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Climate Change Debate; Democrats Divided; Troops Deployed; Severe Weather

Aired December 7, 2009 - 19:00   ET



ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight as the global climate change conference opened in Copenhagen, the White House takes a major step toward regulating greenhouse gases whether Congress likes it or not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The overwhelming amount of scientific studies show that the threat is real.

HILL: Yet there is growing skepticism and questions about leaked e-mails and their impact on the worldwide drive to stop climate change.

The Obama surge in Afghanistan, the nation's top uniformed officer warns of a bloody new year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we've got about 18 to 24 months to turn this thing around.

HILL: The first of 30,000 troops now have their orders on the ground in Afghanistan by the end of the month.

And the old sex talk or lack of one. Why so many American kids are doing it before their parents even mention the birds or the bees.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN TONIGHT live from New York. Here now Erica Hill.

HILL: And thanks for being with us this evening. Tonight in Copenhagen the biggest discussion on climate change in history -- nearly 200 nations are on hand for the two-week conference which kicked off today -- the goal there -- a plan to save the planet from global warming.

Now scientists have been pushing for this for years arguing that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced before it's too late. But not all scientists agree on the manmade cause nor on the urgency and that continues to fuel a major debate especially here in the U.S. Becky Anderson is in Copenhagen tonight -- Becky.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Erica, they have come from every corner of the planet. Tens of thousands of delegates trying to get into the U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen. Diplomatic squabbling over the extents of cuts to carbon emissions and the funding for the adaptation for developing countries to get onboard with climate change and any treaty that's signed will be (ph) big deals here.

Negotiators have got an awful lot of work to do. I hooked up with the head of the U.N. summit here earlier on today and (INAUDIBLE) whether he thought he'd get not a political deal out of Copenhagen but a legally binding one and this is what he said to me.


YVO DE BOER, EXECUTIVE DIR., UNFCC: No, we won't. I think that we don't have enough time to finalize that. I do think we'll get a very clear list of which country targets. I do think we'll get a very clear list of what major developing countries are committing to, and I do think we'll get a very clear list of financial commitments and then take a couple of months to turn that into a treaty.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Internationally enforceable?

DE BOER: Well what's internationally enforceable, to be quite honest? You know to what extent can you really take a world leader to court if a country fails to meet a target? But I do think there will be an incredibly strong moral obligation on countries to do what they promised here they will do.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You talked about a couple of months. What do you (INAUDIBLE) what do you really mean? When is the next date? (INAUDIBLE)

DE BOER: June of next year. We always have a conference in the middle of the year, and I think we should use that one as a sort of part two of Copenhagen just to nail down in legal language what's been agreed here.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So let me get that right. In June of next year you believe you'll get a treaty signed (INAUDIBLE)?

DE BOER: I think we need to. I don't think we should leave it lying around much longer because then just interest will fade.


ANDERSON: There is a cloud over Copenhagen and that is the controversy being billed as Climategate, those leaked e-mails out of the British university some week and a half ago just won't go silent. I spoke to the head of the IPCC earlier today. He says that the evidence for global warming is unequivocal.


RAJENDRA PAUCHARI, PRESIDENT, IPCC: Just to set the record straight, even these e-mails that were stolen and hacked into at the University of East Anglia, whatever publication was being referred to in those e-mails in terms of a desire to leave them out actually found their way into the (INAUDIBLE) report. So you know it's one thing for somebody to express anger or anguish in private. It's quite another to translate that into action and even if somebody did, there are so many checks and balances in the processes and the procedures that we follow in the IPCC, there's not one iota of possibility that something like this would (INAUDIBLE).


ANDERSON: Can we be sure we're being hoodwinked? Well we just can't say. There is no definitive answer on global warming at this point but let me tell you they're going to do a lot of arguing over it here in Copenhagen.

HILL: Becky Anderson for us in Copenhagen tonight -- Becky, thanks.

Well, climate change skeptics across the globe have embraced the e-mails that are being touted by some as Climategate. Some say the hacked messages between scientists at a key climate research center in England used words like trick and hide the decline and some skeptics say that is clearly the smoking gun that proves climate change is a fraud.

Is the answer, though, really that simple and what about the timing of this leak coming just before the global conference in Copenhagen? John Roberts went to the source, Britain's East Anglia University. And John joins us tonight. John, why is it that these e- mails are causing such a controversy?

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically, Erica, it's because they just look bad. You know when one of the chief climate researchers in the world from one of the most prestigious research institutions around the globe says things like we used a trick to try to get the decline hidden, people prick up their ears and they say well wait a minute, what is going on here?

