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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  May 25, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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>> charlie: welcome to our program. the prime minister of us treesal address the the u.s. congress. we have alal sis from bret stephens, aluf benn, walter russell mead and jeffrey goldberg. >> what was interestingly missing from predent obama's presentation both last thursday and sunday was the argument that resolving the israeli-palestinian conflict. and now it was mostly anger and frustration at both at abbas for the delusional movemenin the united nations. and then no follow up. where has the american national interest disappeared on this one? >> charlie: we conclude with the administrative noaa jane lubchenco. >> many new discoveries have come from serendipity. and many new chemicals, for
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example, for medicine or new break throughs in technology have come from studying living organisms. we have a pretty good handle on a lot of the biodiversity on land. but the wealth of life in the oceans is virtually unexplored. >> the prime minister addresses u.s. congress. and we talk about the oceans next. funding for charlie rose was provided by the following: all across america. a storefront opens. or the midnight oil is burned. or when someone chases a dream, notust a dollar. they are small business owners. so if you wanna root for real hero, support small business. shop small.
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additional funding provided by these funders: captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie: we begin with a look at th u.s.-israeli relationship. president netanyahu gave a speech before a joins session of the u.s. congress. prime minister laid out his criteria for middle east peace and addressed that received 26 standing ovations. he said he was willing to make a far-reaching compromise if palestinians accept israel as a jewish state. >> president owe bass -- president abbas must do what i have done. i have stood before my people and i told you it wasn't easy for me. i stood before my people and i
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said, i will accept a palestinian state. it's time for president abbas to stand before his people and say, i will accept a jewish state. [ applause ] those six words will change history. so make it clear to the palestinians. that this conflict must come to an end. >> charlie: he like before him addressed 1967 borders. >> in any peace agreement that ends the conflict some settlements will end up beyond israel's borders. now the precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. will be generous about the size of the future palestinian state. but as president obama said, the border will be different than
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the one that existed on june 4th, 1967. [ applause ] israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967. >> the prime minister stated no negotiated with the palestinians as long as hamas is part of the government. >> israel will not negotiate with a palestinian government backed by the palestinian version of al qaeda. that we will not do. [applause] so i say to president abbas, tear up your pact with hamas. sit down and negotiate. [applause] make peace with a jewish state. and if you do, i promise you this. israel will not be the last country to welcome a palestinian state as new member of united nations. it will be the first to do so.
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[ applause ] >> joining me is bret stephens the foreign affairs columnist of the "wall street journal" from washington, aluf benn, editor at large and "haaretz" and walter russell mead james clark chase professor of foreign affairs and editor at large for "the american interest" magazine. jeffrey goldberg national coespondent for "the atlantic" i'm pleased to have them here. i bee begin with aluf, what did the prime minister do, having completed speech seen the response to it. >> what the prime minister intended to do was reassert his leadersh. only fivor six months ago he was bordering irrelevant in -- he was attacked from all sides. he had no clear message, now he's right on p of it. everybody was waiting to hear his speech. he picked a fight with president obama over the week end forethe
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president's speech last week. and now he came to congress which is his home territoryay after the apec conrence to show president obama and the world that he's got congress behind him. and toend obama a message that israel will not bend under the palestinian threat to go to the u.n. and declare a state through the u.n. and israeli public is united behind whatever he was saying about the jewish state and about ability to make compromises as long as palestinians get rid of hamas government and recognize israel as a jewish state. the problem is that there is no palestinian partner for that message. that the palestinian president mahmoud abbas only last week publickished op ed in the "new york times" which was also very strong for domestic consumption. but very uncompromising for any deal with israel. and as we see both these leaders
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gathering domestic support for some inevitable conflict that is down the road. we saw president obama spoke a lot about negotiations, but had no clear beyond laying framework for what to negotiate about, no clr strategyor going forward, no new envoy to replace ougoin george mitchell. basically nothing. only to give him something to tell the europeans while it's there to get them vicious em not to support recognition. he said some settlement that was not bei owe be part of israel. but again this falls far below any palestinian expectation and there are now four months of very heck in this case diploma tee to prevent the u.n. disaster. >> charlie: one quick follow up then come back as we go around the table here. when constantly emphasis on jewish state.
