The Newsroom  2013 EPA report - Richard Westbrook scenes

The Newsroom 2013 EPA report – Richard Westbrook scenes

mystery for the White House got it today but they won't show it to the president till at least Monday it's yours along with an exclusive interview what's in it the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has passed a long-feared milestone not a poison gas in the air hasn't been this high in 3 million years since before there were humans we get the report you get the report embargoed until Monday and an exclusive phenomena that's who me any chance we can get the administrator there hasn't been an administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for a while because Senate Republicans won't confirm one and the president doesn't want to waste the political capital though I'm not sure what he's saving it up for that statement it was on the record hi I have here an EPA report that's been embargoed how'd you get it it doesn't matter the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego measured the levels of carbon dioxide atop Mauna Loa of i'l kano in Hawaii and found that it's passed a long-feared milestone 400 parts per million which is a concentration not seen on earth in millions of years here's what happened you started talking about co2 levels and I started thinking about other things in my head co2 is a gas the Scripps Institution of Oceanography which is made up of professional scientists measured the level of co2 in the air and that means speed the best name power the Mets need pitching that's what I'm thinking about right now living things need oxygen to stay alive in hot doggery the last time the co2 level was this high the climate was far warmer the ice caps were smaller the sea level 60 to 80 feet higher scientists believe that humanity is precipitating a return to those conditions only this time the people are in harm's way yes I would take any one of the three speed power or pitching and this is my problem that environmental stories aren't exciting right I've been doing a dramatic rendering of that pile I came over and told you about the EPA report in the interview Friday with Richard Westbrook yeah you told me I was boring you I asked for help you gloated and then what I was wrong today the federal government released a startling finding on the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will have EPA deputy assistant administrator Richard listen to for a moment but first ACN's Maggie Jordan Felicity for a great warning today from scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the world has passed a long-feared milestone the amount of course we cite or see yeah I'll take you to the studio for millions of years scientists should is reading 15 the level to dip below well we're running light can you tease the interview out another 40 seconds yeah so there are many hard questions I'm just gonna ask you expand on the report pretend you're an expert witness and I'm your lawyer sounds good intense stand by camera one fifty parts-per-million will soon be crossed the question remains how will we respond and joining us now in studios Richard Westbrook deputy assistant administrator of the EPA welcome Thank You mr. Westbrook you've spent most of your professional career as a climate scientist in the public sector yes ten years as a supervisory management analyst in the office of environmental information and before that I was a program specialist in the EPA's resource management division and you have a PhD in climate science from Stanford yes and another in chemistry with a master's in biology okay tell us about the findings in the report that was just released the latest measurements taken at Mauna Loa in Hawaii indicate a co2 level of 400 parts per million just so we know what we're talking about if you were a doctor and we were the patient what's your prognosis a thousand years 2,000 years that person has already been born who will die due to catastrophic failure of the planet what did he do say okay can you expand on that sure the last time there was this much co2 in the air the oceans were 80 feet higher than they are now two things you should know half the world's population lives within 120 miles of an ocean and the other humans can't breathe underwater you're saying the situation's dire not exactly your house is burning to the ground The Situation's dire your house has already burned to the ground situations over so what can we do to reverse this well there's a lot we could do to it for twenty years ago or even 10 years ago but now no can you make an analogy that might help us understand sure it's as if you're sitting in your car in your garage with the engine running and the door closed and you've slipped into unconsciousness and that that's it what if someone comes and opens the door you were already dead what if the person got there in time maybe safe okay so now what's the co2 equivalent of the getting there on time shutting off the car twenty years ago you sound like you're saying it's hopeless yeah is that the administration's position or yours there isn't a position on this any more than there's a position on a temperature at which water boils the administration let me try to your administration and don't forget I need solar clean coal nuclear power raising fuel economy standards and building a more efficient electrical grid yes and that would have been great let's see if we can't find a better spin people are starting their weekends the report says we can release 565 more gigatons of co2 without the effects being calamitous says we can only release 565 gigatons so what if we only release 564 well then we would have a reasonable shot at some form of dystopian post-apocalyptic life but the carbon dioxide in the oil that we've already leased is 2,795 gigatons so what would all this look like well mass migrations food and water shortages spread of deadly disease endless wildfires way too many to keep under control storms that have the power to level cities blacken out the sky and create permanent darkness you're gonna get in trouble for saying this publicly okay mr. Westbrook we want to inform people but we don't want to alarm them can you give us a reason to be optimistic well that's the thing well Americans are optimistic by Nature and if we face this problem head-on if we listen to our best scientists and act decisively and passionately I still don't see any way we can survive okay Richard Westbrook deputy assistant administrator of the thank you for joining us thanks for having me this is news night we'll be back right after this


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