Not a Scrap to Eat? Climate and Food

>> RICH OR POOR, EVERYONE NEEDS FOOD AND WATER, SO WHY HAS CLIMATE CHANGE BECOME A POLITICAL DEBATE? WHAT’S A CIVILIZATION TO DO? NEXT, ON “GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES.” >> THIS IS “GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES,” WITH PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING COMMENTATOR JOHN BERSIA >> WELCOME TO “GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES.” MIGHT CONCERNS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY SECURITY BE RENDERED MOOT BY ANOTHER LOOMING PROBLEM? SCIENTISTS TALK ABOUT MELTING ICE AND RISING SEA LEVELS IN COMING DECADES ENERGY COMPANIES BOAST A NEW FRACKING TECHNOLOGY WILL MAKE THE U.S. ENERGY-INDEPENDENT BY THE END OF THIS DECADE BUT A GROWING BODY OF RESEARCH SAYS GLOBAL PATTERNS OF LAND USE AND FRESH-WATER SHORTAGES MAY TRUMP ALL THAT AND POSE A MORE IMMEDIATE PROBLEM TO GLOBAL CIVILIZATION OUR GUEST TODAY, JONATHAN FOLEY, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, IS IN THE MIDDLE OF SOME OF THAT RESEARCH AND WILL HELP US SEE HOW ALL OF THESE ELEMENTS TIE TOGETHER WELCOME TO THE SHOW, JON >> HEY, THANKS FOR HAVING ME >> YOU SPEND YOUR LIFE THINKING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT WHAT, TO YOU, IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST PRESSING CONCERN? >> GOSH THE BIGGEST CONCERNS WE HAVE RIGHT NOW ARE THAT, FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, WE’VE BUILT OUR CIVILIZATION AND EVERYTHING WE USE — OUR LAND, OUR WATER, OUR ENERGY — ON THE IDEA THAT THOSE WERE INFINITE AND THEY HAD NO REPERCUSSIONS BUT ALL OF A SUDDEN, IN THE LAST FEW DECADES, WE’VE GOTTEN SO BIG AS A POPULATION AND AS AN ENTERPRISE, AS A CIVILIZATION, AND USING SO MANY OF THESE RESOURCES, WE’RE EFFECTIVELY RUNNING OUT OF PLANET, WHETHER THAT’S OUR LAND RESOURCES, OUR FRESH WATER, ENERGY RESOURCES, EVEN HOW WE CAN USE THE ATMOSPHERE AND THOSE THINGS ARE NOW COLLIDING ALL AT ONCE IN THE COMING DECADES, AND IT’S POSING A REALLY PRETTY SEVERE THREAT ON WHAT WE CAN DO AS A SPECIES >> “RUNNING OUT OF PLANET” KIND OF MAKES ME CHOKE >> YEAH >> IS IT INEVITABLE, OR IS THERE TIME TO STOP THINGS OR SLOW THINGS DOWN SO THAT WE DON’T RUN OUT OF PLANET? >> WELL, NOTHING’S INEVITABLE THE SCRIPT ISN’T TOTALLY WRITTEN YET BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF FORCES UNDER WAY WHERE YOU THINK ABOUT THE SIZE OF OUR POPULATION, THE SIZE OF OUR ECONOMY, AND THE WAY WE DRIVE OUR ECONOMY ON BASICALLY NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES THAT’S REALLY NOT A GOOD WAY TO BE GOING INTO THE NEXT FEW DECADES, BUT THAT’S THE WAY WE’RE HEADED THE GOOD NEWS, THOUGH, IS THAT WE’RE LIVING IN A TIME OF INCREDIBLE INNOVATION AND POSSIBILITY AND PEOPLE COLLABORATING TOGETHER IN WAYS THAT WERE NEVER REALLY THOUGHT OF BEFORE AND PEOPLE ARE LIVING LONGER, ARE HAVING BETTER EDUCATION AND BETTER HEALTHCARE THAN EVER BEFORE SO, WHILE THE GLASS IS MAYBE HALF EMPTY IN SOME WAYS, IT’S OVERABUNDANT IN OTHER WAYS IT JUST MEANS WE HAVE AN EXTREMELY CHALLENGING MOMENT IN HISTORY >> WATER IS ONE OF THE FINITE RESOURCES >> MM-HMM >> AND WE’RE IN NEED OF QUITE A BIT OF THIS FOR FRACKING AND OTHER ACTIVITIES HOW DOES THAT PLAY OUT? IS IT INEVITABLE THAT THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME KIND OF CONFLICT AS THE INDUSTRY PROGRESSES? >> WELL, I THINK AT LEAST IN THE SHORT RUN THAT WE ARE ON A PATH WHERE WATER CONFLICTS BETWEEN DIFFERENT KINDS OF SECTORS — BETWEEN CITIES AND AGRICULTURE, BETWEEN ENERGY AND FARMING, THOSE KINDS OF THINGS, WILL CERTAINLY BE COLLIDING