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>> for netanyahu palestinians are ready accept israel as part of the middle east. accept that we have rights, we the jewish people have rights on at part of the world not just a bunch of invaders as the paleinians asserted. last but not least netanyahu believes that by insisting on the recognition of israel as jewishtate,his puts an end to any fute demands of the palestinian minority within israel to get some sort of national right within israel. >> charlie: what did you think of the speech and what do you think he accomplished and where does it leave us? >> well, it was an eellent speech. as a political speech, i was thinking as i s watcng it that there are republican strategists out ther watching this guy wishing that he would run for president of the united states. i mean he's very good. he was in total command, speaks
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wonderful english, he's charismatic, obviously. >> wt about his birth certificates? he was born weird leave in hawaii. people don't know that. >> i would agree with aluf this was meant for domestic consumption, there's an explosion coming. obviously he understood full well that offering, let's just call it a non-magnanimous vision for the future of thewest bank and gaza. something that's obviously far less magnanimous than what barack would -- former prime minister tried. obviously not going to be met by -- with a positive reception with the palestinian side. and i think he's a smart die. that the palestinians are going to -- after the u.n. vote. this is what's interesting to me is the u.n. vote aso what
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happens immediately after the the palestinians may get this international wreck nation they seek and still going to have israel on the west bank. at that point looking around the arab world, looking at their brearen and syria and yemen d libya, they're going to say to themselves, well, we have to throw off our foreign occupiers and i think you could be looking at a third intfada by the end of the year. >> charlie: what are consequences of that? >> the consequences of a third entifada are potentially horrific. if you want to just talk about the political consequences, the israelis obviously -- right win government in israel and i'm stealing a line from aluf benn here who has done this kind of analysis, the right wing obviously comes out ahead initially but israel always seem to lose these over time.
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there's a big question of course as to what kind of intifada this is. is it a nonviolent intifada next time or is it the opposite. is it" fat da of missiles and these questions, i don't think we have the answers to. obviously palestinians like i said are watching al-jazeera and what is going on in neighboring countries and saw these protests on the fences in syria and lebanon of people trying to march in to israel, to descendants trying to march in to israel. i think we might look at different kind of palestinian protest in the coming months or by the end of the year in which you have masses of people nonviolently or semi nonviolely trying to question the -- trying to questio the rational of israel. i sort of have this picture in my mind of the marchs in industry that began deled.
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palestinians have never excelled at nonviolent protests. i think that sai that sof enough. but there is always a chance that they will learn the lessons. >> charlie: so you are suggesting it will come to israel in the form of new nonviolent intifada? >> well -- no. i don't know if it will be violent or nonviolent. i know that as aluf said i think both palestinian leadership and israeli leadership are trying galvanize their populations for a conflict that appears at this moment to be somewhat inevitable. >> charlie: what did you think, of the speech, of where we are from here? >> i that i obama first of all teed up confrontation by giving this this provocative speech on thursday, the day before netanyahu arrived. i think president obama handed netanyahu a political victory which he might not have been
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anticipating as aluf said just a few weeks or months ago. netanyahu demonstrated his mastery of congress but also affirmed what a pro israel country this is. i think president obama put himself frankly in bad position both diplomatically as well as politically you see the strength much u.s. support for israel but he put himself in bad position by alienating his presumptive ally, israel, with this -- i thought needless and provocative and strange line about the '67 borders. he alienated israeli public opinion as well as one of aluf's colleagues put it in haaretz by this formula which i can real was expected to withdraw to some approximation of the '67 borders before the final -- some
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agreement is reached over the ex i ten shall issues of ref -- existential issues. what the president was proposing wasn't even the traditional clintonian land for peace. it was withdraw from land and kind of hope for the best. so obama ma now faces even more skeptical audience in -- among israelis which are constituency he's going to need if he has diplomatic success. i don't think he's gone particularly far to placate or arab population. he scored own goal within the american political establishment so it's quite a feat for the prime minister of a small country to come to washington with a presumptive -- presumable imbalance.
