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tv   Climate Change in the States  CSPAN  September 3, 2019 2:13pm-3:29pm EDT

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interested ever since i was working in washington and how business and government directed with one another. they have an antagonistic relationship but have a collaborative relationship. the real story of american history is one of public, private partnership in many ways and ways that are unseen and so this was i think the story is a great way to get into that. >> university of washington history professor margaret o'mara discusses her book, the code. sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on sundays q&a. >> pbs science correspondent miles o'brien dates joint states climatologist for local, regional and national climate change at the science center of iowa planetarium. hosted by drake university this is one hour in ten minutes.
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>> good evening. my name is kathleen richardson and i am the dean of the school of journalism and mitigation at drake university. welcome both to the members of our audience here at the science center of iowa and des moines and to those of us or those of you who are joining us by lifestream. this year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of journalism education at drake and from the beginning in 1919 our program has been characterized by a close relationship with our profession and by service for our community. we are very proud to continue that tradition by cohosting the conversation tonight. we have experts on the front lines of this pressing public issue. this event is brought to you through a collaboration between drake university and sidelined. sideline is a philosophically
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funded free service for journalists based at the american association for the advancement of science in washington dc. it connects reporters to scientists in order to promote more credible accurate research based news stories. in fact, we're just wrapping up a two and half day camp at drake in which political journalists from around the country received briefings from experts on science issues that will be prominent in the presidential campaign. the program was supported by the schmidt family foundation. i'd like to knowledge and think drake university's academic leader provost who is herself, a scientist. also the director and former washington post science reporter in the entire team of scientists and science litigators who have worked so hard to organize this entire event. finally, i want to remind folks both here in the hall and those
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watching remotely that they are welcome to ask questions and join the conversation via twitter. use the # united states of climate. for those here in the hall, please turn off any ringers on your phone and please do not use flash photography. with that i am very pleased to introduce tonight's moderator. better and science reporter miles o'brien. miles is an independent journalist who covers science, technology and aerospace. he is a science correspondent for pbs news hour, a producer, director and writer for pbs nova series and an aviation analyst for cnn and a correspondent for the national science foundation, science-fiction series. please join me in welcoming miles to the stage.
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[applause] >> thank you, kathleen. thank you. it's great to be here but it's great to see you all. i have our panelists get seated while i'm talking and it's good to be back in des moines. i was just reminded him my first trip to des moines was in 198080 going i got to caucus around that was my first taste of deep-fried butter. i still remember it. i can conjure up whatever that was that happened after the deep-fried butter. [laughter] as you may recall, if that did not go so well for mike to caucus and he suggested to court farmers the plant more and i've and massachusetts, they just don't get it. i was looking at states climatologist and how many are you are familiar with the job states climatologist? i would say it's about half maybe. there are two states in the nation that do not have a state climatologist. tennessee and massachusetts.
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massachusetts. boston boston is almost underwater now for god's sake. get these guys on the stick here. we have three all-star state climatologist here and we will ask them about what they do and what they hear and what the evidence they are seen from the front lines -- a lot of people think about climate change as this giant monolithic single, but it's a million little problems and fought the local specific way. sure, there are big things we can go after but a lot of little things we can do in these guys are in the trenches dealing with the little things and addressing the concerns of their neighbors. ultimately the people that i listen to the most of the people closest to potential denials and skeptics. or the people who just don't know what to do about it. down in the end is martha, she
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drove three hours from nebraska to be here and we don't know what her carbon footprint was and will do the math later but it was worth it. i flew so i'm screwed. then in between is our hometown favorite, justin, state climatologist for iowa. right beside me here is kathy who is now from north carolina but recently was an organ which is an interesting switch, i suppose. >> big move. >> yeah, but probably some similarities. all that stuff. it's this mirror image. without going too deep into the bureaucratic machinations of a state climatologist does let's run through it's like being the help desk for people in state government and businesses and as an arbiter of good science that kind of thing that i'm curious who you consider your clients to
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be. why don't you start. >> climate touches everything and everyone. i found a job where i get to metal in everyone's affairs. it's perfect for me because i'm so interested in learning about many things so you become an expert weekly and things you never thought you would think about the things you do not go to school for. >> i'm a history major so i understand how this works. >> i work with a lot of what i call decision-makers. someone who's making a decision the climate will be a factor in it and a lot of water managers and a lot of farmers and people in the public who just want to know what's going on. anymore you want to add to that? >> well, being the state climatologist by what my clientele and our stakeholders, farmers may talk to farmers everyday farmers are very intuitive and been on their lands forever so talking with
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them they see what's happening and they see changes in the weather and it affects it affects what they do on a day-to-day basis. having information for them, climate data, weather data, letting them know there's a 40% chance that next month will be above average temperature wise or precipitation wise just to give them some sort of guidance moving forward because somewhat reassuring being in a variable state weatherwise. >> would you add any more to that? >> ditto to what justin said move for many miles to the west and that's what i deal with in nebraska. you never know who will call when you pick up the phone. one day i showed a group of second graders to one of our weather stations and that afternoon i gave an interview to fuji television about the flood of 2019 and nebraska. that gives you an idea of the range of people the community
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with on this very complex topic of climate change. >> let's talk about that flood in the moment and the wild weather just want to note it's interesting to me that the two ladies on the panel are academics inside academic institutions with all the protections we associate with that for them to say whatever they want to say despite whatever the governor may think. this gentleman in the middle is a state employee. you're a little more vulnerable, i guess. let's just -- first of all, when it comes to the nihilism the governor of the baxa nebraska, problems. much pressure is brought to bear on you to say one thing or another and can you just do your job. >> just so far i can do my job maybe until tonight. [laughter] >> i just ruined that.
