tv Atlantic Council Discussion on Climate Change CSPAN August 14, 2019 2:12pm-3:46pm EDT
wisconsin representative tweeted this picture of his visit in israel writing -- visited cal sacco in the valley of the lab where david slade goliath. when congress returns watch live coverage of the house on c-span and live coverage of the senate here on c-span2. >> a group of journalists talk about some of the challenges of coming climate change issues and the energy industry. during an event hosted by the atlantic council. this is 90 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon everyone. welcome to the atlantic council but my name is david
livingstone, deputy director in our global energy center where i need to work on climate and advanced energy. thank you very much for joining us here today. it's a terrific to see a full room, particularly amid the dark days of august when so many folks in dc leave for cooler or at the very least, less humid climates. it is surely a traffic registration of interest in this topic and before we get started let me give a big thanks to zach strauss and are global energy and art interns who are instruments and making today happen along with our talented medications and events team. they are truly a testament to the assets and professionalism of the atlantic council. dive in to today's discussion by noting that not only are you here because you're fascinated by the narrative that surround the climate challenge in the energy transition but you are likely also very interested in the narrators that help us to understand the complexities,
ambiguities, leading characters in the emerging solutions at the heart of this complex set of issues. there is no shortage of news if you glance at the headline today from reuters to quartz to time magazine and beyond and it points to the gravity and urgency of the climate challenge. just this past july was the hottest month ever across the globe in history, in recorded history. it's all the more notable because the previous record in 2016 curd or coincided with an el niño year which boosted what arty would have been a warm year. this year does not solve the record shattering july we just had is all the more notable. europe has spent much of the summer months sweltering heat waves earlier this year we also saw much of the american
heartland underwater essentially amid heavy rains and flooding even amidst the critical pleading season. at the same time, however, we also see indicators that point just to at least some modicum of confidence and optimism in the global energy transition which is underway and in india we see renewable energy costs which are now on average below the average cost of coal power in india and in the united states we see governors, state legislators, mayors, utilities announcing mid century one 100% clean energy targets or midcentury that carbon neutral targets one after another after another and in many cases legally binding and enacted by state legislators. in laboratories and pilot projects around the world we also see the technologies of the future being pulled towards personality in the present by innovators and venture capitalists and by public and
private finance and these are technologies of course, such as carbon capture, advanced nuclear new battery chemistry and hydrogen technologies which may be essential tools in decarbonization and in the race to zero and mission over the decades to come. here to navigate these complex set of storylines on the shoals of pessimism and optimism are three meeting and accomplished energy journalists from courts, reuters and time magazine. without further ado let me briefly introduce them and jump into today's discussion. to my immediate left is senior reporter for quartz and we are proud to say senior fellow by global energy center. to his left is valerie, corresponded with reuters news agency based in washington dc
covering regulatory deregulatory development and across multiple different u.s. agencies and a broad swath of environmental energies. to her left a writer of time magazine covering energy, environment and climate change. previously covering health and science time in politics at roll call. you folks familiar with the technologies and with the policies and with the politics indeed of the energy transition and climate policy and climate challenge. why don't we begin by at least level setting with an understanding of how they themselves frame their own projects. let's begin with you. how would you describe your work in terms of what you are trying to do with it? not just your job title but what is meant to achieve and what is your journalism aimed at and how does that inform between what
signal and what is noise in this very cacophonous world out there? spirit yeah, i got into energy journalism as many people did after trump was elected president to try to understand why this complex system is so difficult to first understand at the lehmans level because until people are able to grapple with the issues they won't be able to choose the right leaders. i thought the roots and was to try to understand one part of the problem at a time. taking the whole [inaudible] which is what i do to quartz with a lead energy reporter on the global stage is to try to do justice and so i started with the technologies for the last three years of the pleasure to
be able to capture carbon capture initially electric cars and batteries and now ask what i'm looking at coal in india. all that time -- the nice thing is looking at a single technology isn't always enough but it's how it fits in the complex system that is the key to understanding what the future will be and so use that as a way to clear the base of knowledge and look at every other piece of the pie and this year since [inaudible] the newsletter gives me i've been doing that reading for a while but gives me the excuse to try and filter the noise into a signal of what is really changing any energy landscape and in that is being
declined and not a fun way of doing that. >> not just a journalist but in a sense a curator. >> yeah, and i think to some extent everyone is that now. >> very good. >> reuters journalist we are a news agency and have to cover all the major policy rollouts and announcements and what we are seeing now is there is a lot of noise and a lot of policy rollouts or speeches where for example, the recent speech at the white house where the administration was pointing to some of their commitments which do not necessarily match up and they were pointing to improvements of air pollution since the 1970s but not pointing to what their contribution is given the rollbacks so i think our job is more different these days as you have to i guess, you have to
rely a lot more -- as you always do speaking from multiple sources but it's not just straight reporting of a policy rollouts or fed but more context and moving parts. it's a different landscape that was a few years ago and there's a lot more noise and different voices now and their youth activists and more traditional environmental groups and industry groups within the industry groups you have different position so i find the landscape is quite different than a few years ago and the good thing is, i think, or reaching out to a lot more varied voices covering the beat today. >> definitely. i want to touch on that today. first, just in. >> for me it's unique and
interesting challenge to be the only person who spends my full-time job at time magazine thinking about energy in varmint climate so i have to think about really diverse set of issues. i think my mission in doing that is to think the person who reads our magazine or subscribes to our magazine and reads a couple stories i hear about climate change and how can i make sure they are in some way up-to-date and somewhat up-to-date about energy transition or just the various things i might write about every month or so and then on my day to day job i'm doing something for the web but it's also about making things accessible and have to be get beyond the audience in this room and reaching everyday people and i think separating symbols from noise in some ways not having to
file something on a day-to-day basis allows for that and gives you away because you can see what the trends are and when is the right moment to write something and just talking to people and getting a feel of what signal and what is noise. >> terrific. i should mention we will be interspersing audience questions about the entirety of today, not just at the end. already start thinking if you do have questions i will come around soon after a few more of my own we will do that back and forth throughout this event. start thinking of potential questions you might have already. i want to ask first -- what is the most misunderstood aspects of your journalism and in particular, or climate or energy journalism and you think it's an accurate view of the craft and output and the motivation of it or do you think it's probably misunderstood?