QUITE A LOT THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE ARE A LOT OF TECHNOLOGIES THAT CAN HELP US MAKE THE MOST OF THE WATER WE ALREADY HAVE SOME OF THEM ARE PRETTY SIMPLE — REDUCING LEAKAGE IN OUR PIPES AND SEWERS AROUND THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY IN CITIES THAT WOULD BE A REALLY GOOD FIRST STEP SOME OF THEM ARE THINGS LIKE FIXING OUR IRRIGATION SYSTEMS WE USE, OFTEN, VERY, VERY INEFFICIENT MEANS TO IRRIGATE, WHETHER WE FLOOD AN ENTIRE FIELD OR WE SPRAY IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AIR WITH A CENTER PIVOT MACHINE, THEY’RE CALLED THOSE ARE PRETTY INEFFICIENT WHEN YOU COMPARE THEM TO THINGS LIKE DRIP IRRIGATION, WHERE YOU JUST LAY DOWN A LITTLE PIPE AND HAVE WATER SOAK IN VERY SLOWLY SO, I THINK AS WE GET SMARTER WITH THE KIND OF TECHNOLOGY WE USE AROUND WATER, WE’LL CERTAINLY GET A LOT BETTER AROUND THAT BUT IN THE SHORT TERM, WE’VE GOT A LOT OF PRESSURE ON WATER, AND THAT’S MAYBE THE BIGGEST COLLISION WE’RE GONNA SEE >> WHAT ABOUT THE ISSUE OF WATER AND HOUSEHOLD LAWNS? >> I THINK THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE, THOUGH MOST OF THE WATER USED IN THIS COUNTRY IS USED FOR THINGS LIKE PRODUCING ENERGY AND GROWING FOOD >> WHICH IS THE BIGGER USER — FOOD OR ENERGY? >> WELL, GLOBALLY, RIGHT NOW, FOOD IS, BY FAR, THE LARGEST GLOBALLY, WHEN YOU LOOK ACROSS THE ENTIRE WORLD, ABOUT 70% OF WHAT WE CALL WATER WITHDRAWAL — WATER YOU TAKE OUT OF A NATURAL SYSTEM, LIKE A RIVER OR A LAKE, GROUNDWATER — IS USED FOR GROWING FOOD, JUST THROUGH IRRIGATION BUT IT’S 90% OF THE WATER WE TAKE OUT OF NATURE, AND IT JUST DOESN’T COME BACK TO THE SAME WATERSHED IT EVENTUALLY EVAPORATES INTO THE ATMOSPHERE SO, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU DO THE MATH, 70% OR 90% OF ALL THE WATER IN THE WORLD IS USED TO GROW FOOD WHAT’S AN ASTONISHING FACT IS THAT IT TAKES ABOUT 1/3 OF A LITER OF WATER TO MAKE ONE FOOD

CALORIE THROUGH IRRIGATION WELL, LET’S WRAP OUR HEADS AROUND THAT IF WE EAT ABOUT 3,000 CALORIES A DAY, IF YOU’RE A VEGETARIAN, LET’S SAY, HYPOTHETICALLY, THAT MEANS YOU USE ABOUT 1,000 LITERS OF WATER THAT’S ABOUT 250 GALLONS SO, IF YOU’RE A VEGETARIAN, YOU EAT ABOUT 250 GALLONS OF WATER A DAY BUT IF YOU ADD MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS TO THAT NUMBER, YOU MIGHT HAVE TO MULTIPLY IT BY 100 TO GET THE AMOUNT OF WATER WE EAT, SO IT’S 25,000 GALLONS A DAY TO JUST SUSTAIN OUR DIETS IF YOU’RE A REALLY HEAVY MEAT AND DAIRY-PRODUCT KIND OF DIET THAT’S HUGE YOU KNOW, WE EAT WAY MORE WATER THAN WE COULD EVER DRINK SO, A LOT OF THE CRUX OF FIXING THE WATER PROBLEM IS REALLY FIXING HOW WE DO IRRIGATION AND HOW WE GROW FOOD, BECAUSE THAT’S THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM >> YOU TALKED ABOUT DRIP IRRIGATION I’VE LOOKED AT A LOT OF OTHER INNOVATIVE PROCESSES — AIR-GROWN PLANTS AND THINGS LIKE THAT HOW EFFICIENT ARE THOSE, AND WHAT IS THE COST THAT IS INVOLVED IN SETTING SOME OF THOSE UP? >> WELL, LET’S PUT THAT IN PERSPECTIVE IT TURNS OUT ALL THE FARMLAND IN THE WORLD — ALL THE CROPS WE GROW, FOR EXAMPLE — TAKE UP ABOUT 16 MILLION SQUARE KILOMETERS OF LAND THAT’S THE SIZE OF SOUTH AMERICA, TO PUT THAT IN PERSPECTIVE WE HAVE A SOUTH AMERICA’S WORTH OF LAND JUST IN ROW CROPS, BASICALLY, RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ANOTHER EVEN BIGGER AREA, ABOUT 30 MILLION SQUARE KILOMETERS, OR THE SIZE OF AFRICA, IN PASTURES AND RANGELANDS, WHERE MOST OF OUR ANIMALS ARE BEING GROWN THOSE ARE HUGE AREAS, SO WE’RE NOT GONNA GROW ALL OUR FOOD ON ROOFTOPS OR IN HYDROPONICS OR ANY OF THAT KIND OF STUFF THAT’S