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CNN and YouTube Debate on Climate Change

Aired December 19, 2009 - 23:00   ET




MARTIN POWELL: Have you not wondered why it's so-called Mother Earth? Throughout all of history, it has given birth, this bluish green ball gently floating through space has potential for life quite like no other place. It gives and it gives and has nothing to ask. To treat it with love and respect is our task. For the moment, the future we can't comprehend, as the world as we know will soon come to an end.

But there is still some time to undo what's been done. Requiring our species to all act as one with wind turbines turning and running on air, solar panels sourcing our sun's constant glare. We could cut our emission and clean up with care, make it our mission to heal and repair. Salvage and save for all this is worth, secure our existence as people of earth.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to our program, the CNN YouTube debate on climate change. We are in Copenhagen in Denmark.

I'm Becky Anderson, your host for the debate. And I want to let you to know that this is a little different than the type of forums that most of you will have been used to seeing.

I'll be moderating but I won't be asking the questions. Through our partnership with YouTube, everyone around the globe has had a chance to be a part of this discussion. The poem you've just heard came from Martin Powell in the U.K., his video one of thousands that we've received.

Within the next hour the questions you'll see capture the buzz of the global community with many voted on by you the viewers using Google new moderator tool.

So let's get on with it, shall we?

To answer these questions we've assembled a distinguished panel of environmental experts. Let's meet them now.

First off, a man who needs no introduction here in Copenhagen; I'm going to do it anyway, though. Yvo De Boer, head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is a man with a big, big job; in charge of getting a deal done to replace the Kyoto Protocol which is set to expire in 2012.

Well, next to him is Daryl Hannah, acclaimed actress and avid advocate for the environment, a celebrity who's been front and center on the ground for many grassroots efforts.

To her left, writer Thomas Friedman, the "New York Times" columnist, penned both "The World is Flat" and "Hot, Flat and Crowded." Three Pulitzer prizes to his name, he is always provocative.

And finally, our resident skeptic, Bjorn Lomborg. He wrote the book on it, author of "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming."

All of you we are absolutely delighted to have you and thank you all for joining us.

All right, well, thousands of videos, many questions. Let's get going. I want to kick off with our first question which comes to us from John in Ireland. Take a look at this.


JOHN, IRELAND: My name (INAUDIBLE) and I'm from Ireland.

Look inside and you'll see the weather changing, the rain is getting worse than it's ever been before. This is (INAUDIBLE). Places all over the world are changing. Including place I've visited like West Bengal, that's now in distress. I want to know how seriously these leaders of the world are taking this.


ANDERSON: All right, straight to the point, John setting the scene for us. Just how important is a deal on climate change? And how seriously, Yvo, are world leaders taking this?

YVO DE BOER, U.N. FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Actually, I didn't know the rain could get any worse in Ireland, but it seems it is. I think they are. I've never seen a moment in history when so many world leaders have taken an interest in this topic.

We have 115 of them on the way to Copenhagen at the moment to be here on Friday and make sure that we get a strong resounding result out of this meeting.

ANDERSON: Daryl, are you impressed or unimpressed.

DARYL HANNAH, ACTRESS: Well, it's definitely a defining moment for our politicians and world leaders to take a stand to make real change and moving beyond a fossil fuel economy into a new energy independent and new energy economy, basically.

ANDERSON: Tom? TOM FRIEDMAN, COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": You know my own take is that what happens here is certainly important. It could inspire a lot of action around the world.

But I tend to take a more America focus. If the United States doesn't get involved with this and take the lead, I don't think we can really solve a scale problem like this. And right now, I think that that's still very much up in the air.


BJORN LOMBORG, COPENHAGEN CONSENSUS CENTER: Well, there's a lot of buzz. And as Yvo has said, 115 leaders are coming to Copenhagen, but what are they actually going to agree on? They're basically going to agree on making lots of carbon cuts which they've agreed on for the last 18 years and they've failed for the last 18 years.

So I think we possibly want to ask, don't you want to do something smarter and something different that will actually work this time?

ANDERSON: Well, I want to discuss all of what you've been brought up as we move through this next hour. Not everyone, of course though, buys the notion of manmade climate change. The issue is not black and white.

Listen to what Felix from Germany has to say.