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>> was this something i was not supposed to ask about? deep-fried butter confuse me. [laughter] >> no, i find people care at all levels whether farmers and ranchers or cities across the state of nebraska or natural resource districts that manage groundwater resources but everybody is talking about it and cares about it wants to know what will happen and what are the solutions. i find in my role i don't feel any sort of pressure above to speak a certain way. >> good. let it rip. >> justin, you're a state employee in your boss, the governor, is very much in a renewable but not so much into believing climate change has a human component to it. does that affect in any way how you do your business? >> no, i'm the weather archivist for the state. i have one in 47 years of observations going back into the 1800s and fact-based observations that i get those
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observations, not alternative tax but real facts. any level of the government and i don't feel impeded in my position. >> good. glad to hear that. kathy has the benefit of the governor who is in the forefront of suggesting drastic action to fight climate change but what that like for you? >> it has been for weeks but -- the honeymoon has been awesome. [laughter] >> one of the reasons i took the job in north carolina we had great things going on in oregon but i was so encouraged by what was happening in the state that the state obviously taken climate change seriously. the outer banks and coastal flooding and huge hurricanes are undeniable. been able to be a part of that was exciting for me. >> that a big part of the -- >> yeah, absolutely. personally this is the biggest problem of my generation in a bigger problem by me but also
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professionally asking tough questions and trying to come up with solutions. >> as long as were on the dangerous political shoals let's keep going, shelby? with the complete lack of leadership from washington that we have right now and going in the opposite direction does that put more pressure or more response ability of the states and localities to do something and is there evidence that is happening? >> yeah, i think it does. some of the best solutions are the local solutions because you know what's going on in your area you know the best way to solve it. i'm just finishing up a project where he worked with 11 cities across the four state region including three in nebraska where there's incorporating climate projections into their planning. planning documents so hazard mitigation plans, emergency plans they are looking at what will water look like what the temperature will look like and do we need cooling shelters and snow removal equipment and all these things that the city cares
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about going into the future they are looking at climate change and incorporating that. >> is that optional? is that something they're forced to do? >> no, these are cities that chose to join the project and work with us to develop localized climate reports and tools for them going forward to enhance their decision-making. >> when i thought was happening at the epa soon after the trump administration came and i was trying to be optimistic and the more the grassroots would be better in a sense because to the extent there's an absence of leadership in washington that might mobilize people in washington to do more and i thought i was pollyanna but justin, what would you say? >> corn roots here but -- no,. [laughter] iowa farmers are resilient individuals. they don't rely on anybody but themselves. being told what to do is not something that goes over.
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giving discussions to various groups across the state farmers and elementary school kids each has a different unique idea or view on what is going on. farmers again i talk to them often they know, they know what to do in the solutions that the department of agriculture puts out, cover crops working for carbon carbon sequestration and ease of the solutions we do on state level that will start in fact moving forward and up. it has to be pretty pragmatic when you talk to a farmer, right? a campy stuff without the road but has to be something that should help them in the relative near-term and that might be a bit of a problem for climatologists whose thinking and longer terms. >> sure, we talk about whether a lot which is short-term variations in the atmosphere. farmers are very seasonal based because that their livelihood during the growing season they want to harvest and looking
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forward seasonally give them an idea of what they can expect to utilize for example moving out further to a seasonal and yearly and multiyear is some idea of solutions that they can start putting in place now that will benefit them moving forward. >> kathy, what about you? i think rahm emanuel said never waste a good crisis and we have a crisis of leadership in washington on climate change and is that an opportunity and a sense to do something meaningful at the state level? after four weeks, what have you done? [laughter] you don't have it solved yet? >> even when the federal government is moving it's not our most nimble institution and when you think about large social issues it's the states that start flipping and then you move as a country to the
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direction of addressing the issue and with greenhouse gas mitigation absolutely the states have a role to play and in showing leadership and california has been but other states are trying as well. on the other patients are thus prepared for the effects of climate change are becoming more resilient with local and state solutions are absolutely the ones that are going to stick because the people in the communities need to come to the table. >> so, martha you mentioned briefly the 2019 floods. let's talk about whether the floods or talk about the fire that devastated paradise or a hurricane, whatever it is, to what extent is the strong evidence of the weather is changing? and how it impacts the questions and who you are hearing for and for that matter, the reception you get when you talk to the public is it changing out there? my sense is that it is somehow. >> yeah, right. one thing you can do -- first of
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all use that as a tool to split the difference between weather and climate. just because climate -- >> what do you say? >> i say depending on the audience as a weather is your at-bat and climate is your batting average. whether is your mood, climate is your personality. >> that's a good one. go ahead. ... ... so for the floods can we talk about the events leading up to it, the setup which is a big factor in the flood that did happen. wasn't just a storm. it was what happened leading up to that. you talk about hot springs have gotten wet or overall, how that will continue in a warmer world.