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needing the president's support. it was netanyahu who was the political super power in that exchange. and obama who was the representative of kind of diplomatic -- very walter? go ahead. >> i do think that their's another sort of troubling thing here which is that -- you can sometimes see a pattern in some of the foreign policy decisions this white house has taken of getting at the sour spot. that is, that is they make enough concessions or gestures in the direction of the palestinian, is that they anger the israelis but they don't
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really do enough to earn points with the palestinian s. so, at this point both the palestinian authority and israeli government are very upset with the white house and with this president. and since his goal is to get a peace process of some kind going, and he needs the cooperation of both right now, doesn't really have the cooperation and trust of either one. that reaction in congress i hope will dispel once and for all the idea that american support for israel is the product of some tiny, mostly jewish lobby. that is manipulating the political process.
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very little money from apec or pro israel because that's what the voters back home want them to be. and this is, i think, what we saw in congress today. >> charlie: peter wrote this yesterday, said over last few days netanyahu defied the president of the united states and forced him once again to retreat. he has won washington. if only he realized that washington is no longer the world does he have a point there, aluf? >> netanyahu believes that american is a super power about to remain -- he sees no alternative american power. that's why he focused his attention and to deliver this speech in washington, in congress to show the world that america stands behind israel and behind his policies. and i don't think that president obama played the diplomatically -- i thi he was
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telling palestinian way to achieve political change through the street. the trusting the leaders, leaders will get you nohere, leaders are shackled in the past they don't care about the future only care about the own power. if you wouldn't achieve your right, yourself determination, otherwise i wouldn't be here as the president said. i think this sends a powerful message to the palestinian, is that if they want to achieve something they need to march rather than put their hopes on abbas. >> it was remarkably prosrael in many regards. the controversial was couple yes ago it was about settlements, obama was making settlement a big issue. he actually, we didn't pay attentioto thi he shifted totally away from that said that hamas is the issue now. that hamas' rejection is the issue. if another american president had said that it would be seen
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as pro israel. and what one final point just on the washington aspect of this. by the way, i think peter has it right and wrong i think ultimately the palestinians need the approval and recognition of two countries, the first of course is israel which occupied the territory and second is the united states. i think netanyahu wasn't wrong in thinking that a lot of the game is here. but one final point about this washington angle, don't forget, tanyahu was here in washington at the invitation of the republican speaker of the house. he delivered, netanyahu really did deliver for the republicans and we can forget that israel is so many ways a domestic policy issue. boehner i don't think, and certainly ople like mitt romney and pawlenty who jumped on the president after the speech could have hoped for anything more. >> just one more point about
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peter's comment. coming on 35 years, the u.n. pass resolution. that ship sailed a long time ago. the idea that somehow israel has responsibility to court a european public or south american public or publics in turkey is somewhat ludicrous. knelt net is his own people where he has come out ahead in the last few days, and with the american. >> charlie: you saying no world opinion against israel? >> the world opinion is so far gone against israel that the idea that israelis ought to be tailoring their policies to satisfy views in madrid or berlin or moscow or elsewhere is just slightly far fetched. >> what is it that the united states can do?
