Al Gore and Jaden Smith on the Next Generation of Climate Activism
Jadynn, thanks for all the work you're doing on the environment, it's very inspiring, to me I appreciate. It and honestly, without you. I wouldn't, be able to go out into the world with, the information, that you offer and talk to other young people about these problems and also talk, to adults about these problems to help actually, create solutions for the real world so I just want to say thank you to you leading, into my first question. I'll. Put a hit right dude yes. No. Business a long time yeah. In. 2006. When Inconvenient, Truth came, out that really sparked, I would, say a rebellion. In the world where, we kind of started, to wake up and grow and in, so many ways, you know inspire, so many different ideas but, now, in the state of the world that we are now dealing, with the amount of problems, that we have in the world in the amount of optimism, that I hear from you when you're speaking why. Should we still be optimists, in this in this time what, what do we still have to be optimistic about in the environmental, challenges that we all face well. It's a great question, and, of course in a time of great, danger. And we. Do have a. Global. Emergency. Some. People hear that phrase and just say calm down it can't be that bad but it is that, bad it's very urgent, and since. The latest IPCC. Report. Intergovernmental, Panel on Climate Change you, know this fantastic, group of scientists, around the world since. Their latest, report it's, ever, clearer. That, this emergency, is quite, dire and even, since it came out there's. Another new. Studies showing that the oceans are heating up even. More. Than we had, previously thought. So. How can you find cause. For optimism, in those circumstances. Well. One, simple. Answer is because we have the solutions, now. 10. 12, years ago when, An Inconvenient, Truth came, out we could see the solutions, on the horizon. And we're. Spected analysts, were, predicting. Confidently, that they would come down and cost pretty quickly but now they have and, they're, available there are five times more jobs in solar here in the US and in coal already. The. Fastest growing. 62%. Of the new electricity. Generation, installed, in the u.s. last year was solar and wind the. Fastest, growing job in the u.s. is solar installer, second, fastest growing job is. Wind turbine, technician. A, lot. Of the new jobs that are being created in, the economy now are coming as part. Of this sustainability. Revolution. So. I want, to temper, my optimism, I am. Genuinely, optimistic. Because we have the solutions, and because your generation. So. Many of you are here are helping, to, awaken. The rest of the folks as, to how quickly. We, have to move but. We also don't. Want to run the risk of being Pollyannish, on this because, still. To this day, 80%. Of all the energy we use in, the global economy comes, from burning. Fossil fuels, and taxpayers. Around the world are being forced by bad policies. To subsidize. Fossil. Fuels, at our rate 38, times more. Than, the meager subsidies, for solar and wind and, renewals. So, we have to change, policies. We, have to change investment. Practices, we have to change. So. Many things, agriculture. The preservation. Of our, forests, and reforestation, sustainable. Agriculture, is coming, on strong but not fast, enough we. Have to address the built environment. To stop wasting. So much energy about, a quarter, of all the greenhouse. Gas, emissions. Come from just inefficient. Buildings and that's another opportunity, to create jobs, in fixing, the, built, environment. And of course we have to speed, up the transformation. Of the, way we produce electricity, and we, have to shift over to electric, the, vehicles you know diesel is the new coal, and. We have got to get rid of the internal, combustion engine we've got to shift completely. Away from burning. Fossil fuels, and we have to do it quickly so, the, task in front of us is. Really. A daunting, one we, can't minimize, how, how, serious, it is and how quickly we have to move but. I'm optimistic. Simply. Because I, do, believe that. We have the ability. To match. This, rising. Determination. To bring change with, the solutions, that are already available, we don't need any new breakthroughs, it'll be great if we get some new technology. Breakthroughs. Maybe fusion, several years out many year I don't know how many years out but. But what we have already, if you, look at solar and wind particularly. Solar you, know what a cost reduction curve. Is we found, out about it with computer, chips a long time ago and you look at smartphones and flat-screen, TVs they, get cheaper every year, with higher, performance. And. That's. Happening, with solar now, to the point where. It is now more, economical. To produce electricity. From. Renewables, but my final point on this about optimism, and I often in my formal, speeches with this phrase because I believe it deeply never.