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that were typed into climate change. >> so the problem i discovered in covering this for about 25 years is, there is the scientific method and scientists, well, they don't talk like the rest of us. they are constrained by both things like peter review and evidence and all that kind of stuff. what it does at times is they historically have been extremely reluctant to connect to all the stuff them to say this tornado, hurricane of what it might be as a climate link. been hard to get out of that scientist or is that changing? >> we were affected by the flooding 2019 also. i have had the second wettest year on record, 1993 being the wettest. we were three inches short of breaking that record. third wettest fall, third wettest spring. seventh wettest spring, third wettest winter. all that goes into the
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large-scale circumstances that lead to a stork flooding. and i what we had come 2008, 2011, 2019, these three floods in ten years. >> pretty soon you have a stack of evidence that's hard to counterfeit would you go along with that? has begun to the point where, are the scientists a little bit unencumbered by some of the constraints they felt in the past to make these links? >> so attribution sides, which is seeing the finger prints the climate change on events, has really moved along in the past two years. just last week are colleagues put out a paper on european heatwave. saying climate change made this more likely. ten years ago when a reporter would call up and say, you know, you can't tie just one event to climate change. i think we're past that and seeing gateways, big fires at west again from and think climate change is here and its
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interface. >> it's just the opposite of journalism. we go for the sexy lead and you do all the disclaimers. at the bottom use by the way, we are screwed, something like that. kind of bug goes in a paper. [laughing] when you pick up the phone, say what are you -- what are they asking. >> was people call and ask about their daughters wedding. [laughing] >> of course. >> i hope you charge. >> depends on my mood. but a lot of people, i find a lot of people just want to talk about it. there was somebody to talk to you. i'm on the other end of the line and there are either worried, concerned can looking to buy a house in oregon or north carolina or if it's somebody who actually is making a decision, they want to sit down and get to know each other and want me to listen to what they're working
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on. >> it's a big mental health issue with farmers in the midwest, given the variability that we've seen in conditions just going from last year to this year, now moving into trying to meeting between web record wetness. farmers, they call, yes, i do a lot of event planning, but they want some reassurance that, hell, my crop is coming up already, , but they just get somebody to talk to. it weighs on you but you are there as a service. you are there trying to make things better with giving them the proper information. >> martha, weddings and bar mitzvahs for you, too? >> yes. and so that to my primary climate questions we get are,
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what's the forecast for the upcoming season. so seasonal scale, climate outlook. >> presumably these would be agriculturally interested people? >> yes. >> or baseball season? >> right. other going to be wetter or dry, warmer or colder over all, and timing of precip events for example, that the other question increasingly is climate change. what will it mean for nebraska,, what can we grow in nebraska? what will it mean for fisheries and wildlife. what will it mean for the cities. people want to know what can i do about it? >> that's a long phone call. when you get a question like that, come right? >> it's not a simple answer and climate impacts, they're very intricate and a lot of interconnections. you would have to get to know what are the concerns, what are those interconnections, how does climate look for particular areas and it's not an easy answer and it takes time in building a relationship, and kind of working with somebody
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hand in hand. >> it hard to take something, a global problem, the ultimate macro problem and make it micro, make it fit for some guy in one county in nebraska? >> yeah. well, when it comes to people kind and caring about climate change and you don't show them the polar bear on the ice flow if they live in nebraska slick talk about crops and changes in precipitation and talk about things that are local. climate change is here, it's affecting all of us. the sooner we act, the less risky it is picky talk about localized things, localized solutions. >> justin come to the extent people are affected now, you sort of have their attention. the concern is okay, now it's getting late in again. we've got to move things along. do you feel people are listening in a different way than they were when it was the polar bear on the ice cube?
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>> sure. the amount of evidence we have and the amount of extreme nature of events we've had recently in the united states and across the globe, we're starting to put together a container of evidence that is irrefutable. yes. but again, when you're talking to the state climatologist, people are worried about their land. people are worried about their county first and foremost, in general, and then you get into other groups, interest groups. again elementary school kids, they asked the greatest questions. even in the short-lived they had seen, this is how rain gauge works but we've seen five inches of rainfall in three hours, like we had in ankeny in june 30 of last year we're seeing showing people graphical ways of showing extreme events is a way of
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getting that information to them. >> café, justin is able on an important point. there's a real generation component to this, isn't there? >> absolutely. at a think back, that old when i was in elementary school at the time where it was give a hoot, don't pollute. we were taught about recycling and being good stewards of the earth. but that wasn't enough. we are seeing this youth uprising now which i think is very encouraging and they absolutely have a right to be completely mad about the earth that we have left them. they are the most effective communicators because they're the ones who have to deal with the problem that we caused. >> -people might say they will stop it because they are smart. talk about a bad cop out but we'll them a a little more than that, don't we? >> passing the buck has never worked and it didn't work for my generation and is not going to work for passing it to them. we are all in this together.
