tv Discussion on the Environment CSPAN November 2, 2019 4:50pm-6:06pm EDT
are out there. okay, the book is called open season. the legalized genocide of public people by attorney benjamin crump. when the book signing out there afterwards and please stay for that. think mr. krupp are coming here and sharing his story. [applause] next from this year his boston book festival is the discussion on the environment. including harriet washington, writes about what she calls environmental racism. soon a good evening and welcome today to the boston public library. and the president of the boston public library and we are sponsoring this particular session of the festival and we are thrilled i may be actually be surprised if we were
sponsoring something because it's all about boxing and reading and writing. and so are thrilled to present the section on paper or plastic and brother environmental and perhaps some brother choices that will be hearing about from the panel. let me introduce our moderator and we will get the session going. a couple of logistical things first. there will be a brief signing after the session in the lobby. library normally closes at 5:00 o'clock on a saturday will be holding library open until 515 which is the conclusion of the session. which means if you are not book site, we ask you to exit the building expediently as possible as there is another if it here this evening to. so to the order of business, barbara is the senior producing editor of environmental vertical. and has also been for the new york times, technology or review.
the boston globe magazine. vessels producing television documentaries for pbs and the discovery channel in the history channel and others. she's also a former professor at boston college. please welcome barbara. [applause] >> hi everybody i'm barbara moran. the editor and i am thrilled to introduce these three intellectual heavyweights today. each are going to give a ten minute presentation about the bugs. and will have a discussion here and open up to the audience then. our first will be harriet washington. she is the research fellow scholar and author. recipient of the national book critics circle award for nonfiction in washington's fellowship at stanford university depaul university college of law in harvard medical school among others. spends a lot of time on trying back-and-forth to boston to updo
all of her fellowships. she's also worked as a senior research scholar at the national bioethics in a book medical the first cover has a history of u.s. medical experiment. asian american americans. terrible thing to waste source environmental racism and the psychological effects on the american mind. welcome harriet. second will be andrew mcafee. ann was a scientist and writer and researcher at the forefront of exploring digital impacts art is in future. he is the codirector of the initiative of the digital economy and mit. as well as possible research client is at mit sloan school of management. is the author of multiple books. his writing is featured in featured in the harvard business review in the financial tom among others. we talking about his latest book more from less. spreading story of how we learn to prosper using fewer resources and what happens next. joshua goldstein, a scholar and
professor and writer with expertise in international relations and roll order and climate change. he is the phd from mit in his work which has a slight foreign affairs and policy new york times and washington post answered him foundation individual research and writing rep. in the international associations, or work. he's also so international relations book. his most recent book is a bright future which will be discussing today. the former head of nasa institute says the book lays out the only viable path that is been proposed for rapid global decarbonization. rocky today were going to fall climate change in an hour and four minutes. [laughter] talking. harriet europe. harriet: [applause] lost power.
on my laptop. thanks much. good evening. thanks for coming to hear me. i'm going to talk about a novel problem in environmental toxicity. not a novel problem but novel and that we paid little attention to it. this unfortunate poisoning of communities of color. willow environmental toxicity on the present were all affected by it. recent study shared that 95 percent of its harbor testified what it does into our pesticides that were banned 40 years ago. still it affects our baby food in our bodies but for african americans and hispanic americans and native americans, the problem is compounded because monday of them are forced to live in close proximity to very potent serve sources of
toxicity. in recent years we've all been writing about lead exposure. involving the racial sense. the. but let exposure is only one very small part of the problem. as harmful as it is. in terms of cognate give thanks, and heavy metals, are responsible for a lot of problems. not only unlit, but arsenic in metal alloy and the cause of wasting and mercury. that's only one of monday. we also have things like pathogens that cause cognitive problems. they are more likely to be found in areas where poor people of color live. we also have chemicals which are a problem for all of us however it is african-americans and hispanics are most likely leaving in areas that have very rich loads of these things. not only have they been located in areas where they live, and
not only do they tend to have workplaces where their exposed them, that went out proper protective gear, this also a lot of evidence and industries move into areas based upon the racial profile because the phenomenon, not in my backyard something is more powerful new dave by people who on the homes redlining keeps african-americans roaming their home. we also have problems that was sold assumptions. early on, one of the monday problems with lead, was partly that the industry was intentionally deceiving and manipulating the government into not regulating it properly. but also, the fact that scientists were the threshold of exposure below which we have never met and have a problem. this untrue. but for a long time that assumption causes a great deal of economic harm physical harm
and in terms of migrant, but i'm most interested in is the cognitive part right here in boston, is researcher name philip, the harvard school of public health who has been written a book that it was actually for me, and a t-shirt. only one chance. in great detail of the evidence, he shared how profoundly affects it hard on the brain. they thinks we have any began to quantify. this we have. to this i know every year, 23 million. so his work is extremely important and able to quantify in these understanding and of course it's not limited to toxic metals. there are things that affects communities of color who don't normally think of. they're kind of cognition within you. you've probably heard about the deserts) people who don't have supermarkets or sources of economical fresh nutritious food.
