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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  May 11, 2014 12:30pm-1:01pm EDT

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if they are, they need to insure the new tech nooemnique has confidence of passengers t al jazeera more about the news, analysis and features on our website, americans every day. wait until you see renovators who are responding and what they are doing to reverse the trend. and could one of the largest consumers of oil in the world have the answer to reducing our carbon footprint? we talk to creative champions of climate change right now. ♪
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. >> my digital producer and co-host is bringing your feedback throughout the program. waj, some of these invasions we >> yeah. >> if you were offered a coat with solar cells in it to power your cell phone, would you? >> the fact i am wearing this around means i would wear that and i would probably be helping save the world which is awesome. people are responding to this alleged climate change, lisa. emery says i carry snow boots, an umbrella and a bathing suit on my person because now, i never know what to expect. then, on facebook, lee -- and this is awesome if you can read this: we are all recycle star dust. thes being pro-active. i have converted my house to 100% wind powered electric. there is a lot we can do. so there is a lot of hope. >> wow. that would be a very cool house. from scorching heat and the polar vor texas, the past has
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been unpredictable. it was the hottest on record in the united states. a climate study just out says it's no coincidence suggesting americans are feeling the effects of climate change. the authors say we need to act fast to turn things around. the white house embraced the study calling it,able signs in what has been seen as the most extensive endorsement by the federal government yet ? >> it is affecting the american people already. summers are longer and hotter with longer periods of extended heat. wildfires start earlier in the spring and continue later into the fall. rain comes down in heavier downpours, people are experiencing changes in the length and severity of seasonal allergies and it climate a increasing. >> while government officials responded with strong words, innovators are responding with action from wearable technology
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like solar dresses to practical products like green toilets, some of the most creative minds around the globe are setting the course for a more environmentally conscious future. is it enough to reverse decades of damage? we have a line-up of trailblazers in this field to discuss their work. onset, daniel weiss, director of climate is that tstrategy for t of american progress. out of north carolina, an american race car driver and environmental activist, lalani was named the number 1 echo athlete by discovery's planet green channel. on skype, all the way from the netherlands is pauline van don, a fashion designer and creator of the first solar powered dress. thanks to all of you for joining us. so, daniel, what was so different about the latest climate change report that it earned such a robust embrace from the u.s. government?
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>> the report was done by federal government scientists, and it's a compendium of the research about the impacts of climate change in the u.s. the biggest news is the headline you talked about, which is that climate change isn't a theory anymore. future. climate change is here today. we are already seeing impacts, and if we don't slow the carbon pollution responsible, the impacts will get more ceph severe. >> that's the big news. there is no place in the united states that's safe from it. >> we mentioned the extreme temperature changes, some of the national disasters. are there some other impacts that have arrived, maybe earlier than scientists expected? >> well, the extreme weather we have seen in the last three years is linked to climate change. we did an analysis and found that in the last three years, there were nearly three dozen extreme weather events that each caused a billion dollars worth of damages and together, they caused over 1200 fatalities and over $200,000,000,000 in total damages. >> that's just in the last three years. in
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2012, it was the hottest year the united states has ever states. >> well, whether it's time for a nice cool dress? pauline, you are not just a fashion designer but somebody who is creating wearable tech, dresses that are solar powered. talk about your fashion and what inspired you to go this route. >> yes. well, i am a fashion designer. i am studying, trained as a fashion designer but specialable in wearable technology. i have a huge fascination for the potential that technology offers and how we cannot only add functionality to fashion but many new ways of expressions. so wearable solar is a rebate project where i integrated solar cells into fashion and by wearing these pieces, your body becomes an actual source for energy. what inspires me is the fact that we are all so much depending upon connectivity. we are hooked to our smart phones and want them to be constantly powered. so, when we leave the house, there are two things we always
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have with us, our clothing and s so, i thought why not power your phone through your cloths. >> i wish i could power my phone through this jacket. not everyone is on board, lisa. there is skepticism about climate change and the unemployed, how can we help climate change? not if people running our country keep sticking their heads in the sand and keep wishing it would go away. look at the g.o.p. john g. says climate change, it's fake. it's a hoax. nothing but the new home of leftist moon bats. dan, that might be you. green is the new red. and then he hadric the wild said, do you believe in climate change or is the threat exag sflaltd exaggerated. it's for political purposes. lalani, how do you get people to buy into climate change when this issue has become so ptolemic? >> i try to repeat over and over that this is not a political issue. this is an environmental issue. this is something that all of us face whether a democrat or
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republican. you are going to have to deal with climate change and i think the important thing is and what i push at the racetrack is i just try and do everything i can personally to reduce my darbon foot print so every time i sit in a race car, i have been adopting an acre of rain forest to offset the carbon footprint of that fuel since 2007, i have been doing that and personally when i am not at the racetrack, i drive an electric car with solar panels on my roof. when i am not at the race car, i am driving off of "the sun" shine. i have not been to a gas station since september. >> lalani, you mentioned when you were at the racetrack and when you are at the racetrack, you are in front of perhaps the widest cross section of americans. how important is it in terms of innovation to just normalize it for average americans? >> i mean that's one of the most do. i actually feel like i have been an environmentalist. i am making the most difference when i am at the racetrack.
