November 6, 2014 - Steven Johnson

  • 11/06/2014

Police arrest an elderly man for feeding the homeless, conservative leaders embrace their lack of scientific knowledge, and Steven Johnson talks "How We Got to Now."

>> Stephen: TONIGHT, A MEDICALBREAKTHROUGH IN SOUTH AMERICA.

HAVE SOCCER PLAYERS REGAINED THEUSE OF THEIR HANDS?

THEN, REPUBLICANS ADDRESSCLIMATE CHANGE BY BURNING THE

MIDNIGHT OIL.

AND MY GUEST, SCIENCE WRITERSTEVEN JOHNSON HAS A NEW BOOK

AND TV SERIES CALLED "HOW WE GOTTO NOW."

I'LL TALK TO HIM WHEN I GET TOTHEN.

( LAUGHTER )THE UPCOMING "STAR WARS "MOVIE

IS TITLED "THE FORCE AWAKENS."

IT FELL ASLEEP DURING "THEPHANTOM MENACE."

THIS IS THE "COLBERT REPORT."

>> Stephen: WELCOME TO THEREPORT EVERYBODY

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US

( AUDIENCE CHANTING "STEPHEN!")

THANK YOU, HEROES. THANK YOU, IT-GETTERS

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, FOLKS.

THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

IT'S A BIG NIGHT, THERE'S A LOTTO COVER.

NATION, IF YOU WATCH THIS SHOW--AND I HOPE YOU DO-- YOU KNOW

THAT NO ONE IN THIS COUNTRY ISTOUGHER ON CRIME THAN YOURS

TRULY.

I SAY LOCK THEM UP AND THROWAWAY THE KEY.

ALSO, CLEARLY, TOUGH ON KEYS.

( LAUGHTER )SO I'M HAPPY TO REPORT THAT THIS

WEEK, A DANGEROUS FUGITIVE HASBEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.

>> THE 90-YEAR-OLD MAN BUSTEDFOR FEEDING THE HOMELESS.

ARNOLD ABBOTT IS HIS NAME.

HE FACES POSSIBLE JAIL TIME AND$500 FINE FOR PREPARING MEALS

FOR THE NEEDY IN A CHURCHKITCHEN.

A NEW ORDINANCE IN FT.

LAUDERDALE OUTLAWS GROUPS FROMSHARING FOOD WITH THE HUNGRY.

>> Stephen: BUSTED FOR FEEDINGTHE HOMELESS IN PUBLIC!

>> Audience: BOOING.

>> Stephen: OH, YEAH, BOOO!

I'M ANGRY AT HIM, TOO.

I SAY IF THE HOMELESS WANT TOEAT THEY SHOULD DO IT IN THE

PRIVACY OF THEIR OWN WHEREVERTHOSE PEOPLE LIVE.

AND THIS MONSTER CANNOT CLAIM HEDID NOT KNOW BETTER BECAUSE HE

WAS DOING ALL THIS OUT OF ACHURCH KITCHEN.

SO, CLEARLY, HE KNOWS WHAT JESUSSAID IN MATTHEW, "FOR I WAS

HUNGRY AND YOU GAVE ME SOMETHINGTO EAT.

I WAS THIRSTY AND-- LOOK OUT!

THE COPS ARE HERE.

HIDE THE LOAVES AND THE FISHES!"

AND I AM GLAD-- THEY CAUGHT UPWITH HIM EVENTUALLY. AND I AM

GLAD TO HEAR THE POLICE USEDMAXIMUM FORCE TO TAKE THE PERP

DOWN.

>> ONE OF THE POLICE OFFICERSCAME OVER AND SAID, "DROP THAT

PLATE, RIGHT NOW."

AS THOUGH I WAS CARRYING AWEAPON.

>> Stephen: OH, FOOD IS MUCHWORSE THAN WEAPONS IN FLORIDA.

IF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN HAD FED AGUY IN A HOODIE,

HE'D BE IN JAIL.

AND, FOLKS, FT. LAUDERDALE.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )WE MISS YOU, GEORGE.

FOLKS, FT. LAUDERDALE NEEDSTHESE LAWS.

JUST ASK FT. LAUDERDALE'S MAYOR.

>> WE ENFORCE THE LAWS HERE INFT. LAUDERDALE.

>> THEY WILL BE ARRESTED.