>> one thing, not sure if this answers your question exactly but one thing i often find is talking to people of diverse views from activists is there will be a voice from the oil and gas industry in your story and by vice versa from those in the oil gas industry saying if you will be an activist and i can't promise you either way but part of my job is to create a narrative, a story, fact-based story about what's happening so i think there is this perception that journalists -- i guess, they have the flexibility to not present that comprehensive picture and i think that's a little bit of a frustration. >> i would add that one of the most misunderstood aspects of energy in general is this sense people have that one solution
will do the job for us. the variables themselves [inaudible] carbon capture will solve the climate challenge and i think partly because the complexity is not well explained to people but also its understanding that complexity once it has been laid down is not easy. as a journalist i find that hardest part of my job to have done the work and understand a certain technology how do i make it work for the general leader who comes from essentially no knowledge base and how to get them to understand just why it's a complex world i want to build off something you both touch on. you mentioned there's no silver bullet but just and you give reference to an on-site environmentalist on the other side oil and gas industry and i'm curious whether you as journalist in your work sense
there's more heterogeneity than ever before with how the oil and gas industry is engaging with the energy transition and adapting to the energy transition -- at least from my perspective, the research we do it looks like your company's which are doubling down on core competencies and they will become more of a gas company that oil company and others that are moving downstream into the power sector and at least companies that they are acquiring more energy service companies that oil and gas traditionally have been new got others that are taking big bets on moonshot technologies like fusion get others that are involved in biofuels or doubling down on carbon capture and what is your own mental model of [inaudible] for how to understand the oil and gas industry in the current day and age?
how has it shaped your work for the stories you write? i know you just did a recent piece on one aspect selector with you. >> [inaudible] it's pretty clear from how if you look at the future projections i have this chart in the story i wrote which the headline was exactly that. in 2014 what might have been oil demand and varied between 60 million barrels a day to 120 million a day and that they huge difference in demand and so i think it's fair to say that they are confused but also we are in a place where that confusion is warranted. nobody knows how this will play out? to have these large companies make bets that are varied across technology and across policy landscape and some people think
there will be a price and some people think there won't be one but here's the good thing. that's what makes it fun to cover. >> to provide a little narrati narrative. >> yes. >> would you say a quick thing about your recent article about foxy accidental petroleum and what they made on capture. >> in general could split the oil industries in first two parts, one is the international company and publicly owned and then the national oil companies and the clear differentiation between the there far behind on the climate agenda that international companies and within the international companies there much more further ahead in understanding of climate challenge in doing something about it. and the american oil industry tends to lag. the occidental was interesting one because it came from an
organization that was previously a laggard as many analysts would say and is now meet over american oil industries and essentially have met [inaudible] they will spend up to a billion in the next three years building that technology out at scale, capturing half a million tons every year. i've been covering this view for a while and did not expect that to happen that quickly. >> i think with all the talk around that zero emissions targets and deep-sea carbonization all the presidential candidates are talking about it there's an interesting moment for the oil and gas sector and maybe a speak about the national gas sector because i'm working on a story [inaudible] likely seen in berkeley, california and the national gas industry now where
a few years ago saw this as part of the climate solution as the cleaner option are now seeing themselves as a potential target city in statewide policies potentially national policies and i think there at an interesting moment where right now it seems like they might be focusing on a bit of image campaign and remind people that natural gas is is a cleaner burning or fossil fuel but people can -- people like gas stoves and it's a cleaner alternative to oil, heating oil and to call. they are also realizing we need to talk about renewable gas and carbon capture on natural gas so there is an interesting time where that the shift from being part of the solution to part of the problem is pretty rapid.
>> interesting. >> i think it's a fascinating moment just to think about this is an industry that is in transition and there are a lot of narratives that have been the narrative for some time that are evolving and i think oftentimes a lot of stories to do fall back on old narratives but we have to figure out how do we tell this really complex picture where some oil and gas companies are doing nothing and some are doing a lot and a lot are doing somewhere in between what does it mean to do something to make it does not fit with a narrative. it's a challenging and it's a fun challenge but a challenge. >> valerie, you touched on the politics of 2020 in the presidential rates, we are in and having this conversation in dc so we should probably engage to keep focus of the sound and
you had a very well read article earlier this year the covered in the early stages of the race before we had entered in the first debate writing about the direction that the biden campaign, according to advisers, was going which aimed at a centrist approach and it sparked a lot of debate on mine and on twitter et cetera amongst very influential figures across the spectrum and do you want to talk a little bit about that article and were you surprised by the debate it sparked and do you think it's had a material impact on the direction of the conversation or at the very least the direction of the biting can be policy. >> a speak to the first part of the question. i was surprised at their reaction and the kind of --
yeah, the -- the way the other campaigns were used against biden so i think a lot of people were curious early on and you just enter the race in an op-ed in the race for the long and a lot of people were curious and more broadly on the former vice president would approach issues and try to find that kind of moderate or more practical approach that would assume would play better in the general election. i think that this particular issue was the first pace of it was the first test of it and in talking about finding a middle ground to climate solution i don't think what they meant to say was middle-of-the-road and i don't think that was the intention but i think the aim was to try to craft a policy that would be able to satisfy