Forget, That political. Will is itself, a renewable, resource and, it's, up to us to renew it and apply it to, this global emergency, and this. So. Through this, journey, that you've been taking, and through. Preaching, and being able to express, this information, to the entire world have, you ever had a time that you felt. Defeated or, that you just couldn't, do anymore and if so what was your lowest time well. You're. Too good at this man I. Would. Say that the election, a couple years ago was not. Necessarily. But. You know I really. Believe, very. Deeply that we. Are now in the early stages of, a. Sustainability. Revolution. That. Has the magnitude. Of the Industrial, Revolution but. The speed of the digital revolution, these. New technology. Solutions. Are absolutely. Stunning. And. I, think. That the. Sustainability, revolution. And the climate, movement, should. Be seen, in, the context. Of other. Great, moral, revolutions. Like the. Civil rights movement, in our country. Abolition. Long before, that the. Women's. Suffrage movement and. Women's, rights and women's rights civil rights of course we still have a long way to go but if you look at the accomplishments. There and and again, lesbian, rights if somebody, had told me eight. Years ago that in, the year 2018. Gay. Marriage would be legal, in all 50, US states and. Honored and celebrated by, more than two-thirds of the American people I would, have said. That's. Great. All. Of, these great. Revolutions. Have followed, a similar pattern. The. Advocates. Have in every. One of these movements have encountered, setbacks. They. Have, struggled. With despair. At times they've. Had to fight their way through bleak. Times, but. Because, their, cause was just and, because. Of who. We are as human, beings, ultimately. When the underbrush, is cleared away the central choice is revealed, between. What's right and what's. Wrong and that's. The, tipping, point when. Hearts change, and, then minds change. And, then solutions. Are pushed with, the vigor that's appropriate. I think, that we're at that tipping. Point right now in. The climate, movement, and. III, think it's unstoppable, I think we're going to solve it. So. Something, that's been very very, close to my heart since the first time that I watched, the first documentary, that you made is, is, plastic, yeah, it's, something that I think about in trash is something that I think about a lot and you. Know we hear statistics floating, around on Instagram like oh and 2050, there's gonna be more plastic, in the ocean than fish you. Know and you, know you have people like Boyan slat who are creating things to pull, plastic out the ocean how, do you feel about the, trash epidemic, and what's happening with plastic, and how involved the youth is. Getting with these movements again behind let's get the plastic off the oceans get the plastic out of the ocean, and sometimes, it distracts, people from co2, s and the rising of the, temperatures. Globally, being the real problem how do you feel. About people, advocating, for cleaning plastic out of the ocean do you have any ideas, for ways. That we can do this more efficiently yeah. Well it's all connected and. The. Efforts to remove, plastic, from the ocean. Are. Congruent. With the efforts to reduce co2. Emissions, and, other greenhouse gas emissions, it's part of the the, petrochemical. Industry that. Is producing, both. Of these, terrible. Afflictions. Most. Of the plastics, come out of the mouths of the rivers, and. For, all of the incredible volume in the oceans and you just gave that statistic, that represents, only 11%, of, the total plastic. Production around, the world each year we. Need to shift, to what's. Called the circular economy with. Recyclable. Components. The good news is we can do. That we're seeing with the small. Initial, initial, steps like the, banning of plastic, straws and really, innovative, products, like just water. Sharply. Reducing, plastics, and co2 emissions, that's, how that, kind, of revolution, begins. But, it's all part of the same movement, toward, a, sustainable. World your. Generation. Is rightly, and justly, demanding. A better world. And companies. That want to hire the best and brightest, of the new generation, need, to hear, you or they're, not going to get the the brightest, and best young, women and men coming, to work, for them entrepreneurs. Like you are starting. Brand new business models, that have this commitment. To sustainability, at the core of it we can win this we will win this it's just a matter of how, quickly, we will win it and we, don't have a lot of time to waste we've got to it starts, right now and, maybe, at the summit la will be where it goes over the tipping point.
So. I'm, sorry that I'm asking so many rapid questions I'm just know I'm gonna have some questions for you too Wow okay yeah absolutely. What, do you think is different about your. Generation, that you know the, the. The. Polling, and public opinion surveys, clearly. Show that, your. Generation. Has a significantly. Higher, level. Of commitment, and knowledge, on. Sustainability. And climate than. The. Two, generations, that came before you. What why do you think that is I think. That's something. Is really helping, my generation, being able to beware about all of these different causes, is the internet and I. Feel, like the Internet can be used positively and, negatively and, I feel like something that do. You have any evidence yeah. I'm. Sorry. Too. Much - too, much evidence yeah. But. I feel like something that is very positive is short-form content on the Internet no 60, seconds of saying hey here's what's going on here this is being polluted this is not okay this is happening here's ocean statistics, here's co2, and other greenhouse gases statistics, it's something that the, youth can just go flip on their phone 60, seconds, of learning oh boy flat is doing this Al Gore is doing this just water is doing this Elon is doing this you know I feel like it's, almost. A way for the youth to receive. Content, in a way that they can digest it you know you know it's, like you know 60 seconds of this idea 60, seconds of this ideas 60 seconds of this idea and that's why I feel like we have so many young people who oh I'm passionate about this but I'm also passionate about this and passionate, about this it's I feel as though it's the versatility of the exposure that they are getting from the Internet that is allowing them to be aware and to also be passionate, about all of these different, subjects yeah I strongly. Agree, with, that. You. Know we've had. An. Evolution. In. Forgive. The geeky term, the. Information, ecosystem. Of our, democracy. The. Main ways in which we share ideas and when America was founded the. Printing press was completely, dominant. And it, had low. Entry, barriers, to. Way