And while that could be very benign language for this idea that we just use a clever method to be able to marry together two very disparate sets, people will look at that -- at the language and they'll say well trick and hide. What exactly did they try to trick and what exactly are they trying to hide?

There were more e-mails that were sent out from Phil Jones, who is the director of the Climatic Research Unit talking about trying to keep information out of the hands of other scientists. Now when you dig deeper you find out that that information is proprietary, he didn't have the rights to release it, but it appears by looking at the e-mails as though he is trying to -- not just -- not comply with the Freedom of Information Act request but actively try to forestall anybody from getting access to this data.

So it really just on the surface looks really bad. Now by the time that this independent review is carried out and is finished and looks at this whole thing which will be sometime in the spring at the University of East Anglia, it may be that all of this was very benign. There was never any kind of an attempt to manipulate or suppress data, that the professor was just engaging in typical hyperbole that people in the intelligentsia are known to do from time to time. But just you can't help but think, and people at the university I talked to know all about this all too well. It just on the surface looks really bad and couldn't come at a worse time with Copenhagen starting today.

HILL: No and John of course for many people, if it smells bad then, as you mentioned to them, it may -- it just is bad. John, I know you're going to have much more on Climategate coming up tonight. You can join John at 8:00 Eastern as part of a Campbell Brown special "Global Warming: Trick or Truth".

And as the climate change's conference opened in Copenhagen, the Obama administration announced a major shift in policy here at home. The Environmental Protection Agency today declaring greenhouse gas emissions do pose a threat to public health. Now that move is important because it allows the EPA to impose regulations without congressional approval. Ed Henry joining us live from the White House -- lawmakers don't like to have their powers taken away, though, Ed, do they?

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erica, and a lot of big developments here at the White House, vice president, the former Vice President Al Gore was here in the Oval Office for about an hour meeting with President Obama this afternoon on all of these big decisions right on the eve of the president himself heading to Copenhagen.

As you know, he was supposed to actually go this week, but he's now changed it. He's going to go to the Copenhagen summit next week because White House aides say they think there's a better chance of striking a major deal if he goes at the end of the summit and sort of pushes leaders along. Also the possibility of a major accord at Copenhagen drove in part the announcement by the EPA that you mentioned today.

The president's own EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, saying here in Washington they hope this gives world leaders an even bigger incentive to try to bring together a big deal and also put some pressure on Congress -- as you know the Congress has really been out of the game so far. A climate deal is stalled on Capitol Hill.

The EPA's action today basically says, look, if Congress doesn't move forward on a law, the EPA, the Obama administration, can act alone and impose some new regulations. That has some Republicans upset, top Republican Eric Cantor, a congressman from Virginia was saying today, look, this -- more regulation could be bureaucracy run amok. It can really choke off any possible economic recovery. White House insisting that's not true, that they can come up with some good, strong regulations that will help push back on global warming and not hurt businesses and consumers -- Erica.

HILL: And so -- and so it continues, the battle there in Washington -- Ed Henry, thanks.

HENRY: Thanks, Erica.

HILL: Meantime, (INAUDIBLE) negotiators at the climate change conference, the big problem may not actually be dealing with the United States. It is emerging nations like Brazil, Russia, India and China which could be much tougher to bargain with and frankly it is their support that is in many ways considered crucial. Lisa Sylvester has more.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): China's economy has seen remarkable growth but with that growth has come this -- pollution. China is the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases.

YANG AILUN, GREENPEACE CHINA: China can definitely do more in improving energy efficiency, (INAUDIBLE) and moving away from coal.

SYLVESTER: Ahead of the Copenhagen summit, Chinese leaders promised to cut their carbon intensity ratio by 40 to 45 percent by 2020. That's the ratio between production and pollution. Michael Levi with the Council on Foreign Relations says that may sound like a big number but it's not big enough if you consider China's mammoth growth.

MICHAEL LEVI, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONSY: When you are undergoing rapid development, when you have an economy that is severely distorted in ways toward a dirty industry, you have a let of opportunity to make it cleaner. That's why China has the ability and should seize the opportunity to cut more deeply while pursuing its own other objectives.

SYLVESTER: China has been reluctant to commit itself to an international accord preferring to set its own targets. China and the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia and India are all facing a similar dilemma. They're under enormous pressure from the international community to reduce emissions while back home under local pressure to not squash their growing economies.

MARIANNE LAVELLE, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY: India, remember, has a billion people and nearly half of them really don't have electricity. And India feels that they really need access to coal and fossil fuels to keep growing their economy at a very fast pace.