FELIX, GERMANY: Hello, everybody. I'm asking myself why people don't recognize movies like "The Great Global Warming Swindle" where scientists all over the world doubt that humans caused a change of our climate. Climate is changing since millions of years again and again, and the mainstream media ignores scientific facts and real knowledge about the actual development. You're scaring people. You're putting them under pressure. You're making them feel guilty.


ANDERSON: Making us feel guilty. It's a good start, this discussion early I think. For many of this, the climate-gate, the e- mail scandal is still fresh in the mind. And a lot of people remain unconvinced that this is a manmade problem. So nail this early on and Bjorn, sympathetic to what Felix says?

LOMBORG: Well, I think, there's some truth to what he's trying to portray. And let's just get this fixed and I think I speak for all four of us here. Global warming is real, it's manmade. It is an important problem.

What we do need to recognize is that the incessant move to just saying there's only one solution, namely cut carbon emissions, and it's going to be expensive for you is actually making a lot of people turn around and say I don't want to be part of this. And that's what makes people and we see this in polls around the world. That people are turning more skeptical, a lot of people are saying they don't believe in it. That's wrong.

But I see why it's happening and we need to move people back from that. We need to say, this is about making smart policies, not ones that won't work that will just cost a lot.


FRIEDMAN: Well, I don't think this is that complicated. The climate is enveloped in a blanket of greenhouse gases that's what's keeps our plant nice and perfect temperature for us to inhabit it. It's made up of CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases. As we pump more in, it will trap more heat, melt more ice, raise more sea levels.

We know that, what we don't know is what other feedbacks could happen, what other things could ameliorate, the climate system is the question. So it's very complicated.

We don't know everything when we'll hit red lines. But here's what we do know, that greenhouse gas up the air that's going to trap heat stays there for hundreds if not thousands of years. That means ok, that what we're doing, if it is leading to a catastrophic outcome, once it starts, it can't be stopped.

So when I see something that has some chance, a high degree of irreversibility and some chance of being catastrophic, what I do, I buy insurance. And to me, that's what this is all about. The uncertainties around climate change are not a reason not to act, they're a reason to act.

ANDERSON: Yvo, just some back of that. Agree?

DE BOER: Well, first of all to reassure Bjorn that he's not speaking on my behalf and I think that this, I think that this is a very serious issue. If I were to go out in this country and buy a packet of cigarettes, it probably says on it, smoking may cause your death. "May cause your death"; it doesn't say will cause your death. It's not a reason to assume that smoking is safe.

I think we have an abundance of very robust scientific evidence that tells us we're in deep trouble and something has happened that contrary to what was raised in the question has not happened to us in the past.

And we need to act on it not in one simple way -- that's what makes it so complicated -- but in a multitude of ways. By looking at the lifestyles of people, by looking at how we move ourselves around, by looking at how we make the products that we like to consume. It's a complicated issue.

ANDERSON: Gentlemen, I'll come back to you. And we got to take a very short break and -- but we will I promise come back. We are right back. Up next, we'll meet the winners of the "Raise Your Voice" contest, which had more than seven million page and video views.

Plus, more of your questions and videos. Here's one of the more creative ones that came our way.


ANDERSON: This is the CNN YouTube Debate on Climate Change. I'm Becky Anderson and the video that you just saw came from Brazil. The director Bruno (ph) was one of the winners of the "Raise Your Voice" contest on YouTube. As selected by the global community and he is in the audience with us here in Copenhagen. So let's give him a hand.

Thank you, once again Bruno. And we will meet some of the other winners a little later in this show.

Well, our questions have come in, in more than 15 languages. Our next one comes from Gaelag in France. And he's raised the issue of accountability. Let's listen to him.


GAELAG, FRANCE: It's good that countries commit to emission reduction of CO2, but if there are no penalties if they fail to meet their commitments -- so what?


ANDERSON: There you are. Well, an interesting point he makes. What if countries simply balk at meeting their targets, will they be punished, is essentially what he is asking.

We have spoken about this over the past a couple of weeks in Copenhagen with you and me. Internationally enforceable agreements and you admitted that almost impossible to nail down. So how would the world, Yvo, police any agreement?