flows. Of information kind of a meritocracy, of, ideas. Not always perfect by any means but, it lifted, the role of Reason. In. Public. Discussions. Then, broadcast came, in first radio and then the big kahuna television. And video in, various. Delivery. Media. Is, still, dominant. And that set, up gate gatekeepers. So that people and corporations. With, a lot of money. That wanted, to impose, their, will, the conversation. Of democracy. Were able to dominate that, conversation. And it wasn't two-way, anymore. People just sat back and absorbed, all these commercial. Messages and. Content, that was often twisted, and. I had great hopes when the Internet and social media came, in that it would restore. A democracy. Friendly. Public. Square, but. You know the. Internet has been hacked long before the Russians hacked it it, was hacked by big, money and our democracy, has suffered and whether, it's a search. Engine or a social, media site we have got to stop this stalker. Economy. Where they collect, all the private, data and build dossiers. On everybody. We, have got to restore a sense, of integrity, and fairness and respect, to. The internet because alongside, the, very positive, manifestations. You just talked about which are great there. Has also been a. Lot. Of downside. We, have the ability, to fix that and I don't want to get I don't want to dwell on this, but I've. Long since come to the view that the. Solution, to the climate crisis, requires a solution to the to, the democracy, crisis, and the, solution, to the democracy, crisis, means. New. Vigorous. Efforts, to, create, a public, of virtual public square, with. Social, media that, operates, in favor, of, the, meritocracy, of ideas, and facilitates, the kind of learning experience and, dialogue, that, you've described, while protecting, us against.
Russian, Bots and, you, know the alt-right. Groups. That try to spread. Hate we've, got a big job there on our hands as well again, I think we're up to it but we're counting on your generation, Jaden you know this stuff. We're. Gonna try not to let you down okay, we're. Definitely gonna try not to let you down so I hear you talking about big money a lot yeah and if. That always interested me and I have a question why do you feel like these major corporations do, not make, the switches, just immediately, when they hear the news Oh something, bad is happening and we could switch to fully, solar or we could deploy you, know robots. To clean all of our plastic out of the ocean or we, could make all of our fleet, trucks you know these new Tesla motor trucks, why do these, major, companies not just immediately. Make the switch for, the better world well the easy answer is that so many of them have business, models. That. Lead. Them to. Fear. That. If, they switch away from what they know how to do and the assets, they have in abundance like oil and coal and gas, then. Their, share prices are gonna go down and their, bonuses, will go down and their business, models will collapse. I mean it's not that, complicated. But, there are examples, of companies that are trying to change just last week you know, the. Current administration. Proposed. Rolling, back the clean air standards. For cars and trucks and the, largest manufacturer. Well. General, motors Tesla, they go back and forth now but General Motors said they. Were opposed, to, the. Administration's. Proposal, and they came out for an, all-electric. Vehicle, which is which, is great, now. The market. Is beginning, to express, a preference, for v's, just, as it is for solar. And wind electricity. But. The. The future, the. Future additions, each year that's great, but, the installed, base, is, still, a, huge, problem and how we switch. Away from the internal combustion engine and fossil, fuel burning electricity. And so forth that's a challenge. Now here's here's another way to to, unpack, the, answer to your question I, want. To draw an analogy to. The subprime, mortgage crisis. You may remember that you're. Pretty young when that you're pretty young now but when that happened, in, 2000. Years ago you. Know the the the large banks, and financial, services, groups, they started, seeing, how they could make a ton of money by. Doing away with, credit. Checks for, people who wanted, home mortgages. And. They, gave millions, of them to people who not, only could not make a down payment they couldn't make the monthly payments and. They became known as subprime. Mortgages. But, they fool they they. Fooled people and, maybe fooled themselves, a little bit by, saying that if they just put millions of them together and, attached a phony insurance. Like. Product. To it and sold it off into the global market everything. Would be fine the risk would magically disappear. But then some, people who were careful, in analyzing. These products, said wait. A minute and they dug a little deeper and they said these things are worthless, and that's, when the subprime, mortgages, collapsed, in value, that, created, a credit crisis, kind. Of a run on the banks and that's. What caused the Great Recession which. In turn has fueled this terrible. Move toward, populist. Authoritarianism. In the. White house in, Russia. And, in, you. Know places as diverse as, Hungary. And the Philippines, so now. Here's the analogy, we, now have a subprime. Carbon. Asset, crisis. Except. It's much bigger and what, I mean by that is we, have twenty two trillion, dollars, worth. Of carbon, assets, like oil gas and coal that, are already discovered. Already on, the books of these major energy companies. Marked. At a value. That. Assumes. That, they're, all going to be put to their intended use and burned, but. They're not going to be burned, not, only because, there's. Going to be new policy, I'm hoping, and expecting but, also because. Of the sharp reduction. In the cost of the competition. Because of the efficiency. Wave that's reducing, demand. For energy they're, not going to be burnt at some, point and it's already started. Smart. People are looking, at the real value, of these carbon, assets, and some, are saying whoa. This is a crisis. About to explode, in the financial, markets, we better get rid of these carbon, ass the largest, sovereign wealth fund in the world the Norwegian, fund just, announced, that it's about, to decide to, get rid of a hundred percent of all the oil, and, gas. Holdings. In their fund and they were Funt they their, money came hundred percent from oil and gas so they, know what they're talking about, a lot. Of other investors. Are doing the same thing now when the psychology. Of the market shifts, like that then. It. Can also reach, a tipping, point where, people say wait a minute we don't want to be the last ones, holding, on to, these nearly, worthless assets, when they have a book value up here and their real value is down here, so a.