KIND OF NICE ON THE EDGES OF OUR FOOD SYSTEM, BUT THE BULK OF OUR FOOD — OUR RICE, OUR WHEAT, CORN, SOYBEANS, BEEF, CHICKEN, THINGS LIKE THAT — THEY’RE TAKING UP A VAST AMOUNT OF AREA SO, YEAH, WE’RE GONNA HAVE TO THINK ABOUT RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE TECHNOLOGIES THAT CAN GROW TO SCALE SO, I THINK THERE ARE SOLUTIONS THAT COULD BE VERY HIGH-TECH IN LOCAL, LIKE RIGHT IN YOUR TOWN OR AT THE FARMERS’ MARKET OR MAYBE IN A GREENHOUSE THAT’S GREAT THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT TO USE FOR KIND OF YOUR HIGH-VALUE CROPS — CERTAIN KINDS OF COMMODITIES — BUT THE BULK OF THE HUMAN DIET ISN’T GONNA COME FROM THAT IT’S GONNA COME FROM GETTING BETTER WITH HOW WE DO RICE PADDIES OR HOW WE DO CENTER-PIVOT IRRIGATION IN WHEAT FIELDS OR CORNFIELDS — THAT KIND OF THING >> LET’S TALK ABOUT WATER AND ENERGY AND THE WHOLE FRACKING ISSUE WHAT ARE THE PLUSES, WHAT ARE THE MINUSES, AND WHERE DO YOU SEE THIS GOING? >> FRACKING IS A VERY CONTROVERSIAL AREA IT’S NOT ONE THAT I WORK ON VERY MUCH, BUT IT’S ONE THAT’S GOTTEN A LOT OF ATTENTION OBVIOUSLY, THE PROS OF FRACKING — IT’S GETTING DOMESTIC ENERGY SOURCES OUT OF THE U.S., WHICH THERE ARE REASONS TO LIKE THAT METHANE, OR NATURAL GAS, IS OFTEN A CLEANER-BURNING FUEL THAN ITS EQUIVALENT OF COAL OR OTHER THINGS, SO THAT’S SOME PLUSES THE NEGATIVES ARE CLEAR, THOUGH IT USES A LOT OF WATER IT LEAVES BEHIND A LOT OF WATER POLLUTION, IN MANY CASES I’M NOT SURE IT HAS TO, BUT IT OFTEN DOES SO, MAYBE A QUESTION OF HOW YOU DO FRACKING, NOT WHETHER YOU DO IT ALL OR NOTHING BUT, OF COURSE, THE OTHER QUESTION IS IF NOT ONLY ARE THERE WATER PROBLEMS BUT IF THAT NATURAL GAS LEAKS OUT OF THE GROUND OR OUT OF THESE WELLS, THAT GOES THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE, AND THAT’S CALLED A METHANE MOLECULE THAT ALSO CONTRIBUTES TO THINGS LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE, AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT’S NOT HAPPENING, EITHER SO, FRACKING HAS SOME GOOD THINGS, OBVIOUSLY, SOME DOWNSIDES, AND MY HOPE IS THAT WE’LL FIND THE COMBINATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO AND KEEP THE GOOD STUFF AND TRY TO MITIGATE THE BAD STUFF I DON’T THINK WE’RE GONNA BE IN A SITUATION WHERE WE JUST STOP FRACKING OVERNIGHT THAT TRAIN’S LEFT THE STATION BUT ARE THERE WAYS TO DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE THAT AND MAKE SURE WE’RE NOT CAUSING PROBLEMS FOR PEOPLE’S DRINKING WATER OR AGRICULTURAL WATER SUPPLIES OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT? >> YOU’RE IN EDUCATION ARE PEOPLE KEEPING PACE WITH THE URGENCY OF THESE ISSUES, OR DO WE STILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO? >> THE GOOD NEWS IS PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT THESE ISSUES MORE, AND I THINK PEOPLE ARE MUCH MORE AWARE OF THESE THAN THEY WERE, LET’S SAY, 20, 30 YEARS AGO SO, THAT’S THE GOOD NEWS THE BAD NEWS IS, I THINK LIKE A LOT OF THINGS IN AMERICA — PERSONALLY, ANYWAY, I SEE THIS A LOT — WE’RE GETTING A BIT MORE POLARIZED AROUND ISSUES LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE WHEN DID THIS BECOME A DEMOCRAT ISSUE VERSUS A REPUBLICAN ISSUE? IT DIDN’T USED TO BE THAT WAY IN FACT, A LOT OF THE EARLY LEGISLATION THINKING ABOUT CLIMATE ISSUES WERE MAINLY LED BY REPUBLICANS SO, I DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND THIS FLIP THAT HAPPENED WHEN KIND OF THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT AND OTHER THINGS HAPPENED I’M NOT SURE WHY THAT HAPPENED THAT’S A LITTLE STRANGE SAME THING WITH FOOD I WORRY THAT IT COULD BE — YOU