Importance of Natural Resources

Climate change: Why we need 70% of U.S. politicians to unite | Daniel Esty


So when I served at the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency in the late 1980s and early 1990s climate change first came onto the public
agenda in a big way, and there was at the time a UN process launched to think about
this issue. There was, in fact, the inner governmental
panel on climate change that was chartered to go out and look at the science and provide
a foundation for diplomats getting together and to fashion a global response to what was
already understood to be a risk that the planet was warming and that we were going to see
things like sea level rise, changed rainfall patterns, more droughts, more floods and frankly
a whole series of risks including hurricanes and more intense and frequent windstorms that
began to really get people worried. So there was a sense that there was a big
issue there. I worked at that time as part of the EPA team
that negotiated the 1992 framework convention on climate change. And what was interesting at that moment is
how it brought people together across party lines. So democrats and republicans thought this
was an important issue. And when that treaty was finally concluded
in the spring of 1992 and later presented to the United States Senate for ratification
which, of course, requires a two-thirds vote seemingly unimaginable in today’s politics. The end result was the senate passed the treaty
by voice vote effectively unanimously. So not only the democrats but all the republicans
said this is an issue we need to move forward on and together we advanced that agenda. But by the mid-1990s there was a political
divide and it became a partisan issue. In fact, worse than that it became a wedge
issue which the republicans uses in one respect to enliven their base. The democrats pushed in another direction
and the two parties saw no value in coming together. So I think we really have a serious problem
on our hands where this is a partisan issue because frankly the climate change problem
in particular, but he need to move to a sustainable future more broadly cannot be done on a one
party basis. Transformative change of the kind that’s
required here, relaying the energy foundation of our economy and our society can only be
done when you come up the middle with about 70 percent of the public and the political
sphere moving together. And that is by definition not going to happen
on a one party basis. So I think there’s now an urgent need and
the Better Planet book I think represents a response to think about what’s the up
the middle strategy, what are the technologies, what are the approaches, what are the ideas
that might allow us to come together and move towards this sustainable future. Looking out towards 2021 and beyond I think
you’re going to see the republican party in the United States reposition itself on
climate change. I’m already hearing from a number of republicans
who believe that they need to have a serious and thoughtful approach to the issue. The big divide which has often been framed
around the science with one side being called science deniers actually hasn’t really been
about the science. The science is an excuse particularly for
some republicans who fear the implications of the science for policy. And they’re afraid that if there is a real
problem here the democrat’s answer and particularly the environmental communities long time answer
which I think of as a twentieth century approach is a lot of government mandates. Sort of a command and control strategy that
will limit people’s choice and perhaps slow the economy, and I think what you’re seeing
now is a recognition that the problem is real and that’s going to be increasingly accepted
across party lines. But that what’s really required is a thoughtful
new and serious approach to policy. Almost certainly a portfolio approach with
a number of different strategies woven together. Some price signal. We’re going to have to make people pay for
the harm they’re causing which I think should be done with a slowly escalating carbon charge
starting at $5 per ton and going up by $5 per ton per year for 20 years so that at the
end of a 20 year timeframe you’d have $100 a ton price on greenhouse gas emissions. And that would immediately change behavior
not just at year 20 but in year one because people see that rising price and whether they’re
building a power plant or building a building or even buying a car they’ll start to think
about what it means to have to pay that charge for their greenhouse gas emissions. They’ll change behavior and it will spur
innovation. So I think there’s actually a lot happening
that we can be quite excited about and I do see the parties coming together and prospects
for progress emerging out over the next several years.


Reader Comments

  1. How are 70% of our politicians going to stop mammoth polluters like China and India, as well as the other non-western countries where most CO2 and other pollutants come from?

  2. It amazes me that we have all these great sources of clean energy yet we still cling to fossil fuels. We should save fossil fuels for space exploration and go green to live our daily lives. It’s good for this generation and future generations!