Lot. Of these companies are, trying to, hold off the the. Light bulb going off in people's heads that. They're, trying to hold off the recognition. Of the. Truth, that's, why New. York State is suan, and, Massachusetts. Are suing. ExxonMobil. And they just got the green light to go ahead to a trial. On this because, they have told their investors, according, to this allegation. They've. Given false, information. About, the. Prospective value. Of these assets the scenario, I just described, they. Are they've. Been hiding, information. That they have that. Would queue. In investors. To, what the real situation is. Now, when more and more people realize that we're, going to get to a, quick-change. Where. It's, no longer competitive. To. Get. 80% of our energy from from fossil fuels and burn petrol. And diesel and gasoline and cars, Wow, Wow. Sooner, the better yeah, she, really better for sure so. I feel. Like a lot of a lot. Of people in my generation definitely. Have this question that they always constantly, ask me and I don't know how to answer and. It's that all right let's say that every car in the world becomes. A electric. Vehicle right. Are. All of our problems solved at that point no no but. But that's a big chunk of it we. Have to first. Of all we have to change our the global energy system, that. Change has already begun it needs to be accelerated as I, mentioned earlier we have to get rid of the subsidies, for fossil fuels, that's keeping. It in place we have to change the transportation. Systems. We have to move to electric, cars electric. Trucks electric. Scooters, electric, trains. That. We're. Already seeing the. Electric vehicles, that are on the road now are just, amazing. To drive and the cost again there, is coming down very rapidly in the next couple years you're, gonna see the drivetrain, the powertrain, for, these vehicles become. Much cheaper than those for internal combustion engines that's part of why GM, made their announcement last week then we have to take on agriculture. Because agriculture, is very petroleum. Intensive, and it, it, operates. Too, often, now on a model. That strips, the carbon, out of the soil with synthetic, nitrogen. Fertilizer. There's ninety percent natural, gas and. This is a deeper subject, and we can go into it more if you want but we have to shift to organic. Regenerative. Agriculture. It's, better for farmers, it's better for them for. What, we eat. Forest. Management we we have to stop, the destruction of forest. Land we have to do a better job of regrowing. Forests. And not just you, know cut down the trees for woodchips that's, absolutely, insane, and then they replant, with monoculture. That doesn't support. Biodiversity. And we, haven't mentioned the sixth great extinction, now but the biologists. Say almost, to a person, that the most serious, part of the climate crisis is that half, of all the living species on earth are in danger of extinction and in this, century but, forest, management, and wetlands, management, is a big part of it and then something I mentioned earlier also the built environment. To make our buildings zero, carbon, and some countries are already starting to do that and by, the way it not only creates jobs in every community, with the retrofit, jobs, it leaves, the owners, and renters with lower utility, bills, so what's not to like it's a win-win-win.
Strategy. Why. Aren't we moving simultaneously. On all five, of these fronts, the, answer comes back to something I mentioned ago. Those. With these potentially. Stranded, assets with. Business, models, that make. Them defend, past. Practices. And hope, that they can continue, them indefinitely they. Have used big money to hack our political. System. A lot, of the big fossil fuel companies say, publicly, that they're no longer giving money to climate. Deniers but, with, the other hand they're funneling, money to. Opponents. Of these state. Referenda. And local. Measures, like in the state of Washington, right now they. Have an historic proposal. On the ballot Tuesday. To put a carbon fee and that's really well, designed but, the big oil companies, are, funneling. Money into, misleading. TV ads, to, try to fool people into, voting against. It so we. Need to we. Need to have truth in lobbying, we need to call out these firms that are working against. Our our future, just because of pure greed and fear, fear, that they won't be able to change fast enough but the future, is ours, that future is your generation, and if all of you will join with what Jaden and his colleagues, are doing we're gonna win this sooner rather than later. You. Are. Such. An inspiration to. Me to, all of us in this room to all of my friends you. Know and I just want to say thank. You so much because without what, you have done. Everybody. That is coming out with these new technologies, right now and being aware of what's happening in the climate they owe so much of that information to you so I just want to say thank, you and please just give a. Nice. You say that. Yeah. Your, hold. On hold off and cold huh I want. To I want to spread that around because, I get, my inspiration from, the millions. Of people at the grassroots, level you're one of them my friend but. There are millions, of people who are out there organizing. Starting. New businesses. Bringing. The the solutions, that we need and. So, that there, are a lot of other people besides me doing this and I appreciate your kind words but speaking.