progressives of the democratic party while not alienating some of those blue-collar workers that may have left or voted for donald trump in the previous election and i think there's still a lot of fears of a repeat of hillary clinton and made about putting coal miners out of work that the possibility of alienating those voters. what happened was i don't think the campaign had at that point were not answering a lot of questions on policy and their first event was the first launch event was with a union so clearly they were sending a message. i don't know if they anticipated what the reaction would be and how much the activists have been organized and how effective they
had been in pushing many of those candidates. kabbalah harris on the first day endorsed the green new deal and this was pushed by a group of young activists cover relatively new on the scene. i don't know if they had calculated the impact of these groups at the time and i'm sure they certainly had "after words" because of the debate it sparked. i can't speak to the second part of the russian in that affiliated things but that's for others to say but -- >> interesting. i want to go to the audience for a second but justin, you cover the space or cover this in washington dc so what surprised you most about the energy and climate politics is played out in the primaries so far? >> i think twofold. i think initially i was surprised at how slow campaigns were to have us a substantive
response and on the flip side surprised at how much they can they now. i think going into this weekend the state fair in iowa and i think if i -- i think there are six campaigns that have planned out about climate change and agriculture. that's a very specific policy to put out and i'm surprised at how they have shifted in response to those pressures. it's interesting absolutely. >> let's go to the audience. any initial questions? yes, the woman on the right and it will take them in groups of three. take a cluster of three right here. let's start. >> as an energy scholar i've been happy at the rise of credit energy and climate reporting. i find it fun to read. but one thing that is where the is the sense that it becomes the sports page but if your sports
any minute but if you're not interested, you don't. i worry that fails to communicate to regular folks out there how pervasive this issue is and how it touches on every aspect of their lives. i love that you mentioned the candidates have started doing a more specific climate and agriculture stuff because i almost feel like it's what we need in reporting as well. it will bring that into many different topics and make it not segregated off so i'm asking for, and how research might be used to do that. >> terrific. great first question but if you could identify yourself. >> nina, professor at george washington university's picture but. if you could pass the megaphone down the road to the person in the middle there. thank you. >> and jackie may in an intern at the centers of wildlife and i'm doing policy research for their energy team and i was very surprised over the course of the summer over how cheap renewable energy is. it has become a very popular but
do you think there is still any economic theory to renewable energy development of spite that? if so, what would they be? >> terrific. great. yeah, the question right here. >> yes, doctor sam hancock of emerald planet tv and we do for weekly tv shows on this topic and this is our 11th year doing it. looking at the best practices going to specifically to india we've done a lot of work with india and had projects going on yesterday as far as air-conditioning and carbon capture and all that so what are some of the best practices that you are seeing in that you think has the potential for not only india but the entire southeast asia area and back that into the united states and to the other two, what are you seeing as far as your research more and more advanced technologies like carbon capture and others?
that's on a fossil fuel side but still trying to make strides to clean the environment and how do you think that is balancing out the mac thank you for being here. >> thank you. three terrific questions that we have how do we reach general audiences and breakthrough the bubble and cost trajectory of renewable and challenges that lie ahead and assist from india's energy transition as well as technologies like carbon capture. great, who wants to take the first one? >> yeah, i think one thing we put a lot of energy into and time is telling stories about people and starting with the person and expanding to try to get into the policy and symbols that way or telling stories about the community could be a character like go to town the china -- one 100% renewable look at the challenges and have
challenges and that's way we try to do that. it also make sense to breaking off into the small policy issues as well. probably something i could do more. >> i would say i started in journalism so i have a background in science and the primary difficulty of journalism is making people interested in quantum physics or lab mouse studies. coming to energy was easier in a way because people understood the things at the much better level of the subject is coming previously. having said that, showing people how energy affects each aspect of their life is crucial in getting wider leadership and that is what you are saying is that there are people who love
this area and read about it and others do not catch up on it at all and that is quite true. one of the things i enjoyed in the last few years we did a survey of that news letter i run and the readers are everywhere from teenagers to people who are retired and so, to me, that is a signal that people are now more interested in the subject and it's only gotten better since i think also the impacts of climate change are affecting -- it seems people are now beginning to identify this as a local issue so floods in the midwest and parodist fire are those becoming local issues and i think the local news to the extent the people have local news coverage covering climate change is a serious issue and connecting the dots directly and just generally, reuters are
pulling from a 70% of all voters across parties feel that climate change is an imminent threat and want to demand aggressive action and differences about how much people would be willing to pay to come back to climate change and is a very widespread acknowledgment that climate change is happening in their backyard. >> i would add one thing that pops me write stories and this is true of journalism in general is i would write something because i'm excited about it in some way. it might be a difficult story to tell but it's exciting and the facets and the best conversations to have with your editor to say does not know anything about the climate issue why is this exciting and that is one line or two lines you're able to pull out is what you will get to the general reader and that practical outside journalism, it's not just communication skill to have.
>> any of the other -- >> yeah, i'll take the india question. best practices i would say -- as david said initially it's clear that renewable energy, especially for south east asia, given the rich resources the region has is now a sensible choice. what is the difference is there will always be a lag and i will address the second question that even though cost variables have come down there will be a lag between now and when they get to deployment because you have all these other nobles and generating power that have long economic life that they need to be going to end that lag out a week cut that leg down is the real question and not so much can we lower the cost of renewables further. >> greats. anyone else?