the horse to rely on local adult supply proper foods. you could buy an entire fast food meal for less than wilted vegetables for example. but that's a problem. i look at the food swamps. because the same areas have a huge density of alcohol, very potent alcohol and fortified wine and bears. also tobacco. which is targeted marketing to communities of color. put all of these together and then you had a greater exposure to vermin and pathogens. as you find in monday homes in poor areas, and you end up with very potent robbers of cognition. but we haven't focused on that. we flicked on cognition very differently when it comes to racially strategizing in this country. i can skip over a slight if you want me to. because i have quite a few. now one of the questions i get
in with the big questions i wanted to answered for myself when i wrote this book, is it really brace or is it social economics. it's a poverty. because we off of the poverty correlates very closely with those poor health and lower cut things. it's true the is the risk factor like it is for monday brother things. but race is the much stronger risk factor. . . .
something we see repeated. the fact that segregation although we like to think that segregation has ended in the country the jury segregation did indeed and but real segregation actual physical separation of the races has actually gotten worse. the work of david williams, here at the harvard school of public health, his detail, he pointed out that for us to escape segregation, 66 percent of every african-american in the country would have to move somewhere else. so we are still ãband thus not only created a more intense exposure to ãbit maintains it. of course i'm not proposing that only toxicity is lowering african-american hispanic cognitive functions and intellect. of course i completely understand what an incendiary statement that is to make it all but the fact is that toxicity works in concert with many other factors.
no one has looked at the data or tried to even see whether we are talking about a ãbin fact, we don't know how one of these factors is potentiating the other one. we just know they are very heavily found in communities of color. what has been the party line traditionally about cognition in african-americans? ãbhas been quite vigorous and quite vocal since the mid-50s early 60s ãbis due to genetics. you have races like blacks and hispanics, which are not a race but you know, ãbbut you have these populations and they are inherently less intelligent and passing that on to the children as genetic. that's the parting line and because these people are scientists, unfortunately we
give them much more credit than we should. we have enough data and research to know how wrong they were. very wrong. they are wrong about their assumption of what intelligence is, in fact, they can't define it. ãbsaid intelligence like electricity is easier to measure then to define. anyone who took high school physics know how to define electricity.so i'm not terribly impressed by that statement. the reality is, they talk about intelligence but what would they measure that iq? and does iq measure intelligence? no. far from doing it. a lot of the mythology around iq is driving a lot of the support for hereditary and thinking. too much for me to get into right now but the shorthand is, iq doesn't measure one's inherent ability to learn, it measures how well a one has made certain learning
milestones. how well people have achieved certain skills. a large vocabulary. can you read well? can you manipulate numbers these are learned skills. an iq that measures those fairly accurately, not completely accurately. it doesn't tell you how inherently ãyou are and intelligence is something that varies from place to place. here in the west learning to read, literacy numbers, those are key to intelligence. but other countries they don't mean much. most people are not literate. schooling is not enforced and as one researcher put it, the shorthand is, iq scores will tell you if you will be a good office worker you want say if you will be a good farmer. we have all this mythology around intelligence that lets us follow certain habits of thought. one of the more egregious errors about intelligence is that the scientists who always have a very strong political
agenda one of their lease beliefs is that it's something that you can't do anything about it, we can't intervene it would be far too expensive and even if you find a way to do it, it's genetic it can't be fixed. but everyone knows genetic illness can indeed be fixed. if your child has fetal paranoia, yes, they will suffer profound brain damage and retardation unless they are diagnosed in time to withhold ã ãin which case it specifically normal. some types of ãbi will wind up quickly. some types of nearsightedness are genetic but they can be fixed by glasses, they can be fixed by surgery. the bottom line is that a lot of the mythology we've said has led us to think of intelligence and iq as being something inherent, when actually it is something that is either created or destroyed. thank you for listening to me.
[applause] thank you, a lot of great stuff to talk about there. andrew, you are up.>> thanks. thank you all for coming this afternoon. i want to do something a little bit foolish in a session on the environment. i want to say some optimistic things. and i want to make a couple things clear before i do that, first of all, i am not saying that everything is okay. i'm also not saying everything is going to be okay. we have real challenges ahead of us. we are cooking the planet and we need to stop and we need joshua to show us the way to do that. the point that i am making is that we actually know the playbook for meeting the challenges that we have. that sounds like a confident statement may be an overconfident one. to do that i want to go back to the first earth day in the dawn of the environmental movement in the united states which is just about 50 years ago the
environmental movement looked at some of the trends in the country and got nervous about them. to show those trends, here's 170 years of the american economy. when you grow at a couple percent a year for 170 years, that's what you wind up with. really astonishing exponential growth over more than a century. that's the good news, that's where prosperity comes from. here's the challenge, here's how much energy we needed to generate that economic growth year after year. it's basically a one-for-one relationship and our stores of fossil fuels are finite. if we hone in on the 20th century, here's the size of our economy, here's much metal we needed year after year to generate that economy. here's how much fertilizer we needed to grow the food that we ate as we generated that economy. you notice all these have same trendline as the overall economy we live on a finite
planet. you don't have to be a math genius to realize that some trouble could come along with that. when we dive in on harriet's issue and look at how we are doing with keeping our air water and land clean. the skies in america are getting more crowded in the years leading up to earth day. i think the biggest moral mistake that we made was to take some of the most iconic species on the planet and drives and falls to the rate of extinction. if this is how many blue whales they were in the southern oceans, this is how many blue whales there were by the early 1970s. we think we took the population down to about 500 animals. the environmental movement was kind of an ordinary effort a bottom-up effort to say, we have to stop doing these things and a few ideas kept reoccurring. one of the most powerful ideas, do you think that title needs an exclamation point. the central most powerful idea
was this exponential economic growth we are doing is the problem. we really have to rethink that. we need to embrace the philosophy of signing up for ã ãtrending our back on this industrial model we built because the only sustainable growth is de-growth and you heard that back again now as we confront the climate crisis in 2019. i want to make one point as clearly as i can, we did not do this. we americans have not voluntarily embraced de-growth. we can see that clearly if we just keep drawing the size of the overall american economy. here is where we are up to 1970, here's what happened in the years since then. you don't see massive voluntary de-growth. but you see a couple interesting things.when he died in on one important industry, agriculture. i want to demonstrate this phenomenon i talked about in the book of more from less. here's the total crop tone for about half a century. here's what we are doing with fertilizer now, that was going