  3. If its really such a big deal..they would be doing something. Truth is there's nothing we can do which is why they are blatantly in your face corrupt AF. They are grabbing cash to save themselves which is why they're ripping us off without empathy

  4. Koalas are officially classified 'extinct'. The pacific Ocean's jellyfish are turning to mush. FIres are raging across Australia consistently – new ones starting every single week.

    These old ****s are gonna kill us all because they're too goddamn obnoxious and thick-headed to understand that scientists KNOW MORE ABOUT SCIENCE than conservative politicians being bribed to argue against scientists.

    Is imminent death NOT enough of a motivator? Mass extinction of species not enough of a motivator? Unmatched natural disaster frequency? Temperatures so obscene that merely going outside in the Summer risks death for babies and elderly alike?

    Science deniers need to be forcibly dragged out of office. They have no right to kill off our future in this way.

  5. Have china india Pakistan saudi andnall.african.countries EVEN MEET EHAT US DOES…WHICH IS 82 PERCENT LESS THAN ANY ONE OF THEM…THEN U CAN TALK ABOUT STEALING MORE TAX MONEY FROM THE POOR

  6. Lefts “Cult of climatology:”
    1.The left was wrong on us dying of overpopulation.
    2. The left was wrong about the coming ice age.
    3. The left was wrong about DDT
    & millions in Africa are dead as a result of them getting it banned & mosquito related deaths.
    4. The left was wrong about the hole in the ozone killing us all. Even after fluorocarbons were banned in Montreal the hole is still there and no one is dying. Most of it closed on its own:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=hole+ozone+closing+on+its+own&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari
    5. The left was wrong when it said air pollution, “The Brown cloud” was going to kill us all.
    6.The left was wrong about acid rain killing us all.
    7. Wrong when the left said killer bees were going to make the border states uninhabitable.
    8. The left was wrong when it said all the straight people were going to die of aids.
    9. The left was wrong when they said the “Spotted Owl”
    would go extinct & many people had their livelihoods ruined.
    10. The left was wrong about the landfills all filling up.
    11. The left was wrong about the Amazon rainforest having been destroyed by the year 2000. Over forty years after leftists started screaming it’s still there.
    12. The left was wrong about man made Global warming voodoo.
    https://youtu.be/oQBk8tuI6SA

    Years after alarmist media almost nothing has come true!
    Obama just bought a 15 million dollar house by the ocean (L.O.L. social justice) so obviously he doesn’t believe in rising sea levels. Bernie Sanders (B.S.) owns three huge homes &
    Bernie Sanders pumps out more CO2 in one private jet trip then you will in your life & spends more on a one way private jet trip (20k an hour) than your family makes in a year! Please explain?
    13. Oops the temperature has not gone up so we have to rebrand to protect our lie & name it “climate change.”
    By the way the lefts: “90% of scientists agree on Global Warming”…..only 1 in 9 scientists even does research! Notice how the left just keeps quoting only the same two scientists. Katherine Hagel & Michael Mann.
    14. The left was wrong when it said we have hit “Peak Oil”
    and our oil supply would dwindle away.
    15. The left is wrong about promoting third world migration to the first world by increasing these people’s carbon footprint as first worlders.
    16. The left was wrong about the “Great Drought.”
    17. The left is wrong about the great polar bears all dying off greatly.
    18. The left was wrong about the Great Lakes drying up.
    19. The left was wrong about the great famine
    https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions
    20. The left was wrong when they got us all to switch from paper bags to plastic. Paper disintegrates plastic doesn’t.
    21. The leftist Uber rich are involved in a 4 billion dollar mega project in Florida that was suppose to have been underwater twenty years ago. Have a leftist explain why Florida is the biggest condo development market in the world.
    https://blog.buildingconnected.com/miami-worldcenter-megaproject-by-the-numbers/