KNOW, I REALLY DON’T WANT TO SEE OUR FOOD DEBATES BE POLARIZED BETWEEN YOU HAVE TO BE EITHER WITH MONSANTO OR JUST MICHAEL POLLAN OR WHATEVER WE’RE GONNA HAVE TO HAVE A LOT OF ROOM IN THE MIDDLE AND SO MY HOPE, ANYWAY, FROM A POLICY POINT OF VIEW, IS WE KIND OF DEPOLARIZE THOSE DEBATES AND TRY TO FIND PRAGMATIC, KIND OF SENSIBLE SOLUTIONS THAT CAN ACTUALLY WORK YOU KNOW, SHOUTING AT EACH OTHER ISN’T EXACTLY A SOLUTION, EVEN IF OUR FRIENDS IN WASHINGTON DON’T AGREE WITH THAT LATELY >> WHERE ARE YOU ON THE SPECTRUM OF IDEAS REGARDING CLIMATE CHANGE? >> WELL, CLIMATE CHANGE IS

ABSOLUTELY A REAL THING IT IS PHYSICALLY HAPPENING THERE’S NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT AT ALL THE BASIC SCIENCE OF THIS HAS BEEN WELL KNOWN FOR, WELL, ACTUALLY, OVER 150 YEARS THAT’S SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T SOMETIMES REALIZE ACTUALLY, THE FIRST PEOPLE TO WRITE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE FROM HUMAN ACTIVITY WERE IN THE 1800s — PEOPLE LIKE JOSEPH FOURIER, THE FRENCH MATHEMATICIAN, OR ARRHENIUS, THE SWEDISH CHEMIST, AND HERE IN THIS COUNTRY, THOMAS CHAMBERLIN THEY WERE WRITING ABOUT THIS STUFF IN THE 19th CENTURY WE’VE KNOWN THIS A VERY LONG TIME IT’S JUST BASIC PHYSICS WHAT WE DON’T KNOW AND IS STILL BEING DEBATED WITHIN THE REAL SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IS HOW MUCH WARMING WILL WE SEE EXACTLY AND WHERE AND WHEN AND WHAT WILL IT DO TO THINGS LIKE OUR AGRICULTURE, SEA LEVELS, AND SO ON THAT’S STILL UP FOR DEBATE BUT THE BASIC PHYSICS OF YOU ADD THIS KIND OF POLLUTION TO THE PLANET, IT HAS TO GET WARMER — WE KNOW THAT I MEAN, THERE’S NO DEBATE AMONG ANYBODY WITH ANY REAL CREDENTIALS THAT THAT IS HAPPENING WHAT WE DON’T HAVE YET A GOOD CONVERSATION AROUND IT IS WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT IS IT BETTER TO REALLY SPEND A LOT OF MONEY AND A LOT OF POLICY TIME AND A LOT OF EFFORT TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM IMMEDIATELY, NOW, NOT SURE HOW BIG A DEAL IT’S GONNA BE, OR IS IT BETTER TO WAIT A WHILE AND NOT DO ANYTHING, WHICH SEEMS TO BE OUR DEFAULT POSITION? PERSONALLY, I THINK WE SHOULD BE ACTING NOW ON THE KIND OF “NO REGRETS” STRATEGIES IT’S PROBABLY NO REGRETS TO MAKE THE U.S. MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT IT’S PROBABLY NO REGRETS TO DEPLOY MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY WHEN IT MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE IT’S PROBABLY NO REGRETS TO HARDEN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE AGAINST STORMS AND KIND OF CATASTROPHIC FAILURES THOSE ARE ALL GOOD, SENSIBLE POLICY THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW ANYWAY, SO, YOU KNOW, WHAT’S THE DOWNSIDE? I CAN’T THINK OF ONE BUT THERE ARE CERTAINLY VESTED INTERESTS WHO DO HAVE SOME DOWNSIDES, POCKETS OF THEM WITHIN SOCIETY, AND THEY’RE FIGHTING THIS TOOTH AND NAIL, AND THAT’S WHY WE’RE HAVING THIS DEBATE AT ALL >> HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE THE HARDENING OF STRUCTURES AGAINST STORMS? WE ALREADY DO THAT, TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, IN COASTAL AREAS SHOULD WE BE DOING IT MORE WIDELY? >> ONE LESSON I THINK THAT WE SEE AROUND THE WORLD IS THAT, YOU KNOW, NATURE IS A HECK OF A GOOD ENGINEER, AND REPLACING THE IDEA THAT WE CAN DO EVERYTHING WITH JUST CONCRETE AND WHAT WE CALL KIND OF GRAY INFRASTRUCTURE — THE STUFF WE LIKE TO BUILD AS ENGINEERS — TO COMPLEMENT THAT WITH KIND OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE — THE IDEA OF, YOU KNOW, LEAVING WETLANDS IN PLACE, RESTORING MANGROVES AND COASTAL