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>> well, it can try t -- some suggest that president obama should come out with detailed peace plan, but carries a risk. the previous pce plan of president clinton and president bush got no where. they end up in failure. and obama likes to win, he doesn't like to be a failure. and the other thing we just think is moreurgent is try to find a way -- find formula to prevent another conflict. because nobody is going to win this conflict this time. >> charlie: walter? >> i think is -- i think one of the things that president obama needs to understand, he may not want to make speeches about this, but peace is not coming soon between the israelis and palestinians, neither on the palestinian side nor on the israeli side are there enough people who are prepared to accept what's actually available. for palestinians, the question of the right of return is pretty
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fundamental to a lot of palestinian opinion. and we've seen over and over again american administrations have bet everything on trying to get peace, most notably in the clinton administration probably the most we can get, from a standpoint of american interests, forget israelis and palestinians for the minute, a peace process is extremely helpful to the united states and can also help prevent further conflict. and if the white house were to think much harder, not so much about let's get a final agreement in six months or a year or any of these artificial deadlines, but let's see if we want put together some kind of framework for negotiations and discussions that can reduce the chance of new conflict on the ground and over time offer some hope for peace as various things may change or new ideas come forward. we may have more success. i think like some of his
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predecessors, president obama reaches for that tantalizing prize of final solution. as always is just a little bit out of reach. very jeffrey, put the hamasish hue in con-- >> charlie: put the hamas issue in context and what some american officials have been saying that perhaps they ought to be some conversation with hamas at some point. >> well, there is some nuance in this. there's no nuance in the prime minister -- >> charlie: no, there wasn't. >> no. there's a little bit of nuance in the american side but only slight. the prime minister says, obviouy, that hamas isn organizati, terrorist organization that doesn't recognize israel's existence or right to exist there for how could they possibly negotiate with government or body with hamas in it. it doesn't make any sense. and it's a nonstarter. i think the american position on hamas is fairly clear, there is -- nuance comes in whether
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hamas will be part of a government but won't be part of a negotiating team. president abbas said he'll be in charge of negotiating, not tt he's shown excessive interest in negotiating in any case. but there is some sort of -- there's a little gymnastics going on toetry to sort of say that hamas can be in the government but not really in the government. it's really a nonstarter. >> there is no debate in israel about talking to hamas like the way there was debate about talking to the plo in the '80s and early '90s. there is no strong constituency in -- that is called to recognize hamas to reach out to hamas to see hamas as part of the solution not only part of the problem. >> is there an issue -- >> that's part of it. >> charlie: anything that hamas can do to change that? >> it doesn't want -- ll, ther is some ambiguous message
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about li with the '67 borders and long term cease fire -- >> charlie: they have said things like when resistance ends, when occupation ends the resistance will end that kind of thing. >> but the occupation to tel aviv and hifa that's the core of the problem. >> charlie: not the west bank. >> it's all of what we call israel. but if the united states were to make any effort to engage hamas, diplomatically even secretly it would be fatal to america's relationship with israel. mean that america would lose whatever -- leverage that it has to push israeli to make hard choices. it would be fatal i think for the palestinians as well because it would legitimize a movement that is inherently apathetical to their -- a pity for president obama's larger themes. on thursday in my view he gave generally a great speech in which he gave his own version of a freedom agenda which was
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inspiring for egyptians, syrians, libyans, so on. he ought to be thinking about how he pushes that agenda forward in those arab countries which is where the body of american interests going forward lied. >> as walter mentioned aluf mentioned, jeff agrees, there is going to be no real progress between israel and the palestinians so long as you have a palestinian prime minister who continues to harp incessantly on the issue of refugees which israel is existential threat as a jewish state. so don't put good money after bad. don't squander american diplomatic prestige what will amount fool's errand when there are genuine opportunities elsewhere in the region. >> charlie: jeffrey? >> i would agree with that. very quickly i would agree with that. cept with the caveat that there is good chance or
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reasonable chance that mahmoud abbas would not be harping on the -- so-called right of return the refugee issue. if there had been a more magnanimous gesture or at least sort of provisional condition, conditional vision that netanyahu offered to the palestinians about territory and about even maybe parts of east jerusalem. i think that the palestinians returned to these first principles when they feel like there's nobody on the other side, even suggesting something semi magnanimous. but i think i probably differ with bret on that. >> what was interestingly missing from president owe ma's h thursday and sunday was the argument that revolving israeli israeli-palestinian -- argued only a year ago, now it was stly anger and frustration, a
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bust for delusional movement. united nations. and theno follow up. where has american national interests disappeared on this one? >> do you think -- >> do you think it's a american national interest to see israeli-palestinian issues involved and creation of palestinian state, aluf? >> maybe it is. but clearly president obama doesn't see an easy way to get there. that's why -- >> a lot of things of american interest that were not going to get that's one of them i think. >> it's not going to happen. >> i think we've learned in the last few months that as soon as sunni split is a more urgent issue. we understand that iran and export of its ideas and terrorism, much more important issue. i think we've been able to put the israeli palestinian conflict in to some sort of context.
