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MATTHEWS: In the real world, not the parallel universe of the people
on the far right, the Luddites, whatever you call them -- Mayor Bloomberg
is one of the most practical politicians in the world. He`s out there
trying to retrofit the subways thinking about the future and this water
level thing, Congressman.
REP. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Absolutely. This has real-world
impacts on ordinary people. As the professor just said, the ocean is now
much hotter. As a result, it`s much higher, and the arctic is melting, and
that`s changing the jet stream which would have ordinarily put this storm
off to sea.
So as a result, there is an extreme weather tax now. It`s going to
be billions and billions of dollars. And while Mitt Romney is concerned
about the Koch brothers, the average American right now is worried about
global warming, worried about climate change, worried about the impact on
MATTHEWS: Who are these people, professor, who fight you? Who are
these people that write op-ed pieces in "The Wall Street Journal" with such
assurance that this is all bogus science? Who -- are they phonies? Are
they quacks? What`s their argument?
OPPENHEIMER: There are different motivations. Some people don`t
want to hear about global warming because it`s bad news and there`s enough
bad news in the world and everybody has plenty to worry about anyway. Some
people don`t want to hear about it because it gets in the way of their
OPPENHEIMER: Those would be the fossil fuel companies, for instance.
And some people are just generally skeptical and don`t like experts, and,
frankly, I don`t like experts all the time myself either.
But these are the facts. Every academy of science of every major
country in the world has said this is happening. It`s happening now. It`s
only going to get worse until we start taking actions to stem the emissions
that are causing the problem. But in the meantime, this stuff is going to
be happening even if we get emissions under control for some time, for
decades, so we have to learn how to adapt better, how to prepare for such a
potential disaster, how to mitigate their damages.
MATTHEWS: OK. We don`t have any high ground to go to in this where
we have 6 billion people living on this planet. There`s no other planet to
go to if the atmosphere begins to be destructive of our living here. But
politics is about every two years, every four years.
How do you run a political argument that has to be paid off within
the next couple years? You have to win the argument. Who is willing to
vote for somebody who is willing to do something about climate change?
MARKEY: Well, this frames the election for next Tuesday very well.
It`s Mother Nature versus the Koch brothers.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Who are the Koch brothers? Explain.
MARKEY: The Koch brothers are the single largest funders of this --
of Republican --
MATTHEWS: Oil and gas.
MARKEY: The oil and gas industry, the coal industry. They are
funding Mitt Romney and the Republicans across this country.
They want Romney in because here`s what Romney is promising: one,
he`s going to do away with the tax breaks for wind energy but keep it for
oil. He is going to do away with the fuel economy standards that increase
the efficiency of the vehicles we drive up to 55 miles --
MARKEY: -- per gallon backing out 6 billion metric tons of CO2.
That`s what Obama wants to do, back out 3 million barrels of oil per day
from the Persian Gulf, all the oil we import.
MARKEY: The Koch brothers want Romney, and Romney has promised, to
roll back those fuel economy incentives. It endangers the planet. And
it`s going to endanger young men and women who have to go to the Middle
East to import the oil from there rather than backing it (ph).
MATTHEWS: Well, Professor Oppenheimer, back in the `60s, we called
such people pigs. Pigs. No, really, they don`t care about the planet,
they don`t care about the destruction of war. All they want is what they
got, their stuff. And they want more of it.
Is that what we`re facing here, just greed? I`m not talking about
the guy working in the coalmine. That`s hard work. I`m talking about
people who won`t listen to you, won`t listen of science because they want
OPPENHEIMER: Listen, Chris, I`m not into name-calling here.
MATTHEWS: Well, I am.
OPPENHEIMER: Fine, that`s your job, not mine.
We have a serious job to do. The administration has actually started
to put in regulations to reduce emissions. U.S. emissions are actually
down modestly. We have a long way to go. We`re going to have to do this
by all getting together and acting cooperatively.
We have to do in our own lives what we can, get those energy
efficient appliances and cars. We have to encourage the government to
start passing more -- tighter regulations to reduce emissions, and we have
to also be prepared to deal with some of the climate change that`s
inevitable by better planning and organization around the towns and
communities we live in. Everybody has it get involved.
MATTHEWS: Congressman Markey, I have known you forever. You`re a
friend of mine. I watch you fight this fight. I watch the goodwill and
the good effort to fight these people.
But on the other side of the fid, it`s not just always the other side
of the aisle, it`s not always Republicans, huge amounts of money being paid
to congressmen and women running for re-election that says, hands off.
Don`t push this thing, right?
MARKEY: Well, Mitt Romney was a climate science believer when he was
the governor of Massachusetts. No Republican can be nominated to run for
president of the United States if they say they believe in climate science.
Having a conversation with that Mitt Romney would be like having a
conversation with an empty chair.
MARKEY: That governor that we had. He cannot run.
It`s a party controlled by these interests that want to kill fuel
economy standards, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, all the things that
young people in our country know we have to invest in if we are going to
avoid the most catastrophic consequences. There is no emergency room for a
planet. We have to put in place the preventative measures as the professor
just said to protect against that danger.
MATTHEWS: Some day they`ll remember the people that didn`t do
anything.Anyway, thank you, U.S. Congressman Ed Markey. Thank you, professor Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton.
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