ZONES THAT KIND OF PROTECT US FROM THESE THINGS, RESTORING — ESPECIALLY MANGROVES ARE VERY, VERY IMPORTANT IN COASTAL AREAS OR, YOU KNOW, CORAL REEFS ARE HEALTHY AND CAN ABSORB KIND OF THE SHOCK OF STORMS AND SEA-LEVEL RISE — THOSE KINDS OF THINGS I THINK THAT’S SOMEWHERE WE’RE LEARNING, SO I’D LIKE TO SEE US REALLY TAKE THE PERSPECTIVE OF KIND OF COMPLEMENTARY GREEN AND GRAY INFRASTRUCTURE ALONG OUR KIND OF NATURAL AREAS LET NATURE DO SOME OF THE WORK FOR US SECONDLY, WE HAVE TO THINK VERY HARD ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHERE DO WE PUT VALUABLE INVESTMENTS? DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO BUILD ALL THESE HOUSES IN LOW-LYING AREAS? I MEAN, WE’RE IN FLORIDA THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A BIG ISSUE HERE, BUT ALSO NEW ORLEANS OR, YOU KNOW, AFTER HURRICANE SANDY YOU KNOW, WHAT DO WE DO WHEN WE REBUILD IS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT, AND HOW DO WE MEASURE THAT RISK? SOMEBODY HAS TO UNDERWRITE RISK, WHETHER IT’S INSURANCE COMPANIES OR WHETHER IT’S US ALL AS CITIZENS, THROUGH OUR GOVERNMENT WHAT KIND OF RISK CAN WE TOLERATE, AND HOW DO WE JUDGE THAT IN A PLANET THAT’S STARTING TO CHANGE? >> AND HOW DO YOU PLAN FOR STORMS THAT SEEM STRONGER THAN EVER? WE HAD A CASE SOME TIME BACK IN THE PHILIPPINES WITH A STORM THAT HAD SUSTAINED WINDS OF 200 MILES AN HOUR HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST SOMETHING LIKE THAT? >> WELL, SOMETIMES YOU DON’T UNFORTUNATELY, I THINK WE’RE SEEING SOME VERY, VERY DAMAGING STORMS — WELL, THEY’VE ALWAYS HAPPENED THROUGH HISTORY THEY’RE GOING TO KEEP HAPPENING AND IT LOOKS LIKE — I THINK IT’S A GOOD BET, WITH WARMING OCEANS AND SLOWLY RISING SEA LEVELS, THAT STORMS INEVITABLY ARE GOING TO GET WORSE I THINK WE HAVE TO BET ON A WORLD WHERE THAT’S GONNA HAPPEN MORE OFTEN, AND SO ALL OF THOSE THINGS — GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE, GRAY INFRASTRUCTURE, GETTING PEOPLE OUT OF THE WAY, RESPONDING MORE QUICKLY, BETTER FIRST RESPONDERS, HOW TO DEAL WITH THE AFTERMATH IN TERMS OF OUR APPROACH TO INTERNATIONAL AID, ARE WE IN THIS FOR THE LONG RUN — ALL OF THOSE KINDS OF THINGS HAVE BE ON THE TABLE, I THINK IT’S A NEW NORMAL ALL THE OLD RULES DON’T APPLY ANYMORE, AND TO THINK OTHERWISE IS REALLY PRETTY FOOLISH >> PEOPLE ARE ATTACHED TO THE LAND OFTENTIMES, AFTER A DISASTER, THEY WANT TO REBUILD IN THE SAME SPOT, WHETHER IT’S NEW ORLEANS OR THE JERSEY SHORE OR SOME OTHER LOCATION IS THAT WISE, OR SHOULD WE BE THINKING ABOUT, IN THE AFTERMATH OF A MAJOR DESTRUCTIVE STORM, MOVING WHATEVER WAS THERE 10, 15 MILES INLAND? AND MIGHT WE EVENTUALLY HAVE TO MOVE QUITE A LOT OF OUR SETTLED AREAS ALONG THE COAST FURTHER INLAND? >> WELL, I THINK THERE’S — THERE’S MERITS TO BOTH DEBATES

YOU KNOW, IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE A WORLD THAT DOESN’T HAVE A NEW ORLEANS YOU KNOW, IT’S BEEN THERE A LONG TIME IT’S GOING TO BE THERE FOR A LONG, LONG TIME TO COME AND WE’RE PRETTY INNOVATIVE ENGINEERS JUST — THERE’S A COST TO LIVING IN A PLACE LIKE THAT BUT JUST ASK THE DUTCH, YOU KNOW? THEY’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR CENTURIES I MEAN, A LOT OF THEIR COUNTRY WOULD HAVE BEEN BELOW SEA LEVEL BUT FOR CONCERTED EFFORTS TO REALLY TRY TO GET THIS UNDER WAY SO, I THINK WE HAVE A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY TO THINK ABOUT REMOVING OURSELVES FROM SOME OF THESE HAZARDS BUT ALSO HOW WE CAN KIND OF LIVE WITH THOSE HAZARDS AND TO KIND OF FORTIFY OURSELVES AGAINST THEM THOSE ARE ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS AND I THINK