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Poland Literally Filled an International Climate Change Conference with Coal; Israel Launches Operation Northern Shield; French Protesters, "Yellow Vests," Pull Out of Talks; Former President George H.W. Bush Lying in State at U.S. Capitol; Court Documents Show Cohen Updated Trump on Moscow Deal. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired December 4, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. There's breaking news from the Middle East. A military operation underway by Israel on the Lebanese border right now. The IDF says the goal is to expose and neutralize tunnels on the border.
CNN's Oren Liebermann joins us now with more details from Jerusalem.
OK, a couple of things about this. It sounds almost low-key. They haven't called up reservists. They're not ordering residents in the area to evacuate. It seems more of a maintenance issue, if you like, rather than a full-on conflict.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly does seem lower key, especially comparing it to what we've seen in Gaza. But there is no doubt that the Israeli military is taking this very seriously.
And it's called Operation Northern Shield. It comes on top of efforts by the Israeli military to, if you will, shore up that border in recent months and that includes a defensive wall along some portions. They have built cliffs into some of the mountainside there, as it's very, very hilly terrain. And they have cleared vegetation.
As for Operation Northern Shield, the Israeli military says it's been monitoring and trying to figure out if there are and where there are Hezbollah -- what they call attack tunnels, crossing from Lebanon into Israel, this morning it announcing the operation, the IDF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus says they are aware of a number of these tunnels, again, what they term attack tunnels.
They say less than 10 but as this operation continues, they expect to find more. Unlike the tunnels we're used from Gaza, which are hundreds of meters long, the Israeli military says these are dozens of meters long, crossing into Israeli sovereignty.
So this is the threat. You're right, though, that the Israeli military was also quick to point out that these are not operational yet. There are relatively short tunnels and there was no threat to civilians.
The threat now comes as Israel, it seems, as Israel tries to neutralize these, in their words, to try to take these tunnels out and what might the response be. That is where this becomes more than a maintenance issue and becomes essentially a very sensitive, perhaps a threat -- John.
VAUSE: yes, there always is potential, the dangers of unintended consequences, especially on the Israeli-Lebanon border. Those tunnels are unlike others that have been dug by Hamas in Gaza. These tunnels are being dug by Hezbollah, the military group with strong links to Iran.
LIEBERMANN: You are right. And that is one of Israel's biggest concerns, it's worth pointing out that the foreign ministry announced there are a number of diplomatic efforts that go with the announcing of this operation.
Key to point out, there's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in Brussels yesterday, where he met U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo. You have to believe that this was a prime part of what suddenly became an urgent meeting for the prime minister.
Israel has long pointed the finger at Iran. In fact, when Netanyahu spoke at the U.N. General Assembly, he pointed at Iran's work in the region and, specifically, Hezbollah for a number of different steps there.
Back to the tunnels point for a second, just comparing Gaza to Lebanon tunnels, Gaza tunnels are relatively easy to build. It's sandy soil there, it's easy to move quickly. The Hezbollah border is rocky and mountain. So this is a much more difficult operation on the part of not only Israel to try to stop these but to try to dig these on the part of Hezbollah, as Israel accuses Hezbollah of doing.
VAUSE: Oren, thank you, Oren Liebermann there with the very latest on that military operation underway right now on the Israeli-Lebanon border. We'll check in with you, Oren, as the day goes on, appreciate it.
France is preparing for another weekend of protests with the goal of keeping violence to a minimum. Three weeks of demonstrations against a fuel tax escalated into riots in Paris Saturday night.
President Emmanuel Macron postponed a trip to Serbia to deal with the biggest crisis of his administration. Paramedics joined the protest Monday over changes to their work rules.
A meeting between the government and representatives of so-called Yellow Vests was scheduled for Tuesday but right now it's unclear if that will actually happen and there are calls for the tax fuel hike to be suspended.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURENT WAUQUIEZ, PRESIDENT, LES REPUBLICANS (through translator): The time for debate is over. It's time for actions and measures. An immediate gesture of appeasement is required. And this gesture of appeasement, we ask that it be the immediate cancellation of the tax increases that are still scheduled for January 1 and that the senate, through the Republicans, has had canceled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Benjamin Haddad is a fellow at the Hudson Institute. He also worked as a Washington representative for Macron's presidential campaign last year and he is with us now from New York.
OK, Benjamin, thank you being with us. We'll get to the bigger picture here on what this all means for France and Europe in a moment.