up one-for-one with the size of the economy until kind recently now we are getting more crops year after year using less fertilizer. the same thing is true for water, total water for irrigation is on the decline now in the u.s. and total crop land is slowly decreasing. the line does look like it's going down superfast but the magnitude is big. since the early 1980s we have given an amount of cropland back to nature equal in size to the state of washington while the agricultural tonnage has done that. this is the phenomenon of more from less and you'll see it all throughout the economy. here's the size of the economy, here's our total use of wood products of timber, plateaued it's not going down. every use of paper in the smart phone era especially is decreasing pretty steadily. one thing i hear when i talk about this is you are telling a globalization story, off shoring sending to china all our manufacturing all the
resources are being consumed there. i don't think that's the case at all. let me draw you one more picture. here's the size of our manufacturing industries. the decline of american manufacturing is a myth. the employment is in decline. the output continues to grow steadily. here's where the use of a bunch of important metals has looked like over that same creative time. i want extra credit for getting the lion of each metal to look like the metal itself. i want to underscore that. let's look at the relationship between the economy ãband energy. this one-on-one relationship is broken down. in our carbon generation is going down even more quickly evenly take offshore globalization into account. i want to be clear that redline
is not going down quickly enough. we need to listen to joshua about how to make that happen even more quickly but we have finally learned to decouple our prosperity from taking more and more from the earth. here's where pollution was trending in the years leading up to 1970. here's what happened since then. we put in place extraordinarily effective measures to clean up our air skies and land in the years since 1970. i could not agree more strongly with harriet, it's uneven, we are leaving some ãbehind. the pollution levels are still too high.the trend is absolutely heading in the right direction. let's go back and look at our whales. i'm sorry, let's talk about global warming. when you thing about global warming when you think about greenhouse gases, it's just another kind of pollution. i don't mean just in the sense that they're not important, they are desperately important. but when we think about them is another form of air pollution the playbook comes one more clear. given with greenhouse gases will be very difficult for lots of reasons but it's not
mysterious. the track record is pretty good at that. if any of us has a economists friends we know they agree on absolutely nothing. the single broadest agreement i'd ever seen across the economics profession was on putting in place a carbon dividend or carbon tax tickets rebated to the people in our country. 3500 economists have signed up for that you could not get 3500 economists to agree the sun rises in the east. this is a pretty profound statement. we know the playbook. let's go back and look at what's been happening to our whales. one phrase i learned from stuart branches that natureéif we get out of the way and stop hunting them, they will actually come back.their population is somewhere north of 15,000 animals now. a lot of the trends we should care a great deal about are now going in the right direction. that's why i say that our playbook is actually pretty clear. our failures come from not understanding the playbook and not following it carefully enough. my four elements are the combination of nasty
competitions and businesses have to cut costs. in public that is aware of the harms of pollution and the importance of preserving species and a government that listens to their people. when you have all four in place instead of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, i called them before horsemen of the optimist in my final suede is absolutely shameless emotions but it's not photoshopped the whales are coming back off the coast of new york city. thank you very much. >> i like to point out not only did andrew match the colors but he finished exactly when the timecard came on. >> raise your hand if you have children or grandchildren or somebody else you care about under the age of 30. what has happened? [laughter]
okay josh, you are at. >> hopefully the slides will work. [laughter] raise your hand if you have a sibling or child or somebody under age 30 that you care about deeply. i'm in that crowd too. number come on. there you go. i have a couple kids and my child became a climate activist when he was 11 years old. he ran for the state legislature in massachusetts when he was 22 and got elected on a climate platform and he's now 25 and coming up with the book, maybe you will be here next year. the 100% and how to actually solve climate change and that's what got me into climate change how do we actually solve it? what do we do? were to waypoint this because it's not ãbthis is what the young people are asking us to solve the problem. solving climate change, there's two aspects, one is the things that are already happening,
firesale floods, storms, and we are already beginning to see those, that's not what i'm worried about. it's the longer term things. the tipping point is that we won't be able to get back from once we go over the edge. this is lost another 12 feet of sea level rise. i showed this to the engineers at mit and they said this is okay we are on the fourth floor of the building. [laughter] what would be disastrous for boston would be absolutely catastrophic for bangladesh and all were parts of the world all the places where people of color live in the world. would not be able to cope with that. it's as though we loaded future generations on a bus and it's going over a cliff.what matters isn't when the bus hits is when it goes over the cliff. if the point at which the last chance to slam on the brakes and keep it from going over the cliff. that's the point that matters and that coming up sooner than people realize. we've arranged for a belt to be run late in the session when we hit that point. [laughter]
so how are we doing? slowing the bus drown? this graph the amount of carbon opening in the atmosphere this is the speed at which the buses going, not only putting more carbon, we are doing it faster and faster. over the last 20 years we haven't even begun to slow down. everything we are doing about climate change and that's a long list, so far is a complete failure. that's where we need to start from. we need something different. if you were to slow the bus down you get to the paris agreement where we just came about in the atmosphere the earth if everybody kept their agreements, which they are not. and it also is not going to solve the problem. with the climate scientists tell us we have to do is slam on the brakes, take fossil fuel out of the economy worldwide in just about 30 years. that is a huge task. why are we not succeeding in doing it? i contend that we are trying to do little things and hope that they add up. conserve energy turn off the
lights put in renewables, eat less meat, decca think. and it's not adding up. i just showed you the graph. this idea of conserving energy in particular, it doesn't work for the poorer parts of the world.a billion people don't have access to electricity. if you're grinding sugarcane by hand electricity is going to transform your life. if you are in a heat wave in india he wanted air conditioner. in the demand for electricity is skyrocketing just for air conditioners alone.people in india have a moral right to have electric city for sugar grounding and air conditioning and other things. you can't say, because we used of our carbon budget for people in the world can't use energy. as it happens, poor people in the world are most of which are carbon emissions are going to come from between now and 2050. that's very important anything we do to solve the problem in the united states, that's not going to fix climate change you need something that works worldwide.