IT’S JUST INGENUOUS FOR ANY KIND OF TALKING HEAD ON TV, WHETHER IT’S ME OR SOMEBODY ELSE, TO SAY, “THOSE PEOPLE SHOULD JUST MOVE.” WELL, I DON’T HAPPEN TO LIVE THERE, SO THAT’S PRETTY EASY TO SAY, BUT, AT THE SAME TIME, I THINK WE DO, AS A SOCIETY, HAVE TO ASK, YOU KNOW, IF PEOPLE DO WANT TO LIVE IN HARM’S WAY, WHO PAYS FOR THAT? IS THAT ALL OF US PAY FOR THAT? IS THAT WISE? OR DO THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THOSE ZONES HAVE TO PAY A LITTLE BIT EXTRA IN TERMS OF THEIR INSURANCE AND WHETHER THEY CAN BUILD ON A FLOOD PLAIN — THOSE KINDS OF THINGS? I THINK THOSE ARE DEBATES WE NEED TO HAVE AND WHO BAILS OUT THE SYSTEM WHEN IT FAILS? THAT’S A VERY GOOD QUESTION, ESPECIALLY WHEN PUBLIC RESOURCES ARE GETTING TIGHTER AND TIGHTER >> YOU REFERENCED SOME OF THE POLITICAL TROUBLES WE’VE BEEN HAVING IN WASHINGTON ISN’T THAT AN AWFULLY UNFORTUNATE TIME FOR THIS TO BE OCCURRING, WITH ALL OF THESE LARGE PROBLEMS ON THE HORIZON? >> YEAH. WELL, I MEAN, THAT’S THE CRUX OF A LOT OF OUR PROBLEMS TODAY, ISN’T IT? OUR TECHNOLOGY IS KIND OF GETTING MORE POWERFUL THAN OUR GOVERNMENTS IN TERMS OF HOW TO MANAGE THESE THINGS — OUR ABILITY TO SHAPE THE WORLD AROUND US, SOMETIMES FOR VERY GOOD WAYS BUT SOMETIMES IN VERY DESTRUCTIVE WAYS YOU KNOW, SO, IT’S FUNNY OUR POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD SEEMS TO HAVE OUTGROWN OUR ABILITY TO GOVERN THE WORLD, AT LEAST WITH THE OLD MODELS OF KIND OF TRADITIONAL, YOU KNOW, WASHINGTON, D.C., SOLUTIONS OR TRADITIONAL “LET’S GO TO THE U.N. AND SOLVE IT” KIND OF SOLUTIONS AND SO I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WORK IN THE ENVIRONMENT NOW ARE SAYING, “WELL, FORGET IT YOU KNOW, PERSONALLY, I DON’T REALLY GO TO WASHINGTON VERY MUCH ANYMORE IT’S KIND OF NOT AN EFFECTIVE USE OF MY TIME.” SO, IT’S PROBABLY A LOT MORE INTERESTING RIGHT NOW TO GO TO CITIES OR STATES AROUND THE COUNTRY OR AROUND THE WORLD CITIES HAVE TO MANAGE THESE THINGS RIGHT NOW, AND THEY’RE NOT QUITE AS HYPERPOLARIZED YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY’S GOT TO PAVE THE POTHOLES, SOMEBODY’S GOT TO PLOW THE SNOW — THAT KIND OF THING SO, I THINK CITIES ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO SOLVE THESE KINDS OF PROBLEMS I THINK STATES CAN BE VERY HELPFUL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN BE HELPFUL SOMETIMES, BUT WE CAN’T ALWAYS RELY ON THAT, BUT ALSO CORPORATIONS I MEAN, A LOT MORE COMPANIES ARE NOW BECOMING REALLY ENLIGHTENED AND PROACTIVE IN THINKING ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES YOU KNOW, IT’S A REALLY BAD BUSINESS PROPOSITION TO DESTROY A PLANET TURNS OUT TO BE NOT A GOOD VALUE PROPOSITION THERE ARE CERTAINLY FORCES IN BUSINESS THAT CAN KIND OF LEAD TO ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGES, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD REASONS WORKING WITH BUSINESS TO FIX ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT THE RIGHT WAY, IT CAN ACTUALLY BE A REAL WIN-WIN SO, MOST OF WHAT I SEE RIGHT NOW ARE BASICALLY COLLABORATIONS BETWEEN THE NONPROFIT WORLD, LIKE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS, FOCUSING ON COMPANIES, AND CITIES ARE GETTING A LOT OF TRACTION RIGHT NOW, AND WE DON’T HAVE TO WAIT FOR CONGRESS TO ACT WE DON’T HAVE TO WAIT FOR WASHINGTON TO DO SOMETHING OR THE U.N >> DO YOU THINK THIS IS LIKELY IN ALL LOCATIONS? OBVIOUSLY, DEVELOPED COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN AT THIS LONGER THAN OTHERS, AND SOME WOULD SAY THEY HAD THEIR OPPORTUNITY TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANTED AND NOW THEY’RE TRYING TO