But right now, where is the off-ramp for Macron?
How does he bring the temperature down?
There's some talk within the government of cutting taxes; on the other hand, they still haven't ruled out declaring a state of emergency. These are two very different options.
BENJAMIN HADDAD, FELLOW, HUDSON INSTITUTE: No, I don't think so because they think first the priority is obviously to confront the violence.
There's -- it's impossible to give in to the violence that we've seen from these protesters of the last few days, the vandalizing of public monuments, burning of cars, also some you know, outrageous demands like the resignation of the president.
We've heard today a spokesperson from the Yellow Vests, asking for President Macron to resign. He was elected a year ago and has a five years' term and be replaced by a military leader.
So obviously it's very important first for the government to impose its authority and refuse this violence.
HADDAD: At the same time, it is important to dialogue with those who want to have a constructive dialogue with your authorities and see how we can move forward. There's a lot of dissolution and discontent in the country that is not new; that is the product of 40 years of pent- up frustration over the lack of reforms of the political inertia.
This is actually what brought Emmanuel Macron to power last year. So it is important to have this conversation but not absolutely not given to discourage outburst of violence.
VAUSE: Yes; to be fair, you know, these are generational issues which have been building for a long time. It was the issue of tax increases on petrol and diesel which sparked these protests last month. You kind of mentioned this; since then, the grievances and the demands
have grown. They now include restoration of the country's wealth tax and increase for pensions and also an increase for the minimum wage, also cutting salaries for politicians.
Many commentators who have made the point a lot of the anger on the streets is directed at Macron himself. He's seen by many as just a president for the rich and he actually doesn't have a real traditional core base of supporters, which seems also to be a problem.
HADDAD: Yes. I think this is an unfair criticism. Once again, I mean, these are -- these ills that these people are protesting against did not start with Macron.
I mean the fact is that this country has not been prepared to face the economic challenges of globalization, has not been prepared to face the technological transition, green transition, this was actually why this tax on gasoline was installed in the first place with the support of a majority of the population.
But you know, when Macron took office, you had 10 percent unemployment, you had 25 percent youth unemployment, sluggish growth for the last decades. And you know, this is something different than even our neighbor, Germany, has, much lower unemployment and higher growth.
So, you know, it isn't necessary for France to take these steps and reform its economy. It's not going to happen overnight. I think President Macron already started last year with opening up and bringing flexibility to the labor market and connect taxes actually to a vast majority of the French population.
But obviously -- and it's completely legitimate -- there is a lot of impatience, there's a lot of frustration. But, once again, it's not acceptable to be expressed for violence.
VAUSE: Macron has not spoken publicly about the violence in Paris since he returned from the G20 summit. But on Saturday he tweeted that the -- you know, he has respect for the protests and also listened to the opposition.
He added that violence is unacceptable but we're also hearing from the government that there is an insistence that, you know, this diesel tax hike is going to go through.
And the insistence of sticking with the diesel tax hike, that oil -- the gas tax hike, that doesn't seem to be the central issue here, which seems to suggest that Macron and those around him yet to understand the full implications of these protests.
HADDAD: No. You're right. This goes way beyond the diesel tax. And you said it. I mean, we have demands that go from a higher minimum wage, lower retirement age, when the French are -- really has one of the longest retirement times in the world because of its high life expectancy, you know, a cap on salaries or banning outsourcing. This is a broader demand for protectionism. And I would say what
we're seeing you know in a grassroots level, to a large extent, is you have a lot of people are just disenfranchised, discontent, but you also have on-the-ground convergence between the far left and the far right.
Imagine in the United States if the occupying Tea Party had coalesced together in a more violent way. So what we're seeing, you know, you did say that President Macron brought together reformers, liberals, pro-European figures from the center left in the center right to create a sort of reformist majority beyond the traditional left/right divide.
And I think we're seeing a response from both the far left and the far right that right now is a leaderless and expressing itself in this very anarchic way. But I think it is growing into a political force that needs to be understood but also needs to be fought with both core ideas.
VAUSE: And with that in mind, here's an opinion piece which you wrote for "The Atlantic."
It reads in part, "Macron's fall reveals the profound challenges that moderate liberals face in a polarized political climate. As he pursues his reforms, he's also trying to reshape French politics, bringing together a coalition of reformers from both sides of the political aisle, elected with center left folks but governing with a mostly center right cabinet.