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i hope to have a few more decades on this planet, and have to wake up every day and feel optimistic about going to work and being a good steward of the planet, the people of north carolina and also for my friends and family. >> let's walk through each of your states kind of in a thumbnail sketch. what are the top line climate change impacts that are going on now? and like to start with you, mar. >> yes. so i would say a lot deals with water. in nebraska we get twice the amount of precipitation. winfast groundwater resources but a lot of it has to do with water and the timing of precipitation and how effective that precipitation i think that's something that's changing and that's on people's minds. another thing is the warming and looking forward into the future just the rate of warming that if we don't do anything to mitigate future climate change, that future rate the form is something i'm particularly
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concerned about. >> how about you, justin, what's going on that is on the tops of people minds and concerns? >> i can precipitation. >> is it the very building and unpredictability? >> that has to be. we're also seeing a season ship in the midwest, iowa where we're getting more rainfall when we are starting field work. and that shipped in the summertime, starting to dwindle our rainfalls right-wing crop of maturing right when they needed the most, right now. and then we move into harvest time where we're getting more rainfall during harvest, september, october. this really impedes fieldwork, and fieldwork is iowa. then you get into the intensity of these events. they are increasing. we've seen a shift from gentle rainfall event to these two and three-inch rainfall events over two or three hours. that water cannot soak in. it runs all. you get into flash flooding. >> when you talk to these
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farmers to they connect the dots to climate change or are they like my taxi driver this afternoon who thinks it's magnetic forces that are causing climate change? >> are farmers again, they realize something is going on. we started installing these solutions, agricultural solutions. we can be agricultural leaders and solutions in mitigating these things where singh. >> so there's not a lot of denialists on farm? >> no. sometimes we don't get into. they see what's happening and we go from there. >> best left unsaid here café, you want to go through north killer stoppages? >> we had a big hurricane last year. >> i saw that. we heard a little something about that. here's a question for you i think it's a good one from rain panda. i don't think that's a real named person. this is a toy question i was born and raised in i i would. my question is regarding the
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alarming greenland and of arctic ice north happening decades before predictions estimated. when will this get the coastal united states? will ocean water backflow into our major or minor river outlets? will it damage freshwater ecosystems? >> so this is certainly an issue of concern in north carolina. we saw this with hurricane florence where you have these storms wishing the ocean water of these really large river systems and then you your watee down the rivers. we had a really what you're last year. what you get is this compound flooding. this is the intersection of risk and vulnerability because you have these low-income communities in some of these areas that just get devastated. when you start to think about groundwater in some of these coastal ecosystems, saltwater intrusion is a big concern. yes, the isil plate into the whole sea level rise problem -- the ice will play -- it if local impacts of people north
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carolina. i don't know if it will make it all the way to iowa. >> we are probably safe year, i think. what about this idea that science has been so conservative that it may not, it may be happen much faster than the peer-reviewed body of knowledge would suggest. what do you guys say about that? you are signed to sleep i don't want to get to outside your link but there's a commencement of concern we just haven't had the capability to come up with good data for the models. >> people should think of sighta something that is constantly evolving and changing. and we hope improving. that's our goal. there are examples where we underestimate the trend in the arctic sea is a great example. that's been retreating, melting at a faster rate than what the models to predict. that tells us something. it tells us we don't get the physics quite right, we're not
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understanding something for the model so we can learn and improve on that. i think it is something we think about. some people say what you're wrong about climate change? what if it's not happening? i sicken what if we're wrong in the other direction? what if it's worse than we think? with models you get, you will write an ensemble and get a spread. so you get a high and low scenario and you can take the average and that your best guess. all we're doing is giving people this code to work with and that's the best we can do at the moment. we hope to constantly improve. >> there's another twitter question. it's apropos of what we just talked about. science tells us that are certain climate cycles that have naturally. how is science to differentiate between what weather events are man-made and could've been avoided and what is not? >> so this i mean goes to the attribution science i was talking about. you can take climate models and
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run them with that greenhouse gases without the human force and see if it will reproduce these events. that's something we're seeing show up in the literature. this is been reported in the media for the past few years as well. we're able to do that, to play devil's advocate and able to look at the fence and say yes, climate change made is more likely. >> we are also able, there are natural cycles that we know, the ellipse, the way the earth goes around the sun, the tilt of the earth. we know these are a natural occurring cycle so we can move those from our solutions and we get a good idea of what these projections show us. >> so i get the sense you three are mostly involved in talking to people who recognize there's a problem and you're trying to sort through what to do about it. do you spend time going through like the taxicab driver, the
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magnetic fields and that kind of stuff, or do not waste your time at this point because there's work to be done? >> so i'm thinking about jail six american climate change and a very for it other specific and i don't do within the air mean, i'll be on my twitter feed right now. [laughing] will not change their minds. but there are these people in the middle and i like to say, i'm paid to think about climate change. this is something i think about day in and day out. but they are not. they are worrying about getting jimmy to the doctor and paying the bills. their day in and day out problems and what to do in the jobs, and kevin beat them in the middle. can answer questions that may some are off but respectful, just asking for more information. information. i will spend time with those folks. >> how about you guys? so the hard-core denialists, you will not convince people that the earth is a flat come back
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and thinks he just move on from there but there is a set of people are kind of in the middle who recognize there's a problem not entirely certain someone if they can do nothing about it anyway. is that the group that needs to be addressed those? >> sure. and you should impacts we are seeing. when we had a flight in 2019 we we also a flooding 20 -- 2008 in 2011. we're seeing a set of facts evolve that show was we're moving in one direction. and if you can show them personally or how it will impact the moving forward or how it will impact their kids moving forward, then you start to make a connection. but again these relationships you build over time. >> i would say the same thing. i regular get asked the question, you don't live in climate change, d? i say it's not a belief system. it's looking at data and facts. and then i get them to talk and so i say, well, where you have? have you noticed any changes in
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your area? or are your farming practices a different than what they were ten years ago? what about the drop of 2012 in the midwest, how did that impact your operations? i just get them to start talking, engage with the arkham what do they care about and then you start from there and then you connect the dots to climate. >> that's a good way of approaching it. we have three state climatologist who know something about agriculture. rose -- can any of you talked about the effects of climate change on insects, both for agriculture and the public health? certainly ticks, mosquitoes are huge -- mosquitoes, with shark week. we should have mosquito week. that's the animal the kills most of us, right? what about insects and climate? that's a big subject but are there are a few things you can share with us? >> we are seeing more invasive species move for the north because of the warming nature of mid and high latitudes.
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we see the japanese beetles, we see the stink bugs. our projections are showing that yes, , more invasive species are moving into agricultural part of the united states and across the united states. >> kathie. >> and i think from the public health angle especially in southeast this is a huge concern with some of these insect borne disease sectors showing up in major southeast cities. i just moved to north carolina and it has been mosquito week for me. >> this this is a good follow-uo the britney from twitter says what are some health-related concerns related to climate change, particularly in the midwest? >> i would say risk to heat waves and he defense, and not even necessarily high temperatures but high minimum temperatures. so your nighttime lows are not getting down, we are not able to cool off whether that humans or animals. safer cattle production.