IMPOSE THESE ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS ON THE REST OF THE WORLD, AND THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES ARE TRYING TO STAND UP, AND THEY FEEL THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS THE OTHERS ONCE HAD HOW DO YOU RESOLVE THAT DEBATE? >> WELL, THAT’S OBVIOUSLY A HUGE ISSUE THAT IN THE TIME THAT BRITAIN AND NOW AMERICA AND OTHER COUNTRIES BUILT THEIR EMPIRES, IT WAS A TIME WHEN THE WORLD WAS FULL OF RESOURCES AND A WORLD THAT WE COULD EXPAND INTO WITHOUT MAJOR REPERCUSSIONS IN TERMS OF WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR CLIMATE, WHAT HAPPENS TO RESOURCES THERE WAS ALWAYS SOME OTHER PLACE TO GO AND GET STUFF THERE WAS ALWAYS A PLACE TO PUT OUR POLLUTION, AND IT KIND OF WENT AWAY AFTER A WHILE BUT THAT WORLD IS OVER NOW I MEAN, THAT WORLD ENDED IN, YOU KNOW, THE LATE 20th CENTURY SO, THE WORLD NOW OF THE NEW EMERGING ECONOMY HAS TO LIVE WITHIN THE CONSTRAINTS OF OUR PLANET, AND WE GOT THERE A LITTLE EARLIER THAN SOME OF THOSE OTHER PLACES, AND THAT’S AN ACCIDENT OF HISTORY SO, I THINK WE HAVE TO BE AWARE OF THAT BUT, OF COURSE, WE CAN’T, AS AMERICANS, ESPECIALLY, TELL OTHER COUNTRIES THAT, YOU KNOW, “SORRY — YOU CAN’T REALLY HAVE THE LIFESTYLE YOU WANT BECAUSE WE’VE USED UP ALL THE ENERGY, WE’RE MESSING UP THE WATER, OR WE’VE CHANGED THE CLIMATE SORRY, CHINA. SORRY, INDIA YOU CAN’T DO THAT.” THAT’S NOT GONNA WORK WHAT WE HOPEFULLY CAN DO IS THEY CAN LEARN FROM OUR LESSONS, SAYING, “LOOK, NOT ONLY WAS THE AMERICAN AND KIND OF WESTERN ECONOMY BASED ON UNSUSTAINABLE RESOURCE MODELS, IT ALSO IS JUST

KIND OF AN UNSUSTAINABLE ECONOMY, PERIOD, IN SOME WAYS.” LOOK AT ALL THE BUBBLES THAT HAVE POPPED IN OUR ECONOMY HOW DO WE LEAPFROG BEYOND THAT AND GET INTO KIND OF A SMARTER, MORE SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY THAT REALLY LIFTS PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY AND HELPS PEOPLE BUT ALSO CAN KEEP AN EYE ON THESE LONG-TERM ENVIRONMENTAL-RESOURCE ISSUES? >> WHAT DO YOU SEE HAPPENING IN THE NEXT 20 TO 30 YEARS? ARE YOU MORE HOPEFUL OR PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES ON THE CLIMATE-CHANGE FRONT? >> THERE ARE SOME TRENDS THAT ARE LOOKING VERY DISTURBING ON WHAT WE SEE ON CLIMATE MY BIGGEST CONCERN’S ACTUALLY, RIGHT NOW, AROUND FOOD SECURITY AND AROUND WATER RESOURCES EVEN BEFORE CLIMATE CHANGE BECOMES A MAJOR ISSUE, WE’RE GONNA RUN INTO OTHER ISSUES FIRST AROUND LAND USE, WATER USE, BIODIVERSITY, FOOD SECURITY THOSE ARE ALL REALLY LOOMING BUT I DON’T THINK THAT THAT’S THE END OF THE STORY AT ALL I THINK WE HAVE THESE INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INNOVATION, FOR COMMUNICATION, FOR DEMOCRACIES TO EMERGE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, FOR OTHER THINGS TO HAPPEN THAT WE CAN’T REALLY PREDICT IT’S FUNNY THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD SEEMS TO ALWAYS BE A DEBATE BETWEEN THE KIND OF NAIVE OPTIMISTS, LIKE, “DON’T WORRY — TECHNOLOGY AND MARKETS WILL JUST SOLVE THE PROBLEM MAGICALLY BY ITSELF” AND KIND OF THE DOOM-AND-GLOOM PESSIMISTS ABOUT — YOU KNOW, LIKE THE MALTHUSIAN PEOPLE — MALTHUS, WHO PREDICTED CENTURIES AGO THAT POPULATIONS WILL JUST STARVE TO DEATH BECAUSE WE’LL RUN OUT OF FOOD AND ALL THAT WELL, NEITHER ONE OF THOSE EXTREMES EVER TURNS OUT TO BE RIGHT WE ALWAYS SEEM TO KIND OF BOUNCE AROUND SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD BETWEEN THOSE TWO OF, YOU KNOW, REALLY BAD NEWS AND REALLY HOPEFUL NEWS SO, WE’LL MUDDLE THROUGH LIKE WE ALWAYS HAVE BUT MY HOPE IS THAT WE’LL KIND OF STEER MORE IN THIS DIRECTION