"His success or failure to hold the center in the face of populists may well shape the fate of liberals across Europe."
So what you're saying is that there are implications here not just only in France but for Europe.
It's a lot easier to, what, to rule by division like the American president, that is trying to bring together centrist from both left and right?
HADDAD: Yes. I think it is much more challenging to try to bring in structural reforms in a country that has been paralyzed for decades and to try to do it with a moderate vision and approach. Once again, what's interesting is that Macron's election was also a result of this discontent.
This is someone who was completely unknown in French politics only two years before running for president, who created his own party from scratch the year before, ran something like 90 percent of parliamentary candidates, who had never run for office, complete political novices.
And this is what the French wanted. So you already had this anger that he managed to respond to but without giving in to the populist violence or any extremist or nativist ideology.
But you know, once again, the impatience is very high and we see the tide of populism, you know, in Europe all over the place, from the far left and the far right. And this is a very challenging time and I personally hope that he doesn't give in and continue to push a reform- oriented agenda.
VAUSE: Yes. It is that middle road which has always being so very, very difficult or even sort of more difficult now than it seems to be for a very long time.
Ben, thank you for coming in. Good to see you.
HADDAD: Absolutely. Thank you.
VAUSE: The clock is ticking for a new trade deal between the U.S. and China after the leaders of both countries met this weekend at the G20 summit in Argentina and agreed to put their trade war on hold.
U.S. president Donald Trump says he expect China to ease auto tariffs as well as cracking down on intellectual property theft. In return, the U.S. will not impose a new set of tariffs which were set to begin in January.
The world's two largest economy now have 90 days, which started December 1st, to hammer out a new trade deal. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin laid out some -- just some -- of the details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: We have been working on this for the last year and a half. This is the first time we exchanged specifics on 142 different structural items.
President Xi laid out for President Trump very clearly what they are prepared to do on these issues. And the issues cover everything from purchasing more goods, which we have always talked about, but, more importantly, protecting intellectual property, eliminating forced joint ventures --
MNUCHIN: -- protecting U.S. technology, currency.
This was a big part of the discussion. We want to make sure that they don't depreciate the currency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: All three major indices in the U.S. jumped more than 1 percent on Monday in response to the trade war truce.
Five days of parliamentary debate that could make or break Theresa May's political legacy will begin in just a few hours. The House of Commons takes up the British prime minister's Brexit plan a week before a scheduled vote. And if the plan passes, Britain would leave the European Union March
29 under terms negotiated with Brussels. If it fails then Prime Minister May will be under pressure to resign.
When she opens debate, her office says she will tell lawmakers, "The British people want us to get on with a deal that honors the referendum and allows to us come together as a country, whichever way we voted."
When we come back here, moving tributes to a former U.S. president. The legacy of George H.W. Bush, that's ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM.
VAUSE: The body of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush is lying in state in the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The Bush family accompanied the 41st president's casket on board the presidential plane, on a flight from Houston, Texas, on Monday. His son, the 43rd president, George W. Bush, will deliver a eulogy at a memorial service at the National Cathedral on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump and former Presidents Obama, Clinton and Carter will also attend.
The funeral will take place Thursday in Houston and the former president's body will be interred alongside his wife, Barbara, at his presidential library in College Station, Texas, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was among those paying tribute at the Capitol on Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Throughout his life of service, President Bush personified grace. His character, his character was second to none. He reached the heights of power with uncommon humility. He made monumental contributions to freedom with a fundamental decency that resonates across generations.
No one better harmonized the joy of life and the duty of life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The White House has confirmed Donald Trump will attend Wednesday's state funeral. He will be seated front row, alongside former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Former president George W. Bush --
VAUSE: -- will deliver a eulogy for his father. Given Trump's criticism of past presidents, that seating plan alone is likely to highlight his isolation. And then there will be the service itself. The tributes and memorials for George H.W. Bush have struck a starkly similar tone as those for Senator John McCain, who died three months ago.
An outpouring of bipartisan praise, both men described as honorable, gracious, decent. Trump and McCain had publicly feuded for years.
He wasn't invited to the senator's funeral, which became an extended comparison between a selfless war hero, dedicated to public service, and a man who avoided the Vietnam draft with four deferments of college and a fifth for bone spurs.
VAUSE: Well, there is similar bad blood between the Bush family and Donald Trump, the 41st president made clear he wanted the current U.S. president at his funeral. Placing the office of the presidency above any personal ill will.