IF THEY BREAK THE LAW AND IT'SOBSERVED BY ONE OF OUR LAW

ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS THEY WILLBE SUBJECT TO ARREST.

>> THE MAYOR SAID HE NEEDS TOLOOK OUT FOR THE GOOD OF ALL

PEOPLE IN FT. LAUDERDALE,INCLUDING TAXPAYERS AND TOURISTS

WHO WANT TO USE PARKS ANDBEACHES WITHOUT BEING OVERRUN BY

THE HOMELESS.>> Stephen: EXACTLY.

MAYOR SEILER MUST PROTECT FTLAUDERDALE'S TOURISM

INDUSTRY AND A BUNCH OF DRUNKPEOPLE URINATING ON

THE BEACH IS THAT INDUSTRY.( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

THE BEACH IS THAT INDUSTRY.( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

NEVER ONCE WENT TO SPRING BREAK.

BESIDES, FT. LAUDERDALE ISREALLY LOOKING OUT FOR THE

HOMELESS.

>> THIS IS A PUBLIC SAFETYISSUE.

IT'S A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE.

THE EXPERTS HAVE ALL SAID-- IFYOU ARE GOING TO SIMPLY FEED

THEM OUTDOORS TO GET THEM FROMBREAKFAST TO LUNCH TO DINNER,

ALL YOU'RE DOING IS ENABLINGTHAT CYCLE OF HOMELESSNESS.

>> Stephen: YES, BY FEEDINGTHEM, ABBOTT IS CAUSING THEM TO

BE HOMELESS.

HE'S REALLY A FOOD PUSHER. ANDFOR DECADES,

THIS SERIAL OFFENDER-- I ASSUMEHE SERVES BREAKFAST--WAS

DOWN IN HIS COOK LAB GETTINGPEOPLE HOOKED ON THE

PRODUCTS OR AS IT'S KNOWN BY ITSSTREET NAMES, GRUB, NOSH, CHOW.

CHASING THE NUTRITIONAL DRAGON

SOME OF THE PEOPLE WERE SOADDICTED, THEY NEEDED THEIR FIX

THREE TIMES A DAY.

AND WITH HARDENED COOKS LIKEGRANDPA HERE, THESE HOMELESS

WILL JUST WANT MORE AND MORE.

THEY'LL COME TO EXPECT FOODWHENEVER THEY SEE HUMANS AROUND.

OH, THEY'RE SMART LITTLECRITTERS.

SOME OF THEM EVEN KNOW HOW TOPRY THE LID OFF A TRASH CAN.

SO, FT. LAUDERDALE, DO WHAT I DOAT THE END OF THE DAY-- TIE YOUR

HUMANITY IN A BAG, HANG IT IN ATREE.

THAT WAY THEY CAN'T GET AT IT.

FOLKS, YOU KNOW, THEY SAY MUSICSOOTHES THE SAVAGE BEAST, BUT I

PREFER TO SNORT GROUND-UPZOPICLONE.

THIS IS CHEATING DEATH WITH DR. STEPHEN T. COLBERT D.F.A.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )FIRST, FOLKS A DISCLAIMER-- I AM

NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR.

I HAVE AN HONORARY DOCTORATE INFINE ARTS.

( LAUGHTER )I CAN'T TREAT YOUR RASH, BUT I

CAN COMPARE IT FAVORABLY TO AJACKSON POLLOCK.

AS ALWAYS, CHEATING DEATH ISBROUGHT TO YOU BY PRESCOTT

PHARMACEUTICALS.

PRESCOTT-- THE MORE PILLS YOUTAKE, THE MORE CHANCES YOU HAVE

TO WIN.

( LAUGHTER )FIRST UP, AGING.

FOLKS, NOBODY WANTS TO GETOLDER.

THAT'S WHY I WAS SO EXCITED TOHEAR ABOUT A BREAKTHROUGH

TREATMENT THAT ALLOWS SCIENTISTSTO REVERSE THE AGING PROCESS IN

MICE.

WHICH MEANS YOU CAN NOW TURNBACK THE CLOCK AND RELIVE THE

EARLY VITAL DAYS OF YOUR RODENTINFESTATION.

EVEN BETTER, THE MAN IN CHARGEOF THE STUDY, HARVARD PROFESSOR

OF GENETICS, DAVID SINCLAIR,SAYS THIS AGE REVERSAL COULD

WORK IN HUMANS.