Of Other people that are out there making a difference in making a change I would love to talk about your professor, for a second cause you, you were telling all, of us at the, last event that I saw you at that your. Professor, was the first person, to measure co2, in, the atmosphere in, a global Atmos in the real Atmos yeah so how did that inspire you and how was that growing, up with a professor that was such an advocate well, that made all the difference for me his. Name was Roger Revelle he, was from here in Southern. California I, went. School on the East Coast and I didn't even major in science, and but. I had a, opportunity. To take an elective, and I signed. Up for his course and not really having much, of any idea, of what. I was gonna experience, there, but, he designed, a. The. First experiment. To measure co2, in, the global atmosphere a little, bit of ancient history back, in, 1957. And 58 there. Was something called the International, Geophysical Year, and. In, the in the decade. Following World. War two there was a lot of optimism, and a lot of progress and this was part of it and that's. When he designed this experiment, Dave David, Keeling, was. The one who implemented. It for, 50 years out, on the Big Island of Hawaii they. Would send up measuring. Instruments, you know several times a day now. They have them in multiple locations around the world and. When I walked into this professor's, class, he. Shared, with us the first few years of, the co2 increase. In the, atmosphere that was that is still the foundation of. Modern, climate, scientists, all the great, climate sciences today that's where it really started, there were discoveries, of the basic, chemistry in physics before, then but, seeing that it was real, and it was happening, on a on a dramatic. Current, basis that's, what opened my eyes and. He sketched, out what this would mean I, kept. In touch with my professor. When I graduated. Went into the army came back got elected. To Congress a, few years after that and asked. Immediately, what, are we doing about global warming and, crickets. And. So I helped, organize the first congressional, hearing on global. Warming, back. In the 70s, and. Invited. My. Invited. My professor. To come and be the leadoff witness, and I, was so naive, that, I actually. Held. The hope in my heart sitting. Up on the dice with, the other members of Congress that when, he spoke they would have the same epiphany. From a 20-minute. Congressional, statement that I had from a full college course in it it, didn't happen to say the least and. That's really the first time that I asked, myself the, question, how. Can. This. Be communicated. To others, the. Way he communicated. It to me in a, way that would be accessible. In a shorter, period of time and produce.
In The minds and hearts of millions of people the same aha. Realization. That that he gave me, and, by. The way, on. The, one he. Died, many years after, that but on the 100th, anniversary. Of his birth I, went to. A celebration, of his life at the Scripps Institute, in La Jolla and, I, really, boned, up to, try to do justice, to this great man and in, the course of learning more about him learned. That. When. He had been my, age I took his course when he was your age now, he. Had been inspired, by. A, great, professor. Who. Had changed the course of his life and I, thought to myself wow, how, many chains, of, intergenerational. Inspiration. Are, there going way. Way back, and how. Far in the future will they continue. But. We've got to accelerate, that process now, that's what the climate reality project is, all about by the way I do these regular training, sessions around. The world to, get the facts about the crisis, the solutions, to the crisis, communications. Skills. How, to persuade. Legislators. And other policymakers, to make changes, but, we have to gear this up I, started. By giving you the reasons for my optimism. Jadynn, and they're real but. My optimism, is premise. On the. Assumption. That this. Aha. Realization. About the danger, we're in and the fact that we do have the solutions, that this will spread. Rapidly. Your. Generation, is, helping, to lead the way by, the way there is an election on Tuesday everybody, who hasn't voted yet go out and, vote. Yeah. I'm. Telling all my friends to go out and vote I signed up for my ballot, and I'm I just I, want. To make, sure that this generation. Really, knows, that they now have the power it's a hard switch, to go from, being. A, teenager. Like oh I'm sixteen seventeen to being eighteen turning twenty and realizing now I'm a young adult and I actually have a say and, I need to express, my opinions, and how I feel about the world because if, I don't then, my side, of the story may never be heard for the rest of history no no that's. Great. Let. Me ask you another question Jaden.
