just have a boat without an icebreaker go through. And the trouble with that is the less ice there is, the less heat from the sun is reflecting off, so the more heat is absorbed by the oceans. The more heat the oceans absorb, the more ice is going to melt, and you’re in this vicious cycle. You can go to the tundra out in Siberia where there’s all this methane that’s frozen in the ground that’s starting to come out. Methane is even worse than most of the other things we put in the air. It is irrational not to do something about it right now, because your life, your children’s lives, and your grandchildren’s lives really are being jeopardized as we put stuff in the air. That’s why China has become one of the most pro-environmental countries in the world, while America’s pulling back from it. China, who we used to criticize, is rushing as fast as it can into being pro-environment, because the city air—you can’t see across the street.
But the bottom line is, you really have to ask, What’s the cost? I understand you’re losing your job, and I’m sympathetic and I want to find ways to help you, but you have to make a calculation of how much you want to jeopardize people’s lives versus how much you want to jeopardize their jobs. The coal miners’ health is terrible, the coal companies have never taken care of them, they’ve underfunded the pension funds, they’ve never taken good care of their health whether it’s affected by collapsing mines or the pollutants in the air. They live in places where the air is very polluted. So I’m sympathetic with this guy, but another one of the problems he’s going to have in getting another job is that companies might not want to take him on because they’ll look at his lungs and say, Wait a second, this guy is going to be an enormous health cost. And the jobs have gone away because of technology and alternative fuel sources, and when push comes to shove, we have a decision to make. Your job or people’s lives. And the problem is that I can show you who loses their job. You said your guy’s name was…
KC: Bo Copley. MB: Bo Copley. We see him, so it’s easier to be sympathetic to him. I don’t know the person who is dying because of the stuff in the air. I can just tell you—we know from statistics—she’s there. KC: I know that as a businessperson you believe that the economic case is often the most convincing one for the bulk of the population. MB: Today I saw ExxonMobil is urging the White House not to drop out of COP21 [the Paris Climate Agreement]. It’s a big oil company, but they understand that their future is… Well, first off, they have to be alive. So if it’s jeopardizing everybody’s health, they have to do something. And, secondly, their businesses, their stockholders, their employers, and their customers, want them to be environmentally friendly. So these big companies, maybe not the coal companies, but most other companies, are very pro-environment, much more so than our government.