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don't forget, this is not argument against negotiations or peace process, not that there is one. but don't forget that peace processes, negotiations often lead to upsurges to -- more violence. you saw that during the oslo peace process. tremendous waves of suicide attacks by hamas when the peace process was going well. it doesn't -- a peace process by itself and negotiations by themselves don't actually lead to calm necessarily. >> supreme american national interest in united states right now are first to shepard this season of arab revolt in a positive progressive direction particularly in egypt. secondly, to remain focused on the challenge posed by growing iranian power and nuclear ambitions, bernard lewis liked to joke when he was talking about iran and iraq, the united states should have put its interests in alphabetical order. iran comes before iraq.
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but it's also true that iran comes before israel in the alphabetical order. president obama's diplomatic capital and strategic interest would be better served focused on that. not least because iran that is no longer a radical state supporting groups like hamas makes peace between israel and palestinians more likely not less. >> charlie: what you sahl seem to be saying is that, netanyahu's come to washington, he's been clear and forceful and obama has no options and so anybody who thinks there will be any kind of settlement in the near term of the lestinian-israeli split or any kindf progress on the creation of palestinian state simply is wrong. hello? >> i think -- it's got lips on boundaries who don't accept existence. the instability in the country where it has peace, syria's breaking down around it. it's unpopular in europe,
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unpopular in the rest of the world. israel is in a tight spot. so what's new. jeffrey, all of us who care are interested in this what are we going to d what is there to focus on? >> well, no. there are couple things walter is absolutely right. iran is the big story. i think there are twin threats. this is where i think president obama made very important statement. he talked about demography, israel continues to control the lives of ex-million palestinians on the west bank. that demographically this is going to be a very different israel and israel will find itself in a tougher spot internationally if you can imagine a tougher spot. and so that's why i was hoping for some sort of recognition on the part of the prime minister that, hey, we can't continue to control the lives of these palestinians, so i think demographic threat something that we have to be talking about. i think the iran threat and not just nuclear threat but the role that iran plays in radicalizing
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the entire region from gaza to lebanon to bahrain and beyond, i think that is a necessary focus of american foreign policy. >> as walter said, israel has been in a tough spot for 6 years. in that time it's become this thriving first world democracy. i don't think we should reduce israel to simply being a part of the israeli-palestinian equation the world will go on. you'll have people like us talking about the subject until we'rvery old men. and as was put it some problems that don't have solutions. problems that have to be managed. it's absolutely right, that the united states will have to bend its forts to managing this problem but it shouldn't do so in the expectation of a final status agreement, a peace agreement that is going to take a long time, these are people who have been in the region for a very long time, they have a
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very long view of history and we shouldn't put the israeli palestinian conflict on an american political calendar. >> charlie: thank you bret, thank you walter. >> jane lubchenco, 2009 became first woman to head the national oceananic atmospheric, noaa, top -- in this role she has faced some of the work environmental disasters in our country including the bp oil spill. marine biologist, her passion of the ocean, the ocean makes up 70% of the e.r.'s seraph's, ocean is place of mystery, place of wonderment. it's diversity and health vital for our planet and human existence. >> almost everything we see over this expedition seems to be a new spear sees. something we don't recognize, something that looks similar to what we've seen before but not quite right. to some species, some shrimp,
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for example, completely different than anybody that's been seen. >> we have covered more than 30 miles of sea floor, over that area we have seen high diversity of habitat and ecosystems from deep abyss mud to wood, large pieces of wood that have fallen off of the islands traveled down in to the deep sea they were colonized by unique species of crabs and shrimp and snails and sea cucumbers. another group of sea cucumbers that like to swim they're call palagaec. it's tran pain see see can see the digestive system that's coiled up and around. nothing but large conveyer belt that takes sediments in and pushes sediments out. >> charlie: scientists have counted quarter of million species, many believe the golden age oceanic discovery lies ahead. i'm pleased to have dr. jane lubchenco at the table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you, carly.