AND I BELIEVE HIM. BECAUSE

THIS IS WHAT HE LOOKED LIKE TWOWEEKS AGO.

ACCORDING TO HIS STUDY, THESECRET LIES IN A MOLECULE CALLED

N.M.N. BECAUSE WHEN SCIENTISTSFED THE MOLECULE TO MICE, THEY

NOTICED IT REVERSED AGINGCOMPLETELY IN THEIR MUSCLES,

MEANING THIS DRUG COULD GIVE YOUTHE MUSCLE TONE OF A 20-YEAR-OLD

AND ALLOW YOU TO SPEND A WHOLEOTHER LIFETIME NOT GOING TO THE

GYM.( LAUGHTER )

IF THE PROMISE OF THIS RESEARCH

IS REALIZED, PEOPLE EVERYWHERECOULD INCREASE THEIR LIFESPAN TO

AGES UNSEEN IN HUMAN HISTORY.

SO THERE WILL BE SO MANY PEOPLETURNING 100, THAT WILLARD SCOTT

AND SMUCKERS WILL HAVE THEIR OWNCHANNEL.

( LAUGHTER )AND, YES, WILLARD SCOTT WILL

STILL BE AROUND, AND, YES,WILLARD SCOTT IS STILL AROUND.

( LAUGHTER )OF COURSE, WITH MANY FEWER

PEOPLE DYING AND JUST AS MANYBEING BORN THE FIGHT FOR SCARCE

RESOURCES IS GOING TO GETTOUGHER, WHICH IS WHY PRESCOTT

PHARMACEUTICAL IS PROUD TOINTRODUCE ITS AGE-REVERSAL

SUPPLEMENT, VACSA-POINTY-STICK.

IF YOUR VIRULE 130-YEAR-OLD BODYIS BACKED INTO A CORNER

FENDING OFF STARVING HOARDS

CLAMORING FOR A BITE OF YOURSQUIRREL CARCASS, JUST

ADMINISTER A DOSE OFVACSA-POINTY-STICK.

REPEAT AS NECESSARY TOELIMINATE HARMFUL OTHER PEOPLE.

SIDE EFFECTS OFVACSA-POINTY-STICK INCLUDE

MAHOGA-KNEES, CHICKEN FINGERS,AND THE OXFORD COMA.

SECONDLY FIRST UP, WOMEN'SHEALTH.

>> OH!

>> Stephen: FOLKS, AS YOUKNOW, I HAVE LONG SUPPORTED THE

FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER.

IN 2010, NOT ONLY DID I RACE FORTHE CURE BUT WHEN NO ONE WAS

LOOKING, I ALSO TOOK A CAB FORCURE.

( LAUGHTER )AS A CONFIRMED BOSOM BUDDY I WAS

THRILLED TO HEAR A STORY ABOUTTHE CHILEAN CITY OF ANTOFAGASTA

WHICH HAD A WATER SOURCETHAT TURNED OUT TO BE

LOADED WITH SOME EXTRAS.

>> THE WATER THERE CONTAINED 80TIMES THE ARSENIC LEVELS

RECOMMENDED BY THE WORLD HEALTHORGANIZATION.

>> Stephen: THAT'S RIGHT, THEWORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION HAS A

RECOMMENDED LEVEL OF ARSENIC,AND IT'S NOT ZERO.

( LAUGHTER )THE TOWN STARTED USING THAT

WATER IN 1958, AND FORTUNATELYFOR RESIDENTS, THE TOXIN WAS

DISCOVERED IMMEDIATELY 12 YEARSLATER.

BUT EVERY MUNICIPAL POISONINGSTORY HAS A SILVER LINING.

>> SURPRISINGLY, THE RESEARCHERSFOUND THE CHEMICAL WAS LINKED TO

A 50% DROP IN DEATHS FROM BREASTCANCER.

>> Stephen: FOLKS, THIS ISFANTASTIC NEWS.

FINALLY, A FEEL-GOOD STORY ABOUTINDUSTRIAL RUNOFF.

SURE, YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SOLVENTPLANT MAY HAVE CREATED SEXUALLY

AMBIGUOUS TROUT, BUT THEIRBREASTS ARE CANCER FREE.