>> i just want to ask real quick speaking of this international discussion what is -- to what degree have any of you thought to try to cover this from a foreign policy perspective. climate change and foreign policy? how does that get discussed in the newsroom, i'm curious, even if it's not part of the beat how does it come up and how do those discussions play out and what you think of climate change not just national and bimetal policy and that's whoever covered epa and all of that but what are the international, geopolitical dimensions of it and how does that play out. >> i guess one aspect is just thinking about it now looking ahead to the un climate summit that will take place in new york in september i know the current
special envoy for climate is trying to get you to ratchet and visions and trying to get india and china to match up their ambitions and you know, it's interesting how he will do that and i had covered several [inaudible] but i have not covered it last couple years so i was interested in looking at how do you brush up ambition when you have the united states as a president that does not believe in, change that aims to withdraw the united states from the paris climate agreement at the same time you have these records with temperatures everywhere and just have those images of the ravages of climate
change gripping every part of the world to what is the u.s. leadership going to look like this year, especially with added urgency and i've been thinking about that. >> i remember this quote where [inaudible] was the chief negotiator of the un and in early 2018 i'm getting ready to write a thank you note to trump which was interesting because she thanks that having trump has made it a more important global issue at the foreign policy stage and at every dialogue and now you go to the g-7 and they used to put out climate statement as it did in the past and we agree on all the things now you have somebody who does not and that makes it a headline. there's a biased and journalism but that brings the issue to the
front that it wasn't in the past. you've seen the reaction from dates and corporations here in the u.s. who are defined what the administration is trying to do. her thank you note to trump make sense which is interesting i would not have thought that. >> a rebound effect. >> interesting. >> i think it's interesting challenges to convey coming back and going to a climate talk and coming back trying to convey how important this issue is to a lot of other places. interesting for the uk going to brexit but at the same time teresa may last thing was to get a law committing them to not zero and it's just a completely
different context and there is that challenge of explaining that here but i think the way i try to cover it as my last big story was a story about international climate politics and about how small islands have inserted themselves into that conversation and it was an effort to explain the dynamics of the geopolitical dimensions of this using them as a lens into it but it is hard because a lot of times the question that i get is what can the small islands do? what can anyone do? what let leverage to have with international climate politics and it's a gap in how americans view these things. >> absolutely. just to pull more on the front asking about the carbon capture on the one hand you have the lack of leadership perhaps
symbolically or at a diplomatic level at a high level and on the other hand it's not a stretch to say the united states has done more to try were done more to advance the commercialization of carbon capture technology at the very least, than any other country in the world. the only federal carbon price you could say that exist is a tax credit actually for carbon capture which is probably going to double the amount of existing or planned carbon capture projects in the years ahead. how do you discern how to tell a story versus the loss of leadership at a higher level or more symbolic level? is that emblematic of the complexity of telling the story and trying to predict with too broad or too black-and-white a brush?
>> great carbon capture which are living to the great strange bedfellows story which i think gets a lot of traction which is look at how you can build or how coalitions are built around things like you might not expect and there's lots of stories i got in this space and i think it's super interesting and it's something people like to read. >> i would say the narrative is pretty straightforward which is that the u.s. being the leader in pre- much every technology at the stage and then can take this for solar or wind or carbon capture but we don't know whether it loses its leadership there. that probably addresses a bigger issue in the u.s. which is in the countries and policy or can
be used for economic power in your seeing other countries, germany, uk and of course, china take that lead and make something office. does carbon capture go down that route? chances look good. >> that's a great point about the geoeconomics and the clean energy rates so quickly before another round of questions i want to follow up. you've written and asked good questions about this. why do we see the continual trend early-stage technology leadership and went in lithium ion batteries only to lose the leadership to basically get manufacturing on the part of a large country like china with subsidies et cetera and my everything that in those energy technologies and not in semiconductors for example? despite repeated efforts and concerted efforts on the part of china for the last few decades you have not seen maybe we will
connect spears but you have nothing to date that confession of a leadership position in the technology. >> very good question but if you leave energy technology out that is true of ai and silicon valley there are still industries that the u.s. has been able to start and make most of it. why is it that energy has lagged out, especially in the last 20 years or so you have the creation of the advance agency created based on the defense and doe funding going into these technologies and it's a good question. it would be a fascinating story to write. i don't really have an answer there. >> great. let's take a few more questions. we've got a lot of hands here. let's start with the two women right here in this row right here and work our way back and do a couple rounds of questions.
>> karen with climate center. david, yes the panel about what two people tend to most misunderstand about the craft of climate and energy journalism and i want to ask what their readers are most likely to miss understand either implicitly or especially about the substance of climate and energy? >> great question. so let's go back to the gentleman right behind or right there. >> frank with grace all. you know i've been working on these issues for quite some time so i think there are two things i like to get your perspective on. historical perspective on the debate of the climate change and the science and the technologies because it seems like we are always at a stage where something is happening in its next big thing and it goes into a dip and comes back and we see now with hurricanes in 2005 now with hurricanes again but also
on the technology side. secondly i think infrastructure and transmission infrastructure seems to be one of the huge keys to driving any type of innovation whether it's gas or renewables or whatever and offshore wind and how does that play and how do you explain th that? >> let's take one more fit yes, gentleman right there. >> hello. bill brand with industrial ecosystems. i can be a little bit of a walk on these kind of things and [inaudible] i look forward to all three of you have a properly focus on what the readers are
because i would include you in the popular media so to speak. it seems to me, quite often, the stories covered in the media are stories that have been able to have some-developed from them and quite often it seems that these technologies are a lot of bs but there are other ones that don't develop that hype and don't get covered. as an example of that i would have a carbon engineering at chevron and is that one the occidental invested in and last april at the peer review with the advanced conference got a unanimous for thumbs down on their technology but on the other hand companies like [inaudible] and people that have
good technologies and carbon capture systems don't get very much coverage in so kind of two questions. how about -- you covered things that aren't getting covered things that aren't being talked about. dme is a molecule but no one is talking about pushing it. second, have you got caught in writing about a story that "after words" you think should not have written about? [laughter] >> great question. what are readers most likely to misunderstand in your stories and the question about infrastructure and the importance of infrastructure, how do you discern which technology you will pay attention to and write about. to go about the merits of the technology in a vacuum and say whatever big players are buying it even if that's not the optimal technology that's what i should cover because that's where the money and attention
