Michael Bloomberg & Carl Pope - Creating a "Climate of Hope" - Extended Interview

May 3, 2017 - Michael Bloomberg, Carl Pope & Sanaa Lathan 05/03/2017 Views: 35,959

Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope discuss the role of government in reducing the effects of global warming and weigh in on green technologies in their book "Climate of Hope." (9:32)

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Please welcome former New YorkCity mayor, Michael Bloomberg,

and Carl Pope.

(cheering, applause)

Welcome to the show, gentlemen.

Be... Before we get into it,I'm just gonna let you guys know

I have a swear jarhere at the show,

and, uh, basically,if anyone swears,

they have to puta billion dollars into the jar.

-Can I, uh, Venmo it?-Yeah, anything works.

-Okay. -And by the way,"Trump" is also a cuss word.

Aw, (bleep). Aw, (bleep).

All right, um,I'll pay mine later,

but you'll pay yours now.

Welcome to the show.

Let's get straight into itand talk about the book.

Climate of Hope-- the book and the title

seem to go against everythingthat Americans

and many people in the worldare feeling right now.

You wrote a bookabout climate change,

and yet the president saysthat climate change is a hoax.

So... somebody doesn't knowwhat's going on.

Well, let me start by saying

the world is a lot betterthan people think.

In the last two decadeswe've cut world poverty in half,

and in the lasttwo or three years

we've cut greenhouse gassesdramatically

in the United States--so much so

that we're two-thirds of the wayalready towards the goals

that he wants to walk away from.

So if the president is tryingto walk away from these goals,

but you're saying that the goals

-are already goingto be achieved... -Yes.

does America need the presidentto be pro-these goals?

No. No. As Carl can tell you,

the federal government doesnext to nothing,

the state governments dovery little--

city governmentsand corporations and individuals

are the ones that are closingcoal-fired power plants,

changing to more efficient useof energy,

um, getting peopleto behave in ways

that will have a better futurefor the environment

and, long-term, for our,uh, for our climate.

I mean, the pathetic thingabout proposing to walk away

from Paris is...

it is a treaty that wasnegotiated to be really good

-for the United States...-BLOOMBERG: Yes.

and we're gonna do our part,whatever the president says.

-Good in what way?-Because what it said was

the United Stateswill do some things

-that are good for our economy,-Right.

that make us healthier,that make us safer,

and that are relatively easy.

And other countries will dothings that are much harder

but that are good for us.

So it was a great dealfor the United States,

and now the president wantsto walk away from it.

We're gonna do our part anyway.

Let me be very clear.Right now the...

there's a coal-mining museumin Kentucky.

-Yes.-They just announced last month

that they are changingtheir electricity supply

from coal...

to solar because they wantto save money.

-Like most of us.-So the coal people

-Yes.-are quitting coal...

Because solar is cheaper.

But Donald Trump says everyoneelse must do the coal...

Even though it's more expensive.

And he's changing a dealthat's good.

-It's almost as if...-Okay, but wait a second.

He says a lot of thingsthat he then says

-something differentthe next time. -No!

I know it's shocking.

But, but in the end theonly thing that matters

-is what gets done.-Right.

And you have the courtsand Congress,

'cause we have three branchesof government,

-and the bureaucracy---For now.

For now-- and you havethe bureaucracies,

and they will keep us

in reasonable directionson most things.

Now, let's go back to what youwere saying about Carl,

because, I mean, the thing thatbrought you guys together

is that you workfor the Sierra Club.

-You're the head of theSierra Club. -I was, I was.

And you were at the time,and for those who don't know,

what you were doingwas basically

trying to shutdown coal plants

and turn them intogreen energy institutions.

What does, what does that mean,though?

-POPE: Okay. You-you cangenerate electricity

-in lots of ways.-Right.

Some of them, like burning coal,are very filthy.

Some of them, like putting upa wind turbine,

-are very clean.-Yes.

It used to be that coalwas cheaper, 30 years ago.

That's a very great20th century strategy,

but now wind and solarare much cheaper than coal.

And so sensible businesses,sensible public utilities,

are busy replacing old, dirtythings with new clean things.

That's gonna be the storyof the 21st century.

We are not, 30 years from now,

gonna be using the technologieswe use today.

But what happens to the people,though, that are in those jobs?

Because everyone saysit's not about the coal,

-it's about the coal miners.-If you go back to,

like, 1927, there were 800,000coal miners.

Go back to, uh, 1980,there were 200...

-225... 250,000.-Right.

Now there's 60,000,

and it's not becauseof people using less coal.