AND, FOLKS, WHEN YOU THINK KNOWNTOXINS.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )GUN TO MY HEAD?

SURE.

( LAUGHTER )WHEN-- FOLKS, WHEN YOU THINK

KNOWN TOXINS, YOU THINK PRESCOTTPHARMACEUTICALS.

WHICH IS WHY TONIGHT, PRESCOTTIS PROUD TO INTRODUCE CHERNOBYL

SPRINGS.

WITH MORE THAN A MILLION TIMESTHE RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE

OF VITAMIN U-235.

IT WILL MARIE CURIE WHAT AILS.

IT EVEN BEAT EVIAN IN A BLINDTASTE TEST IN THAT ALL TASTERS

WERE RENDERED BLIND.

BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONIS DOES IT CURE CANCER?

WE HAVE NO IDEA.

BUT WE DO KNOW THAT IT CAUSESCANCER, SO IF IN A FEW YEARS YOU

DON'T GET CANCER,CONGRATULATIONS.

IT CURED YOU.

( LAUGHTER )SIDE EFFECTS OF CHERNOBYL

SPRINGS INCLUDE UKRAINE IN THEMEMBRANE.

ATOMIC FIREBALLS, AND BONUS EAR.

WELL, THAT'S IT FOR CHEATINGDEATH, BROUGHT TO YOU BY

PRESCOTT PHARMACEUTICAL.

PRESCOTT-- YOU CAN'T PROVETHAT'S A BABOON KIDNEY.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, I'LL SEE YOU INHEALTH!

>> Stephen: HEY, WELCOME BACK.

THANKS SO MUCH, EVERYBODY.

NATION, NATION, TUESDAY'SELECTION LOSS WAS AN HISTORIC

LOSS FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

I'D SAY THEY GOT THEIR ASSESHANDED TO THEM BUT I DON'T

BELIEVE IN HANDOUTS

YOU HAVE TO EARN THAT ASS,DEMOCRATS.

AND THANKS TO THE LOSS, YOUDON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT

GLOBAL WARMING ANYMORE BECAUSETHE SENATE SURE WON'T.

>> THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE,CURRENTLY RUN, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT,

GLOBAL WARMING BELIEVER, BARBARABOXER, REPLACED PROBABLY BY

JAMES INHOFE, CONSERVATIVE FROMOKLAHOMA WHO IS AS MUCH OF AN

OPPONENT OR SKEPTIC ABOUT GLOBALWARMING AS THERE IS.

>> Stephen: YES, THE GLOBALWARMING BELIEVER IS OUT AND THE

GLOBAL WARMING SKEPTIC IS IN, SOFINALLY THE ENVIRONMENTAL

COMMITTEE CAN FOCUS ON IMPORTANTISSUES LIKE WHO'S STEALING ALL

OUR POLAR BEARS?

AND SENATOR JAMES INHOFE IS NOTYOUR RUN-OF-THE-MILL CLIMATE

CHANGE DENIER.

YOU COULD SAY HE WROTE THE BOOKON IT BECAUSE HE WROTE THE BOOK

ON IT.

"THE GREATEST HOAX: HOW THEGLOBAL WARMING CONSPIRACY

THREATENS YOUR FUTURE."

>> Audience: BOO.

>> Stephen: OOH, YEAH.

IT IS EXCITING.

IT'S LIKE HARRY POTTER FORPEOPLE WHO THOUGHT HARRY POTTER

HAD TOO MUCH SCIENCE IN IT.

OF COURSE, NOT ALL REPUBLICANS.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ), OF COURSE, NOT ALL REPUBLICANS

ARE AS BOLD AS INHOFE.

IN THE FACE OF OVERWHELMINGSO-CALLED EVIDENCE AND ACTUALLY

CALLED EVIDENCE, THEY DEPLOYED ABRILLIANT TACTIC DURING THIS

LAST CAMPAIGN.

CASE IN POINT-- NEWLY ELECTEDTEXAS LAND COMMISSIONER GEORGE

P. BUSH-- NEPHEW OF GEORGE W.

BUSH, GRANDSON OF GEORGE H.W.

BUSH, AND FUTURE FATHER OFGEORGE UNDERSCORE BUSH--

LISTEN TO GEORGE P., ORP.-BIDDY, SPIT SOME NOT-KNOWLEGE

>> HOW BIG A THREAT IS CLIMATECHANGE TO THE TEXAS COASTLINE?