SYLVESTER: India, like China is going to the Copenhagen talks with a new pledge in hand -- a cut in emissions by 20 to 25 percent by 2020. But Indian leaders want the industrialized countries to take the lead. In the United States reaching an agreement in Congress to curb emissions has been slow going. Climate change legislation passed in the House but has stalled in the Senate.


SYLVESTER: And in the Senate cap and trade legislation is seen as dead for the year. Now senators they will try to take it up next year, but even here in the United States there is a lot of pressure for the business community not to add more regulation to U.S. companies given the fragile state of the U.S. economy and especially if foreign competitors don't have to follow the same environmental rules -- Erica. HILL: Lisa, thanks.

Still ahead tonight our coverage of the climate change debate continues. Also ahead for you, the first step in President Obama's troop surge, 1,500 Marines get their orders to deploy to Afghanistan. We'll tell you when they leave. Plus, Democrats are divided as abortion coverage takes center stage in the health care debate in the Senate. Will it derail any reform?


HILL: Abortion is arguably one of the most divisive words in this country and it is turning out to be a major sticking point and frankly a very serious threat to any health care reform. Senate Democrats tonight are confronting the issue after bipartisan group of senators unveiled an amendment that would put major restrictions on abortion coverage. That amendment expected to come to a vote tomorrow. Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill.


DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Abortion -- the wrenching issue that divides Democrats is front and center again. Anti-abortion Democrat Ben Nelson is pushing to tighten abortion restrictions in the health care bill.

SEN. BEN NELSON (D), NEBRASKA: The current health care reform we're debating should not be used to open a new avenue for public funding of abortion. We should preserve the current policies prohibiting the use of taxpayer money for abortion that have existed for more than three decades.

BASH: Like the House passed bill, Nelson's amendment would ban abortion in any insurance plan receiving taxpayer money. That is far more restrictive than the current Senate bill which allows the HHS secretary to decide whether abortion would be covered in any government-run plan and permits abortion coverage in private plans as long as taxpayer money is separated out. That's tough enough say abortion rights advocates including Republican Susan Collins.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: The underlying bill makes very clear that federal funds cannot be used for abortion.

BASH: But Nelson, who Democratic leaders likely need to pass their health care bill, says he'll oppose it unless his abortion measure is approved.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a deal breaker if we don't get this type of language in the bill.

BASH: Another deal breaker -- a government-run insurance plan. Nelson and other conservative Democrats oppose it and a new group of five moderate Democrats and five liberal Democrats working to find a compromise are considering a new idea instead of a public option, not for profit private insurance plans overseen by a government agency. The Office of Personnel Management, it's based on the current system for federal employees where large private insurers offer coverage but are prohibited from making a profit of more than one percent.

SEN. MARK BEGICH (D), ALASKA: I pay $5,500 a year for my family coverage but I know it's not going to the profits of the insurance companies.


BASH: Now this appeals to conservative Democrats who don't want anything that's government funded or government-run but for liberal Democrats who really want a public option they say they need something else that gives people more affordable insurance. One idea that has come up that we learned about today is making Medicare eligible for people who are 55 and older so that they can buy into insurance.

Now this is all part, Erica, of a patchwork of ideas that senators say they are talking about in lieu of a public option and several of those negotiators came out of a meeting tonight and they said that they're actually very close to a compromise deal on this very, very vexing issue that divides Democrats a public option -- Erica.

HILL: All right, Dana thanks. We'll continue to watch that.

Meantime there is some positive news to report tonight in the cancer front. A steady drop in cancer deaths here in the U.S. and it turns out it's thanks to healthier lifestyles, less smoking, early detection, and also improved treatments -- those findings from a report in this month's issue of the journal "Cancer". New diagnoses for all types of cancer are actually down an average of almost one percent per year from 1999 through 2006. Cancer is the nation's second largest killer after heart disease.

There are two major food warnings out tonight. First up oysters, the FDA warning all restaurants and consumers should throw away oysters harvested in San Antonio Bay over the past month. The Texas oysters have been linked to a highly contagious virus that's sickened at least a dozen people in the Carolinas and more than 20,000 pounds of ground beef being recalled by Beef Packers -- Beef Packers, Inc. is a California subsidiary of Cargill. At least two cases of salmonella poisoning have now been linked to that meat sold in two states, Arizona and New Mexico. The FDA reports the packaging labels identify the beef with the number 31913.

Still to come, the first troops under the president's Afghanistan surge prepare to deploy. Plus, winter getting an early start, pounding the western states. We'll tell you what you can expect. That's next.


HILL: The stress on children of their parents serving in the armed forces is taking a major toll on military families. A new study published in the "Journal of Pediatrics" has found military kids suffer from anxiety and other emotional issues more than kids in the general population. It may not be surprising to you but important to have those numbers out there. The study also found the longer a parent was deployed, the greater the stress.