DE BOER: Well, the first thing I think is incredibly important is moral policing. In the clip we saw just now, it was said that people do what the governments want. But I hope that governments do what the people want. And I think if we get a clear signal that people want to see action on this, then governments will be held morally accountable.

Yes of course, in legal terms, you can do things in an international agreement to safeguard that it's implemented. In the case of Kyoto, if you failed to meet your target you get a 30 percent penalty next time around.

But at the end of the day, you see very few wanted posters for prime ministers and presidents hanging at airports not because they have not met an international obligation.

ANDERSON: Everybody, is that good enough though, anybody? HANNAH: I think there should be sanctions. I mean, if people don't meet -- and there should be a legally binding agreement. And if not, there should be sanctions because I'm afraid that people won't mitigate their carbon.

FRIEDMAN: I think you really, I just don't see a mechanism that we could do that, though, quite honestly. I'd like to see it be much more of a competition and I'd like to see my country take the lead in that competition.

You know, in the Cold War back, we had a space race. Who could be the first to put a man on the moon? Only two countries were involved and only one could win. I think what we need now is an earth race. Which country can be the first to invest the most green technology so men and women can stay here on earth, ok.

And I want to see America compete against China, China trying to beat Japan, Japan trying to be Russia, Russia trying to Brazil; I think we'll get there a lot faster than trying to have an international court saying you violated your CO2 emissions.


LOMBORG: And that would be really cool if we could do that.

But the problem is, it was exciting to go to the moon, but essentially we're not promising anything new. If we managed to get cheap energy from renewables, we'll have achieved exactly what we already have. That's why it's so hard. Essentially this...

FRIEDMAN: We have, I mean, emissions-free energy. Do we have that one?

LOMBORG: Yes, no we don't that, but we do have the energy and that's what people see. The point here is to say we're all sort of neglecting -- neglecting I'm sorry, the elephant in the room; the point that as long as this is incredibly expensive, we're not going to do it.

FRIEDMAN: But Bjorn, how do these gets less expensive, they get them by moving down the cost...


FRIEDMAN: ... volume, manufacturing learning curve by big countries...

LOMBORG: No, no...

FRIEDMAN: Wait a minute, that's what happen to your cell phone, that's what happened to your laptop, that's what's already happening to solar, that's what's already happening in the wind.

LOMBORG: Oh, ok, great, great and Tom, did you see anyone support your cell phone or support your computer? No, the point was we supported their research and development into those products until they were so cheap that everybody wants to buy it.

FRIEDMAN: People support coal. They support nuclear. They support...


ANDERSON: Very good guys, this is Gaelag's question about policing. It's a question about policing.

FRIEDMAN: Let's just take the same subsidies that the dirty fuels give and give them to the clean fuels.

DE BOER: Sorry, I just need to say...

FRIEDMAN: ... make it an even playing field.

LOMBORG: But it's a very, very popular argument but let's come off the high horse and realize the $130 billion that we give in subsidies are not given in the west. They're given in many poor countries basically to support people who have $1 a day or less.

Now, you can say it all you want. Oh, we shouldn't be doing that, but it's not going to happen. Let's be honest and say this is about investing and research and development. That we can do. That's much cheaper and that will actually work for something.

ANDERSON: Is he right or wrong, Yvo?

DE BOER: I think he's right that we need to invest in research and development, but I think that Tom is also right that we need to create the right policy environment that will allow the technologies that we need to emerge into our market.

ANDERSON: We have to take a very short break at this point but stick with us.

Ahead, the story from the developing world and what global warming will really mean there.

But before we go to the break, Archbishop Desmond Tutu got on to YouTube to speak on behalf of those at risk.


ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: All scientific prognosis show that the continent of Africa will be severely hit if we do not act now. The consequences could be conflicts and instability which I think we must avoid at any price.



ANDERSON: Well, you're back with the CNN YouTube Debate on Climate Change I'm Beck Anderson in Copenhagen. Well, at the very heart of this debate is the division between nations, rich against poor, polluters versus the polluted.

Well, our next question comes from Oluwashola, a Nigerian based in Morocco.


OLUWASHOLA, NIGERIA: Here is my question. How many African leaders were invited to Copenhagen since This issue is not just a matter of the world leaders or the advanced countries? It's a matter that affects every one of us. My second question is, what can Africa do to make sure this problem will not happen?