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environmentalist. i attend a lot of environmental events. when i am at environmental choir. it's nice to be around people who agree with you but you are not moving the needle at all if you don't go out there and talk to people who don't believe yet and so, when i am at the nascar track, that's when i really feel like i am reaching a large section of mainstream america that might not be sold on some of these ideas and driving a race car kind of gives me the ability to talk to these people. so, you know, my motto is really, if you just go around talking to the people who believe in the same things that you do, who is going to change the minds of those who don't? so, for me, the racetrack is where i am making the most environmentalist. >> lisa, some of the places in the country that are the most advanced are places that you wouldn't think of it, like iowa, for example, and south dakota both get more than one quarter of their electricity from wind power and they are not exactly
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crunchy granola birkenstock people there. >> not that there is anything wrong with those people? >> i am one of those people. >> i am, too. >> crunchiest person i know. >> arizona is a state, a lot of seniors, conservative state. they are the number 2 solar energy state in the country. so, there is a lot of places in the country that you wouldn't think that are actually starting to make a huge difference and using these new cleaner technologies like wind and solar to power their computers, their phones and their homes. >> all right. we have richard on twitter. he goes, i hope climate change is somewhat exaggerated, but probably not. i think god is challenging humanity to honor his creation and proournsz love challenges. pauline, that's what you are, and a fashion designer. pauline, that's what you are, and a fashion designer. how do we make these. waterless toilets. how do we make it accessible and affordable to consumers? >> i think it's important to make these products desirable.
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and i think as a fashion designer, this is one of my aims, like not only focusing on the hard technology but, also, on the softness of fashion and the desireability of a so that we don't come up with these gadgets that mike loot cool and no one is going to wear. >> that's where i try making fashionable. >> pauline, show us? >> i can fold it open. it has like a modular design. you are wearing these solar panels close to your body. when you want to charge your phone, you open them up and reveal them to the sunlight and there are 72 of these very thin film solar cells. they are very flexible and also very wearable, very comfortable. >> i hope they have those for men's suits soon because i can certainly use that. that would be valuable. energy. >> i would wear it. >> solar. so, you know, dan, it's an amazing fashion. tesla is an amazing car but this is all expensive
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stuff. how dou you put it in reach of average people. as pauline noticed, the price is am coming down fast. getting solar electricity is half of what it was a few years ago. we are going to be getting sol area panels in my house and the payback period, the amount of safings you have to pay for the years. >> that's it? >> yes. because the price is really coming down. >> wow? >> but here is where government policy plays a role. the obama administration plans on issuing rules to reduce the emission of carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants which will help level the playing field and that will help create an incentive to invest more in wind and sola and further bring the price down. >> all right. ? >> i think we need that piece to further speed this transition. >> dan, you stay put. i want to say very much huge thanks to our segment guest, lalani and pauline and still ahead, we have all seen the destruction natural disasters cause to communities that we once thought were often immune to
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such cat taft roof fees. cities across america as power pine easier changing the way entire communities use energy and resources. later, could going green be a matter of national security. a retired navy captain shows how the military is saving lives in a way you won't believe. stay right where you are. we will see you in two minutes.