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keep events would be one thing. blood and then water quality impacts that come with that, vectorborne diseases and insects and mosquitoes and those kinds of things as well. >> it's kind of grim very quickly. we really tough questions of the audience. do we have any out there? let's lift the lights a little so let's he was interested in joining the conversation. i think i see a couple hands up to let me head out to the audience. >> that's kind -- kind of like carbon dating. do any of you know who phil donahue was back in the '70s? the old man has to crawl over like phil donahue. today would be like dr. dr. ph. just say your name and had to do it this way because i think the camera is over there. >> david sheridan. this is an elementary school students question. >> you look a little old for that. [laughing] >> global temperatures.
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what's the protocol for determining the global temperature? who decides the protocol? who collects the data and to evaluates it? >> who wants it? >> so i can start and they can help me fill in. so both know and nasa have the data sets. -- noaa. it's down to it through satellites and stations. we can do station observation vanilla of the ocean. they both entered a pretty similar protocols, and the numbers will be off usually by a decimal or something but they're usually pretty close. we know that this july was the warmest month ever on record, and both outlets are saying tha that. >> there are quality control processes we use for temperature and reciprocation data.
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if the low temperatures higher than the high temperature we know there's something wrong in there. so we like it and the corrected. there are procedures in place to produce a robust temperature data set. >> i have a suggestion for lowering temperatures, if we just switched to celsius. [laughing] right away, just right there. a question with this gentleman. >> kevin mccorvey. i heard a lot about what this review said that these are the issues were faced with. i didn't hear a whole lot about, so how to begin to mitigate some of this? so the question is about, so what are one or two things that you would offer to say, here's how we can begin to mitigate some of that climate change locally? and in second, i would be devil's advocate. i will say who gives a damn? because the weather is not local. what we do here, i mean, the
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weather is the big globe, right? so even though we may make some change year, how is that going to fix anything that happens in russia or in asia or south america because it affects what we do. can you speak to that? >> local and the big picture, good question. >> don't all go at once. >> to what we do about it, and this goes back to what states can do about it, is we can take a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a country and estates. when you look at the countries that are most affected by climate change, they are the ones were not contribute as much to the problem. we certainly are. when we start pitching in to this huge problem that we created, i think we absolutely have a moral obligation to do that. yes, all of us not driving today isn't going to change anything in russia, but small change
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elites to be changed and we need big systemic change. what can you do about it? vote. i'm not just type by the candidates who applied you in two days when the fair start, but local elections really, really matter. your city council, your mirror. we overlook some of these. these people can really affect real change in the community. >> someone told me the other day that the biggest thing we should be focused on, which is not a sexy subject, is building codes. it's a huge, huge issue, just that we build our buildings. >> absolutely. >> anyway. another question down here. go ahead. >> rick smith. i question is about hurt our reluctance to talk but climate change on the part of whether men. i what has had tremendous coverage about floods and the infrastructure damage. that you mentioned the june 30 flood last year, 6000 homes have damaged. never did hear a weatherman was coming all this talk about climate change.
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why is that? >> this is a pet peeve of mine. go ahead. martha, you want to try that although the? is a changing by the way a little bit. i can expand on this but go ahead. >> i think so. a few decades ago on camera meteorologists were not so accepting i guess of the site in general and really not wanting to talk about it and of denying the science of climate change. i see that as shifting. it's really not necessarily the weather person who's on camera but it's the television station. what do they think is valuable to talk about? by the nebraska i see that changing. i get a lot of, media is one of our top three groups that we engage with, agriculture and education are other two, but i see that as not such a huge issue in nebraska but it would be good if we could get more stories out there about climate change. the local ev person is the trusted source, and a lot of
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people tune in just for the weather. it would be great if added onto that were a little climate peace. >> i think most people that have contact with anybody who might be considered a scientist or even close to it would be the local weather person. for years they had the opportunity i think to make those connections. a lot of it was frankly there's a long story relating to john coleman and the weather channel which i can go on and on about but the other thing is, when you learn about your meteorological degree they didn't teach climate simultaneously so there's a a fundamental misunderstanding. they were up like whether principles they learn to the climate and thus a lot of confusion. that's changing. i know penn state now, for example, is teaching climate along with meteorology. i think also going back to the generational component, i think the younger weather people are more likely to make those connections. it's important though because that's who people listen to, more so than somebody like me. another hand?