will go to mac of course, do you regret any stories after the fact? i should mention i could already tell more questions that we could fill the time with so the free to engage with us on twitter at ac global energy or engage with our guests and if you go to at ac global energy you will see their hashtags as well and hopefully we can continue the conversation after this. but let's dive right into that trio of great questions. >> will take the last one. i think it's pretty simple in a way to answer. to get wonky about it, carbon engineering is doing something that is radically different and to caption carbon dioxide from the air is expensive and so why is he getting scale at the stage in our climate fight is an interesting question to try to answer. sure, as many behind it and probably why it's interesting but on a technology spectrum is radically out there and so that
is why we have to try to understand why it's there. [inaudible], many people and i know it's a company that could steal gas or carbon monoxide and change it into biofuels using matters of any kind that they have genetically engineered. it is at a scale where is using millions of gallons of the fuel cell. i think the reason they are not that well known is because biofuels have gone through a cycle of problems. biofuels [inaudible] they probably put out more emissions than fossil fuels would and that we now know from studies done. [inaudible] hears the bias that technology locks and if they got problems to come back and solve it requires a much greater push
from the industry. it stands out as the sole example there and if you have more i'm sure will get attention. i would also say it's not fair to the not covering the right story. >> we worked with private organizations [inaudible] if there is a good story you can bet we will cover it. what makes a good story is a good question. >> infrastructure is a great one and i want to ask it in a different way. there are a lot of villains that pop up in climate discussions and climate debate and climate journalism. one of the villains i think is undercovered, albeit provocative here, is nimby is him. why does that make it into more story is? is a difficult to cover were not
personified enough adversary, even when it's blocking the development of something which will help us get more low-carb or zero part resources on the grid? how do you as a less engage with nimby is a? >> is it nimby is him or environmentalism or what is it. >> great point there but in the eye of the beholder. >> i think it is in the eye of the beholder. ... new york state blocking a key pipeline. it is not necessarily new maybe
it's in the eye of the beholder. i feel like in some ways energy and environment is a very, one of these issues that is may be perceived this is one of the misperceptions is perceived as a red and blue issue in some ways it is in terms of states versus washington right now. i think it's only going to get more difficult. there are more lawsuits coming particularly on this issue coming up with clean water act. section 41. we cover it because it's interesting. sometimes we covet if groups have been camped out along the pipeline for a long time it is
attracting a lot of attention. the it raises a lot of other issues which are in some ways if it's a tribe it is about their sovereignty. if it's an environmental group is about differences over how federal and private grants should be used. >> is a great point. it's not black-and-white at all. >> it can be difficult to cover especially in the current media landscape where you don't always get the opportunity to spend time. super bowl ãbsuperpower by austin gold is about this one person wish to build ãlines across central u.s. to try to take renewable energy from the central parts of the course. it came two years to be able to report that. it was a strong group of people
opposing having transmission lines in the backyard. to try to find the captain running this or has influence it so long and hard job to do. it does get covered it just gets covered in different ways. >> i want to ask a question about intersection malady. the climate and energy transition debate and discussion in the united states and most notably to the green new deal is touching on more issues then concepts that perhaps has in the past. issues like equity, justice, equality and not just the quantity of economic growth. is that creating new opportunities for new stories for you? how are you choosing to cover that? do you think you figured it out yet? are you still grappling with it. let's start with you justin and i kind of want to come this way and by the time i get to you ã i want to get your thoughts
watching this from london. how does it inform the way that you look at your own debates and discussions in the uk and in europe and beyond. >> i think it's great that there's this additional attention to issues that sometimes can be difficult to get stories off the ground i think there's more interest about writing about environmental justice now then there would have been when i pitched stories on that topic three years ago. i think that's a large part due to the interest and the push from activists. i guess that's all. >> one of the aspects of that in discussing the green new deal in addition to environmental justice there's a lot of discussion about what is
the just transition for these front-line communities. those are the communities that are most affected by climate change or by water pollution in urban areas but it's also a question what about the communities that would be affected by rapid move away from fossil fuel. coal miners and those who work in manufacturing and so on. there's a lot of skepticism. i've covered this transition issue looking at coal miners and speaking to the head of the president of the united mine workers association a lot of skepticism about what is addressed transition and the green new deal spends a lot of the words in the green new deal resolution address would seem like a great thing for coal miners who are not, they are
not in a great state right now. they are not getting paid. they are in these bankruptcies happening the paychecks are not coming to. where are their productions? there is still a lot of skepticism even on the green new deal does address that their plight there's a lot of skepticism about what it means and whether it's just a way of forcing them to work in the renewable industry which they don't necessarily want to do. i think it's an interesting way to have the discussion. i think it will be interesting to see if the democratic candidates will accept an offer by the united mine workers president to go into a coal mine i would love to see the discussions they have because i think it will be very interesting and potentially force and interesting, it could be an interesting topic in the general election against donald
trump when it comes to what did you really do for coal miners and those workers that supported you. >> it's actually good to ask this question from the perspective of somebody outside the u.s. looking at it. if you look at what's happening in the uk as justin pointed out you have all parties aboard for climate action. you have the ãemissions by 2015 goals legally binding in place. it also happened because the industry of economy in the uk is smaller. there aren't that many coal miners left in the uk. there aren't that many oil and gas people in the uk. they used to be. that's not the case. the buy-in has been easier. also the science has been easier, has been better communicated and accepted by the people. you take that perspective and look at the u.s. and you have
it's still very clear and communicated you have these bad actors who are trying to deny it. that has essentially taken over the conversation it's taken over the conversation for the long time in the u.s. and i think that was the problem that in some ways failed in the u.s. to then show that it's not just about telling you we need to cut emissions, it affects each of these aspects you raise. social justice, environmental nongreen gas impact. air pollution, all those things get better if we focus on climate action. i think that failure of climate, not just on their own can be understood now how quickly green new deal ideology ideas are taking off because it was a gap that needed to be filled that somebody needed to
communicate this is the scale at which it's happening. and scale of the solution that can be applied. it's heartening to see it. >> speaking of the science, the u.s. 's traditional problem has been just getting the widespread acceptance of the science. getting policy to reflect science. i want to ask if we may have perhaps not equally great but another interesting issue in the mitigation of the science from the other side it's a common refrain we hear is that we have 12 years to solve this. scientists tell us we have 12 years to get this right. the ipcc 1.5 degree report says we have 12 years before climate catastrophe. person who topped science climate professor by the name of myles allen.