ANDERSON: All right, to help us answer that question, let's bring in a very special panelist. Joining us from Geneva in Switzerland the former U.N. Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kofi Annan. You are more than welcome to say, you head up one of the foremost think tanks of course on global warming. You heard the question: does Africa have a loud enough voice?

KOFI ANNAN, FORMER U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: No, Africa doesn't, but I don't think the voice should be Africa's alone. We are all in this together. What is clear is that Africa and the least developed countries which are not so much responsible for the problem of climate change bear the greatest blunt. And we hope that as we come together in Copenhagen we will all understand that we are in the same boat.

And in the case of Africa, there's also another point that we need to bear in mind, the question of equity and justice. If indeed these countries are not responsible for the vast part of the problem we are facing, we do have some responsibility towards them.

ANDERSON: Has or is Africa doing enough for itself at this point?

ANNAN: I think some African countries are doing enough trying to make sure that they replant forest, they stop expansion of deserts. They are now struggling to find the right seeds, the drought- resistance seeds that will help them and they are very conscious of the impact of climate change on development and are aware that if they don't take measures, it will roll back even the gains they have made.

ANDERSON: Stay with us a moment, Mr. Annan. Let me move us on just a little bit here because this next video comes from Minar Pimpel (ph), who currently leads the U.N. millennium campaigns work in South East Asia. Here is his question.


MINAR, BANGLADESH: Climate change crisis has hit the hardest, the most vulnerable and the poorest people in the world. I am at present in one of such countries, Bangladesh.

We believe that the climate crisis and eradication of poverty go hand in hand. What do you think that the world leaders should do so that we have a just deal in Copenhagen, which integrates the eradication of poverty, achievement of millennium development goals in terms of dealing with the climate crisis?


ANDERSON: Well, people like Pimpel are demanding action. The question is, are they getting it? Mr. Annan?

ANNAN: I don't think we are getting it yet. But it ought to be possible if the political will is there. And what we have to be careful here is that lots of big sums are being talked about in Copenhagen to help the poor countries in mitigation, adaptation and allow them to permit transfer of green technology.

ANDERSON: Are you happy or disappointed with what's being on?

ANNAN: No, I'm not happy. Lots of promises have been made which have not been kept. And only promises kept are promises which matter. The countries themselves are trying. We see it all around the world but they need help I don't think enough is being done.

ANDERSON: And with that we're going to leave there. Mr. Annan we thank you very much indeed for joining us.

Panelists, our viewers and the audience we're going to take a break -- a short break at this point.

Up next, we tackle the testy subject of greed: individual greed, corporate greed, even national greed. But before that, let's take a look at another top-rated Google moderator video as chosen by you, the viewers.


ANDERSON: Welcome back.

And now if there is to be any real momentum to come from the climate change debate, it will require change. Change in behavior and change in lifestyle and as the next video points out, possibly a change in human nature.

Listen to this.


BJARNE, THE NETHERLANDS: Hi, my name is Bjarne. I am from the Netherlands.

First off, I have to say that I'm really glad that finally something is happening and people are taking action. But what worries me is what is exactly the underlying cause, the root cause of all that is happening right now? Obviously the environment is a huge problem we're facing, but it's not the only problem right now. There's also a lot of economical and social problems, for instance on our planet.

And to me it seems that all of these issues have an underlying factor, namely our human greed, our or selfishness. And if that is the root cause of all that's happening nowadays, then how are we going to tackle that? That is my question.


ANDERSON: All right, well, that was his question Bjarne from the Netherlands.

Thomas, there is no shortage of passion among our contributors. What do you make, what do you do about the fact that money remains the primary motivator for the broader society?

FRIEDMAN: You make it work for you, Becky. There's only one thing as big as Mother Nature and that's Father Greed. And the problem is Father Greed has really been driving the extractive industries, the dirty fuels. And to me the way you get big change in the world is you get the big players to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. All right, that's greed.

All right, get the companies who have been -- pity rich doing the wrong things, incentivize companies to get rich doing the right things. That's what gives you scale. General Electric, Wal-Mart; ok, some of the biggest countries in America today are finding a way to get rich doing the right thing.

Remember, pollution is waste and when you eliminate waste, you eliminate costs, profits go up, shareholder benefits.