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>> hey, hey, bill ny, the science guy here, not only am i moving around the world. i am flowing with "the stream". >> welcome back. we are discussing responses to climate change in the wake of a new report that says americans are feeling its effect. we talked about what individuals are doing in response to this global crisis. >> now, we turn to surprising
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ways that city leaders are combatting this in their local communitieses. joining us is hechter bailey for the city of bolder. welcome to the show. hello. >> nice to have you. dan, there are a number of states and cities and mun municipalities doing innovative things. you? >> a few, greensburg, kansas, which you might have remembered, the town was flattened by a tornado about seven years, they rebuilt it to be a sustainable community. this is not your berkeley or you're madeson. this is a farming town, small town, but a huge use of sustainable electricity, wind in particular, but, also, energy efficient buildings and they have made their community more sustainable. >> that's a really good example. there is another town, carmel, indiana, a suburb of
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indianapolis, republican mayor but they are building their town for sustainability to reduce flood potential, to deploy, you know, clean electricity. again, another city that's doing a lot. obviously some of our major cities, new york under the leadership of mayor bloomberg has done a lot. san francisco, los angeles, all of these cities have done a lot. like i said, some of our smaller townses, too. >> colorado particularly bolder is known as being super innovative when it comes to being green. in 2006, bolder residents passed a carbon tax. they were taxing themselves for electricity. how did you use that money? >> bolder was one of the first communities to pass a carbon tax and the community, this is really a community-driven initiative. they wanted to find ways to reduce the carbon intensity of the power supply, the electric supply. >> money has been used to create efficient see and management
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programs and to do some research. just recently, that tax was renewed. it was a five-year tax to see if we achieved any benefits. the biggest thing we learned from it is that while these programs can have a great impact, it's nothing compared to the impact you can have if you change of your electric supply. that was probably one of the biggest learning points. >> now you are looking at creating your own utility. is that right? >> yes, it is. the franchise that served the city of bolder expired and in 2008, the community began to think of things they wanted to do different with the power supply, how to make it greener, less carbon intensive, increase the amount of renewables and look at the technology that could help support that. >> wasn't successful in working
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with the incumbent utility, so the community said, you know what? maybe we ought to see what it would look like if we did it, ourselves. and we have spent the last couple of years doing some very significant analysis on the types of resources we could enable in the community if we could afford it, what that would look like and it was amazing, the out come that we found that the city could do that and make a significant difference in the supply. >> our community has a back and forth about who should have the sainty and the autonomy to step up. should it be the government's, the state the state's or the city's? derrick says there is no point in dirty energy today at the expense of the entire world and the future. governments need to step ame. it says states should be allowed to choose their strategies. wyoming rejected k through 12 standards and acknowledged the effects of climate change. brings up a good point. should we leave it up to the government? should states have the autonomy
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or leave it to the cities like solutions? >> in the united states, the only western democracy where there is any question about climate science. the national academy of science is here. the american association for the advancement of science, the royal soft, which is there in britain, their science academy have all looked at this and found that the certainty that humans are causing climate change is about the same certainty that smoking cigarettes caused lung cancer. we are the only country in the world that's a western democracy that has this kind of debate. now to your specific point, i think they need a partnership of federal government, state and local governments and the private sector. for instance, as we were talking about earlier, when the president sets these carbon pollution limits for power plants, that will help drive investment into solar and wind. colorado has its state policy
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that requires a lot of renewable aeelectricity. colorado is in the top 10 in the u.s. partnering in innovative utilities standard challenge is so big, we can't say we don't need you. we need the federal government, states, cities and private sector all working together. a lot of this is like president obama today went to wal-mart to highlight the fact that wal-mart is generating a lot of electricity from solar energy. we need to do more of that. >> bolder is a special place, very in tune with these issues. how do you see relay this to folks that may not have the same colorado? >> that's one of the key things we have tried to build into what we are doing bolder has had some significant natural events in the last two years, major fires
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and the flood of history those brought to the for front that climate change is having an impact increasing greaseness of the power supply, ties events. happen. it's when. i think that will be replicable throughout the country. >> our thanks to you. thanks for being here? >> thanks for having me. >> still ahead, is the big foot of the carbon footprint setting the standard for green personally? find out how the u.s. military is moving towards energy self-sufficient see on its bases and influencing the private sector.
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the news, go deeper and get more perspectives on every issue. al jazeera america. welcome back. we are talking about surprising innovation that's providing a pathway out of environmental crises and believe it or not, one of the most inventive leaders is the u.s. military. the u.s. department of defense is one of the largest consumers
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of oil in the world and they are making some of the biggest strides to reverse energy dependence. joining us onset to discuss this is michael wu, advocacy policy director. they specialize in the connection between energy and national execute and on skype out of alexandria, virginia, leo goff, a required navy captain and program manager for the center of naval advisory board. michael, back in 2005. the military revif advised thin weren't working so well until terms of powering basis. what led them to the conclusion and what did they do to solve it? >> the military has unpair command and control capabilities. force. >> takes energy energy that for our troops in the field requires batteries and diesel generators. those, to get fuel to those requires full
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convoys. they are mics long. territory? >> absolutely. at the height of the afghan conflict, we lost -- we had an american casualty for every one in 24 of those fuel convoys. >> what did the military do. the military recognized the problem and confront the threat. they invested heavily in small-scale solar technologies, talking about solar back packs, solar blank packs, panels that are combined with energy storage so that instead of diesel generators, they were powering technology. >> so how close are the basis now to take okay that technology and becoming energy sufficient? >> a lot of the basis are sufficient, themselves. combat out point outs posts in afghanistan can run almost completely self-sufficiently convoys.
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>> how significant is external energy dependence and national execute in the u.s.? >> lisa, thank you for having me today, you know, i saw your monitor and your monitor said the green military, but i wanted to clarify that. and really say it's about being lean, more efficient and more effective. >> that's what's driving the military to embrace this type of fuel efficiency. you know, across the board, whether it's as michael pointed out, more solar power or whether it's increased e firstency and effectiveness of the generators for micro grids, that's how we are saving fuel at the pointy end of a spear. it doesn't just go t afghanistan and iraq, we are doing this across the infrastructure of the military. >> includes things like bases here in the united states, for example, the navy believe it or not and their basis in the united states has over 58 basis.
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>> 58 megawatts, what's that translate to for those of us who don't know how much power that is? >> think about a light bulb burning 100 watts. >> that's close to a million at any one time being powered off of the sola pour. >> how does this connect to national security? >> it's interesting because lalani indicated she thought -- and she has espoused it's not a political matter and we say -- she said it's even environ mental. we say it's a national security issue. so from the point of view of climate change, we see climate change across the globe as being a threat multiplier. it's affecting parts of the world that are already suffering from water scarcity and food scarcity and really exacerbating a lot of those challenges and issues that failed governments are having a challenge in dealing with. you knew, as we looked at this in the cna military advisory board, just completed a report
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due out next week. we are suffering the same type of things at our facilities and infra structures here in the united states. our basis are at risk from the sea level rise, our training is challenged by hot weather and the threats of wildfire. so this is a challenge going forward that we as a nation need to put a strong effort into worldwide. >> communicatesponding about what we do to change it. lala says solar energy is the purest form of energy we have. we should be using it. there is a question from you. is it possible to outfit our planes with photovoltaic cells? >> it's incredible for the airline industry and our aircraft in the military. vehicles to power vehicles and
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we can look into manned aircraft as well. >> okay. leo, we've got about 45 seconds left. how can the military with these innovations influence and it may be even help to if you wanted what's going on in the private sector? there are some initiatives out there where there is a partnership between the department of of defense where we are going out and building renewable plans where we can generate renewable fuels. >> that's one example, of course, across the spectrum, there is public/private ventures to enter into. the technologies we are developing on the battlefield and in our ships and aircraft that can easily translate. thanks to our guests. until next time, waj and i will see you online.
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... good afternoon to you. and welcome to al jazeera america live from new york city. i am morgan radford. here are the top stories we are following for you right now. pro- and antiprotesters really across ukraine as voters decide on independence. the search cons for the missing nigerian girls but now military experts are worried about what else boko haram might have done. and a dispute over painting. a community debates the nazi art work is too dangerous to be displayed