And while the service will try to steer clear of the anti-Trump turn on McCain's funeral, they will still be talk of sacrifice in service, of selflessness, a greater good. Intended or not, that praise alone is likely to sound like a criticism of Donald Trump.
For more now, presidential historian, Mike Purdy, is with us from Seattle.
Mike, thanks for taking the time to be with us.
MIKE PURDY, FOUNDER, PRESIDENTIALHISTORY.COM: Thank you.
VAUSE: This is President Donald Trump who likes praise, he likes being praised. I wonder if on Wednesday, after speaker to speak and remembers George W. Bush and his life of service at such glowing terms.
Is it just possible that, maybe for a moment, the 45th president will stop and ask himself, "What will they say about me? What will my legacy be?"
PURDY: Well, I think we can hope that. Although personally, I would be pessimistic about it. I mean, I think President Trump at some point needs to begin to reflect on the fact of what life will be like when he does not control his Twitter narrative. And when history will be the judge of his deeds and he won't have control over it.
He likes being the center of attention obviously. And so, that is going to be -- that's his challenge as president to rise to the occasion. He, of course, has a very difficult history with the presidents that he will be with.
He called Barack Obama the worst president in the history of our country. Bill Clinton was the worst abuser of women in the history of our country.
He criticized George H.W. Bush in his thousand points of light and said, "What does that mean anyway?"
So, he's got a big history with these presidents and they have a history with him, as well, in terms of saying things about him. Obama said he was unfit to be President.
PURDY: Clinton said he didn't know much.
VAUSE: You know, (INAUDIBLE) is being appointed to the first Gulf War as one of the highlights of President George H.W. Bush's presidency. On the eve of that war, he addressed the nation. Here's part of it. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, 41ST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations. A new world order, a world for the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, President Bush saw this world of shared responsibilities. Smaller states no longer at the mercy of stronger nations.
I just wonder if over the weekend, do we see Donald Trump's vision of a new world order at the G20?
You know, with that high-five handshake between -- you know, leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia, two men with no regard for international norms or standards of international law. They act with impunity and they had the support of the current U.S. president.
PURDY: That's right. I think Donald Trump has totally blown up the presidency in terms of our relationships with other countries. Expected norms, collaboration, pulling out of trade agreements, pulling out of the purse -- a climate agreement.
And I think President Trump's actions are because he always wants to be at the center of attention. And I think that's what is going to make this weekend -- this week a difficult one for the president because it won't be about him.
And I wonder if we'll see some tweets coming out afterwards in anger. We'll have to see how that plays out.
VAUSE: Yes, this will be -- look, knowing this president as we know him now, this will obviously not be an easy time on Wednesday. But, especially if you listen to what's already being said -- you know, making this comparison between Donald Trump and George H.W. Bush.
And President Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, she made that comparison during an interview on CNN just a few hours ago. Listen to part of it, here it is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATTI DAVIS, DAUGHTER OF RONALD REAGAN: The president is supposed to revere democracy and all of the institutions that hold it up. The president is supposed to work with our allies with diplomacy and respect. And at --
DAVIS: -- the same time, stand up to autocrats who murder people.
The president is supposed to understand and adhere to the Constitution. The president is supposed to be a grown-up. You know, 9-year olds are should be able to look up to the President of the United States, not feel that he's one of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, I've just wanted Trump's bombastic divisive style and style of politics has that sort of embellished or -- you know improved, if you like, the legacies of past presidents?
Because there's almost this longing for those days, whether or not they were real or imagined.
PURDY: You know, I think it has to some extent. I think we compare a president's who pass away to the current president. And we've got some pretty big extremes. I mean, George H.W. Bush is going to be remembered, I think for his basic sense of decency.
For the fact that he was a civil man, he was a consensus builder, a collaborator, he knew how to compromise, if you look at -- you know, what he did in terms of developing the coalition for the Gulf War.
So, Bush knew how to do that and Trump doesn't appear to have those skills. And so, yes, we compare them and we look at them quite differently.
VAUSE: Yes. They -- quite differently, too, if you look at the relationship between reporters and the presidency, "The New York Times" opinion writer, Maureen Dowd, had an anecdote from her time as a White House reporter, covering -- you know, the George H.W. Bush administration.
There's this friendship, which, you know, I guess that not a lot of people knew about. It was -- she talked about how it developed over the years.
Here's part of her column.