So how to deal with it, the study recommends targeting support to help kids deal with the emotional triggers of mom or dad being deployed. And that news comes as more families are gearing up for that reality. About 16,000 U.S. and Marine forces have been told to prepare for deployment. The Pentagon saying the first Marine units will depart from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina before the end of this month, part of the president's plan for a surge in Afghanistan. Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence reports from Camp Lejeune.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Five- year-old Thomas, 3-year-old Georgia, and baby Katherine. The family that's about to say good-bye to Lieutenant Dan Durbin (ph).


LAWRENCE: He's one of 1,500 Marines who just got orders to Afghanistan. He'll be gone within the month.

(on camera): What are some of the things you're already doing as a family?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well we're talking to my 5-year-old a lot about it.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): The reality is hitting hard. Kim Durbin's is going to have to be mom and dad.

KIM DURBIN, MARINE SPOUSE: Oh, it's scary. It's very frightening trying to be the one be that spanks the kid and being the one that hugs the kid, you know. You're doing everything. That's a very scary part to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten thousand Marines showing up in Helmand, we'll start pushing a lot of insurgents out across the border.

LAWRENCE: At Camp Lejeune the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Marines they'll be deployed to Helmand Province, one of the most violent areas of Afghanistan. And for some young Marines it will be their first taste of real combat.

LANCE CPL. JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, U.S. MARINE CORPS: We'll see how I react when it goes down in a couple of weeks.

LANCE CPL. MATTHEW JENKINS, U.S. MARINE CORPS: The best thing you can hope for is that you've heard familiar stuff that you're not going to freeze up.

LAWRENCE: A first deployment means their families will have to learn to live without them for the first time and they'll likely be gone before the New Year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we're thankful that he's going to be with us for Christmas. So we're just trying to enjoy the time we have together. I think when we actually say -- it's going to be hard but we'll get through it.


LAWRENCE: Yes, Kim says that basically the only -- Kim says, you know, the only thing that makes it even a little bit bearable is just knowing how many other wives and husbands are going through the same thing. About 16,000 troops will be on the ground in Afghanistan by the end of spring so she certainly will not be alone -- Erica.

HILL: And that support system is so important -- Chris, thanks.

Turning now to the severe weather that is threatening so many parts of the country -- the first major winter storm pounding the Southwest and taking aim at the Midwest where it's expected to hit tomorrow. Jacqui Jeras is live now in the CNN Weather Center and boy, this is quite the storm to kick off the season Jacqui.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know when it comes, it comes hard, Erica, and we've been seeing now some incredible video and conditions coming out of California. We're going to start you out into some of the burn areas, and this has been our big concern all along with the rain is that we've been worried about mud slides and flooding. Well check out these pictures of the rain now out of the Big Kunhunga (ph) Canyon area where some mandatory evacuations -- obviously that's not the Big Kunhunga (ph) stuff, but there have been some mandatory evacuations which have taken place there because the ground -- there we go -- is a little bit unstable in this area and they've seen several inches of rainfall.

Now kind of a rare thing that happened in the Central Valley today of California, some of those folks woke up to a little bit of snow, yes, all the way down on the valley floor (ph) in the Sacramento area as well as into Modesto. The snow is very light, just a little bit of a dusting. It blew on through, but freeze warnings on the way there for tonight.

Now we saw several feet of snow. We're in the higher elevations across the Sierra and as our storm system intensifies tonight, we're going to be watching the four corners area. As we go back to the maps we can show you where the worst of the storm is going to be hitting through the overnight hours for tonight. There you can see some of these dark purples, which is indicative of about two feet of snow, not to mention wind gusts pushing 50 to 60 miles per hour.

This is a very fast moving storm system, and by tomorrow we're going to start to watch at least the four corners region and really start to pound the upper Midwest. Those strong winds are going to be howling across the Open Plains creating whiteout conditions, so blizzard warnings have been issued across parts of Iowa and southern Minnesota. On the southern end of this storm severe weather will be expected with the threat of damaging winds and even isolated tornadoes. That will primarily be focused across the Gulf Coast states.

Then as we head through midweek, we'll watch the storm move up towards the Great Lakes, finally make its way towards the Eastern Seaboard, mostly rain in the Megalopolis, then changing to snow late but little additional accumulation will be expected followed by some major frigid Arctic air in the Midwest. The storm totals here are going to be impressive.