i'm not going to talk about china just to say that that's a big piece of the poorer countries system and energy. another thing that is little pieces that will add up is kept one percent renewables, 10% ç01 wiki: do more and more until it reaches 100%. wind is cheap when it's going. the sun is cheap when it shining. the problem is it doesn't always shine. european energy statistics shows that for the whole continent of europe as a whole there is a week out of the year when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. so were you going to do during that week? there's no battery between now and 2050 that's going to store energy on that kind of scale. the answer is community to back up and right now the backup is fossil fuels. and they're not very shy about telling you that. the big oil companies are out there saying, natural gas is the perfect partner for renewables. it will back them up.
we have an example of what happens when you try to go all in for renewables and that's germany in the last 10 years. the nug policy billions hundreds of billions of dollars behind the policy political agreement across the spectrum, here is a big bridge capable country trying to go all in for renewables. what's the effect on their missions? almost nothing. worldwide is the same story. renewables are growing but fossil fuel is growing too good to solve the graphs of how energy is going up these are going up. renewables all around the world are being added on top of fossil fuels but we need something that can substitute for fossil fuels. so what solve the problem from the top down let's look at where we need to get two by 2050 and how we get there. this is where emissions come from. recorders of it from energy and of the energy most of it in industry transportation and heating. not the electric grid that gets all the attention. 2d carbonized those industrial signs of things, we need a whole series of technologies ranging from electric cars to
air source heat pumps to new ways of making concrete. substitute fuels for aviation. but at heart most of those have electricity that has to be used to produce those alternatives. or to directly drive a car of its electric car. we are going to need electricity to d carbonized all that is always decarbonization our current electric grid which is dominantly fossil fuel. then we have the growing demand from the poorer parts of the world i just mentioned. on top of that we have to start sucking carbon out of the atmosphere because is already too much and need to desalinate a lot of seawater. all in all it's just a massive amount of electricity that we need. right now we get from coal, coal is dirty, coal is unhealthy if we look at where people are generating electricity cleanly that's green on this map they are all in two categories either they have a lot of hydro power or nuclear power. hydro is problematic one minute
but nuclear is incredibly concentrated. it's unlimited in its scalability. this one south korean plant produces electricity for millions of homes you can fit the fuel for it on a truck. to do that with coal would take 25,000 railroad carts of coal. or 300 of these large solar farms in france open this one building. it's because nuclear is so concentrated that it provides a unique answer to climate change. we need electricity and massive amounts that scalable that's cheap so it can compete with fossil fuel around the world and that's clean so it doesn't make carbon for global warming. nuclear potentially has all those attributes we can talk about it more in the question and answer but that's what makes it incredible solution for climate change. thanks.
>> is interesting as an environmental reporter i feel like every day of my life is a swing between hope and total despair. this is kind of a microcosm. i wanted to talk about i wanted to start with this thought about just pollution. about the climate change looking at climate change as a pollution problem. can you talk to us about the effects of climate change having a worse effect in communities of color. a lot of time to think about environmental pollution environmental injustice to think about things like lead poisoning or chemical poisoning but the effect of climate change also affected communities of color. >> one of the rather interesting things i encountered while doing the book was talking about sufficient fishing, the fact that people in urban areas including people in urban areas
people of color will often fish and hunt the supplements of families diets but when i talked to ãbthey were very ã ãthey said no we don't have that document in african americans. i said, but i know it happens all the time my father fished and hunt. his friends did a lot about better so they can more efficiently. they said you can't write about it, it will exist. i said we will see about that. one of the things i was really concerned about the fact that this fishing was being done by people no one was paying attention to. they are going out and fishing and doing things that make sense but actually environmentally wrong. they would look for the largest fish. sounds smart, right? but mercury concentrates fish. also, they are going into waters where they fished before
they assume the fish they were getting a say. they didn't realize what climate change more and more bacteria are able to change the mercury from elemental into organic mercury. climate change has a big effect when you have people in disaster areas who are not getting adequately helped by the government. after hurricane katrina various vectors of illness multiplied in the area. you had more and more small animals that would carry ãb proof waiting in the area. they are getting sick of diseases we associate with being in the tropics. tropical diseases.