as a leading climate scientist is a little comfortable with sometimes the way the tickets played out particularly in the u.s. political debate. worrying that if we reach year 13 in the world has gotten marginally warmer and marginally worse severe weather and getting marginally more uncomfortable but we haven't fallen off the face of the earth yet that you're going to have disillusionment in the communicators stop the political communicators of the science. how do you deal with that? does that cross your mind? how do you grapple with the communication of things like the 1.5 degrees report and this 12 year horizon that is being discussed?>> i think the ipcc does it's fantastic job they are a huge bureaucratic nightmare but yet they produce a report that you cannot find ã that's an achievement that we should all be proud of. it can get people across all
these countries scientifical, all the difference universities working together on one document and producing it. it just got past the night before he had these ãb everybody sitting in front of computers agreeing that this is a document we found. i don't tickets right to fault their communication at all. the 12 years does not come from the ipcc report. it comes from a media report about the ipcc report. i became a vegetarian, trapping vegetarian, i call myself, i partake in different cuisines because i want to be able to make the most of my travels. >> so you ordained that. [laughter] >> because of the un livestock's long shadow report that was published earlier in the century. un reports have huge impact in
the one-time sightsee report apart from the 12 years did actuate a lot of discussion on climate action. especially in negative emissions. i think the 12 year thing is probably on the same spectrum as climate denial, it is small part of the climate discussion that gets disproportionate attention. >> i think the 12 years framing did one very important thing it gave a lot of the activists who are now very vocal and shutting down cities and forcing candidates to take division. they've used the 12 years narrative to their advantage. it's a slogan it's something you can put on a sign and i think in that sense it's kind of where we see the product of
that framing. as an activist tool but as far as i can see some of the negative impact of that framing when you are year 13 rolls around and people begin to question the science because that's the narrative they've been told. it's easy for editors, it's easy for activists and there's a potential danger in conveying that. we should probably be clear in advising against that framing as it is. >> i think to add the context and specifics of what 12 years means it doesn't mean in 12 years we are all going to die. to include that in the story. if we are going to reference the 12 year number we need a sentence that explains very precisely what that means. i think you are right to say
the point the activist community has used it latched onto it and elevated it so that now it is something that even someone who doesn't follow this will know. it can be hard to even having the voice of the media outlet it can be hard to combat that and explain that when you got people who are getting a lot of attention repeating a line. >> we may want to do more in 12 years we may have committed ourselves because of the nature that the leg and the tempter affected the greenhouse gap already in the atmosphere. >> and to be fair to the scientists get there have been a lot of pushback from climate scientists on the 12 year narrative. if anything what they now clearly say is we don't have time we should be cutting emissions now. >> absolutely. >> there's no 12 year window
left. we should start cutting emissions now. >> the other dangers on the other side you got 12 years to figure it out let's wait until year 10 and hopefully technology will be better than. we can afford to not act today. let's go back to the audience for question. we are going to take two they are from the middle row and then come back over here to the front for the third question. >> it appears that the climate migration nexus in europe is quite strong. the narrative is very well understood with north africa. but it hasn't necessarily connected here in the united states, which ãband wondering if you are seeing antidotes or evidence of that nexus as well? >> great. one other question? >> dave ãfrom energy materials corporation. this is hard for me to get out because i've been in the solar and renewable energy industry
for 22 years. what i don't see covered much is the challenges of scaling the renewables industry in the next 30 years, to meet these timelines. if you look at the solar industry, regardless of the scenarios forecasting different renewable energy types of floors. if you look at solar energy it specifically talked about 20% of local energy and quite a bit higher.there are scenarios stop that's roughly 500 gigawatts a year of solar. the resources for that doing it within planetary boundaries so you are not escalating via ecological overshoot problems. i'm curious if you are hearing much of that or covering that? >> the lady in the second row. >> my name is ãbi work for cam motors. my question is a little bit deeper. you mentioned the green new deal to talk kind of about
making the whole climate debate accessible to the public. but really there is a deeper question of what are we communicating or not communicating to those who legislate and regulate? and how do you feel your journalistic positions really has an obligation to communicate that kind of information to the regulators and daughter legislators in your perspective countries and >> a question on the climate migration nexus, a question on scaling ãrenewables in time, and communicating the policymakers and regulators. i'd be curious in answering that maybe could each say to what degree you feel you or your publication, your venue, is communicating to that audience? >> on the last question i think
it's funny if i go up to the hill every office is going to have a "time magazine" will they have read it? i don't know. [laughter] i don't think, i think the way that we play in that discussion is more in sort of the dialogue that it might create if we have a story that creates a dialogue and lead to constituent i think without if we break news or something it might have some sort of effect on policymakers but i don't think if i write a feature on climate politics that an informed legislator ãbmaybe that will change their mind. i don't know. in short i don't know. i would hope it does but i'm not sure.
>> does the real utility or power of time now truly lay in the cover? >> i feel like you see the cover is something that's easy to tweak. it's something you see be produced beyond the print edition of the magazine. do you feel like there's almost it's one of those instances there is 100 to 1 delta between the impact of the cover in the articles inside? >> often times. not necessarily. clearly our cover gets shared on social. it's revealed often times on morning joe and people are talking about it throughout today. there is a clear impact easily from the cover but we do good journalism as well inside. i think it's interesting we still have, i would say the number because i might get it wrong but we still have millions of subscribers who get the magazine every day and many of whom ãbevery week. many of whom actually read through the entire thing. there is that impact and it's
not insignificant. >> is a particularly with when it comes to california and other states versus the epa or the interior department, i think we do, our headlines reach state regulators. in the sense of that kind of state versus epa. i think the planet nexus one i don't know as much about the u.s. and interestingly last week in the guardian which i featured in my newsletter which was astonishing to me. in the last two years about
850,000 watermelons have been affected by drugs. 168,000 have been arrested at the southern u.s. border. if that's not causation i don't know what stronger causation is playing impact. as for the first question climate migration nexus and then scaling tech in time. >> i think that question is a good question and mine are poignantly essentially the difficulty is the big money has been coming to the renewable space in the way that it should. big money is in the oil and gas industry to index funds or direct the investments. that money is yet to come to renewables. it's starting to happen. the norwegian ãdumping some of
the pure exploration companies ironically occidental is one of them. and then moving some of that money toward renewable projects is a sign in which scaling up can happen. i don't know about the 500 gigawatts but i do think as big money moves from the ãbwe will see the shift. >> what is the number one preventative thing today is it a lack of understanding the return structure of renewables as an asset class or something different? do you think it's something more nefarious in terms of incentive structures? >> i think there would be other factors but information flow is definitely a key problem. when an analyst at a bank is sitting down and trying to say, okay, we have $10 billion we need to invest with a two
percent 2.5 percent return over the next 30 years, what can we invest in? you don't get somebody explaining this renewable project would be giving you those returns. that's just an information gap in how renewable projects are presented to these large asset managers. that's what i've been able to get from some of the reporting so far. it's a really interesting space to be in. the shareholder activism might be one way to do it. shareholders are forcing cognitive industries to do the right thing. at the same time, start looking at what are the opportunities they can invest in. it's a difficult problem. >> in september there will be two televised events not necessarily climate debates but climate townhomes.