In fact a good foot of snow can be expected, maybe 8 to 12 inches or so, Omaha, Des Moines, and south of Minneapolis. But the real brutal thing with all of this is not so much the impressive snowfall totals, it's those howling winds. So with zero visibility and winds pushing 40-plus miles per hour, folks could be looking at some power outages and then when you get cold temperatures below zero on top of that it's going to be a real rough end of the week across much of the upper Midwest -- Erica.

HILL: Yes, not the best combination -- Jacqui, thanks though for the heads-up.

Coming up there is more tonight on the raging debate over climate change. In fact it is just the beginning at this point -- the Obama administration coming clean on so-called clean coal. Plus two experts here to face off over whether it's actually the right time to even be talking about global warming.

And speaking of talking, how about the big sex talk. Get this -- turns out 15 years ago parents were actually better at having the talk with their teens than they are today. How'd that happen?


HILL: As the climate change conference is getting under way in Copenhagen, the white house is pushing back against global warming skeptics. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson saying the administration is convinced greenhouse gases are a threat to public health and must be regulated. That, of course, is adding fuel to the debate over several areas here including a clean coal power plant proposed for construction with $1 billion in stimulus money. Ines Ferre has more.


INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Outside of Mattoon, Illinois, what is now a 400 acre cornfield could one day become the site of a coal burning power plant that would test the new technology designed to produce electricity with near zero emissions of greenhouse gases. Called FutureGen a consortium of energy companies that would involve $1 billion in federal stimulus money.

MICHAEL MUDO, CEO, FUTUREGEN ALLIANCE: We can demonstrate you can use coal in a way to eliminate virtually all emissions including carbon dioxide. And the purpose is not just for Illinois. It's much greater than that. It's to advance technologies so it can be replicated throughout the world especially in growing countries like India and in China which will continue to build power plants.

FERRE: Its supporters say the coal burning plant would store almost all of its carbon dioxide underground rather than spew it into the atmosphere. But a group called Environment America, which advocates clean energy, says spending money on this project would be a waste.

ANNA AURILIO, ENVIRONMENT AMERICA: This kind of technology doesn't exist right now. It's very risky, it's very speculative and dollar for dollar invested you'll get more jobs with the cleaner technologies than you are for coal.

FERRE: The Illinois Office for Coal Development estimates that at peak they would generate 1,300 construction jobs, 1,225 indirect jobs. The plant would take four years to build and create 150 permanent jobs. The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that supports clean energy, has said FutureGen is not shovel ready.

JOSEPH ROMM, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I just don't think they have any idea what they're going to be constructing. That's why the Bush ad administration shut this program down.

FERRE: The Illinois site near Mattoon was one of four candidates the U.S. department of energy considered as a finalist for clean coal funding starting in 2006, but it got knocked often the list in January 2008.


FERRE: And President Obama supported FutureGen when he was still an Illinois senator. Now his Department of Energy has been reconsidering the project and a decision on it is expected next month and FutureGen alliance says it is optimistic.

HILL: It's interesting thought because it sounds like so many people are against it. I'm sure you'll have an update for us. Ines, thanks.

Still ahead, much more on climate change. We'll hear the opposite side of this debate, we'll weigh in whether or not now is the right time to act on global warming or maybe more time and research before the voting resources to the divisive issue.

Plus the fear of s-e-x. Parents were better at talking about sex with their kids more than a decade ago but it would seem that mom and dad might know more today so why is it so hard to mention the subject? We'll discuss that.


HILL: Tonight CNN is continuing to examine the debate over global warming and the developments coming out of the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen which of course kicked off today. Representing opposing ends of that controversy, I'm joined this evening by Ken Green who believes we need more research before devoting resource to global warming. Ken is resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute joining us from D.C. tonight. And Nat Keohane who is director of economic policy and analysis of the Environmental Defense Fund and believes congress needs to act now when it comes to climate change. Good to have both of you with us tonight. I think it's important to maybe get these e-mails out of the way because there's so much talk about the e-mails. Some have dubbed it climate gate. Nat, I'll start with you, when it comes to these e-mails, do you think there was a specific timing here aimed at the conference in Copenhagen and will it have any impact on what happens there?

NAT KEOHANE, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND: When I look at these e- mails I think here's an issue for the scientific community to work through and it is working through it, but it doesn't fundamentally affect anything we know about the underlying science. In terms of the timing, these were hacked. I'm not sure how to explain that, timing. What I come back to is the bottom line. This doesn't affect the data we had from independent scientific research centers telling us global warming is happening already. It's real and we need to do something about it.

HILL: So you don't believe it undermines the findings at all. Ken, how important are these e-mails right now?