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>> charlie: tell me about the mystery of finding new species. >> the ocean is full of wonders. and most of them are ones that are yet to be discovered. the clip came from an expedition last summer to indonesia, it was a collaboration with indonesian scientists and u.s. scientists. and it was the first ever look at really, really deep parts of the ocean in indonesian waters that has spectacular biodiversity. life that is just so rich and these images that we saw were the first time people had ever seen most of these waters. now, we know that that part of the ocean we didn't really know whether that i biodiversity would be mirrored by areas that were deep, deep beneath total
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darkness and this new ship that we have, the explorer is capable of stepping remotely operated vehicles in to the deepest parts of the ocean and the discoveries every time we looked around. there was something new around the corner. >> charlie: and what's the importance of that? >> we know more about the surface of the moon than we know about our own planet, including the deep see. and to understand better what's there is important because we should know who our neighbors are, but it's also important because we can do a better job of managing it if we know what's there. how it's changing, how fast it's changing. >> charlie: might we find some solutions to some of our biggest problems there? many new chemicals, for example, cashz for medicines or new breakthroughs in technology have come from studying living organisms. we have a pretty good handle on
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a lot of the biodiversity on land. but the wealth of life in the ocean is unexplored, so much we don't know. getting that information may bring benefit. satisfies innate curiosity that we have. what is this world of ours and to better understand it -- >> charlie: and what in habits it. >> and who in habits it. >> let me talk about you and how you got there and what know a does and how is your budget. because 70% of the planet is ocean. how did you come to love oceans? >> i grew up in colorado. >> charlie: who ocean is in colorado? >> there weren't oceans there. and rivers indeed. lake my five sisters, we were all water kids. we spent a lot of time swimming and did a lot of sailing and kayaking, could nooning, fishing
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and between my junior and senior years in college i had the opportunity to spend a summer at the marine biological laboratory in massachusetts. and i discovered a whole new wod that were oceans. and i was just completely enamored. it was love at first sight. i couldn't get enough. i thought this is so interesting, i want more. that led me down the path -- >> charlie: academic direction. >> academic direction. i also had an opportunity to do research and i discovered i really, really liked solving problems, figuring out how to design experiments, to answer questions, i like the discipline of science and doing of experiments to find answers. so, based on that experience i decided to go to graduate school and then it was one compost or another once that decision was made. i've never regretted it.
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>> charlie: what does noaa do? >> noaa is federal agency that is science agency that provides services to the american public for the weather service, for example. and climate information. and we are stewards we manage oceans and coasts with the goal of having them be healthy. either keep them healthy or return them to a healthy state. >> charlie: let me talk about the threats and who do you see as the threats to the ocean clearly overfishing you see as one. clearly thing that happened in the gulf coast. >> pollution. >> charlie: and clearly climate. tell me about how they threaten the world that we live in. >> each much those threats is very real, each is important in and of itself but they also interact with one another. at noaa we have responsibility for managing fisheries.
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and we are turning the corner, we're very much on track to have sustainable fisheries in u.s. waters. that's not true for most of the rest of the planet. there is still serious overfishing that's happening elsewhere. >> charlie: there's no international law? >> there are international agreements. that regulate fisheries in international waters. the u.s. is party to those. but so, too, are many other nations it's a continuing challenge to have those be managed well and by and large very few of them are. that's a major challenge. >> charlie: what can do you about that? >> we continue to work through international channels to try to put pressure, to have other countries agree on the importance of basing information on scientific findings so that we can have some rational reason for setting quotas attic level. but it's a tall order.