people are realizing that one reason environmental disasters help these vectors grow, the animals that carry growth. it's an issue for everybody. >> and was struck in your book about we were talking about asthma and being exasperated by pollutants. he?a better recommendation in the book that during heat waves, which will be increasing, that people use air conditioning. and what, the air conditioning using more fossil fuels. i was like what are we going to do? >> you are right. the problem is you're talking to people who have the children dying of asthma. and fossil fuel is a bit of an abstraction to them when the kid can't breathe at night. i'm giving them the advice that we need to stay alive essentially. we know roach parts and vermin potentiate asthma and to get rid of them but running the ac is your best defense. that's what i tell them to do.
it's interesting because you raise this with india. you guys need to figure this out so we can run our air conditioners and save the planet. >> you need air conditioners but you need to power them cleanly and this is what right now we are powering air-conditioners with coal and that's where a lot of asthma is coming from coal waste has arsenic it has lead and mercury all the things you're talking about and we cite all these in poor communities communities of color. but nuclear plants can produce electricity without all the pollutants. by the way, those coal wastes like lead and arsenic last forever. those are elements. unlike nuclear waste which only lasts hundreds of thousands of years slowly getting less dangerous. they are more toxic than nuclear waste and they last longer. and they are badly cited.
we need to not go backwards but to do it more sensibly. >> the de-growth movement is literally a movement to try to take us backwards. there are two really big problems with it. kind of hard to get the voters to sign up for a permanent ever deepening recession. i don't think that's a great plank. in a platform. the other problem is i think it's a moral catastrophe. racing to the people currently writing up sugarcane by hand that they don't have electricity or using to people of lower income people of melisma the orchestra on air-conditioner. i don't get it. especially because the problems that come along with economic growth are real but, to repeat myself, we have a playbook for viewing with them the de-growth movement wants to shred not only the playbook but the idea of growth as a whole i think it's wrong. >> can i say one thing? >> yes. >> let's be in mind the ãbone goes backward subjectively.
not with aggression but you pick and choose the progress you want and you throw away what's not working. i think that's applicable here. >> josh, not to play devils advocate but isn't that the potential or likely potential of nuclear waste or nuclear power becoming environmental justice issue with where to cite nuclear power plants where to put the waste etc.? >> nuclear power is going to replace coal coal is where we generate electricity in the world now. coal is killing about 1 million people a year. the chernobyl accident, the high end of how many people might have died there if you go find a hidden cancer case is your people died in a week from that one accident the only one in 60 years of nuclear power, fewer people died in that one accident then died from week of coal use. coal is killing people at a huge rate, poor people, people in the poor countries where you
can't breathe in the city. nuclear power can turn all around. would be the greatest boom for health in the world. if you can get the fossil fuels out and replace them with something that doesn't pollute the air and doesn't cause climate change. i think it's exact opposite of what you say. the worst case things that may go wrong with nuclear power are far better than what happens every day with fossil fuels. >> not to be contrary and but we don't know what that's doing. >> i think we do. >> do we really? are we sure about excess cancers. >> that was the point of the report. as certain as you can be with public health. they did a beautiful comprehensive report. >> they often look beautiful and comprehensive until 20 years later. >> it's been 30+ years. and i'm never one to say that nothing can ever go wrong with nuclear power.
if we start powering the world with nuclear power, of course we will have accidents of course we will have probably deaths. any energy source does that but you have to compare, nuclear power versus coal, oil and natural gas and even taking into account chernobyl, the accidental death rates from nuclear are at a power or lower than any other energy source including wind and solar. >> yes? >> is a 2007 study that looked at that pretty carefully. >> it was bad. >> it was bad. what's scary and dangerous is not the same thing.if you think about flying and driving, flying is scary, you go up in the air and everything but driving is 20 times more dangerous per mile. you feel like you are in control but you're doing something more dangerous. nuclear power is scary because we are not familiar with it and there has been a lot of effort to adjourn up fears over years
but coal is dangerous. >> one of the weird conclusions i came to when i was researching my book is that our intuition is a lousy guide for smart policies. i have a nuclear it factor. i was a kid when three mile island happened i watched the chernobyl documentary is terrifying stuff i can open it factor with gmo's for no good reason when you look at the evidence. one of the plea i make in more from less is that this is too important thing to lead to intuition. we have examined the evidence and be driven by the evidence. >> and was also picked out by nuclear when i was young. the thing was, back in the 1970s, i'm older than you. >> i didn't want to point that out. >> we didn't know back then how safe it would be because the industry was new and it could've been would have chernobyl's every week. also we didn't know about climate change back then. but now we know both those things we know it's been safe
because we've had it for 60 years. the u.s. navy has been running floating small nuclear reactors for 60 years. 6000 reactor years of operation and never had an incident with it. it's very unusual that anybody is harmed by nuclear power but it's completely commonplace that there harmed by these other energy sources. the best thing about nuclear power is we know it works you know you can make this transition because france and sweden and some other places have actually done it. france, several decades ago took fossil fuel off the grid. electricity is about half the price it was in germany. it's proven. that's what we need for climate change. not something risky, not something new and might work. some improvement. >> videos can fax there it factor. >> i think we need to respect the yuck factor.