more than half have pledged to achieve 100% renewables target by 2030 or sometime around then. i think that would be a great time to hear from each candidate how because right now we are lacking in a lot of the specifics. >> that's great. >> let's take another round of questions. we got one question at the far back. very far back. we will start with that and then come up this row. >> and representing 399. we are artist driven think tank. i want to ask the panel how do you guys feel about our playing a role in the climate change. >> terrific. we got a question over here. the inter-part of the central section. >> and jackie ãbi'm wondering
if you personally feel like you have any sort of emotional attachment or stake in the transition or if you are covering it diagnostically as if you would a sports game. if the former is true what has been the most compelling ways to communicate the urgency of the climate crisis to a lot of different audiences coming at the issue from a lot of different values. given that the environmental appeal doesn't always appeal to everyone. what has been the most compelling ways you been able to do that. >> that's great. let's take one question up here and we will come back to this side for the next round of questions.>> thank you. i'm greg ãwith belectric power lines. i wanted to ask a question maybe a little more academic journalistic question than some of the ones a little more
complex. you mentioned in your introduction the complexity of the issue you also mentioned the commitments of the corporations to energy goals. this is one representative of i think a larger problem. when we talk about these things it's not necessarily universally understood. 100% renewables as a goal versus carbon free as a goal versus net zero as a goal versus carbon neutral as a goal. most of those mean fundamentally different things. and they all sound like they are carbon free but they are not. what do you think as journalists i know it's difficult. he said you try to explain things that include how much
effort you put into trying to make sure the audience understands the language used. >> great questions. we got one on art and climate change and let me throw in there actually at least some photojournalism and some of the videos i've seen put together by news organizations recently on climate change i personally would say verges on journalism but also art in some places. the visual impact the emotional impact so striking and so thoughtfully put together and so creatively and artistically conceived you almost have news organizations covering climate change putting together varmint art as well. when you get your thoughts on that. do you have a personal stake in these issues and how does that inform your journalism? and being careful with our terminology. this is important for not just
you as news organizations but also us as independent think tanks to be very careful about the language we use in describing policies. and being accurate in them. >> i will start with the odd question because i had this discussion with my wife over the weekend. my editor in chief encouraged me to start working on a book earlier this year and over breakfast i suggested to her if i do publish a book i would love to have an art project alongside it. she rolled her eyes. because i'm not an artist by any means. i would love to be able to collaborate with people who know what art is. i said i think the best thing i've read on lack of art and climate is the book by amitabh coalition indian writer called the great ãhe was i think first nonfiction book he wrote about how there is a lack of climate infection. he is walking the talk and just has a novel out about climate
which has become a genre after the other book called we are starting to see that come through and i think it's essential that are to be a part of the discussion. the final thing i would say is extension ãrecapturing the 12 years and taking it to another extreme humans are going to go extinct by climate change is not going to happen. we will be very badly off if we don't do anything about it but humans are cockroaches of the climate they are not going anywhere.not because of climate change anyway. they have great art and their art is now are in activism. it's going to be displayed at the victoria and albert museum in london. we are starting to see art break into climate and am very happy that that's happening. >> we obviously have some of the best photographers in the world and i think the climate
story is when they get to tag along on those assignments some of their favorites to capture their been iconic photos recently with melting glaciers. i think they resonate with people i think they scare people and kind of in a way it's very often more powerful than words. >> i guess i will try the second question which is a tricky one. of course as humans on the planet i have a stake but you also at the same time as a journalist have to take a step back and try to tell the story and not try to tell a story, to tell the story in a way that is in somewhat dispassionate but also to allow people and their stories to speak for the sticks will have. rather than making my own
feelings my own state part of that story. >> i would answer that question by saying journalists and activists there are people that are journalists and activists. then there are journalists and activists. i would say to think about it from an activism perspective you simplify your message then you try to explain the complexity behind the message. most of the time. as i see it i'm not an activist. you got the 12 years and then trying to explain why the 12 years are important. i think journalists start from the other side and go, here's a problem, here's how you might be able to solve it. in some way they come somewhere in the middle anyway to be able to deal with the complexity. i think journalists try to do that from the get-go rather than the other way around. i think that addresses some of the questions you raised which
is how to explain the difference between net zero and common neutrality. i deeply care about that difference and i think everybody should because it's really important. it's all over the place. so that needs to be tackled. it explained to the audit. the repetition of every time there is a story about it you try to explain how you do it. >> my challenge very often some of our stories are quite short. very often i will try to
explain the difference between carbon neutral or net zero. very often it gets in the editing process supervise and something else. it's a real challenge actually trying to convey the important differences but in a very ã that's my challenge. i think the important reminder to stick with it because there are big differences. >> we are in a much better place than we were when the ipcc 's court assessment said we should have 80% reduction compared to 1990 by 2050. nobody understood that. at least net zero is easier so we are getting somewhere in trying to explain the rules. >> the other thing important that we overlook a lot is making sure we are clear about
distinctions between target goals, aspirations, binding legislation, executive orders, which can be easily reversed. sometimes these internal combustion engine bands and 2040 or 2045 are somewhat breathlessly reported. in all honesty i think the folks announcing them probably know that. they know that it can be difficult to legislate taken shape market expectations at least in the margin. let's take another round of questions from this side before have to wrap things up. we will go one, two, three. >> richard coleman, cbp retired. i remember john denver the singer was rocky mount high it was reported that he had his own gas tank in his front yard and everybody was shocked.