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i'm going to stay in this zone for a minute and then of the work my way down. go ahead. >> i'm miriam. i have been dealing with climate change since i was in like fifth grade. why in your opinion to think this is now just becoming an issue now? >> i think it's always been an issue. it's just a matter of generational, and again, when i started college in 2001, we were talking about medication and attribution. we had climate also along with our meteorology. i had to make meteorology degrees. that wasn't as widespread as it is now. we are starting to again develop a lot more evidence, and again it's pointing in one direction. it's always been in the background come when you talk to climatologist or you talk to at
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mystic scientists, it's been in the foreground. >> for a long time it was something that was distant and in the future, in the arctic circle, involved a polar bear and it might happen in 20 or 30 years. now it's happening all around us something people are paying attention. i guess that would be the silver lining, we are paying attention, the dark side of that is hopefully it's not too late. more questions from the audience likes i'll move over this direction here. here we go. >> thanks for answering my twitter question. >> wait a minute, you're disqualified. [laughing] you can't have two. >> i think you you will like this one. [laughing] so the common consumer, the common voter, you know, who wants to understand these issues, i think that climate gets very politicized. that's kind of what is site about them fighting the credible
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sources. uk so you work with the media. how do you advise just the average citizen wants to learn more about this to decipher all the things you read online and all the things you read in media to get to the true facts? >> the internet is a scary place, people. what you tell them to do? aside from calling you up. >> i was going to say -- i have a staff. they answer the phone, too. definitely start with your state climatologist, start with local university folks. and then there are a bazillion reports online. the intergovernmental panel on, change, they're getting better taking their summers and making them actually readable. i studied this. sometimes it's a lot to take in but there is a lot of that information on the internet about a lot of things. i would say find your person, if it is your state climatologist
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or your local ev weather person and start there. >> there are a few really good aggregators of content on this. there still an editorial process in an bimodal health news comes to my where they sift through all of the stuff out there and you can get a a daily e-mail ad weekly e-mail from them which has gone to a little more vetting than the random stuff you see on the web. other questions on the audience? i'm going to start going over this way now. i'm going deep. how am i going to get there? i don't want to step in but his toys. it's better than fenway park i don't have any beer in my hand. go ahead. >> sharon johnson. and i know cathy mentioned about the east coast and the recentlh the hurricanes. so i expect that the cities along the east coast have prepared some safety measures, some preventative measures. and i'm wondering what they are. if you could talk about that a little bit, and then when you
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expect a big impact to it the florida coast and specifically mar-a-lago? [laughing] [applause] which by the way sits on limestone, which is a sieve. there's really nothing to do for mar-a-lago, i would say that. go ahead. >> so there is a florida state climatologist and energy to reach out to him for specific, specific to mar-a-lago. but yes, cities on east coast i think you got hurricanes. we had sandy and we have boards, two and thinking of in particular. and just a few days ago north carolina found out it's getting all sorts of money to actually put resilience measures into place post florence. the taking money and putting action on the ground. the thing is though we are good at talking about planning for climate change. we write also reports. implement it has always been a challenge. you need somebody with
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regulatory authority, political will, social capital. you need actual capital. i have none of that. i'm just a piece of this puzzle, but the more these things continue to happen, the obvious it is we need these plans in place. >> to what extent though can you develop a little bit of a bully pulpit for a position, just based on combining the evidence and toys so the evidence in th? is that enough to do it? obviously if people are not reporting to you it's hard to get them to do things. you can order them around, can you? >> science is enough. if it were we went to fix this problem by now. i think recognizing that as a scientist is important because a lot of what we do have around our states are tied to an better selves in the communities and work with them, work with them to come up with solutions because they are the people took an intimate dinner in the people who will be making the decisions and are not driving back to raleigh later that night.
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understand our role in this is important but is not the only piece. >> we have another question here. >> charles hershman. one of the discussions about relatively small matters providing information and education and how adjustments might be made, but some of these solutions are not easy. should people be living of the coastline in flood prone areas in the middle of a foursquare will be impossible to protect them? should much of contemporary agriculture, let the person back? in other words, are some very deep-seated economic interest that will have to change before this problem is addressed and just wondering how are we going to get to that point. >> is also one more thing in there. there's a component of environment of justice address will. which people can build the walls. what about the people at the other end, where the wall ends who can't afford it. why don't you also we take this one. go ahead, martha.
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>> i think what we can provide is a local trusted source of information both historical and projected. we can make it relevant and local and tangible to people and provide the site-based evidence they need to base your decisions off of. we can help foster relationships and start dialogue or continue dialogue and help bring people to the table. at least i see that as my role. kathie brought up a good point of implication, plans are great but diplomatic them, getting people to have a vested interest in them, that's really difficult. that person is were i love to work with social scientist because what we talk but is behavior change. i'm a climatologist. i'm not a social scientist, and that's what i i say to young people, if you're interested in this topic, get into social science and work with people like us to institute this behavior change. that's the way this is going to be solved.
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>> that's the good point. when i was at i was to weser to bring in sociologist and psychologists are they could translate what we do to stakeholders -- when i was at iowa state. i from st. charles, missouri, 93 flood, 500 year floodplain three-mile summerhouse. we didn't flood. the floodplain did. look at that floodplain now. it's built up. restaurants, infrastructure there. we like to build berms around things to mitigate flood impacts, but we're still boning on floodplains and that something that climatologists can't answer. >> kathie, the idea by people out is not an easy one. i did a story in the netherlands of years ago with a literally went through the floodplains of rivers and by people out and put them on high ground, and set them back up, and different
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culture, different system but they all did it. i don't see that happening here. >> and this is such a tough conversation because it takes the person out of the place. so a lot of these people have generations of families who have lived in this certain town, in this house. it's not as easy as saying hey, joe, you can't live in new orleans anymore. i think when we remove the human come look, then we not solve anything. like you said, this is a huge problem. it's that easy. nothing worth doing is easy. i think to the point earlier that it is a bunch of very small problems have a construct to knock off, start to get at the bigger problem. we have a huge task in front of us and we really need everybody on board. it's having the tough conversations about bias and retreat, having been the remembering that there is just a human component to that. >> more questions here. watch your toes, people.
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watch your toes. go ahead. >> i'm fairly walker. many cities across the united states are working on our have adopted climate action plans. des moines is working on one, a slow process but is working on one. my question is as a state employee are you involved in recommending, encouraging our state politicians to create state climate action plans? because we to go beyond the city to the state level. and i just wondered of your influence there with medication and adaptation with climate action plans at the state level -- implication and adaptation. >> this has to be multi agency public-private partnership. one agency can't do it. i did have a plan back in 2011 i believe from the legislature, mandate in the legislature, and then it expired.