>> THE TEXAS COASTLINE ISIMPACTED BY RISING SEA LEVELS.

AND, AGAIN, THE QUESTION ISWHETHER OR NOT THAT'S MANMADE,

AND I'LL LEAVE THAT TO THESCIENTISTS.

>> BUT YOU DON'T DOUBT HUMANACTIVITY CONTRIBUTES TO CLIMATE

CHANGE?

>> WE'LL SEE IN TERMS OF THESCIENCE, IN TERMS-- THERE'S A

WIDE RANGE THAT HAS BEENDISCUSSED.

AGAIN, I'M NOT A SCIENTIST BYEVERY STRETCH, BUT EVERYWHERE

FROM NO IMPACT AT ALL TO 100%.

>> Stephen: YEAH, HE'S NOSCIENTIST.

HE'S NO SCIENTIST.

IN FACT, I'M IMPRESSED HE WASABLE TO NARROW IT DOWN TO

FROM 0 TO 100%.

HOW IMPRESSED AM I?

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 0 AND 100%.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )AND, FOLKS, GEORGE P. NOT ALONE.

>> I'M NOT A SCIENTIST NOR AM IA PHYSICIST.

>> I'M NOT QUALIFIED TO DEBATETHE SCIENCE OVER CLIMATE CHANGE.

>> I'M NOT A SCIENTIST.

>> I'M NOT A SCIENTIST.

>> WHAT I HAVE SAID REPEATEDLYIS I'M NOT A SCIENTIST.

>> Stephen: YES, EVERYONE WHODENIES MANMADE CLIMATE CHANGE

HAS THE SAME STIRRING MESSAGE--WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THE ( BLEEP )

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

AND I HOPE, I HOPE, I HOPE THATTHESE CONSERVATIVE LEADERS CAN

INSPIRE ALL THE CHILDREN OUTTHERE WATCHING TO THINK TO

THEMSELVES, HEY, MAYBE SOME DAYI COULD GROW UP TO BE NOT A

SCIENTIST.

WELL, KIDS, NOW THERE'S A FUNWAY TO EXPLORE YOUR OWN LACK OF

CURIOSITY AT HOME.

IT'S TIME FOR MY EDUCATIONALSERIES "PROFESSOR NOT A

SCIENTIST."

ALL YOU NEED IS A GLASSCASSEROLE DISH, OKAY.

THEN ONE OF YOUR MOM'S PITCHERSFILLED WITH BLUE WATER.

AND GET A DETAILED TOPOGRAPHICALMODEL OF AMERICA.

DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK YOURPARENTS FOR HELP HIRING A PROPS

DEPARTMENT TO MAKE THIS ONE FORYOU.

ALL RIGHT, LET'S BEGIN.

THERE YOU GO.

UH-OH!

NOW WHAT APPEARS TO BE HAPPENINGIS THAT THE WATER IS RISING.

WHY?

ONE THEORY IS I DON'T KNOW, I'MNOT A SCIENTIST.

OH, LOOK, THERE GOES FLORIDA.

AND THERE'S NO WAY OF KNOWINGWHY.

REMEMBER, KIDS, IF YOU GETUNHOOKED ON SCIENCE EARLY, MAYBE

SOME DAY, YOU COULD COMPLETELYLACK ANY UNDERSTANDING OF

SCIENCE AND THEN GROW UP TO BETHE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT HAS A NEW BOOKAND TV SERIES CALLED "HOW WE GOT

TO NOW." I TOOK A LIMO

PLEASE WELCOME STEVEN JOHNSON!

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )HEY, STEVEN, GOOD TO SEE YOU.

HOW ARE YOU?

THANKS FOR COMING BACK.

THIRD TIME HERE.

THREE TIME'S A CHARM. THANKS FORLOOSENING YOUR TIE.

LOOKING CASUAL.

>> I WORE A TIE, I THOUGHT IMIGHT TRY AND MATCH

>> Stephen: SIR, YOU ARE THEAUTHOR OF EIGHT BEST-SELLING

BOOKS INCLUDING "EVERYTHING BADIS GOOD FOR YOU" AND "WHERE GOOD

IDEAS COME FROM."

YOUR LATEST IS "HOW WE GOT TONOW."