[laughter] is there for a reason and can be useful but i also think the big problem is not the fears and agendas becoming and familiar. to me the big issue is educating people. what you don't want to do is to operate in the space of people's fears without contracting what you guys did a great job of doing just now. i think that message is more generally because people are not going to subscribe to something you try to force on them. >> i couldn't agree more clear doing a lousy job of that. what someone said, i try to keep this in mind you'll never displace a feeling with the fact. all these evidence driven arguments would love to make they are not super convincing. we need to be more clever with our rhetoric strategy. >> what do you feel what your big fear about climate change?
>> it certainly something that terrifies me when i think about it and makes me a bit angry because i hate seeing easily foreseeable ills that seem derailed by greed. and there's a lot of that in this country but i have to be honest with you it feels a bit of a luxury. not luxury but i'm more concerned, consumed with immediate harm the immediate harm we are seeing in terms of populations who have this huge exposure their bodies and minds are being eroded right before our eyes. how often little alcohol disease syndrome is being misdiagnosed in african americans and hispanics. what happens is we are looking
for children alcohol, alcoholic women, screening for native american women we are ignoring it in black and hispanic women and the child has a problem and it's a bit older we see the hit 15 become juveniles and delinquents without it being addressed. that's the kind of thing that i find is really immediate. these are things that are affecting our country right now and harming people, curtailing their lives. leading to early deaths. when i'm being caught up with that it's hard for me to widen my view sometimes i will admit that. and worry about what's happening down the line is 10 years and 15 years one i see things we need to address right now and hoping it's not too late. that's my honest feeling. >> the good thing is we have to act on climate change right now so, i get angry about the same things and we should be out there right now and doing things about them. the thing i'm hopeful about
that's happening right now is that the idaho national lab they are developing a small modular reactor that's about 1/10 the size of even less than the one i showed you in south korea. it's got support from government from both sides of the aisle in congress. and there's about 50 startups working on those small modular reactors. when you get those going it's going to be another five years or more to get it all working we will be able to take a small reactor like that and drop it into a coal plant and generate steam with that instead of with coal. keep the turbines keep the generator, keep the cafeteria of the parking lot everything else and drop these things into ãba manufacturer to start to pick up the asthma.
you it feels to me sometimes like some of the activists are saying we have to abandon everything else we are doing we have to focus on global warming. i'm not on board with that.>> it was heartening to me is that i see there was a time in 1980s i worked in poison control center. i was a manager. back then what i saw was that there seemed to be i know that term is not really care what people used to describe as recreational environmentalism. i know. it's not fair but. >> wrong. >> right.
but the reason they called it that though was compared to their immediate problems, that's how it looked. there is a big ãbpeople were working in sierra club. other groups who mission i subscribe to but a lot of people were more worried about toxins in their own neighborhoods and their own communities and what was being done there. what i see now though is coming together people joining their missions. nic more and more often the majority and environmental groups are taking on as part of their mission helping clean up neighborhoods and protect neighborhoods that have these big explosions. that's a really good sign i would love to see more and more motivations so we really are spending all our efforts on the same thing more focused way. perfect ending. way to put together.
>> we have about 20 minutes left to open it up to the floor for questions. somebody told me there would be mics. please remember that a question ends with the?. i'm allergic to manifestoes. anybody starts going on ãb question. >> thank you. great information. i have one question in the whole research for changing our needs of resource i haven't heard many people talk about looking at the population and it's because we just keep having more people which is good because we are successful in this book that's what's adding to the problem of our resources. anybody? >> we have just the guy.
>> someone should write a book about overweight. this is also one of the dominant things around the population bomb was one of the books i put up there and we have added, i can't tell you exactly how many billions of people to the planet since 1970 while that has been happening her health has been improving, their lifespans have been increasing, their diets have been improving, the amount of land we use for cropland around the world have gone up but less than you think. we are actually passed peak pastureland around the world. using less of it. even as people are more numerous and want to eat fancier calories in many ways we are shrinking the footprint on the earth to deliver all that. you saw my resource graph. i think another thing to keep in mind is that the global affordability of resources during the period where we massively increased human population around the world instead of resources getting scarce and therefore more expensive they become more abundant and therefore more affordable around the world.
on my list of things to worry about, population growth is absolutely not there. >> we know how population growth works as a demographic transition and as incomes go up and as energy use rises birth rates come down. women get educated family sizes go down, health improves. in the whole world is going to this transition on the big s-curve and we are flattening out in the top of the curve. if you want to accelerate that flattening if you want to tamp down population growth you need to get people around the world more income and more energy. that's the way to do it. not to complain and some north american setting that there's too many people in the poorer parts of the world or something.that's a dead-end. but a massive amount of cheap electricity will do more for population control than any other thing you can think of. >> harriet it's not my eric's expertise but i will say
improving prosperity in education is a good thing in and of itself but we have to room for a lot of women around the world education doesn't help. it's not just what you know it's how much power you have and when you don't have power, negotiate your own fertility then the number of children you have is not in your control. also it's interesting that correct me if i'm wrong, but i think there are still societies where having more children is actually an advantage. for a person. if you're in an agrarian society having more kids to work the farm can be an advantage to you. asking people to look beyond the sphere where they live is something i think has to be done because you certainly don't want to impose anything externally lisa had that didn't work in china.