KEN GREEN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: I think they're considerably more important than that. They do show a pattern of misbehavior on the part of scientists in the climate community who are closely interrelated, they work with each other all the time, they publish together, they peer review each other's work, they clearly trying to play up the warming, up their certainty levels while in private admitting they didn't know a lot about certain things and tried to squelch dissenting opinion. There's a real break in the scientific process that went on at CRU. Since they are connected with researchers at NASA and elsewhere in the United States, we have to look beyond that one incident. It doesn't change the fundamental physics of the issue but it does change the confidence we have been told about how certain we are that recent warming is unusual, how much faith we should place in models that say we're going to experience lots of warming in the future. Those things have been cast I think in a pretty sharp question.

HILL: We should point out that the EPA administrator Lisa Jackson saying today there is nothing in the hacked e-mails that undermines the scientific data on which this report is based. Frankly from both of your answers there, I think it underscores how divisive an issue this is. for many people, their minds really are made up for most people. What realistically can we expect to come out of Copenhagen nearly 200 countries getting them to agree on something is not exactly going to be easy.

GREEN: No, it's not. I think what they're looking at coming out of Copenhagen with are sets of lists, political agreements, lists of targets that countries have agreed to meet whether they're emission targets, lists of dollar amounts they're willing to give to the developing to help them implement technologies, and I think a list of dates when they can meet to hammer out an actual treaty. As far as I know, the language of the previous drafts were not advanced enough for them to ink an actual deal that will wait for 2010. With Obama's decision to go in at the very last minute and him wanting to be there. HILL: Can the president come in because we know last week he changed his arrival dates that he would be there at the very end to have a greater impact. Can he have a greater impact and if so, what is that impact going to be?

KEOHANE: It's a good sign. I think it's a good sign he has decided to come the second week but, you know, we are looking at a pretty monumental task here and we've made a huge amount of progress just in the past ten months. I think the way we look at Copenhagen is laying the groundwork for a final treaty in 2010. That is effective, that's measurable, that's inclusive and provides adequate financing. It's something that gets the world turned around. Right now our emissions are rising and we are headed towards what scientists say is dangerous climate change. We need to turn that around, get on the downward path and Copenhagen can lay the groundwork for it. It can put the framework into place so that we can have developed countries taking on target and have developing countries, the large emitting nations, get on a path to cap their emissions as well.

HILL: For a lot of people at home and I would imagine those watching tonight, we talked a lot about how this is a divisive issue. A lot of people have their mind made up. They are of one persuasion or another. Numbers of people in the U.S. who are concerned about global warming has gone down in the last few years we've seen. So why is this important? Why is it so important here at home that people even listen to what's going on in Copenhagen when they're worried about putting food on their table?

KEOHANE: First of all, it comes back to the U.S. being a leader here. We've got -- the world is looking to us to lead and for the senate to follow up on what the house of representatives did back in June and that's to pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill that gets our emissions on a downward path. Now why do we want to do that? Partly because of the science that we've seen that's so strong about the needs to solve this problem. We also want to do that to get our economy on the new path, to get on a clean energy economy pat path, to get off our fossil fuel dependence and onto a path where we have home grown sources of energy here in America, relying on wind and solar and we're having a source of innovation and technology we can export to the rest of the world to solve this issue.

HILL: When it comes to something like creating jobs, obviously that would make people's ears perk up. Do you agree this is the best way to go about it, and is that the reason for Americans to sit up and take notice and perhaps look at a little bit more of the research?

GREEN: No. The green jobs question has been exposed innumerable times as a myth. We've already seen U.S. stimulus funds going to China and other foreign countries to build windmill parts and solar panels. Low cost manufacturing is not going to be a feature in the United States and most of these things are going to be built abroad. Jobs are going to be built or created in China and India not here in the United States. Americans should be watching this for a very good reason which is what happens in Copenhagen could decide their energy future. It could raise their costs of energy. By doing so could depress economic growth and could slow the recovery from one of the worst recessions in recent memory. We have massive numbers of people out of work and desperate to find jobs. They should be tuned into this and paying great attention to what representatives are doing around the world and ask is this to my benefit or is it not?

KEOHANE: I'm not surprised I disagree pretty strongly with Ken, and let me tell you why. If congress passes cap and trade legislation next spring, the day after it passes that legislation, we are going to see a huge amount of investment and innovation in new technology. It's not going to be low wage technologies. We have the opportunity in America to take the lead in this clean energy economy. That's going to happen the day after we pass the legislation. In California when they passed the bill immediately investments skyrocketed and that's what we need.

HILL: I'm going to -- we're just about out of time. When I listened to you two gentlemen speak it underscores, and I feel like I've said this ad nauseam tonight, but how divisive the issue is. Is there one way, and unfortunately you each have 15 seconds to answer, is there a hope of bringing together the two side so there could be a consensus here? It doesn't sound like we're moving any closer to middle ground. Ken, I'll let you start us off.