and horrified he was a symbol of clean air and healthy living.i saw an article recently about european shaming for flying i was wondering thinking smoking if there would ever be an energy hog shaming movement and that story will grow. >> michelle ãenergy impact center. one of the things i don't think we talked about a lot today is nuclear energy. it's one of the most critical recognized technology for addressing climate change and i'm hoping you can all talk about it and especially talk about the differences the united states and the united kingdom are taking right now. thank you. >> great question. there was a question in the very back. >> jesse with third way, my question is about the publican legislatures and republican voters. we've heard a lot about whether it's the green new deal or administration has influenced
activists on the left as well as the 2020 primary cycle.i'm wondering if you are reporting or kind of tracking a republican view has changed in the last couple years and what you think might be impacting the conversations. >> three terrific questions to bring us home. we got climate energy shaming, the choices by some activists also to take both to major summits or events rather than playing to a question on nuclear sometimes we talk about if only we had zero carbon baseload technologies which wasn't intermittent like wind and solar would only be in a great place? we had nuclear energy for years. france has 80% of its electricity from nuclear. where is that going? where does that factor into journalism? and then evolution perhaps in republican thinking or republican strategy around climate. do you sense that and how do you report that?>> in the
last question i think actually one of the interesting aspects of the green new deal becoming pretty much a part of the energy and environment discussion is that it's drawn republicans back into part of the solutions around climate change. we are seeing more proposals around carbon fees some kind of carbon pricing. there is a republican caucus the roosevelt caucus forming to try to find moderate solutions around climate change. i think the aggressive nature of the green new deal has pulled some of the republicans back into things because i think they can see that polling shows there is widespread support for some kind of climate action. they see the you today have a youth problem that young people
overwhelmingly support climate change actions and they realize they are now needing to do something. the green new deal gives him a little more space to come up with proposals. what they can say are more realistic and implementable and we are starting to see lots more proposals ãwho had his own green new deal proposal. i think it's very interesting side effect of the green new deal discussion. >> i think ãis the swedish word for flying shame. flight shame. it's actually a phenomenon. and it's a good thing i think. there are places in europe you can get to via trains. men are not easily accessible by flights.
you're starting to see sweden was called the first reduction in the number of flights. people are taking more trains. i'm hyperaware that i have a carbon footprint. i think i think i'm probably a fraction of the population aware of their carbon footprint. having a shaming activism movement is a good thing because more people would be there. i think there are solutions. catherine hagel was climate scientist asked texas tech university. had good response to how you deal with being a climate scientist. in giving talks. she said that, i tried to minimize my travel.
and combine things when i do. that's what i tend to do. next week we are going to chicago for an event and then in boston for a workshop and making sure that one cross atlantic flight does with the carbon footprint. more people should think about that and i think it's a good thing. >> let me ask one final question. as we wrap up. >> and we address the nuclear. >> there is a military nuclear win-win for countries that have nuclear weapons there.
having personnel who have it trained in having the submarines or weapons and other forms. which is the uk's reason to be investing in nuclear even though it costs a lot more than other sources of electricity today. the other thing that makes me laugh about nuclear is that most of the deal has come in concrete or steel. it's not the radiation. it's not the complex nuclear physics that's required to run these. it's these other things that are a problem.i think it gives me hope that there are small module reactors those are standardized and you don't have to have a plan design from scratch. we might just get to a point
within the next 10 years or so that the technologies are able to be price competitive. because the carbon and based ã ãthat allows them to compete. >> you teed me up perfectly to mention two different projects here at the atlantic council we are extremely proud of and excited about. number one is we just wrapped up a task force on the future of nuclear energy leadership bipartisan task force shared by senator crapo and senator whitehouse. he touched on not only the climate imperative but also the national security imperative the interlink in synergies that exist. it emphasized the role that advanced nuclear small module reactors will have the future and the importance of the u.s. leading into the new technologies that may have answers to some of the conventional challenges facing
conventional whitewater nuclear reactor. he talked also about workforce development and about jobs for veterans that may work on a nuclear submarine next week you will be with me in chicago at an event we are doing on tuesday, august 13 called veterans advanced energy summit. we will be in chicago all day elected officials like representative sean kasten former officials like senator kelly ayotte leading thinkers and experts in energy markets energy businesses all discussing opportunities for veterans and those involved in national security jobs here in the united states and elsewhere. in their civilian careers contribute to advanced energy leadership and furthering the technology the business model that will be needed to scale in order to address the challenges. thank you very much for that. for those of you who will be in chicago please join us. for those of you based here in dc we will live stream the event all day.
i encourage you to go to the best energy summit.org and tune in the day all. as we come to a close today as we come to conclusion we really hope to make this an annual event. i neglected to say we did this last year with energy journalists we do this this year and we hope to do it again quite often in the future. perhaps we will also be doing one of these events with ã authors to come. with that, please join me in thanking these three esteemed journalists who have been so generous with their time today. [applause] [inaudible conversations] saturday on american history tv at 10:00 p.m. eastern on real
america, the 1970 film "communist on campus. >> yes they are communists. the mission probably proclaims the violent overthrow of the democratic system. yet our nation seems unbelieving, even unconcerned. >> sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on oral history, woodstock cocreator ardie kornfeld details how the festival came together. >> i said yes, if we took it outside michael, supposedly ãb how many do you think would come? michael said about 50,000. i said no, there would have to be 100,000. my wife said there will be more than 300,000. just like that. i swear to god i looked up that terrace and i actually saw that scale. everybody said, ãdraft of course i was spaced out. i was looking at it dreaming came true. >> at 6:00 p.m. on american artifacts virginia museum of
history and culture curator karen and sherry on their exhibit to 400 years of african-american history. >> they were not content with their lot they want to resist their enslavement and they tried to run away. unfortunately they were not successful they were captured and as punishment for their attempt to escape, robert carter permission from the court in 1708 to have their toes cut off. >> explore our nation's past on american history tv. every weekend on c-span3. >> next, the former u.s. ambassador to ukraine talks about the political agenda of the country's president and the ongoing conflict with russia.