i know you say nuclear energy has proven to be relatively safe and what i fear is that if we get all these many things we will lose some of the safety that was imposed with the nuclear regulatory commission in the accident in chernobyl is for a certain type of reactor which i believe is also the three mile island model my question is, how do we ensure we have the will to regulate, especially given our current climate what we've got in on doing all the environmental protections that we did put in place i grew up in the 70s and i can't tell you in the u.s. we are so darn lucky everything is better than it was people don't understand that there were no
bald eagles. it was bad in the 70s. i'm afraid if we will let go of those environmental regulations we are trading one thing for another. >> great christian. if we get many anywhere is that a recipe for disaster? >> no because putting many nukes everywhere means taking get rid of fossil fuels everywhere. he said it's relative.>> maybe. >> is extremely safe it's 400 times safer than coal. and if it's cheap enough you are going to get rid of call. that's the problem not that you want it safer than safer it's too safe now. i have a theory that not seriously but i have a theory we need more nuclear power plant accidents because if we had more accidents whose with
us on this one! [select plane crashes. planes crash every once in a while but we don't stop play dough mcfly would make them safer we get back in the plane. it's important to the world. nuclear power like if anything goes wrong if anything ever anywhere goes wrong we have to shut the whole thing down and that means we keep burning coal. since that three-mile accident which was a different design than chernobyl that's why nobody was hurt at three mile island. nobody was hurt but we shut down nuclear power for 30 years and burned coal and something like a million americans have died since three-mile island because we shut down nuclear and burned coal instead. >> can i just ask you what to take moderate ãbyour claim is that nuclear versus coal instead of why not, ãbwhy not go full on renewables and battery storage and that's
going to get rid of the coal. >> you just showed us just now. when you said battery storage and it was handwaving motion. there is no battery ãb technology keeps moving forward fast. >> but we can't power an entire continent for a week off any battery that's coming along anytime soon. >> the energy density you can store the battery is limited by chemistry and physics and we haven't found a shortcut around that. and it's not dense that's joshua! nuclear energy is unbelievably energy dense. that means it scalable. you can do it sprint stated he could do what sweden did. bill 10 reactors in a row and you got a d carbonized grid. they've had it for decades. we know that works we don't know the battery works and there's a lot of reason it think it would work. maybe a miracle will happen but it will just take my children's life on it. >> fair enough. >> is the song? this is for doctor goldstein.
i think you actually just jumped into it but my concern is with regard to renewables and the fact that they don't work at night most of the time. speaking more, could you speak more to the issue of batteries and renewables versus versus the continuous output available with nuclear. >> renewables work about something like 30% of the time on average. so you need something to back them up. it's natural gas now, that's the big thing. natural gas is coming on really strong and is supposed to be clean because it's only half the carbon of coal per unit of electricity. that's not going to d carbonized. there's a much worse problem with is methane is a component that meets natural gas what it is. the methane gas. methane is getting out into the atmosphere will all the way from the wellhead to compression station to flushing
out equipment and the pipelines. you are still when it goes click click when you turn it on and then lights, a lot of methane is getting into the atmosphere and going up really quickly and it's a greenhouse gas. on the relevant timescale a few decades it's 80 times stronger than co2. some people, bill mckibben just made this argument some people say it's actually as bad as coal. maybe it's not as bad as coal maybe it's only as mostly bettis coal but it's not decarbonization solution. every time we add renewables we are adding natural gas. we just did it in massachusetts we shut down our last and only nuclear power plant in pilgrim this june. hardly made a ripple, hardly got any attention that plant took off flying in massachusetts more electricity generation them all our wind and solar and hydraulic electricity combined. we are actually going backwards
even though we are adding renewables. >> we did need to do an eight part series. thank you.other question right there. >> i understand that in hiroshima and nagasaki three generations remove they can trace pathology to the bomb blast. that's a long time you were very flippant about nuclear waste in 100,000 years what is the solution? what is sweden doing because i have understood that there isn't any really good solution to nuclear waste. >> sweden has a boat that goes around and picks up this meant fuel from the reactors along the coast and they bring two interim site and put them in assuming pool. it's not very big it's about as big as this room.
you can stand right there so water absorbs the neutrons that their interim storage. then they are building about to start building a deep repository in bedrock underground in a stable place with earthquakes. finland has taken the same design and they are actually already constructing their repository. they will put it in copper canisters they will put clay layers it will fit under there. forever. finland did a study of what would happen if canisters were cracked when they went in the clay layer mysteriously disappeared and a thousand years from now somebody left their whole life on one square meter letter got all their food and water from that square meter how much radiation they would get in the answer was about the same as eating a bunch of bananas a bunch of year. bananas have potassium they are slightly radioactive. >> let's be clear, avoid banana's. [laughter] >> nuclear waste is very small
volume could fit the whole nuclear waste from the whole spent fuel from america 60 years of nuclear power into a walmart. it's very small volume unlike coal waste which is way bigger. it's small volume and not radioactive. it's not the most harmful substance created ever by manual nerve agents are much more toxic than plutonium. it's a small volume it's a small problem. the atomic bombs that was a lot of radiation. think about it. compared to living near nuclear waste. >> hello. >> do think there's enough of the plutonium and uranium for like every country to be using nuclear power and do think it everyone is using at the price would go up due to demand that would make it less feasible? >> the price of uranium is not the constraining thing because the amounts are so small.