"'Put it this way,' he wrote me once, 'I reserve the right to whine, to not read, to use profanity. But if you ever get really hurt or if you ever get really down and need a shoulder to cry on, or just need a friend, give me a call. I'll be there for you. I'll not let you down.
"'Now, go on out and knock my knickers off. When you do, I might just cancel my subscription.'"
You know, that's a very long way, but it's far away as you could possibly get from, you know, the enemy of the people.
VAUSE: Has the coverage of the White House changed so much in those years?
Or is it just that this president, the current occupant of the White House, is he just really thin-skinned compared to others?
PURDY: Well, I think, he is very thin-skinned. I think some of his actions and past actions, perhaps, have caused the press to be critical. And I think, rightly so, all presidents have challenges with the media because the media is there to hold government to account.
And to the extent that a president is more out in left-field shall we say, then the media is going to be there. You can go back and look at Watergate and President Nixon. And they did a good job in terms of uncovering what was going on.
But I think what that quote you read, you know, indicates is George H.W. Bush knew and understood and valued relationships. That was the key and he knew how to praise people. He was probably better as president behind the scenes. He wasn't a very good upfront sometimes.
He struggled with what he called the vision thing. And he was more comfortable, I think, behind the scenes. But he was very effective at it because he knew how to build relationships.
VAUSE: Yes and of course, this is a moment for the nation to remember and obviously to take time to consider where it is -- you know, where -- and where it is being and where it is going. And these are all very difficult issues.
But Mikey, thank you so much being with us. We appreciate it.
PURDY: Certainly, my pleasure. Thanks.
VAUSE: Donald Trump lashing out at his former attorney, Michael Cohen, who is cooperating with the Russia investigation. The president says he wants Cohen to be sent to prison for a full sentence, no special treatment. Sara Murray has more details.
SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the Russia probe barreling closer to President Trump, he's taken to Twitter to rail against the investigation and his former attorney.
After Michael Cohen's attorneys asked in a weekend filing that Cohen receive no prison time, Trump lashed out, tweeting, "You mean he can do all of the terrible, unrelated to Trump things having do with fraud, big loans, taxis, et cetera and not serve a long prison term?
"He makes up stories to get a great and already reduced deal for himself. He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence."
The recent Cohen filings reflect not only on his actions but also on Trump's.
Filings show how Cohen kept then candidate Trump in the loop about the potential Trump Tower Moscow project as late as June 2016. He and Trump also discussed possible travel to Russia in the --
MURRAY (voice-over): -- summer of 2016, a trip that would have taken place after Trump accepted the GOP nomination in Cleveland.
TRUMP: I humbly and gratefully accept --
MURRAY (voice-over): Now Trump is changing his story on the Moscow project.
TRUMP: I have no deals in Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia.
Everybody knew about it. It was written about in newspapers. It was a well-known project.
MURRAY (voice-over): But, in fact, the deal wasn't made public until 2017. And Trump's shifting stories are raising alarm with Democratic lawmakers.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D): One question has always been why was the president so obsequious to Putin from the beginning of the campaign up to the present day and it may be that it's because the Kremlin has leverage over the president.
MURRAY (voice-over): Cohen said in a filing that when he was preparing to testify before lawmakers he was in "close and relative contact" with the president's lawyers and White House staff.
Cohen would later admit his congressional testimony was a lie. For all Trump's fury with Cohen, he's clearly pleased with long-time political adviser, Roger Stone.
ROGER STONE, LONG-TIME TRUMP ALLY: There is no circumstance under which I would testify against the president because I would have to bear false witness against him. I would have to make things up.
MURRAY (voice-over): Trump hailing Stone's comments on Twitter today.
"Nice to know that some people still have guts."
VAUSE: And that was political correspondent Sara Murray. And some legal experts say the message from the president to Roger Stone amounts to witness tampering. However, they add, proving that in court is difficult.
The president of the United States may be in denial but the U.N. is not. The urgent call for action coming out of COP24, the climate change conference in Poland. That's just ahead.
Also the White House maybe not be taking climate change seriously but one Texas city. Coming up, extreme measures in El Paso.
VAUSE: Thanks for staying with us, everybody, you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
[02:30:00] VAUSE: Early this hour in Poland for major U.N. climate conference, the first day of COP24 wrapped Monday with officials trying to implement the 2015 Paris climate accord. Unlike that landmark agreement, the U.S. is not playing a major role at this conference.