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pollution is another area, another threat that you mentioned. and that includes not only chemical pollution, but nutrient pollution. too much nitrogen running off agricultural areas or from concentrated animals, growth facilities, chickens or hogs or whatever. and much of that excess nitrogen flows in to rivers and streams. >> charlie: and flows in to the ocean. >> flows in to the ocean. is causing more and more dead zones around the world as a result of nutrient pollution. then of course we have a lot of marine debris, plastics and other things that are polluting the ocean. so pollution is very serious challenge and we're making headway with some of those challenges, not others. >> charlie: the president obama signed national ocean
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policy. what does that do? last summer in july, the president signed a new national ocean policy, first one that the country has ever had. no uncertain terms that healthy oceans matter. it is -- it directs the federal agencies to work together instead of this piecemeal, each agency doing its own thing characterize had they do. over 1/4 different federal laws and regulations and each one is sort of implemented individually. so this says we need a more integrated approach. we need to be managing more holistically. with the focus on stewardship of the oceans, and we need to do it in a way that empowers local communities and local states and regions so it's a partnership with the federal government. focused very much on understanding how different
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activities interact with one another and affect the health of the ecosystem. so it's a very different transformative approach to managing ocean, when implemented will make a huge difference. >> charlie: where are we with respect to the tragedy of the bp oil spill in the gulf of mexico? >> the bpbp oil spillfuls the largest oil spill in u.s. history. and it was the five million barrels of oil that were spilled over a number of months. had a very significant impact, it wasn't as bad as many feared it might be. but the jury is still out on what the total impact is. and we continue to gain information, take data, analyze those data to determine the full impact. now most of the oil fortunately
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is now gone, we were quite fortunate that there were a lot of microbes naturally living in the gulf -- >> charlie: they did what? >> they attacked and consumed essentially small droplets of oil. and they worked very, very rapidly. but that's focusing the along call impact of the spill. there's no doubt but that the social and economic impact of the spill was devastating. >> charlie: jobs and the economy. >> jobs, the economy and these are communities that have been hit over and over by katrina, rita, now flooding in the mississippi river. and there's no doubt but that that impact was devastating and that human face of the impact should not be lost. >> charlie: where was the climate change debate today? where do you think -- what do
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you think the consequences of climate change? >> there's no doubt but that the climate is changing. we have seen increases in air temperature, averaged over the entire globe. we're seeing warmer oceans, faster melting of glaciers as well as ice caps and floating ice that's in the arctic. all of that is beginning to be expressed and taking its toll. we're seeing larger numbers of very extreme storms, we are seeing changes in growing seasons. we're seeing changes in distribution. we're seeing impacts already. >> charlie: for you no denying the impact that we see every day. >> there's no doubt. >> charlie: in terms of climate change affecting storm, quality of storms, severity of storms. >> when there is more heat in
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the system and more water in the air, you get more extreme storms. and that's exactly what we are seeing. that you cannot point to any single event say, a-ha that's a smoking gun but the pattern that we are seeing is completely consistent -- >> charlie: talk about tornadoes and -- >> more extre rainfall, more extreme storms of pretty much every type. >> charlie: what are we going to do about this? >> we need to do two things. one is to reduce emissions and the other is to adapt to changes that are already underway. and the president has ordered the federal agencies to do everything in their power to reduce their energy consumption but also to prepare to adapt to changes that are underway. >> charlie: does the ocean offer possibilities for
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generating energy that for positive uses? >> absolutely. there are huge opportunities for renewable energy on land as well as in the ocean. in the oceans that's both wind and wave as well as title. and there are -- there's lots of interesting in exploring those. and in bringing them to scale, doing the r&d that's necessary. and then bringing them to scale so that we can begin to benefit -- >> charlie: makes them cost efficient, is that the idea? >> yes. where are we on ocean -- >> one of the consequences of the increases that we've seen in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been increasing 'sid tee of the oceans. the earrings have absorbed about 50% of the carbon dioxide that results from the burning of fossil fuels. as a result, oceans are about 30% more 'kid i can than they were at the beginning -- acidic
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than they were at the industrial revolution. that change in ocean chemistry is very important to anything in the ocean that has a shell or a skeleton that's made of calcium carbonate. it makes it harder for snails, clams, oyster, lobsters, sea urchins to make hard parts and erode mr. quickly. coral reefs are an area that for which there's very grave concern because their skeletons of made of calcium carbonate, chalk, new will. and they are seriously threatened by this increasing acidity. i like to call it osteoporosis of the sea. and i think that's a good moniker gives a hint of some of the challenges. >> charlie: how do you do something about that? >> to ameliorate -- in the long term reducing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is the solution.