When, You encounter. Somebody. In your generation, who. Is not, on, not. In sync, doesn't really, get. This and actually. Kind of fights, against, it what. Had what, strategies. Have you discovered, are most, effective, in changing their minds, um, honestly. I, just I try to scare, them as bad as I can. Okay. Honestly. Because you. Know the kids in my generation, they're just like I'm tough like I don't care that you, know I'll be fine like I just gonna skate for the rest of my life I'm gonna be fine I'm just gonna be like well, bro like if the, skatepark, floods. You're gonna have to learn how to surf. Let, me add to that a little bit. I I. Do. Put. Put. Hope first and, and emphasize. The hope, and the solutions. But. But. I don't. Want to miss the opportunity to, to. Do what you just said works for you and and and that is to lay out how serious, this is, so. We. Are we're, using the sky as an. Open sewer and, the. Sky is. Different. In reality. From. The way it appears to us when. We go outside this, building and look up from. The ground it looks like a vast, and limitless expanse. But. The pictures from the astronauts, confirm. What the scientists, have long known it's. Actually, a very. Very thin, shell, of atmosphere. Encasing. As and, surrounding, the planet if, you could drive. A car at normal, interstate. Highway speed straight up in the air you get to the top of the sky in about ten minutes it's. That thin and we. Are now spewing. 110. Million tons, of. Manmade. Heat-trapping. Pollution into, that thin space. Every. Single, day and a, good portion of it will stay there for more than a thousand, years the. Cumulative, amount, that, is up there now. Traps. As much extra. Heat energy every. Day as, would. Be released, by. 500,000. Hiroshima. Class atomic, bombs, exploding. On the earth every, 24, hours day. In and day out. It's. A big planet but that's a lot. Of energy. And more. Than 90% of it goes into the oceans. And now, the the, remaining. Seven, to ten percent heats. Up the air or of course the oceans heat up the air too but. The. Fact that the oceans, are warming so. Much. That. That, has consequences, of it. That's, what makes these hurricanes and, cyclones and, typhoons so much stronger, than they than they were in the past and. They intensify so, rapidly, and they're moving north, by the way. Into. The latitudes, that cover Southern California, not not, not, yet but they're but they're moving I and. We saw with hurricane Harvey, last year, how. Much water that did that dumped on Texas, if you. Think of Niagara, Falls and imagine, the full flow of Niagara, Falls for 500 days that's. How much water dumped. On Texas, in Louisiana. In five, days five, feet of water in in Houston, Texas we've. Had seven, once in a thousand, eight once, in a thousand, year. Events. In the US in the last 12 months well. Statistically that doesn't, work out so well but, the other thing, that warming. The oceans up heating the oceans this much also. Does, is. It, disrupts. The water, cycle, that's, at the basis of life and we all learned in school that water evaporates, off the ocean and comes over the land and falls as rain or snow and then, works its way back to the sea well, we're. Putting a huge. Increased. Amount, of water. Vapor off the oceans, into the sky and we have these atmospheric. Rivers, that come in this region. Across from. The Pacific, over. The land in the case of Texas Louisiana, Florida off the Gulf of Mexico these, atmospheric. Rivers can be 30 times larger than the Mississippi and so, when storm conditions release. A downpour. The, downpours, are much, much bigger and, so. The floods are much bigger and the mudslides. Are much worse same, thing by, the way with. Droughts because, the extra, heat. Evaporates. The moisture, out of the land so. That right now in the. Southwestern. Part of the United States New Mexico, Utah Colorado, Oklahoma. We. Have a huge. Drought going on right now also, in Central America by the way there are a lot of causes for the.
Exodus, Of. Refugees. Looking, for safe. Lives coming, from Honduras, and Guatemalan. Etc, but. The so-called dry Carter. That. Is impacted. By global, warming has, meant they have gone for long, periods. Of time two years in some cases without rain. So they don't have a harvest, and same. Thing happened, in Syria the worst drought in the history of the eastern Mediterranean there. Were other causes for, all, of the migration. From the, eastern Mediterranean. And Syria. Into Europe, and the neighboring countries but, they had a the worst drought in history there 2006. To 2010. Definitely. Caused, by the climate, crisis, it's been studied, very. Thoroughly and many peer-reviewed. Papers written about it it. Killed, 80%, of their livestock, 80%, of their goats died. 60%. Of their, farms, were, destroyed, and so, all these refugees were driven into the cities and WikiLeaks, released, conversations. Among the Syrian ministers before. The civil war started. Saying, all hell's gonna break loose we can't handle, this, and there, were other causes there too just as there are from this for, the Central American refugees. But. My point is, the. Knock-on, consequences. Of the climate, crisis, has. Political. Effects, and. Some, of these nations. Have difficulty. Governing, themselves in the best of seasons, but when they have the added, pressure, of, these. Tremendous. Climate. Consequences, some of them tip over the edge and the gates of hell did open in, Syria, Russia, they had the worst drought in their history, 2010. And the worst fires ever 55,000. People killed so they canceled, all their grain exports. And there, were food riots, in 60 countries including. In Tunisia. We're, at the peak of food prices a food vendor, set. Himself on, fire, that's. What touched off the Arab Spring and his, last words were not down with the tyrant, his last words were how, am I supposed to live we. Have these crises in West Africa. We have them in Southeast, Asia the, water crises, brewing, in northern China. In Bangladesh. It's sea level rise and the stronger, ocean. Based storms, so. Farmers. That were used to rebuilding, their lives over 20 years now. Have to rebuild them every six or seven years and they can't do that and so India's just completed, the largest steel, fence in the world on its southern border with Bangladesh. And I could go on and give you other examples but. My the, health consequences, we were talking about that in the in. The green room upstairs. The, mosquitos, spreading, and diseases, I never heard of when I was your, age jaidynn zika, chikungunya. Not to mention malaria. And, these other tick, and mosquito borne, diseases. Heat, stress food. Shortages, all of, the all, of the crops that we use. As our food today, we're. Patiently. Selected. By Neolithic, women. 