GREEN: I don't think it's likely we're going to close in on a consensus. The fundamental issues at stake are a different world view as to how one solves problems. I would point out having grown up in California, I would not point to California as an example of anything positive given what they've done to their economy over the last 25 years.

KEOHANE: I think we can build consensus around the need to get our economy on a different path to find new sources of energy, to get off of fossil fuels. That's what we're talking about here. That's what climate legislation will do. If I'm right and the science is right, then in the process we'll be solving perhaps the greatest crisis we face.

HILL: The good news is for folks at home who do want to talk more about this, and I know you gentlemen do as well, this is something CNN will be tackling as we look at what's happening in Copenhagen. I appreciate your time and for helping us kick off this first week. I thank you both.

The debate, of course, does not end here. There will be much more throughout the next couple of weeks. And also coming up tonight at 8 p.m. eastern, the Copenhagen conference. It's all part of a Campbell Brown special, "Global Warming Trick-Or-Treat." Be sure to stay with us for that.

First, though, talking to your kids about sex. A new study finds having the talk and even some surprising results. That story is next.


HILL: For many parents talking to their kids about sex is about as uncomfortable an experience as it gets. But a new study finds many parents are actually waiting too long to bring up the subject with their children. Kitty Pilgrim has more.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How soon should parents talk to their children about sex? A new study by Rand Corporation and the University of California found that adolescents are engaging in sexual activity before having those very important conversations with parents. The study surveyed parents and children aged 13 to 17. Among the results, 42 percent of girls said they had not discussed birth control before they became sexually active. 40 percent of girls admitted they have not talked to their parents about how to refuse sex before engaging in some form of sexual activity. 70 percent of boys have not discussed a condom or birth control. The study covered 24 sex-related topics. Megan Beckett, the author of the study, says the same questions were asked of parents and children.

MEGAN BECKETT, RAND CORPORATION: What we found were some high numbers of parents and kids that are generally agreed on in their reports saying in many -- for many of the topics they were happening after the sexual act, so approximately two-thirds of sons said they had not talked with their parents yet about how to put on a condom before the son had had sexual intercourse.

PILGRIM: Researchers acknowledge initiating the topic can be awkward for parents and children but say postponing it is unwise and talk should begin in a general way even in early childhood. Planned Parenthood has programs for parents to get guidance about having sex ed talks with their teenagers. The organization also works with schools to set up sex education programs and even trains teens for peer counseling on sexual issues.

CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: There is a myth out there that somehow if you talk to them about sex, they're active. It means frankly young people are less likely to engage early and when they do, much more likely to use birth control or use some kind of protection, which is so important.


PILGRIM: Families were surveyed four times over the course of a year. One interesting result, even though parents thought they had discussed a sexual activity with the teen, the child only had a vague memory of it. So it's important to have repeated conversations with children and not just one talk, Erica.

HILL: You have to wonder how many of those kids are blocking it out. I can't believe I'm having this conversation with my mother or father. Kitty, thanks.

Joining us now with the importance on talking to your child about sex and when you should start that discussion. Dr. Judy Kuriansky is a clinical psychologist, a certified sex therapist and also co-author of "Sexuality Education." And I know you've said parents who frankly these days you would think know a little bit more and were maybe sexually active at a younger age than their parents' generation are not nearly as good at talking to their kids about sex. Why is that? JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You're absolutely right. They're not. In fact, we've gone backwards, which upsets me after being in this field for so long. I think a few reasons. I think one is that they're really worried still under the myth that if they talk about it that kids are going to go out and do it. And it is not true. Because they're remembering that they were sexually active. They don't want to go there is one. And secondly, we have to be a little sympathetic. And that is they're so busy and worried about money and other things these days, sex gets put on the back burner to talk to kids about. And that leads to these problems that have escalated.

HILL: And kids are bombarded from such a young age with all of this sexual imagery. They get a lot of different messages from it and also from their parents whether or not they're getting messages there. You have some tips on making that discussion easier. When do you actually start the discussion?

KURIANSKY: You don't have to start a discussion. You are actually teaching your child about sex, when they are infants and when you're holding them and talk to them about love. This has not been said about this study and needs to be said. And that is we're not still talking about sex, you need to teach your kids about love and intimacy. That starts young. So age appropriate means that when they are little kids and their mommy is pregnant again with another child --

HILL: Yeah, my 3-year-old asked me how the baby got in my belly.

KURIANSKY: That is exactly when you have that discussion or when the child has a pet.

