Town & Country (Philippines) - - THE T&C 50 -

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.

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