SIX INNOVATIONS THAT MADE THEMODERN WORLD.

>> THAT IS CORRECT.

>> Stephen: IS AMERICA ONE OFTHOSE INNOVATIONS.

IT'S THE GREATEST INNOVATIONMANKIND EVER GOT

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF AMERICANSIN THE BOOK, SO IF THAT'S ENOUGH

TO SATISFY YOU.

>> Stephen: WHAT ARE THE SIXINNOVATIONS.

BOOM LET'S DO IT, LET'S BUZZFEEDTHEM

>> ONE OF THEM IS A GLASS OFCLEAN DRINKING WATER IN A LARGE

METROPOLITAN CITY.

THAT IS AN EXTRAORDINARYBREAKTHROUGH.

>> Stephen: WHICH IS THEINNOVATION, THE GLASS OR THE

WATER?

THE WATER.

THE FACT THAT YOU CAN DRINK AGLASS OF WATER FROM A TAP AND

NOT WORRY ABOUT DYING OF TYPHOIDTHREE DAYS LATER.

>> Stephen: YOU CAN, BUT, OFCOURSE, YOU'RE GOING TO DRINK

MOUNTAIN DEW.

SO WATER.

>> YEAH, ARTIFICIAL LIGHT.

>> Stephen: THERE WE GO.

>> THE ABILITY TO RECORD THESOUND AND TRANSMIT THE SOUND --

>> Stephen: WE'RE DOING THAT,TOO.

>> THE SIMPLE MATERIAL GLASS,WHICH WAS ARGUABLY THE SINGLE

MOST IMPORTANT MATERIAL OF THELAST 1,000 YEARS.

>> Stephen: THE GLASS LENSES ONTHESE CAMERAS, WHAT ELSE?

>> AND THEN THERE IS CLOCKS ANDTIME.

WITHOUT ACCURATE MEASUREMENT OFTIME AND COLD-- TECHNOLOGIES OF

REFRIGERATION AND AIRCONDITIONING.

>> Stephen: SO, CLOCKS, WE'REON A CERTAIN TIME RIGHT NOW.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: AND REFRIGERATION.

I'M SUPER COOL.

SO ALL OF THE-- WHAT DO YOU MEANREFRIGERATION?

REFRIGERATORS ACTUALLY HAVE ALOT OF THOSE THINGS, TOO.

THEY REFRIGERATE, LIGHT INSIDE,GLASS SHELVES, WATER OUT OF

DOOR. THE REFRIGERATOR IS THEENCAPSULATION OF ALL THAT IS

GOOD ABOUT INVENTIONS.>> YOU BROUGHT IT ALL TOGETHER.

>> Stephen: WAIT, SO HOW DIDWE GET TO NOW?

HOW DID WE GET REFRIGERATION?

THAT'S ACTUALLY-->> SO REFRIGERATION, THAT STORY

BEGINS WITH A CRAZY GUY NAMEDFREDERICK TUDOR WHO IN THE EARLY

1800s HAD THIS IDEA THAT HECOULD TAKE LARGE BLOCKS OF ICE

FROM FROZEN NEW ENGLAND LAKESAND SHIP THEM ALL THE WAY TO

RIO, AND BOMBAY AND THECARIBBEAN, SELL WHAT WAS

EFFECTIVELY FREE IN NEW ENGLAND,SEE IT TO

PEOPLE IN HOT PLACES IN THEWORLD.

IF YOU WERE GROWING UP IN THECARIBBEAN IN 1800 YOU WOULD HAVE

NEVER EXPERIENCED ICE IN ANYFORM.

HE ACTUALLY MANAGED TO DO THIS.

>> Stephen: THEN HOW DID THEYMAKE THOSE DELICIOUS DAIQUIRIS.

>> EXACTLY.

THEY HAD NO IDEA.

>> Stephen: REALLY? BEFORE THATTHEIR DAQUIRIS WERE HOT?

>> STEAMING HOT DAIQUIRI.

IT WAS DELIGHTFUL.

( LAUGHTER )YOU KNOW, THE POOL SCENE WAS

REALLY DISAPPOINTING.

IT WAS LIKE, THIS IS SO HOT.>> Stephen: NO ONE'S GOING TO

SANDALS>> BUT HERE'S THE THING.