HILL: But age appropriate is one thing. What do you actually say to a toddler versus what you say to a 6, 9, 12-year-old.

KURIANSKY: You say to a toddler, mommy and daddy love each other and when we make love there's an egg and a sperm and they unite. Then they don't want to know much more. Then they're off doing something else, but you've started the conversation.

HILL: Okay.

KURIANSKY: And you're telling them not that they ate a seed, by the way, which they think. Then we're their body is changing, you need to talk about that. This is what happens when boys turn into men and girls turn into women. And when they're teenagers, that's when you need to be talking about -- as soon as the girl is having menstruation, you need to be talking about how you get pregnant.

HILL: You say you should approach this in a non-personal way. Don't make it about your daughter.

KURIANSKY: Yes, because you don't want to attack them. Especially teens get defensive and say I don't want to talk to my parents about that. You can bring it up in a story you read, something you watched on TV. When Britney Spears sister at age 16 got pregnant, you talk about that. You say, well, what do you think about that? Get their ideas so you can have the discussion.

HILL: How do you as a parent get to that place you're okay having the discussion and actually bringing it up?

KURIANSKY: Well, that's really critical, honestly, because what happens is that people have fears of their own, adults have their own sexual problems. Maybe they're not functioning, as well. Maybe they're not enjoying sex, and so they're so embarrassed you have to get over your fear that you'll make them do it. You have to get over your embarrassment, and you have to look at your own history and say, okay, I may have done that now. And that doesn't mean that my kid is going to do it too.

HILL: I know you say it's very important too to make sure your kids can come to you. You're an askable parent.

KURIANSKY: That's the phrase we use, yes, being an askable parent. That means that you keep bringing up. If you have any questions about sex and love and intimacy and relationships, remember, that's important. Come and ask me. We can have some discussion about it. And keep bringing that up. That's what being an askable parent means and that's the phrase --

HILL: When it comes to the discussion too about sex especially as your kids get a little older. You're actually talking about things more seriously, about intercourse, which happens at a younger and younger age these days. How important is this discussion of oral sex? Because a lot of kids don't think that's the same thing?

KURIANSKY: I know. Didn't we hear this during the Monica date issue? Oral sex is not sex and guess what, it is. That's what the statistics show a lot of kids are participating in. You have to make that clear that that is -- oral sex is sex too.

HILL: It carries its own risks.

KURIANSKY: Absolutely its own risks. And you can say feel better you're teaching them about health. The statistics show how many sexually transmitted diseases. Parents don't even know how to pronounce gonorrhea.

HILL: There's been an increased concentration in this country on abstinence and I think every parent would choose their child to remain abstinent. How do you combine those two in comprehensive sex ed with your child?

KURIANSKY: It's really the key. And the Bush administration, there was A.O., which meant abstinence only. Only programs could get money if they were teaching abstinence, but I believe in the ABCD model. Now, that a is for abstinence, we would like them to refrain, c, means teaching your kid how to make smart decisions. You don't have to talk about sex, you could talk about anything related to school. How do you make a decision about whether this is something you should do? What are the consequences of that decision versus something else? That's teaching them how to think properly. And it's very important when you're talking about sex. We need to say as kitty discovered in her discussion too, boys need to be spoken to, especially women who are single mothers are very afraid to talk to their boys. That needs to be discussed. Very important that you have those talks because boys have more problems about it and girls need to be told they don't have to worry about being popular having sex in order to get popular and be liked.

HILL: And a lot of parents, I think, I hear this as a mother of a boy. They think at least you only have to worry about one boy. Parents of girls have to worry about many. That's not the case at all, you need to worry about them equally.

KURIANSKY: Yes. You know, right?

HILL: Appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much.

Just ahead at the top of the hour, Campbell Brown comes our way. Hey Campbell.

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Erica. We've got a special hour planned tonight. Our special investigation, global warming, trick or truth? From the stolen e-mails, conspiracy theories, we're going to try to get at what is the bottom line on global warming. Billions of dollars in the future of the planet really hanging in the balance right now. Who exactly is telling the truth? We're going to take you inside the university where this whole scandal started and to Copenhagen where world leaders are about to make major decisions about how we live our lives. All that coming up. Erica?

HILL: All right. We look forward to it. Campbell, thanks.

And still much more to come in this hour. Thousands of paper lanterns launched in an attempt to break a world record, we'll tell you how that went just ahead.


HILL: Check out this video we have for you from in Indonesia. More than 10,000 paper lanterns launched into the skies as part of an annual celebration. They were also hoping to shatter the old record of 3600 lanterns set earlier this year, a symbol of hope and prayer and some pretty pictures for you tonight.

That's going to do it for us this hour.