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so the was the starting point in iowa, and we've noticed that smaller cities, des moines, iowa city, iowa flood center and are universities, they have the pieces there. now, getting those pieces together is why we need a larger collaboration. >> all right. another question will over here. >> i teach at drake and i can see that indeed, the younger generation is getting slowly but surely, it's not as fast. my question is really, how bad do you think things have to get before those who actually make decisions wake-up and then the question is, is that beyond the tipping point do you think that is where we can still do it? >> so the train has left the
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station, and we in the climate community bicker about timelines, but every day that goes by it to chance for us to take action and there really is no -- things will get bad. things are bad. india is unlivable at certain times of the year. what will it take for the people who make decisions to wake up? new people in their place. [applause] >> what about if we cut the a fe of the industry of the political realm here a little bit? >> and i think about when peoplw here. yes, absolutely. i didn't drive. holding certain groups accountable is going to be more effective than me and martha say well, she drove and i flew so she's better than me. >> justin walked. justin wins. [laughing]
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>> did you see greta sundberg? do you see how she's going to be arriving in new york? this the 16 euros sweetest clime activists coming across in a sailing yacht. it's going to be a two-week miserable ride, a racing yacht with no galley and no refrigeration and she's going to sail over, to impact and god bless her. listen, she's a 15-year-old is changing the world's of give her her credit. speaking of young people, what is your name? >> jack. >> how old are you? >> ten. >> go ahead. >> what would happen if we didn't change our current problem in time? dot dot dot. [laughing] >> hopefully that won't happen, jack. it's really tough -- that's a great question, it's one that's difficult to answer but coming from a ten-year-old, that's really hard to deny and to
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negate so truly tough to argue. so thank you for your question. i don't have a great answer for you. i mean, all i will say is the sooner we act, the better. like kathie said everything that goes by, we are losing our chance. >> this is one of those parental moments when you try to figure how much honesty to give the kid, right? we're counting on you, jack. you will fix this force, right? lease. where was the question? go ahead. >> tyler granger. how do you advocate for wildlife protection in an era of urban sprawl? how do kind of talk to stakeholders of why we should protect wildlife? >> yeah, good question. a lot of nebraska is privately owned so we don't have a ton of public lands here but i'm increasingly working with fish and wildlife professionals, at
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the local and federal scale looking at plans for managing my life in a changing climate. how will species shift and so forth? that something there increasingly looking at. i know, i'm in the school of natural resources at university of nebraska and we have a lot of the songs for tackling this issue. >> and i work here in iowa with the department of natural resources and i provide them observational records, trends and then they use that data for their needs. there actually was a legislative action just last session about game hunting, for example,. >> another question here. greg brower. you talk about voting as a very important part of this which i would agree with but you also mentioned like small changes. i'm just not seeing it, so what are the small changes? is voting the only thing we can do? it's effective but what can we
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all do tomorrow or next week, or is it just not even worth it, we just wait for the election? >> no, that's a great question. so you could work with the woman is putting together the con action plan for des moines. i would think get involved in newton, whatever effort is going on. in terms of climate, and i think mobilizing others to do the same. >> justin? >> agricultural state, we have agricultural solutions we have renewable fuels, e15. we have 40% of our power generation is from wind turbines. looking at the agricultural scape, cover crops. since were getting into a regime and which we're getting more intense rainfall events. these cover crops act ii lock-in soil and carbon, and to prevent runoff into our screens. just a sense the last agricultural census, 2012-2017, five years, without it you want
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a 56% increase in cover crops across the state of iowa. that is going to make an impact, especially in runoff and water quality. so those of us small solutions we can talk about. >> i think serving as an informed citizen and an agent of change. i've heard climatologists are the best thing we do by climate change is talk about it and have dialogue and had meaningful communication and not just kind of battling each other the talking about it in a real and local sense. partnering with your local state climatologist or action plans that are going on as kathie mentioned. i think there's all kinds of ways we can keep this conversation moving forward in a good direction. >> margaret vernon. along these lines i was thinking you such wonderful resources. it would be nice if there were ways to get you, your voices
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heard more publicly, right on the news. has any of that been going on? >> i give about two or three presentations the week on average to there's groups, so yes, lots of questions in the media also. >> would you say your media inquiries are on the rise? >> yes. >> that's good news right there. yes, sir. >> so. [inaudible] russell. i lead i were in a fit -- talking with farmers, connecting with the president to canners and other elected leaders. in the last ten days, two weeks, i engage with probably half a dozen media folks. the first question is how can we talk to people about extreme weather that's happening, and is at changing people's minds? and that is such a last year question, because that assumes that we have to convince people
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that it's happening. and they say, oh, you know, who can we talk to farmers? its extreme weather changing their minds. nobody is creating the space for farmers to actually talk about it. so how do we not just try to convince people, recognize that people have moved faster because of the youth come have moved faster than the media thanks, the politicians think, how do we create the space? this is been such a pregnant conversation tonight, i nobody wants to talk, and i understand why we can't, but we have to get past that. [applause] >> good. you want to amplify that at all? >> i think like it's too much point that site is a piece of this. so people will say to us, why are things that happening faster? what are not doing enough faster? we need to recognize that and bring these people into the conversation. can we create platforms for the
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people the need to be that the most? this is something i grapple with, the people are most affected by climate change are really at the table. for these conversations. making sure that at least i recognize that and can bring it up. but i'm not a community organizer and their people are much more skilled than that than i am. so working with those folks i think would be more productive. >> question. >> my question is technical here. seems to me that there's been more an increase in intense straight-line wind event in iowa, and would you agree with that? and if you do, do you think that's going to continue to be more and more aggressive? >> action without the studies that show severe weather is decreasing across iowa. in fact, with the amount of co2 in the atmosphere we're getting more vegetation at the surface, more trees, and this is slowing