LOMBORG: That's a very powerful (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: Daryl, do you see enough being done?

HANNAH: Well, in America we're so conditioned to be consumers, I think that it would be a great thing if we learned to be producers again. It seems our fatal flaw is this desire for instant gratification and if we can change our psyche and think of ourselves as producers so that we can export green technologies and be the leaders once again.

ANDERSON: But this -- because this is about competition at the end of the day, isn't it?

HANNAH: It can be.

LOMBORG: Well, listen, this would be wonderful if this was just going to work. But let's just be honest, when you ask people how much are they willing to pay for these things, they're not willing to pay very much. So it's fine to cut the first five percent and I totally agree with Tom, that you can do.

But you cannot fundamentally change the engine that's brought growth for several centuries with just a flick of the hands they are. Now we're just going to tax these industries because remember it's not the industries that are going to be paying. It's the consumers. And they don't want that. What we need is a candid technology that will drive this. Unless we don't -- unless we have that, we're just putting the cart in front of the horse.

ANDERSON: Yvo you're shaking your head.

DE BOER: Well, I don't think it's fair to talk about a flick of the switch as if all of this is going to happen to or have to happen by -- by next Monday. This is a laborious process. And there are two sides to it.

In India, there are 400 million people who don't even have access to electricity. They can't switch off the light they haven't got and they are probably saying get greedy now.

So how can you get people -- these people to grow their lives, grow their economies in a way that is more sustainable? And the other side of the equation is, how can you get people that are wealthy, that are affluent at the moment to live their lives in a much more sustainable way. And there I think, technology is critical and technology will only come if policies and prices drive that into the market.

ANDERSON: All right, well, let's talk about that next because we're going to get to the United States, a pivotal player in any climate conversation and a nation that prides itself on individual liberty.

Sean's video, one of the most highly viewed and top ranked according to the Google moderator, questions the validity of a global carbon tax. Sean's question.


SEAN, UNITED STATES: Hi to YouTube, hi world, I am Sean, I'm 29 years old. Everything that I've seen so far with your treaty deals more on the level of the ordinary person and what they have to do to stop global warming.

And my question to you is why has it never been the giant corporations who put these chemicals into the atmosphere, who pollute the lakes and who pollute the rivers and the air.

And from what we can even tell with global warming, especially since all these e-mails just got exposed, 10,000 e-mails plus, exposed, showing how they've been doctoring their numbers. And we can see how they've been wording things in certain ways to make it appealable (ph) for their viewpoint.

And my question to you is why -- why taxes the answer? That's my question. Why are taxes the answer and why is it us the little guys have to pay those? Thank you (INAUDIBLE) and thank you everyone. God bless and let's save the earth. But I don't think you need to tax us to do it. So...

(END VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON: It makes it pretty obvious. What he does and doesn't want there. Thomas.

FRIEDMAN: Well, what I say to Sean is, if you don't think that your gasoline price being set by the world's biggest cartel for the last 35 years isn't a tax then you're not paying attention, ok. So if I want to put a tax on gasoline in America to stimulate movements to smaller and more fuel efficient cars. Yes, that's a tax, sure.

But I like my taxes to go to my treasury to pay for U.S. schools, U.S. hospitals, U.S. roads, U.S. research. It's a little tick I have. I don't like my taxes to go to pay for some of the most authoritarian regimes in the world who've drawn a bull's eye on my back.

So if you don't think you're paying a tax already you're not paying attention. It's where the tax goes to which treasury?

ANDERSON: I know you don't even buy a carbon tax, do you? Why not when you hear what is Thomas is saying?

LOMBORG: I would agree and every economist, climate economist would agree that we do need the carbon tax but we should just not fool ourselves. That's not enough to drive their revolution.

ANDERSON: But it's a good start, isn't?

LOMBORG: Well, it might actually fund the -- fund for instance research and development but a $7 carbon tax which you're going to translate into $6 per gasoline -- I'm sorry six cents per gallon of gasoline this is not going to make it.

Of course, if we really try hard we might actually see people switch off like Sean and say, I'm not going to pay for that. And so what we do need -- we're not going to get the huge carbon taxes that people would like to see. What we will need is to get the better technology that will enable us to actually have for instance electric cars or other things that don't pollute in the long run.