10,000. Years ago, they. Saved, the seeds of the best producing, plants, and then generation, after generation they. Kept on replanting. The best ones and that's where our broccoli and cauliflower and, lettuce and carrots, and potatoes and everything we came, from but, they were optimized. For, a climate. That is. Now that we're now changing. And so, we're seeing crop, yields, decline. Because, of heat stress and the, change, in the in the periodicity, of rainfall, coming. At planting, time were at harvest time are not coming at all for long stretches. For. Many years, we we were really. Encouraged, by the fact that hunger, in the world has been going, down and, poverty. Has been going down yay well, the last four years has started going up again, because, of the, climate crisis. Now, I. Won't. Even try. To go through the rest of the list of these consequences. But it is a whole system crisis. And it. Is at our doorstep, right. Now it is a global, emergency, facing. Us at this. Very moment. The, time for complacency, is. Over. The time for political, activism, and, a demand, for changes, in policies, is right. Now and we've got to, do it. That's, right now. It's, right now. You're, the best you're. The best you're. The best but. It is right now right, now is when we have to make the change and I feel like a lot of people, in the world everybody. Cares, everybody. Cares about themselves, about their well-being about, happiness about their neighbors, but not everybody, knows the, videos for example that you are playing and. What. You were showing us of the. Countless. Amounts, of videos, of streets, just flooding, people. Being trapped in cars and just. A whole like what should it be a main street of a city just being run, by water, cars, being stripped down the road you, know I'm not trying to. Scare. People I'm just trying to give them yeah you know I am trying to scare people. It's. My cue yeah. But. I've got to give them the hope to we don't you have the solutions, the, missing, ingredient, is the political, will but but but yeah those videos every, night on the television, news is like a nature hike through the book of Revelation now, I mean honestly, I mean, I get I get people sending, me videos, every.
Single, Day from. Cities that don't even show up in the news at all where they have these thousand-year. Downpours, in parts, of Texas it was a once in 250,000. Year downpour, and by the way if you had any fires this year in California that's. Also, climate, related in Mendocino the, Mendocino, complex. Fire was the largest fire in the history of, California. There's practically, a year-round. Fire. Season. Here now that's because, of the drying of the land, and the vegetation, now, we. Can solve this but. We have got to face, the. Danger. Without. Letting. It tip. You into. Despair. Despair. Is just a number another form of denial there's some people that go straight from denial, to despair. Without pausing. On the intermediate, step, of solving the dam crisis. Which, we have the ability. Do, and. And. Here's. The thing it's. Really, challenging. The complexity. Of it is challenging, I think maybe we're. Getting past. The point where the complexity, is so much that people don't want to understand. It I think more and more, people really, really do because they're seeing these, things I mean Mother Nature has a pretty powerful voice, and she's. Kind of hard to argue with, but. The, complexity, has been a barrier, the. Fact that it is a global. In its dimension. Also, is something we're not used to dealing with the. Fact that it seems to be a longer, term threat when it's really present now also, gives people a chance to say well I'll, just wait on this and by the way these climate, deniers. Funded. By the you. Know mainly, the fossil fuel companies they. Count, on all, of, the. Psychological. Tricks they can use, to, convince. People to, say oh we can wait on that we. Oh, you mean wait a minute 1/10 of 1% of, the scientists, still don't agree let's wait on the other 1/10. Of 1%, or. It's. May be sun spots sunspots. It's. All this gaseous, garbage. That we're putting into the atmosphere trap and I don't want to get wound up again, but. I. Wish. I, wish. There was a magic. Wand, I could wave I wish there were magic, words I could use I wish that I knew, a. Better. And more effective, way. To. Transfer. Zap. What. What. I feel, in my heart having studied, this intensely. For. More. Than 40 years right. Into your heart and head I believe. In democracy. I believe. In a reformed, version of. Capitalism. I believe. In humanity, I know we. Have limitations, from our long period, of development. We're, ready to fight the things that our ancestors. Survived. More. Modern. Complex, threats, that are more deadly, we got to think about those and it doesn't come naturally and, viscerally. But. In spite, of our limitations, we. Also have. The ability to rise above, those limitations, and we have done. It before. This. Is the biggest, challenge we've. Ever faced. Nuclear, war is the only one in the same category, and we've held that at bay for quite a while now pretty, successfully. And don't. Get me started on. This. One is an. Existential threat to, the, future of our civilization, and potentially. To the future of our, species do, not get discouraged do, not despair yes, Donald. Trump announced that he wants to pull us out of the Paris agreement but. What people often, don't know is that, the first day we could legally, leave, the Paris agreement is the, day after the next presidential election two, years from, now. And. And. If, there's, a new president excuse me for a moment, then. A. New. President, could give 30, days notice and. We're. Back in the Paris agreement, so this is still, in our. Hands and by the way this experiment. With trumpism is not going very well and in.
