, true love is almost synonymous with perfection. that desire for perfection.
to me, true love is almost synonymous with perfection. it is the highest spiritual thing that we can be selfish about that we could feel. a lot of characters in the stories feel that they are very close to true love, very close to perfection in their relationships and that they can only change one detail, they would have it. >> some of these are not stories, they are just a few lines. >> i think of them as stories but yes, they all have in narrative and point of view. the mystery is part of the structure of that story. other people left said these are not stories. part of the subtitle and other stories is well, some people -- the other stories might be a little more -- >> there are so many stories you took notes on. >> i am always the one type of thing type of guy. >> if somebody says, you have to decide either you are an actor or writer -- >> a writer. someone was to -- describing james l brooks. if you woke him up and asked him what he was, he said he would be a writer. i identified with that.
>> why would you identify with a writer rather than an actor? >> it is who i am. my father is a writer. those ideas that come to me all the time, i don't write down on my notebook, i need to play a cowboy. i never daydream about performing the way i do about writing. >> your dad wrote a famous book. he is the guy that wrote it. how many copies -- 2.5 million? >> it was the biggest seller of 1986 and 1987. >> he writes in conjunction with -- ghostwriter. you inherited his talent? >> the lessons that made him a good ghostwriter, i put that in my writing. the ear for dialogue.
>> he did magic johnson as well. >> these are different voices but they to be true to the person throughout. i absorbed that lesson from him and taking very seriously exactly the way that every character, no matter how small, would speak and think. i think i absorbed the lesson from him. >> do you continue to wanting to be an actor? >> i do like it. when i am performing the stories which i love to do on the book tour, i catch myself thinking, i am a little bit of an actor. i'm so used to thinking of myself as a writer so sometimes i catch myself. >> how much training do have is an actor? >> you might be shocked. not much. >> because? >> because i didn't need it. the acting i have been asked to do is extremely naturalistic and
subtle so i don't think i have been asked to do things that would require me to go too far. >> is george saunders a hero? >> yes. >> david foster wallace? >> yes. i love george saunders very much. >> what did you learn from them? >> i think the lessons they teach anyone -- the comedy could come from anywhere and should come from everywhere. >> imagine if george saunders was not a genius. >> that is the way i would sell my book. >> this is what he would do. >> the genus leached out it still that type of dark humor.
>> steve carell told you about what? never go for the joke? >> i was a young writer and i brought a page of jokes to steve. i work very hard on them. he looked at all of them. these all feel like jokes. well, yeah, that is my job. i told the other writers, what is he looking for? he taught me an important lesson which was don't make it feel like a joke and don't think it is a joke. think of it as so true to that character that you cannot help but laugh. that all comedy should be a byproduct of expressing these characters. >> just imagine the character and you smile or laugh. as soon as they say something, you laugh. >> when you really get into the character, right.
i would compare it to when a little kid knows they are being cute, they are not cute. but when you see someone and say, i know exactly why you think that. that's what makes it funny. it is important to make the characters so real and so true to themselves that they could not help but be funny. >> you knew the director. >> the first thing he said was, i am lazy. he was a little lazy. he was wonderful. he brought out the best in us by being who he was, by being candidly honest about, i am just going to sit here. i think he was on to some subtle truth about the talents of our cast and writers which was we were at our best when we were not pushed in any direction. the few things he said were extremely insightful. he said them in a very warm way.
>> live from pier 3 in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west," where we cover innovation, technology, and the future of business. i am emily chang. edward snowden speaks to the technology community. your top headlines. apple has released ios 7.1 with new features including car play. in addition, the update has bug fixes. microsoft is gearing up for the release of the new