    Please explain why leftists who believe in Man made global warming want to flood first world countries with third world refugees exponentially increasing each of their carbon footprints!
    Please explain why the Left only cheapens real causes like the oceans filling up with plastic by insisting we waste our time with their phony ones!
    If the Left cares so much about man made Global warming, why are China & India, the two biggest carbon polluters on the planet not mandated to cut carbon emissions?
    In conclusion:
    The left is 100% wrong 100% of the time. Set your watch by it.
    Meanwhile the “Leer Jet” leftists of the Democratic Party continue to pump out all the CO2 they want.
    Multi billion dollar banks continue to give 30 year mortgages in Florida which is suppose to have been underwater by now according to the Man Made Global Warming scam. ( I guess the banks plan on foreclosing using scuba gear).
    This alone should make you realize what a con job Global warning is.
    This is social injustice & complete
    lack of fairness.
    As the leadership on the left pumps out as much CO2 as they like while the media,academia, social media & entertainment industry are nothing but their pet poodles!
    Meanwhile the “Progressives” caste system from hell just gets worse as the Dems. leadership live the life of opulence & royalty while doing everything in their power to regulate yours, you are a second class citizen.
    People on government programs can easily be described as third class citizens with almost no control over their lives. Expose this non stop 24/7. This is how you take down the Pathological Progressives.
    Please share this everywhere! My channel & I are dedicated to it!

  7. It's global climate manipulation and on-going use of HAARP and Chemtrails, they (the govt) are purposely destroying the planet.

  8. Western countries aren't producing most of pollution, its mostly China and devolping nations. Nothing the us does within it's boarders matter.

  9. Even if the US went zero emissions country wide, it wouldn't make a dent in the global greenhouse gasses. How does any of this get China, India etc to stop polluting? The US is what like the 8th largest polluter?

  10. What really sucks is even if the United States went 100% green it would have little to no effect as we only are responsible for about 10-15% of the effects we feel. Obviously we should try to do something but other countries like China won’t get on board and they are the biggest producers along with India, where they are developmentally it -won’t happen-.

  11. Why do these people think that there's always a solution to Climate Change? Climate is always changing and will always change. Now they're making it all political and trying to bribe people with fefees. Stahp it, get some rest

  12. It might happen, if man made climate change wasn’t a sham. The fact that he’s calling for a carbon tax tells me all I need to know about this video. Same old Al Gore carbon credit scam.

  13. Knock on Obama's front door of his new house and ask him what he really thinks about sea level rise and climate change. What a bunch of greedy selfish power hungry nasties all you climate alarmists are.

  14. When your boat has HOLES and is taking on water, what do you?

    Climate change experts: Patch one hole.

    Ps. I thought we were supposed to be extinct by now due to the new Ice Age.

  15. We should all be better at conservancy of Earths resources, it's the only planet we have. The only reasons the government is pushing it is because they want to take more from families and individuals.

  16. US needs to have a leadership role here in becoming sustainable. Don't forget even though US is not the largest producer it is one of the largest consumer. Lots of emissions happening all over the world are to make products for u.s. and we can't expect the rest of the world to change if we here in US don't change.

  17. Look at all the dislikes lmao. Butthurt religious right wing morons trying their best. They are very mad at science. They prefer fairytales… Aw, how cute.

  18. Fuck you, Daniel !! It's hard enough for people to live without your bullshit agenda. Tax tax tax – it's all you fear mongering pukes think about. How about lowering the EPA regulations, so we can get back to manufacturing and create a thriving economy again. There are homeless people everywhere here in California that could have jobs if the EPA didn't fuck with out lives. You are the type of person that everyone hates. Someone that doesn't know what they want to do with their lives, so they choose the easiest major, Environmental Studies / Public Policy, After which, they try to convince everyone of the bullshit that they "learn". Get back in the hole in the ground you came from.

  19. 5$ a year is not enough. We have to start with 180$. So stop talking as if you listen to scientists and pretend you know what scientists say since clearly you have no idea of what should be done.

  20. Global cooling failed. Global warming failed. Climate change too will fail because it is a globalist power grabbing scam. We should protect the environment by banning plastics, not giving away all our rights money and power.