Science, And medicine some experiments, are terminated, early for ethical reasons so yeah. We. Can only pray. This, is amazing, so. We've talked a lot today about putting, co2. Emissions into, the air but. We, haven't really talked about just pulling, them straight out and I've been seeing a lot of growing. Technologies. Around the world where people are developing machines, where you can just pull co2 directly. Out of the air and I've, actually never thought about that so when I look at these developing, technologies, and I see that people are actually saying oh I can build a machine this, size and it can pull you know the same amount of co2 out of the air as the you, know as a rainforest but it's not the size of a rainforest or do you see that. Being in our future do you see that being hopeful, for, us in the future of us being able to just build, things, that just take co2 out of the air turn it back into some. Type of material, that we can create plastic, and sewer and turn it to ink or I, hope so I hope so yeah as. Of. Right now. The. Most advanced, and effective technology. We have for pulling co2, out of the atmosphere is, called a tree yes. Yes. And. And, when. You take, that technology to, scale it's called a forest, yes. But. You. Know the the the really. Smart. Women. And men and the scientific, and engineering communities. That. Have put pencil to paper and have really, delved deeply into this, they. All reach, basically the same conclusion. And that is the. Paris agreement is a great, start, it's not nearly enough but it's a really encouraging, start, and it, has built into it a five-year, review period every five years for nations, to ratchet. Up their commitments, so that's great but, then they go further and they say look when, we do all the numbers. It's. Hard to solve this without coming, up with some, way to. Pull co2 out, of the atmosphere, and. I, hope there are technology. Breakthroughs, that, make that affordable, and I wouldn't, bet against, it but, we have to start now with what we have, already in place and by the way we. Are still, seeing. The destruction of forests and at, the rate of about one football field per second, and this. Populist. Authoritarian. Wave, that I mentioned, before has, just captured, Brazil, and some. Worry that the Amazon, may, now be at risk because of molson arrows that's a guy just, elected president his his, platform, maybe, he'll moderate. That I don't know I hope so but, yes, we have to find a way to do it now there there's another thing related to this jadyn, called carbon. Capture and sequestration. Which. Doesn't pull it out, of the air but it it hovers. Above the smokestacks, where they're generating, a lot of it and it captures, it there and then, compresses. It and puts. It deep underground, in. A form that makes it safe. Everything. Works and every. Part, of that technology works but here's the trick to it if you, are the CEO of a major utility. Generating, electricity and you say that's what I want to do you.
Install That you have to take 1/3 of the electricity, you're now selling, to your customers, and use, it to power that technology instead. And so, no utility, can survive, doing, that and the, volumes, are so large that it's almost impossible to socialize, that cost, but. Maybe. There will be some breakthroughs, there too and maybe that will become cheaper. And more politically, acceptable. But. What we already have, at, our disposal. That. Creates, jobs that. Saves, us money that also cleans. The air pollution, out. Of the sky that's also produced when we burn fossil fuels killing more than 9 million. People a year you know air pollutions the new smoking they say now and and that, comes from burning fossil fuels to mainly, mercury. Which is also a persistent. Poison, we've got to stop putting that in the environment all of these things we can start doing right now but. I know. We're coming to the end of our hour here, but I want, to I want to close for my part jadynn by thanking. You and your generation what. You personally, have been doing is great, keep at it, that are at it every, day you're inspiring, more people in your generation and I'll close with a line that I previewed, in one. Of my first answers, and that is for anybody who thinks that we don't have the political will the, political will to do this please remember that political, will is really, and truly a renewable. Resource in and of itself we have the capacity in our hearts to solve this crisis, if we decide. That. It is the morally. Correct. Economically. Advantageous. And, politically. Feasible, decision. To make I hope, that each of you will make that decision. Ladies. And gentlemen. Thank. You so much thank. You. You.