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that's going to take a very, very long time. so this is yet another consequence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that has very real consequences to fisheries, to many economically important mollusk, bi-valves. >> charlie: do you find it disparity and disappointment that the ocean represents 70% of the earth yet only 1% of environmental dollars go to ocean-related issues. >> oceans have so long been thought of as so vast, just so immense -- >> charlie: they can take care of themselves. >> inconceivable we can have an impact on them. we've learned just in the last couple of decades how untrue that is. but the awareness has not yet caught up with that. there's still a mindset that it's -- it's just too big, it's also out of sight out of mind. so images of what is living in
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the ocean and how it has changed through time are needed so that there's broader appreciation for what's at risk and how it affects us. >> charlie: let me go back to the oil spill in the gulf. you suggested the damage we had we don't know all the answers yet. president has suggested that he's in favor of more drilling. are you on board with that? >> the president is focused very much on having energy that is produced nationally. and that's obviously of great importance -- >> charlie: national security issue. >> national security issue. everybody precious the importance of that. i think there's also no doubt that we need a transition r eggs strategy. we do need to be investing in renewable, reducing carbon emissions but we're going to be using oil for some time and
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having oil that is produced by -- within the u.s. is part of the national strategy. >> charlie: what's likelihood that bp could handle the same kind of tragedy could happen again? >> part of the changes that we have seen in our sister agency in the department much the interior, as a result of deep water horizon have been intended to have much more effective mechanism to ensure not only safety, but minimize the likelihood of similar problems, especially in deep waters. >> charlie: how i do want your tenure there to be judged? what was the metrics of how we will evaluate what you have been able to do for the oceans? >> my goal has been very much focused on noaa as a science agency, ensuring that it has the best possible science and scientists and that we have good policies to ensure the integrity
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of science. also my goal to end overfishing that would be a major accomplishment. we are on track to do that, we're using some new creative ways of empowering fishermen to make smart business decisions and be good conservationists, think long term not just race to fish, which is what has driven so much of the the overfishing. part of my legacy i hope will be to stabilize the satellites that provide more than 90% of the information that goes in to our weather and -- our weather forecast. >> charlie: what do you mean by stabilize? >> the satellite that noaa operates are -- need to be built and then launched and then they provide us information that enable us to do long-term weather forecasts, disaster warnings. our budget this year with the
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continuing resolution puts our satellite program at serious risk. and this is one of our biggest challenges, because our ability to, for example, do a five-day alert to alabama and mississippi in april that said, get ready, tornadoes, conditions are favorable or to give -- >> charlie: that warning system was impeded because of budgetary issues? >> that warning system depends on the satellite, is that are up there now. and our budget proposal included the replacement satellite that we had intended to launch in 2016. but because of the continuing resolution we have had to push off that to at least 2018, there will be a gap in time down the road where we will not be able to do the severe storm warnings and long term weather forecast of the quality that we do node. and one of the intense frustrations about the budget
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discussions has been a focus only on numbers not on consequences of different choices. and this is a very unfortunate consequence that will have very real consequences to protecting lives and property. >> charlie: you said that -- to read what you are about, you have said that climate information is a principle goal of yours. >> it is. absolutely is. we are trying to create a climate service which would provide information about climate, just like we provide the weather service that provides information about weather. and it's important to note that when we talk about climate we're talking about anything longer than two weeks. so when we say in january red river of the north, communities around the red river of the north get ready because conditions are likely for significant flooding in three months, that's a climate service or if we talk about drought in
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the southwest. anything that's longer than two weeks out is climate information. and we currently provide a lot of climate services but they're not organized in a way that are very effective and proposal that we have before congress is to reorganize so that we can be more effective and provide not only the services that we do now but one, is that we would like to be adding to that. and that whole discussion is being caught up in a focus on climate and on the fact that it's very controversial. >> charlie: great to have you here. >> thank you, charlie.
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