The production has gone up.

It is because of technology.

And what we've got to do is,

number one, stop using coal.

But number two, find waysto retrain and create jobs

for the people that get hurt.

And, in fact, there arethree organizations

that Bloomberg Philanthropiesis supporting

to help go and do that.

But you don't keepdoing something

that's bad for everybody

to create some jobsfor a number of people.

You find another wayto get them the jobs.

The same thing is true,for example, with veterans.

There are a lot of veteransout of work.

Nobody suggests we should gostart a war to give them a job.

-Some people do.-Well, that's probably true.

And to give you the concrete,right now,

-the renewable energy industryis relatively young. -Right.

It already employs five timesas many Americans

as coal, gasand oil combined.

We're already employingfive times as many people

making clean energy as we employmaking dirty energy.

But what we're talking about

is how do we savethe dirty energy jobs?

In 1924, we didn't say, "Oh,we're gonna lose harness makers

because of the Model T."

We didn't make America great

by protecting harness makers.

We made America great

by launching theautomotive revolution.

Now it's time for theclean energy revolution.

How do you convince the votersof this, though?

Because, as much as we can say,

"Donald Trumpwants to save coal,"

coal miners have saidto Donald Trump,

-"We want you to save coal."-They-They've convinced

Donald Trump, who, hopefully,somebody will convince him

to change his mind,but the truth of the matter is

we've closed over 250-- half--

of all the coal-firedpower plants in this country,

not becauseof federal regulations,

but because the publichas called their local company

and said "I don't want youto keep polluting the air.

"My kids are breathing that air,

I'm drinking the waterthat's being polluted."

So the publicreally is driving all of this.

And it's inthe public's interest.

They know thatthey have a problem.

They know they want to be safer.

They know theywant to be richer.

And they just thinkthat the coal companies

have left the coal minersin a terrible situation.

Generally, what has happened isthe coal miners have been left

with bad health problemsand no pensions,

and in a part of the countrythat sadly and tragically

and disgracefully for all of us,

has stayed poorfor many, many, too many years.

As a-as a personwho has been in power...

as a mayor of a city,

what can a mayor do to implementsome of these changes?

Well, in New York City,we've got half the big buildings

that generateda lot of the pollutants

to switch from No. 6 fuel oil,

which is very polluting,

-to natural gas.-Right.

We passed regulationsat the federal level

to stop sellingincandescent bulbs,

selling LE...LEDs and compact fluorescents,

which use a lot less energy.

So there are a lot of things.You can make your roads better.

You can do some things,and that's what's happened here.

That is why the United States

is the onlymajor industrial country

that is close to meetingthese goals and will make 'em.

So, just to wrap it up,I mean...

it is quite a-a stance to take

in saying America'salready going to do it

-Yes.-with or without Donald Trump.

Yes. There j... There's a lotof problems in the world,

but a lot of themhave solutions.

And what this book basically,which is Carl's idea,

says if you break it downinto small, individual things,

we can attack each one of those

and we can make progressand we are doing that.

And that's where the word"hope" comes from.

I mean, the big messagein the book is whatever...

wherever you liveand whatever you do,

you have an opportunityto be part of a solution

that will make you better off.

We're not talking aboutsacrifice here.

We're not talking aboutsending you a bill.

We're talking aboutwriting you a check.

-I like that.-Thought you would.

Writing me a checkfrom a billionaire.

Uh, quick questionbefore I-I let you go.

So if you are a billionaire

that is under audit...

could-could you releaseyour tax returns?


I mean, I thinkthe that president

should release his tax returns.

I don't think there'sany question about that.

(cheering, applause)

I just thought maybe it was,like, a... I thought maybe it

-was like a billionaire thing.-I can tell you, it is intrusive

and sometimesyou get embarrassed and a...

people take it out of context.

But the publicdoes have a right to know

to make sure thatthere aren't conflicts.

And it's one of the thingsthat if you want to get the job,

and if you're lucky enoughto get the job,

you certainly should do itand you should have done it

-during the processof seeking that job. -Right.

And this is the first presidentthat didn't.

And hopefully he'llchange his mind and do it.

You know, hope springs eternal,as we say in the book.

I, uh, I trustthe climate change,

but not the Donald change.

Uh... Thank you so muchfor being on the show.

-Thank you very much. -Iappreciate it. Thank you, Mayor.

Thank you very much. Climate of Hope is available now.

For more information,check out climateofhope.com.

Michael Bloombergand Carl Pope, everybody.

(cheering, applause)

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