ANDERSON: Yvo, I know it's been a long couple of weeks -- you're shaking your head again at what Bjorn is saying. Why?

DE BOER: Well, I mean, if Bjorn is advocating a tax, it's probably because he knows it's never going to happen because there would be massive resistance against it. I think that the video was absolutely right. It's a matter of finding a mechanism that gets the big polluters to pay for polluting.

ANDERSON: What is that mechanism though?

DE BOER: Well, I think that that is -- I'm not a great advocate of taxes but I'm not an economist and I do pay tax. And I'm much more an advocate of a cap and trade approach whereby you say to a company if you want to make something for consumer, fine. But you're going to have to clean up your own mess after you and buy the right to pollute.

ANDERSON: We're going take a very short break. Stay with me. Audience, stick with us, let's take that break.

Up next, another winner and a question from pirate Steve. Now, you will not want to miss this. I promise you.



PAUL DARWYN GARILAO, HAWAII: There are many ways to address climate change but concrete solutions must be plotted out.

ALFONZO ORIOSTE, MANILA: It has been weeks after typhoons "Ondoy" and "Pepeng" have struck Manila and other areas in Luzon. Currently, the Philippine government and the families affected are still recovering from these calamities.

GARILAO: The tropical typhoon "Ondoy" which stormed this past September killed more than 300 residents. Relocated thousands of families to safer places and damaged millions of dollars of properties.

ORIOSTE: Lessons can be learned from its natural impact that a suitable preventive measure be (INAUDIBLE) during the "Ondoy" tragedy. Catastrophic effects could have been induced.

GARILAO: I am Paul Darwyn Garilao, a Filipino environmental advocate from Hawaii.

ORIOSTE: I'm Alfonzo Orioste, an environmental enthusiast from Manila.

GARILAO: Wherever you are part of the world, be it in a developed country.

ORIOSTE: Or a developing country, let us translate our small voices into action.

GARILAO: To reduce the impacts of climate change in our respective countries.

ORIOSTE: There is no more time for finger pointing. We should focus now on solution seeking.

GARILAO: And implement protocol that will protect us from the detrimental threat of climate change.


ANDERSON: And that video from our second set of winners. Alfonzo and Paul are actually among the first people to submit a video into our YouTube site and according to you, the viewers, one of the best. So thank you both very much.

GARILAO: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, our next submission is also from the Philippines. And Paula has a question and it deals with a certain eco-unfriendly material.


PAULA GINA KHO, PHILIPPINES: Good day. This is Paula Gina Kho, a college student and environment advocate from Manila, Philippines. Since remarkable effects start from small beginnings and Styrofoam products are known to cost long time detrimental effect on the environment. I'd like to ask our global leaders if they are willing to take actions against the use of such materials. And if they are, what particular actions or steps are they going to initiate regarding this matter. Thank you.


ANDERSON: And perhaps we should be asking ourselves, what sort of decisions can we make in our everyday lives. I know you've made many.

HANNAH: I think everybody needs to do their part. And I think probably the best way is to really look at your own lifestyle and try to live by example. And I think that's the most compelling thing that anybody can do.

ANDERSON: What have you been doing? Talk us through what you've done in the past?

HANNAH: I don't use petroleum, for one thing. I haven't used petroleum for a number of years. I make sure that my fuel is all made from responsible resources as well. Waste, grease and things like that. I've been on solar power for about 19 years now.

I think we should put solar panels on the White House, you know? Start setting an example, right in our seat of government. I have, you know, grown a lot of my own food. Gray water systems, composting toilet the whole thing, you know.

ANDERSON: Our next video comes to us from Pirate Steve in the UK. And brace yourself for this.

PIRATE STEVE, UNITED KINGDOM: Hi, I'm Steve from the UK. And here's my video on climate change and how we can all help and hopefully get a message across to the big government official world leader people and see what they have to say about it all, because they're the ones flying around and they call them footprints. Why don't you just use the Internet, they're a lot safer and cheaper waste travel and you won't spend our taxpayer money flying out all over the place, would they?

I hope you enjoy the video.

Does climate change affect you or me, Polar icecaps melting and the rising of the sea. I don't want the next generation to see the earth dying and to look up in the air and see no birds flying. Leaders of the world, listen to what I have to say. You drive around in your fancy cars and go flying everywhere, leaving carbon footprints high up in the air. It's one more for you and one more for us. You should practice what you preach and stop annoying all of us.