  21. Weather related catastrophe numbers are way down in the last few decades… what is this guy talking about? (Certainly not solar magnetic coupling)

  22. So many armchair scientists and experts in the comment section. The fact of the matter is the average temp of the globe HAS BEEN WARMING since the industrial revolution. It wasn’t entirely our fault, the sun’s changes in temp did start the INITIAL warming, but the greenhouse gas effect due to human activity helped trap the suns heat resulting in global warming. NO IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. BUT it is serious. It will result in greater storms, changing weather patterns, and it would be better and cheaper to address emissions now then later. Mic drop

  23. Why are we calling a "Solar Cycle" which happens every 11 years Climate Change? Lol did anybody listen while they were in grade school?

  24. Has it ever occurred to people that climate change is a natural phenomena.. we are positioned pretty close to a huge burning ball of plasma, that is not radiating heat at a constant rate. It goes through both regular and irregular cycles.

  25. He's a tool. He obviously doesn't understand the opposite opinion and this video will definitely divide not unify

  26. Wow look at the dislikes. Are people still denying climate change? Cant people at least be open minded about it or are they so simple minded that if Trump says its a hoax then it has to be a hoax?

  27. Shut up. Shut up! SHUT UP! shut your propaganda pushing mouth. Sea levels aren't going to rise. It's not going to be catastrophic. The environment needs the co2 to grow you psychotic arbiter of death. You're a statist boot licking piece of shit spouting UN bullshit. Co2 is not a green house gas. The earth is a giant carbon sink you moron. From the trees to the grass to the plankton in the ocean to the mycelium networks blanketing every forest. Basically every living thing on earth absorbs carbon in some way shape or form.

  28. For some reason uneducated idiots love to just deny facts because it makes them feel special and smart. We deserve all the famine drought and killings that happen thanks to climate change until these dipshits starts taking it seriously. Until then more people dying is a net good so that something might be pushed to be done and not denied

  29. If anyone wants to know the ACTUAL science that drives climate change, watch this video. This video is just government propaganda.

    https://youtu.be/rEWoPzaDmOA

  30. I'm thinking this was recorded we saw the Republican party in the US just blatantly lying about what was said on written reports, on air. Because with the Republican party that exists right now, no fack based anything has a chance of being accepted.

  31. The Climategate is a bullshit fake science. It is politically driven not scientific! The CO2 is only 4% of the greenhouse gas, the rest is water vapor and only .5% of that 4% is made by human activities annually! the global temperature was wormer in 1930s and centuries before! The UN climate scientists (which are very few) manipulate the data in a way to show that the global temperature is rising due to CO2 alone for a political agenda to keep the certain countries poor and prevent them becoming industrial. It's the next frontier of control just like the fake bullshit "war on terror" to be used as a tool to drive certain political agenda against certain countries.

  32. Look why bang on about climate change.
    We need less pollution, we need more wild areas both on land and sea, we need to be more sustainable and creative.
    And I don't mean creative in making your climate models work !!

  33. Of the 100k rivers on the planet, 6000 of them carry 90% of the plastic that'flow into our oceans, of those, 6000 rivers 90% flow out of China or India.

  34. Climate change ? I don't think we can do anything to help it . The ocean waters are warmer . That puts more water vaper up . I just heard of a volcano going off .

  35. nut bags try con you out of you money and guilt you into paying for weather,despite being proved many time they altered the data.. go watch "Fatal Flaw In Climate Change Science"

  36. The politicians and those of great influence are pushing this climate change Hoax/propaganda in order to justify a carbon tax on the working class/masses. Look up DAAARPA's weather modification technology and how the C.I.A. used "cloud seeding" in order to create heavy rain thus heavy floods during the Vietnam War in order to aid in eliminating the enemy. Operation Mocking Bird, Operation Paper Clip

  37. (on the new climate mascot Greta something) That's cute but the media are just catering to the chaos. Maybe in 40 years when Greta becomes president and there are two people left in Pennsylvania, she'll save us. Oh boy! I have an entire plan but nobody gives a crap because they're too greedy. Great America, let the bourgeoisie choose the leader of the climate change revolution so none of their children have to be responsible for labor in this country. The whole issue is about greed and every person towing the line. We keep creating beehives of service jobs who pay for bjobs in their spare time or hire slaves to do their work and farm our foods. While the rich are reaching for another child to throw under Krampus' bus, most of us are dying of pollution asphyxiation. What's next, using taxpayer dollars to buy India's government officials so Amazon's Jeffrey Bezos can do Slumdog Billionaire 2?

