DL: And knowing it intimately, from living there, have you noticed a change in the patterns of weather? Anything that may lead you to believe that there’s trouble ahead in terms of the climate?
JM: I definitely do. I think it’s warmer. I think that climate change is taking place. I just visited a little country that is a fascinating place called Bhutan. And they’re up in the Himalayas.
And the glaciers in the Himalayas are melting. And there are lakes up there. And those lakes can burst and go down through that valley –- those valleys -– and kill lots of people.
Before I was there, I was in a country called Bangladesh, Dhaka. One-meter increase in sea level and 30 million people either drown or are displaced.
DL: That’s a risk. We’re talking about four feet or so.
JM: Exactly. This is serious stuff. We cannot ignore climate change as we address the economic issues. In fact, this is an opportunity to adopt clean technologies as we get out of this economic disaster that we are facing.
DL: Now, John, to me, and I’m nothing but an alarmist and a ninny, when you say that the sea level rises another meter, to me, there’s nothing we can do. Let’s say we all live to be 500 years old. There’s nothing we can do that’s going to turn that around.
JM: I think there’s a lot of things that we have to do. We have to try. We have to understand that we can’t give our kids a planet that is –-
DL: Absolutely true.
JM: And there are things that we can do, ranging from conservation to nuclear power to solar to wind to tide to putting incentives for automobiles that will -– I mean, there’s a million things we can do.
DL: But it has to come as a governmental mandate. Doesn’t it? Almost entirely. Because private sector and private sector and private sector, that’s all well and good. But unify –-
JM: We have to have government incentives, but I think it is in the private sector. For example, nuclear power. I think that nuclear power is safe and so it’s their interest if we can encourage the use of solar, wind, tide, all of those.
We have been able to accomplish in this country everything we’ve ever wanted to do if we put our minds to it. And we can. And finally, we’ve got to stop paying $700 billion, or whatever it is, to import oil from countries that don’t like us very much.