This is what it's all about. Saving the environment and everything. Look at this awesome tree, the birds in the air, the fishes in the sea; altogether, one, two, three. I don't know I was trying to make it rhyme but it didn't really work. But yes, together we can beat climate change. Peace, love and respect.


ANDERSON: Brilliantly done.

Well, creative some might be a little odd of course, but he has the point there. The idea of the CNN YouTube debate was to give people a voice. And there are millions of people around the world who feel disenfranchised.

So to borrow his line, how do we make this real? Yvo, you're called the Flying Dutchman. You've been around the world a number of times over the past few years, banging the environmental drum as it were. Since we've been around here in Copenhagen and there's been an awful lot of people in this building and there are an awful lot of people outside and you simply can't get in.

And then there are millions of people who simply aren't getting their voices heard. What's going on?

DE BOER: Well, just this week alone, I think I've received about two million signatures of people that feels something needs to be happening here. And you're right, there's a huge and growing consensus out there that finally leaders need to do something here. And I think that that is, that voice is really, really important.

One of the first conversations I had with an Indian minister of environment who said you know the people that elected me aren't worried about climate change. They're worried about where their next meal is going to come from. So for me to be brave on climate change, they need to understand that this is an issue and that is where this expression of public opinion is so important.


LOMBORG: Well, fundamentally, I think Yvo has the right point in saying we also need to recognize that three-quarters of this planet lacks the very basic necessities. I mean, my God, they're living in the medieval world in many ways. And certainly the only way we can understand it. They lack basic amenities, like clean drinking water, sanitation, (INAUDIBLE) infectious diseases and no education; all these things.

And so we've got to keep asking ourselves, are we looking in the right direction if we're talking about cutting carbon emission as a way to help them? This doesn't mean that we shouldn't also fix climate change, but we should be very mindful of the fact that whenever we spend money on climate change, of course, we end up not spending it on other areas and we saw that... FRIEDMAN: That very much depends. Because if you invest in mitigating climate change and you drive the price of distributed solar energy down, distributed wind power down, every problem Bjorn referred to is an energy problem. A school that has no light that's an energy problem; a clinic in the remote part of the Africa that doesn't have the capacity to refrigerate medicine, that's an energy problem.

These are all energy problems and if we, the developed country take the lead and driving down the cost of low cost distributed energy, we are solving both problems.

ANDERSON: I'm hearing what you're saying. Guy, no, no, hang on guys, because Steve's point was simply this. People feel disenfranchised, how do we get them more involved? There are politicians and negotiators in this building this week, but there weren't an awful lot of people. Tom?

FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, this is a uniquely difficult leadership problem. We're trying to mitigate I guess you can't see, touch or smell, that will probably will likely affect our children and unborn grandchildren; very hard for politicians to respond to that.

If you will say we need better leaders, we also need better citizens. How did we get civil rights in America, how did we get women rights in America? Millions of people took to the streets. Politicians espied them and said I must respond. Well, we need millions of people to take to the streets to say I want a carbon tax. I want cap and trade.

LOMBORG: We want better citizens? I would assume that we actually want to make sure that we listen to the problems people actually have. I'm happy that we're worried about global warming.

FRIEDMAN: Disease is not a problem? No.

ANDERSON: Let him finish, let him finish.

LOMBORG: We are not listening to that issue here. You're essentially saying we should have people who are much more worried about energy, who is much more worried about global warming. I understand that three quarters of this planet is much more worried about next week.

FRIEDMAN: If you get to next week by having cheap power, ok. You don't just get through next week just by saying I need to get through next week.


LOMBORG: 1.5 billion people don't even have energy.

FRIEDMAN: I know and they -- we did to them, we did to them by giving the price down...

ANDERSON: Let's keep our voices down. HANNAH: I think there are already is a huge building global movement to demand energy justice. But I don't understand how we get leaders not to take care of special interests needs and to really look after people and all other species and all other forms of life.

ANDERSON: Can you answer that? Do you have an answer for that?