  38. stop pushing the bull shit lies.. science is not settled.. its all about socialism.. control and power over the masses.. there are thousands of scientists who disagree with IPCC.. its a scam..

  39. unsubscribe from big think for pushing this socialism ideology.. no better than UN using little kid to push their agenda

  40. stop pumping oil
    VERY BIG PROBLEM METHANE IS A BIG BOMB (PERMAFROST) , every day coming
    200.000 new polluters to this planet. Nobody will stop this and oil is used
    more and more. So take your health insurance cards, possessions, money, credit
    cards, language skills, diplomas and fancy titles. In 10 till 12 years you can
    burn it with the rest of this planet
    Further to mention: rising water levels, more CO2 makes quality of food
    production less, climate refugees, war, extreme weather events, extinction of
    plants and animals (humans), oceans will change in chemical way, burning of our woods, drought, diseases,
    plagues, earth quakes, pressure in Earth's crust, maybe rotation of planet,
    human conflicts about food and water and so on ………….

  41. Climit change is real, but all of humanity and its cars are nothing but a drop in the bucket. If you think that allowing the government to tax use more will make any difference you clearly don't understand the nature of governments . Sure we will get innovation but it won't make one degree of difference.

  42. This was a good video right up until the very end, where the guy's solution was government control. That sub optimal solution is already proposed by democrats and is unlikely to be favored by republicans. Top down solutions suck by default, if you think that government sucks in most things it does.
    Climate change is far too important of an issue to be left to governments to "fix". At best they can escalate the problem slightly. I don't expect any government to be so good to make the problem only slightly worse than it is.

    It looks like the climate is on the verge of "recession", 1929 style. Democrats want us to have the great depression and republicans are more like- how about less of that. Let the market ingenuity fix the problem with less governmental meddling, please.

    To see this picture in a more unbiased/fact based way, look at the government's track record so far. Government spending and deficit are astronomical. Now think long and hard about what has the government successfully done for that much of a deficit and that much money spending. If nothing comes to mind, but wasting money, why presume that giving government higher control and responsibility now will work in favor of reducing climate problems?

  43. "" Fact #1 In 2013 the US repealed the propaganda ban basically allowing our government to spread fake news and outright lie to the American public. Fact #2 NONE of these kids understand or know anything about that. Fact #3 Global warming/climate change is nothing more than an agenda to keep spraying us with chemtrails like bugs!!! FACT #4 the pentagon has already admitted that stratospheric aerosol injection can be used TO MODIFY HUMAN BEHAVIOR!!!!! Fact #5 stratospheric aerosol injection is the same thing as chemtrails, weather geoengineering, or whatever other names they want to come up with. Its the sh** being sprayed in our skies that they used to claim was nothing more than contrails but now they've back peddled and admitted that they are in fact spaying actual chemicals in the air, you can find this info on the University of Harvard website. WAKE UP PEOPLE!! THEY ARE LYING ABOUT EVERYTHING!!

  44. 3:45 it's sorta pathetic for humans that we have to use taxation to incentivize people with money to make the better choice, because the long-term global consequences to our species aren't enough to make them care.
    Gotta feel it where they're actually sensitive; in their wallets.

  45. 70% US politicians uniting over climate change would require politicians to like… care about their constituents… and the world their constituents live in… rather than only care for themselves and their paychecks. Like, most current politicians aren’t going to be alive to deal with the climate crisis (or will be too old and decrepit by the time it’s relevant to them), so they straight up don’t give a shit and never will. You’re suggesting that the selfish, heartless, and greedy stop being selfish, heartless, and greedy. Ain’t never gonna happen.

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