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down when speech by 10%. in one study. i have not seen anything and the data to suggest more straight-line wind events. this gets into talk about tornadoes back in back in the . maybe you're just getting reported more. but otherwise i haven't seen any hard evidence, which doesn't mean it's not out there, of increased when speed events. >> i think tornadoes are one of the hardest things to connect the dots on. tornadoes are devilishly difficult to study. i saw the movie. it was really hard. [laughing] remember the cow, cow, right? go ahead. >> john banks. i read an article that talked about modern agriculture and how the corn crops are getting closer together and are getting bigger and of putting more water into the atmosphere and almost creating conditions like a rain forest and everything. what i want to know is, is
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modern agriculture a positive or negative on our climate change? and what other things can be done in agriculture that would improve our climate footprint and everything that we need to change our trajectory on climate change? >> just to clarify, when you talk about modern agriculture, are you talk about livestock and the consumption of meat as well? >> that figures into it but right now i wanted to know about row crops and stuff. because of the effect it has on larger lots of water and put into the air. >> so taking the meat addiction aside can what is agriculture come in and climate? >> so we do with row crops, i is built for row crops. transpiration of corn produces more low-level community and we see in the trends more humidity across effectively the midwest. now, with this humid in the atmosphere we're getting overnight convection. that's over get about of our
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rainfalls during the summer months. so it's tied in with the way the crop transpires and the physiological effects that puts on the atmosphere. so yes, there is a partnership between agriculture and the way precipitation is falling across the state. those are more microscale impacts, but yes, again i spoke about cover crops and the other, we're putting in watersheds and wetland projects across the state which are able to take runoff and make water available to farmers in dryer parts of the season. so i mean, sure, there's probably something in agriculture, methane from livestock. we are also sequestering that in these larger dairy farms across the state and the using that method to power those operations. so we are using agriculture since well and agricultural state as a solution, smaller
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solutions, but these smaller solutions do add up. so i do think we could be an agricultural leader in terms of climate change. >> agriculture pushes technology quite a bit. >> sure. >> i'm like you guys, think about climate a lot. i'll be not quite much as you. most every story ideas summit link to it, and we talk a lot about in the office about the burden of dark knowledge that comes along with that. it. it is a burden but i'm curious, you guys are as enmeshed in this is anybody obviously, and this would be the final point. are you at all optimistic? start with you, martha. >> i think you have to be. certainly not a choice. it's my job to not talk about doom and gloom. all the questions i get whenever talk of climate change is solutions. we've had several here. people want to know what can i do tomorrow? how can i be involved in this? so people are eager to help,
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which makes the optimistic. i teach an undergraduate course on climate change and i had ud students this past semester. there's a climate action plan going to the nebraska legislature. it didn't pass but i do freshman, first-generation college student, go intensify in front of the committee. it's things like that that make me hopeful. we are not going as quickly as we need to and what would be good, but i stay hopeful. >> justin. >> sure. effectively the same question. when you're given a problem, the natural human side of you wants you to find a solution. thinking about, i wake up every morning, especially in the summertime, i look at radar of the driest part of our state to see if any rain fell overnight. that's how invested i am in our state and our farmers.
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it's hard not to at sometimes be sorrowful and crestfallen about women are, but again we have solutions -- where we are. with groups across the state, groups across the united states that want to do something. and i do think we have solution solutions. >> yeah, i am optimistic. i am a few other things. i'm angry that we've known about this problem and we haven't solved it, and i -- [applause] i grapple with these places that i call home. i grew up in new york. i lived in oregon for a decade. these are both very special places for me. i hope no telling what become special what i want people to experience the place that i i , the magic of oregon, eating up in the mounds with that huge wildfire breaking out. but also just, we have to do this. this is hurting people in in al
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way and it's not going to hurt which people. it's hurting people in low-lying countries that just don't have the power to deal with what's happening to them, and that weighs on me. certainly it's difficult at times and the fed to learn how to unplug sometimes just to save my energy and a little bit of my sanity. >> so people are watching, who has been watching the apollo 50 stuff? you know, 50 years since the apollo 11 moon landing. it's just a reminder of what this great country can do when it sets its mind to something, or take about the mobilization during world war ii. and now suddenly for plants that were knocking out cars were spitting out bombers is this quickly. we could do this and, frankly, i don't think there's a single thing that needs to be invented. the technology is on the shelf. it's just a matter of political will and economic incentives,
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and those go hand in hand. i just want, i'm so impressed with his audience, thank you so much for your great questions. i had no idea how such smart people came up with deep-fried butter. [laughing] was that like a bad day you had? [laughing] thank you for your great questions and thank you to our panelist i think they did a great job. martha, justin, kathie, all-star state climatologist. thank you for your time. we enjoyed it. [applause] ♪ ♪ >> in 1979 a small network with a username row that a big idea. let's use a cup their own minds. c-span open the doors to washington policymaking for all to see, bring your unfiltered content from congress and
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beyond. a lattice change in four years but today that big idea is more relevant than ever. on television and online c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. rocky is a public service by your cable or satellite provider. >> supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg delivers remarks received in little rock, arkansas, as part of the lecture series hosted by the clinton foundation and the clinton school of public service. live coverage at 7:30 p.m. eastern on c-span.
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>> this is the story of how this whole new economy was built, and i've always been really
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interested, ever since i was working in washington in how business and government interact with one another. they have an intestate relationship avails of a collaborative relationship in the real story of american history is one of public private partnership in many ways, in ways that sometimes are unseen and so this was i think the story is a really great way to get into that. >> university of washington history professor margaret o'mara discusses her book "the code." sunday night at eight eastern on c-span's q&a. >> host: politico energy environment reporter zack colman back with us as we continue our discussion of environmental issues in campaign 2020. 15 months before election day.ay where does climate policy rank in the minds of 120 voters? >> guest: that's a place where it ranks in the mind


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