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China Debates What to Do About a Necessary but Pollutive Fossil Fuel; The Addictiveness of Smartphones
Aired March 2, 2018 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Fridays are awesome! And we`re happy you`re spending 10 minutes of your Friday to get updated on events from around the
I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.
In China, debate is burning over what the country should do about coal.
China is the world`s largest consumer of coal, more than 60 percent of the nation`s energy comes from the fossil fuel. But to generate that energy,
coal has to be burned. And when it is, it gives off emissions like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury, ash and particulates, all of which can
pollute the environment. And China has struggled for years with hazardous air pollution.
The government launched a war on pollution a few years ago. It aimed to convert the nation`s energy sources from coal to cleaner forms of energy
like natural gas. But that comes at a cost.
Coal is cheap. It`s relatively inexpensive to mine, inexpensive to buy, inexpensive to burn. So, weighing coal`s impact on the environment against
its impact on the consumer created a catch-22 for the government.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The winter in northern China doesn`t care if you`re poor, doesn`t care that Huang Yi Min (ph) is 75, has
heart problems, is partially paralyzed.
The harsh air is relentless. And in the depths of poverty, coal is his only way to fight back.
Coal is so dirty. Leaves black soot all over, he says.
So one shovelful at a time, he feeds a furnace next to his bed -- not ideal but it`s the only kind of heat he can afford, which is why the government
ban on coal is so brutal.
I had to burn it secretly, he says. How else could we survive?
Coal is cheap and the primary heat source here, where many household incomes are as little as a few dollars a day. But burning coal is also a
major reason why the air here can look like this, a "Mad Max" style hellscape, eye-burning air pollution so thick you can taste it.
So, in October 2017 the Hubei (ph) province government banned residential coal use. Instead, they hastily installed these yellow pipes meant to
carry cleaner natural gas to people`s homes.
(on camera): But what homeowners are telling us is that buying that natural gas to their heat their homes would be way more expensive than
using coal and, in most cases, it would be completely unaffordable.
(voice-over): But even if you had enough money to buy natural gas, supply shortages meant that a lot of these pipes are empty. People were freezing;
coal was still being burned and the public backlash was fierce, unusual in Communist China.
So Beijing took notice. The ban on burning coal was lifted in December but the effects have lingered.
Mr. Wong`s (ph) hands aren`t usually clean but they were during the ban because he wasn`t allowed to sell coal anymore. He is back at it now but
business isn`t good.
People don`t dare buy too much, he says. They fear coal could be banned again at any moment.
Huang Yi-min (ph) resents the choice that he was forced to make: follow the law or freeze.
We are not being taken care of by the people in Beijing. They don`t listen to us.
The government says it`s working on new lasting solutions but the winter won`t wait while they figure things out.
Matt Rivers, Hubei Province, China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia.
Where would you most likely find an SoC?
Smartphone, calendar, wharf, or analog watch?
SoC is an abbreviation for system on a chip, part of a smartphone that combines memory, graphics, a modem (ph) and other components.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Nine hours per day, that`s how long American teenagers spend using media, everything from TV to video games and books, music and social media.
And this is in their leisure time, what they chose to do for their enjoyment. It does not include any media they use for school work.
It`s all according to Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that examines the impact that technology can have on kids, parents and teachers. And
because the organization also says that 50 percent of American teenagers report feeling addicted to mobile devices, they`ve teamed up with another
nonprofit called the Center for Humane Technology to examine the effects that all this tech is having on young people.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN TECH SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: We heard a lot on addiction and technology, what this is something a little bit larger than you guys
are launching. So, take me through it.
JIM STEYER, CEO, COMMON SENSE MEDIA: So, we`re launching a major new national campaign the truth about tech. The point is to educate the
public, opinion leaders, government officials and the tech industry about the impact of technology on kids` brains and how this is affecting our
society, both pro and con.
SEGALL: I`ve known you from many years and you`ve been talking about this for a really long time. Take me back to when you first started thinking,
OK, we`ve got to start paying attention to the impact of technology.
TRISTAN HARRIS, CO-FOUNDER, CENTER FOR HUMANE TECHNOLOGY: I`ve started working on these issues in 2013. All of these companies are competing to
get attention. They`re not going to stop you and it`s not enough to use the products, I have to reach deeper down the brain and took you and create
an unconscious habit or an addiction to hold on to that 30 minutes like (INAUDIBLE) on your day on Facebook or on Snapchat.
SEGALL: When you look at the business model for these companies, they are built on getting us to pick up our phone more. We live in this attention
economy. So, can these tech companies really make changes without fundamentally shifting the way that their business works?
STEYER: We`re not particularly overnight success. This is a multi-year effort and we`re going inside to tech companies and we believe that long
term, both from the bottom up with grassroots public support or from the top-down, with intelligence legislative efforts, the combination can make
fundamental change, explain the truth about tech and make really positive solution.
HARRIS: I need some simple things like right now you`re listening to this, turn off all notifications on your phone except when a human being, a
person, wants your attention. That`s one simple change you can make today. Another can be very popular just recently, is turning your phone in gray
(ph), you can see that. But make your phone gray, it takes out all those chip-like slot machine will work. It has a huge impact of feeling like
your phone is more of a tool and less like an addictive substance.
SEGALL: Do you think we can put the genie inside the bottle?
HARRIS: I don`t think it`s up (INAUDIBLE) somehow. I think this is game over unless we fix it. I think that we have to take (INAUDIBLE) you
realize that every time you open up that Facebook icon, you just activated a super computer that`s going to play chess against your mind to figure out
what`s the perfect thing I can show you. And it`s only going to get better and better and better at doing that, and you realize you`re bringing a
knife, you know, millions of (INAUDIBLE) sharing hardware, you know, up to that against a super computer. You`re going to lose.
AZUZ: Today`s "10 Out of 10" report goes to a rescue flight in the Democratic Republic of Congo that turned into a bonding experience between
the pilot and a baby chimpanzee.
Mosa (ph), the chimpanzee, was apparently orphaned by poachers. But while he was on a flight to a primate rescue and rehab center, he made a new
friend. He was even allowed to adjust the throttle at one point.
The pilot said the video looks cute, but in an ideal world, the baby chimp would be with its mother. Still, his new home is with an organization that
says its mission is to give the best possible care to orphan primate and conservationists there say the chimp appears to be in good spirits.
Of course, if a pilot were to adopt an animal like that, he`d be a chimp off the old block. They could become prime mates. The animal story might
have started tragically, but all considered, it had a happy landing.
And it`s where we touch down for the week on CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz. Thank you for being the best part of our show.