WE’LL GET SMARTER BEFORE WE GET MORE DESTRUCTIVE, AND RECENT HISTORY SHOWS A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH I MEAN, AS BAD AS SOME OF THESE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ARE, WE’VE NEVER LIVED IN A TIME WHERE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF GLOBALLY — NOT JUST AMERICANS, EVERYBODY WE’VE NEVER HAD A TIME WITH MORE HUMAN RIGHTS, WITH MORE PEOPLE BEING LITERATE, WITH MORE PEOPLE LIVING LONGER, WITH MORE PEOPLE BEING FED WELL CERTAINLY, WE HAVE A LOT OF ROOM TO GO HERE BUT AS A SPECIES, WE’VE BECOME MORE PEACEFUL, MORE JUST, MORE EDUCATED, AND MORE COLLABORATIVE THAN ANYBODY IN ALL OF HUMAN EXISTENCE THAT’S A PRETTY GOOD THING I’LL TAKE THAT AS A WIN DO WE HAVE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS WITH THAT? YEAH, OF COURSE BUT CAN WE SOLVE THOSE? ABSOLUTELY THERE’S NOTHING — ABSOLUTELY NOTHING — PREVENTING US FROM DOING WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO MAKE THESE PROBLEMS SUSTAINABLE IN THE LONG RUN >> ON THE FOOD-SECURITY FRONT, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE GLOBALLY? >> WELL, FOOD IS A PARTICULARLY TROUBLESOME THING BECAUSE WE HAVE BASICALLY THREE PROBLEMS WITH FOOD FIRST, RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE 7 BILLION PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, BUT WE HAVE ABOUT A BILLION OF US WHO ARE NOT FOOD-SECURE THAT IS, THERE ARE A BILLION PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO ARE VERY POOR, USUALLY, WHO LIVE IN PLACES WITH FAILED GOVERNMENTS OR POOR INFRASTRUCTURE WHO JUST CAN’T GET FOOD THAT THEY NEED EVERY DAY SO, WE HAVE TO SOLVE THAT PROBLEM RIGHT NOW BUT IF WE LOOK INTO THE FUTURE, WE HAVE A SECOND BIG PROBLEM, WHICH IS HOW DO WE FEED A GROWING WORLD, A WORLD WITH GROWING POPULATION BUT, MORE IMPORTANTLY, BY FAR, IS A WORLD THAT’S GETTING RICHER SO, WE HAVE ABOUT 4 BILLION PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO ARE ALREADY HERE WHO ARE GETTING A LOT RICHER, IN PLACES LIKE CHINA AND INDIA AND BRAZIL AND RUSSIA AND ELSEWHERE, AND AS PEOPLE GET RICHER, AT LEAST RECENTLY, RICH PEOPLE TEND TO EAT MORE MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS AND OTHER RICH DIETS SO, WE’RE SEEING A BIG PRESSURE ON THE WORLD FOOD SUPPLY — SUCH THAT IF POPULATION GROWTH AND DIET GROWTH GO THE WAY THEY’RE MOVING RIGHT NOW, IF THEY KEEP DOING THAT, WE’RE GONNA HAVE TO DOUBLE THE WORLD’S FOOD SUPPLY WITHIN THE NEXT 40 YEARS OR SO THAT’S HUGE IT TOOK US 12,000 YEARS OF AGRICULTURE TO GET HERE CAN WE DOUBLE IT IN THE NEXT 35 TO 40 YEARS? WELL, RIGHT NOW, NO, WE COULD NOT DO THAT BUT THIRD, WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THESE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, AND IT TURNS OUT FOOD IS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST THING WE DO IN THE ENVIRONMENT AS I MENTIONED BEFORE, AGRICULTURE COVERS ABOUT 40% OF ALL THE LAND ON EARTH, IN CROPLANDS AND PASTURES THAT’S A HUGE AMOUNT OF LAND THAT’S BEING MANAGED FOR AGRICULTURE IT’S 70% OR 90%, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU DO THE MATH, OF ALL THE WATER USE AND IT TURNS OUT AGRICULTURE IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTORS TO CLIMATE CHANGE THAT’S A BIG ISSUE SO, WE HAVE ALL THOSE PROBLEMS AT ONCE >> GREAT. WELL, THANK YOU, JONATHAN FOLEY, FOR JOINING US TODAY >> YEAH. WELL, THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME TODAY I APPRECIATE IT >> AND THANK YOU FOR “GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES,” I’M JOHN BERSIA AND WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME