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tv   Washington Journal Denis Hayes  CSPAN  April 22, 2019 10:40am-10:53am EDT

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up the are wrapping queue and they were dennis hayes and he also appeared on "washington journal" this morning and we will look at his remarks and watch as much of this before the white house easter egg role begins and it will be hosted by the president and first lady here on c-span. host: we will speak with one of the cofounders of earth day, dennis hayes, but here's the first other cofounder, senator gaylord nelson on the eve of the first earth day, 49 years ago.
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>> the battle to restore a proper relationship between man and his environment, between man and other living creatures will ,equire a long,, sustained political, moral and ethical financial commitment are beyond any commitment ever made by any society in the history of man. are we able? yes. are we willing, that is the unanswered question. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] host: i would answer that last question? guest: we have, the true transition of public andciousness from 1970 things that were unthinkable in 1969 became unstoppable in the wake of that first earth day with 20 million participants. years after five earth day, we passed the clean air act, the clean water act, endangered species act and toxic
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substances control, green mammal protection act -- literally a wave of legislation and created an environmental protection agency and began to change the way america does business. sparked this movement questioner remind viewers what happened in 1959? guest: there were a number of things that created this the consciousness that there was something going wrong with the direction of the country, there is a disconnect between the growth of gross to mystic product and what gave people satisfaction. there were lots of little things. it began with rachel carson's silent spring that dealt with the oil spill showing even the most elite communities cannot escape the effects of pollution, a series of thermal air soersions gave air pollution badly in several cities that kids could not go outside for recess. we have forgotten today but in 1969, the air in pittsburgh, gary indiana, los angeles was like new delhi or mexico city
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today. the cuyahoga river caught on fire, the great lakes were dying , the ball before was an endangered species. all of these independent things, where it day did -- what earth day did was to weave those together and turn it into the fabric that it has become an important part of american life today. host: how did you get involved? guest: in the earliest stages, gaylord nelson who was perhaps the first prominent person to recognize that there was something ready to happen thought he would launch it with a college teacher. i was a graduate student at that point. when i was at harvard, had not heard about this. i flew down to washington and -- i got a 15d minute courtesy interview with the senator and offered to courtney harvard and he did not have anyone coordinating things at harvard. it was the concept of this would
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be a good thing to do. toent back with a charter organize boston a few days later, his chief of staff called me and asked me if i would come down and organize the united states. [laughter] then we took it off of college campuses and got into committees and rechristened it from environmental teaching into earth day it began to explode. host: i want to show our viewers the senators earth day speech in 1970, little bit of any talks about the goals for environmentalism. [video clip] >> i don't think there's any other issue viewed that's as critical to mankind as the issue of the quality of the environment in which we live. you hear the word ecology, sign, not a narrow one. it's a big concept. it's a concern with all the ramifications of all the relationships, of all living creatures to each other and their environment were concerned
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with the total ecosystem, not just how we dispose of tin cans, bottles in our garbage. ofstarts with the habitat marine creatures, animals, birds and manner goal is not just clean air and water and scenic beauty. inut the worst environment and thein the ghettos appalachians and elsewhere. is an environment of decency, quality, and mutual respect for all human beings and all other living creatures. host: when you think about where we are today, how much has been accomplished? guest: you have to think about it at different levels. nation, thereis is a norm amount left to be done particularly in the disincentives communities that he was talking about at the end of his statement.
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we have made spectacular progress, the air and our cities is now clean and we can actually eat the fish we catch in our streams and go swimming. globally, the big issues have proven to be quite uncharted. when there is something that requires enforcement and its international, it bumps into sovereignty. even the criminal court has difficulty getting the united states and other countries to make himself subject. we did have a spectacular success on banning chlorofluorocarbons and healing the ozone layer. the big issue for 2020 climate is one in which things have just persistently gotten worse for 250 years, every year, we produce more carbon dioxide than the year before. last year was the highest ever. ironically, tragically, since there has grimly scientific consensus about the impact of man on climate change, that
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great of carbon dioxide production has increased. human been moreo2 from -- there has been more co2 consumption. what are the short term solutions? what needs to happen now? how do humans need to change? guest: for one thing, we need to not abandon the paris climate accords that the president wants because that sends a terrible message to the rest of the world. second, we need to make a commitment to moving every aspect of our society toward something that's not adding to the problem. is yourthand version have to electrify everything, or automobiles, or trucks come electrify our buildings. electrify our industry and you moved that aggressively toward renewable energy resources.
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the good news is that's beginning to happen spontaneously because the prices have been falling in the batteries have been charging faster and lasting longer and getting us more mileage. at the moment, we are still heavily subsidizing fossil fuel industry. the present of this country wants to revive the 19th century energy source instead of moving into the 21st century we have to overcome that. i'm talking about the president's fixation with the coal industry. clearly companies to be a transition for the people working in an industry to move into something else but we need to leave: oil and gas in the ground to have a future. need to start moving in that direction as quickly as possible. phd's in westmore virginia then there are all minors. this is not a big difficult lift for us but it's a lift we have to make. host: what about nuclear power? there is a division of opinion within the environmental community.
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i think there's something close to a consensus that we should not be building more light water reactors in the current design. the debate is how swiftly we shut down the ones that are here. if you promote a nuclear fuel cycle in other countries, your encouraging weapons proliferation. there's nothing that iran is doing that isn't essential to a nuclear fuel cycle. if you go nuclear community to have a different roach. ma in stockton, california, good morning, question or comment on this earth day? caller: i have a comment. they arecally destroying the earth right now. if you take the viewpoint of looking at the earth from the space station, the earth is like a round ball, i called a it's basicallye
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water. it took the time to look up on google when it went back as far as 1900 and i look at the south pole in the north pole and i saw all the ice -- there was a huge ice mass on both of them but now you look today, you can hardly find any ice. polar bears are going extinct, the seals are going extinct and we've got to take care of this planet because she is our mother, she feeds us, she gives us water to drink. fact andne undeniable that is if this planet devise -- if the planet dies, we die. people need to get really serious about what's going on because things are moving fast and it's time for it to change. host: levy asked the cofounder of earth day, the you agree things are moving fast? guest: yet, we are clearly in a
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position where we are approaching some progress. the frightening thing in which the scientist clearly don't know exactly where this will take there is what they called positive feedback were certain things happen and they continue to get worse on their own. she talked about melting ice and snow in key parts of the world in the polar regions and glaciers. when that melts, instead of the sun hitting things that reflected back, it will hit dark ground and absorb it and cause the ice and snow to melt more rapidly. in some places we have methane hydrates that are frozen methane gas in front of ice crystals. when that melts, greenhouse gases escape. those things can continue in a way we cannot control. we have to avoid the tipping point where suddenly the earth is plunging rapidly into a direction we cannot withstand and we can't do anything about.
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host: ron is next. >> president trump and the first lady are hosting the 141st easter egg roll today. we will have live coverage here on c-span. before we take you to the white house life, here's look back at previous years. >> is everybody ready? >> 1, 2, 3 go. the 141st annual white house easter egg roll on the south lawn posted by first lady melania trump, here's a look back at past presidents. [whistle]


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