the fuel would fit on a truck that south korean reactor for a year. there's plenty of it is pretty plentiful's letter around the earth's crust. it's actually what keeps us alive on this planet because radioactivity in the earth's cross just keeping it warm that keeps the iron modem and keeps our magnetic fields running. it's pretty innate to our distance on earth. that's not to be the problem. kazakhstan, canada, australia a lot of places to get uranium from. >> i think we have time for two more questions. >> doctor goldstein, from time to time the press talks about reactors as an alternate to uranium, which takes away the ick factor for terrorist making nuclear bombs is a myth or reality that it could help?>> it's a little bit of each. i don't think thorium is that different from uranium. you can run a reactor on thorium there's more of it in the earth's crust than there is of uranium it's got a longer
house life. i don't see it as a real game changer but there are people who are devoted to thorium and more power to them. some companies are trying to make thorium molten salt reactors in the light if that works it will be great if it doesn't we know uranium ones work. >> one more question. >> my fear isn't our ability to create new technologies my fear is actually getting it implemented in america during this current political moment we checked about it factors and how people feel about these new technologies as they are getting through. how do we go through if you are a person like me a very young as essentially based person to actually deconstruct those ick factors are get these things implemented right now? >> unfortunately i agree with you that we are heading in the wrong direction of this country
right now the trump administration has been pretty adamant about rolling back environmental protections and making it easier. i think it's the wrong thing. i'm super respectful about the fact that a bunch of young people, may be yourself included, rose up around the world it said what take this anymore. the de-growth movement is not to work very few people will sign up for that outside the radical fringe. try to meet people in the middle, try to start by finding common ground. i think that's the conversational strategy that will work. the problem with global warming is that people feel like they can just kick the can down the road and making that problem more immediate and more concrete as part of our urgent homework. >> i think a moderate voice is what tetanus here so far. it's been insufficient recognition of additional sources of energy production. as david raul said, if the ã
had lowered iq by 10 points causing dramatic deformities it still would be on the market. i think that's what we're seeing right now. and moderation quite frankly with the trump epa i will state it more strongly, very efficiently invested in rolling back all the progress since the nixon administration. at this time for moderation. i think it's a time to confront what's going on. i think the more dramatic the examples and the more powerful the education and convincing you can offer people the better offer will be. as you point out, we don't have a lot of time. this goes back to what harry said about not hitting people's fears head on. when i look at the climate situation and how urgent it is, and what solutions that can get implemented quickly. hitting the trump administration and hitting the
nancy pelosi or something, this is not moving forward, this is a formula for gridlock. what i like about these new smaller modular reactors is that they have bipartisan support.congress just passed a bill for this last year with about 85 percent support. led by cory booker on the democratic side is supported by everyone up to the great climate denier ãbthe republican side. they don't agree with the problem is that they can agree on the solution. if you want something you can typically take something that people can agree on that is not one size worst fear or the other side. >> when i speak about hitting on the trump administration i'm talking about rhetorically. making people understand what they are doing. >> i would today say anything good from what the trump administration's doing, finding
the things the democrats and republicans can both support means you'll make progress more quickly. >> we have about one minute left i thought i would go through and give each 1/like debate people. like one last thought to leave the audience with before we head off. we will go this way. you are already warmed up. this is the slide of france's electricity generation over time. the one line goes down like that this is fossil fuel down, nuclear up. it's the proof that if the world followed this what france did in 50 years if we did that relative to the world's gdp we could solve climate change by mid century. it's almost the only thing that can really move that fast that's proven. >> just building on that and i'm going to repeat myself on
what we do know the playbook for simultaneously improving the human condition. our affluence or prosperity starting more lightly on the planet that we live on. it's a new playbook we have turned the corner but it exists and my frustration is when we don't follow it. >> i want to echo what ãbis saying and say that when you have the right technological solutions, things can happen very quickly. just a lot of ãbabout the iq gap. he taught the racial iq gap 15 points is futile you'll never close it but in 1924 we closed another 15 point iq gap in the country with a very simple step we added iodine to salt. iodine is ãbthe iodine deficiency. when we close that, we cured the major cause of mental retardation in the world. and we do it quickly. great note to end it on. [applause]
a few notes before a release thank you to joshua goldstein andrew ãand harriet washington, their books will be for sale out in the back doors and they will be signing books i believe. thank you all for coming. please come for day two tomorrow the book festival in rock erie. thank you for your great questions and your support of the festival. thank you. [applause] .....
does not mean veterans should not have the ability to go into the private sector when think their best interest from equipment carries a better is not be a. i think we probably should be available. westbrook tv every weekend on the schedule. former defense secretary ash was recently in front of tv to direct his experiences in the other. it is a question about product. >> rushing and tiny working on.
i believed enough. they don't have any interest going on like this. they're going to be at each other in the far east. they have almost nothing in common except they both don't like us. it's not enough to make up condominium. the first thing, i think it's one theories, we can't afford to lose contact with the enemy. with russia. it is important to keep talking. it's frustrating and i'm a little worried that some because if the wackiest things if you don't same context. they told you that there intelligence service tell them what's going on.
you asked me about the treaty, i am sorry if this is unpopular point of view, secretary of defense, i don't want more than they do. because the other side of the fence. the short range missiles between have, i can think of lots of uses for a drug agent. the chinese getting ready to fire been addressed all the time. we don't have anything to fight back. that doesn't mean i'm tearing it all up. you can't predict they did violate it. number two, i know what to do if i'm given that latitude.
i assume my successor would know what to do as well. from that.back of the, it's not so that. >> to watch the rest, visit our website tv don't work pictures for his name or title of his book. use the search box at the top of the page. >> craig talks about his book. that the charges he faced as the first black engineer. man, college professor provides that history of the polish jewish refugees who is saved by the nazis environment. check your program guide for more information. >> the book is that the state.