HE ACTUALLY MANAGES TO GET THESEBLOCKS OF ICE THERE WHICH IS

AMAZING HE GOT IT THERE WITHOUTIT MELTING.

BUT WHEN IT ARRIVED, PEOPLE ARELIKE, "WHAT AM I GOING TO DO

WITH THAT?

I'VE BEEN LIVING HERE 500 YEARSAND NEVER HAD ANY ISSUE NEEDING

ICE," SO NO ONE WANTED TO BUYIT.

HE HAD TO CONVINCE LOCALS THATICE CREAM WAS A NICE THING AND

HAVING DAIQUIRI BY THE POOL WASA NICE THING AND EVENTUALLY MADE

HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARSSHIPPING ICE BLOCKS AROUND THE

WORLD.

>> Stephen: BUT THAT'S NOT AIRCONDITIONING.

I DON'T MEAN TO BLOW THE DOORSOFF YOUR BOOK.

SO-->> I'M NOT A SCIENTIST, SO I

DON'T -->> Stephen: OKAY, PERFECT.

NOW, HERE'S THE THING, I LOVEBOOKS LIKE THIS.

I LOVE TV SHOWS LIKE THIS.

I LOVE WATCHING THIS STUFF.

I DON'T WANT TO USE ANY OF THISINFORMATION IN POLICY MAKING.

THIS IS A VERY POPULAR SHOW ONPBS.

THIS IS A VERY POPULAR BOOK.

HOW COME POLITICIANS DON'T WANTTO USE THE SCIENCE?

WHY DO THEY RUN AWAY FROM ITWHEN THEY GET TO OFFICE?

>> I THINK BECAUSE SOMETIMESSCIENCE ASKS THAT WE ALTER OUR

BEHAVIOR IN SOME WAY.

ONE OF THE WAYS AC, ONCE IT WASINTRODUCED, ALL THESE PEOPLE

MIGRATED -- IT TRIGGERED THELARGEST MIGRATION OF HUMAN

BEINGS IN THE HISTORY OF THEUNITED STATES WHERE THEY MOVED

TO THE SUNBELT AND MOVED TOFLORIDA AND THESE DESERT STATES

WHERE MAYBE THAT MANY PEOPLESHOULDN'T ACTUALLY BE LIVING.

AND IT TRIGGERED CLIMATEPROBLEMS, AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT

THE CLIMATE SCIENCE, IT DOESREQUIRE SOMETIMES THAT PEOPLE

ACTUALLY CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIORAND PEOPLE DON'T LIKE TO HEAR

THAT.

>> Stephen: SO AIR CONDITIONINGITSELF MOVED PEOPLE TO PARTS OF

THE WORLD THAT WERE NORMALLY TOOHOT TO LIVE IN AND THEN THEY

NEEDED MORE AIR CONDITIONING TOCOOL IT DOWN.

>> THAT IS PARTIALLY THE CYCLE

>> Stephen: WHY DON'T WE BUILDA BIGGER AIR CONDITIONER

FOR THE ENTIRE EARTH?

>> YOU MAY BE ON TO SOMETHING.

>> Stephen: HOW DID AIRCONDITIONING LEAD TO REAGAN?

>> THAT'S THE THING, ALL THESEPEOPLE-- IT'S TRUE.

I KNOW THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSEHE'S A HERO OF YOURS.

RIGHT AFTER AIR CONDITIONING ISINTRODUCED, THERE'S A MASS

MIGRATION TO THE SOUTH, AND THATENDS UP TRIGGERING A HUGE SWING

IN THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE AIR,60-VOTE SWING FROM THE NORTH TO

THE SOUTH AND REAGAN WINS IN1980 BUILT AROUND THIS SUNBELT

COALITION THAT SIMPLY DIDN'TEXIST 30 OR 40 YEARS AGO.

WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING, IT'SENTIRELY POSSIBLE RONALD REAGAN

WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ELECTEDPRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

>> Stephen: SO THE GREATESTGIFT GOD EVER GAVE MANKIND WAS

FREON.

THAT AND FIVE OTHER GREATINVENTIONS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

STEVEN JOHNSON, "HOW WE GOT TONOW."

THE FINALE IS NEXT WEDNESDAY ONPBS.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

>> Stephen: THAT'S IT FOR THEREPORT, EVERYBODY.

GOOD NIGHT.