DE BOER: Well, no. But I know -- you know what the one thing that every leader needs? Followers; without followers, you can't be a leader. And I think that what the leaders coming to this conference needs to know, and it goes to the disenfranchised point, they need to know that people are behind them, they need to know that they have backing to be brave here.

HANNAH: There are 100,000 people in the streets just the other day with mama's with babies and strollers and everything demanding climate justice.

ANDERSON: And with that we're going to have to take a very short break. Hold on guys.

Still ahead, where are we heading and what do we do? That is up for debate. First, though, a message from action superstar Jet Li.


JET LI, ACTOR: Citizens of the world. We need to do something to protect earth. We cannot just give the money to the next generation. We need to work together, billions of billions of people, everybody do a little bit to protect our family.

Who is our family? Of course it's the earth. I'm waiting for you. Join us.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, world leaders, listen to me. We got to stop trying down to rape our trees, trees without CO2 will give us fresh air, if we cut them all down, (INAUDIBLE).

Hey word leaders listen to me, it's time to get tough from the industry. The greenhouse gases they're producing, we urgently reduce it. They need to change the way they operate.

Hey world leaders listen to me, I'm only a kid but I'm scared you see. The weather going crazy, hurricanes keep coming, rain keep pouring and there's lots of flooding.

Hey world people listen to us, climate change is happening, now we're dying, make a fuss. So make a start and play your part the climate revolution. Peace out world.


ANDERSON: Absolutely fantastic. We've got one final question coming from Jacob in Malaysia. Today like him, it is short and it is sweet.

JACOB MANN, MALAYSIA: Hi. My name is Jacob Mann. I'm 12 years old and I am currently living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And I just want to know what you plan on leaving for my generation.



DE BOER: I hope a runaway issue out of control. I hope what we will see here in Copenhagen is the beginning to not only get greenhouse gas emissions under control, but also help especially developing countries deal with the inevitable impacts of climate change. So I would want to walk away from here with a radical turning point.


LOMBORG: Well, I'd like to have us tackle global warming, but unlike the last 18 years where it hadn't work, actually smartly by investing in research and development into green energy. But also remember all the other problems we want to do. Because we just tackle global warming, we're leaving that guy pretty short-changed.

ANDERSON: We asked the audience in the advertising break what they would want to ask of you guys. Limiting population -- where does that fit into all of this, Thomas?

FRIEDMAN: Well, my on view on that is that, obviously we're going to go from 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion, according to the U.N. projections and that's really going to stress everything.

I don't feel like I have the right to tell anyone how many kids they should or shouldn't have. But what I do feel is coming from a rich, developed country, the United States of America, I have an obligation to make sure every person on this planet who wants it has the technology and education to do family planning. I think that's a moral obligation of my government.

ANDERSON: You're just back from Africa, I know, I'm hot off the plane of the red eye to come to this conference.

What about funding for vulnerable countries going forward? And does it worry you that funding through climate change policy might actually distract from other aid that's being going in or is sorely needed?

HANNAH: I worry about where that funding might be directed. I've heard of an initiative that's moving forward called RED that could potentially help preserve forests in some developing countries.

On the other hand, it might not -- it might violate indigenous people's rights, people who live in the forest. It might also have some confusion between plantations versus actual eco-systems. And so...

ANDERSON: So you're concerned?

HANNAH: I'm concerned about the -- where these monies are going and how they're going to be allocated.


FRIEDMAN: It is a very important point. They all say, if it goes from one central bank to the other and then works its way down to the forest, that's another thing. But what you see now -- I was in the Amazon in Brazil. And -- Brazil is really building a system based on local governors, local entrepreneurs and local indigenous people that this money, if properly channeled and properly observed, I think could have a big effect in saving the forest.

ANDERSON: You've been running this for some years now. Are you optimistic or pessimistic -- Yvo?

DE BOER: I'm optimistic. I mean, you talked earlier about disenfranchisement. I think that it's clear that millions of people around the world really want to see this succeed. I think the leaders are beginning to listen and I think it has to happen.

ANDERSON: The past hour has been given you just a snapshots of the views and questions from the global audience. I hope you feel we've given you an opportunity to raise your voice. Let's keep that global conversation going.

Remember, it is your voice that matters. Thank you to our panel for taking the time to answer those questions. I'm Becky Anderson from Copenhagen. Good-bye.