It doesn't have a major presence at the conference and (INAUDIBLE) climate change was the world's greatest threat in thousands of years. (INAUDIBLE) spoke to CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, BROADCASTER AND NATURAL HISTORIAN: I think that the condition of the -- that the earth is facing has never been visible to a large proportion of the world's population and it's the responsibility of people who do this sort of work that I do to make sure that one is happening is visible to people. To -- my -- they know but it's also visible to the people who have their fingers on power both political power, and fiscal power, monetary power to do something about the situation which is every day that passes it gets more and more serious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, there's broad scientific consensus that the world's climate is warming and that humans are basically responsible. Some still insist it's either a natural occurrence. It's possibly even hoax or at least it is overstated. We'll go to Pedram Javaheri right now to go through some of the facts and some of the fiction, you know, because there is a lot of misinformation out there and it comes from both sides I guess.
But it seems obviously, you know, the denial side puts a lot more stuff out there which kind of seems a little bit true but it's not. PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know, you
said it well last hour too I think the term global warming versus climate change where the change that the switch between the term usage happened that really gave people on either side kind of a lot more energy to go towards this being potentially not what they wanted to believe. But, you know, data as we have said over and over suggests that this is completely a one-way street here when it comes to the dramatic warming we've seen in recent decades.
You see since 1850 to 2017 the significant shift again in the past several decades. Some of the myths we've come across and we see routinely are that climate change has happened before and that part of it --
VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) true, right?
JAVAHERI: It is absolutely. And it's happened many, many times. But it happens typically in the course of thousands if not millions of years our planet four and a half billion years old.
VAUSE: So that's half the story.
JAVAHERI: It is half the story. But, you know, what we're seeing in the most recent decades have a human signature all over them because of the levels of carbon dioxide and (INAUDIBLE) take ice core samples and to the Arctic go down many meters and every single meter go down -- you go down you see many years of data and you can get the bubbles out and melt those and see the levels of CO2 and they're considerably lower than any time in recent history.
And, of course, the trend corresponds very well, John, when it comes to temps going up on and the carbon dioxide levels going up as well as a result. But, you know, folks say forecasts are unreliable. They give me a hard time very frequently --
JAVAHERI: And, you know, the daily forecasts are completely different volumes. Significant variables when it comes to daily forecast and it's almost counter intuitive because you think long-term, that's when you're probably more inaccurate --
VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) over longer period of time --
JAVAHERI: It does. Exactly. And when you look at a broad perspective of all of these you really see a nice scale of how things played out and they've actually proven to be accurate many times already. We forecasted in the past three decades or so that we're going to see sea levels begin to rise and that's precisely what's happened. And in fact right now even since 1992, the highest level of sea rise there happening off the coast of the Philippines portions just north of Australia as well.
And when you take a look at who is most responsible as far as CO2 emissions based on 2014 study here, John, you see from India, to E.U., to China, and the U.S. in particular running away with this.
VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) 1.4 billion people in China, 300 million people in the United States --
JAVAHERI: Absolutely. So then you see that and of course people that are least responsible and contributors to climate change are dealing with it most severely and will continue to do so. And when it comes to, you know, volcanoes, folks say that they emit more CO2. It is completely false. In fact, temperatures they say cool off with a heat because of volcanoes and (INAUDIBLE) in the year without a summer occurred as a result of volcanoes where temperatures globally dropped three degrees, so everything they have statistically proven inaccurate.
VAUSE: The one I like the best is all those climate change scientists cashing in on the climate change study industry and making a fortunate for their brown sweaters and their (INAUDIBLE)
VAUSE: There is no climate change cashing in --
VAUSE: -- to say they're committed. Pedram, thank you.
JAVAHERI: Thanks, John.
VAUSE: Well, the U.S. government is not taking climate change particularly seriously. Many U.S. communities is an everyday reality. This is El Paso in Texas is facing a major drought. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has a look at the extreme measures being taken to survive.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You're looking at the place where the Rio Grande, the mighty river once flowed. Today, dust and sand instead of water. This is El Paso, Texas, just across the border Juarez, Mexico, hardly any rain here, not much humidity, just dry.
[02:35:15] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were forecast to be run out of water by the year 2020.
GUPTA: (INAUDIBLE) ran the water utility in El Paso when that dire prediction was made in 1989. Then El Pasoans were using around 200 gallons of water per person per day and so Ed's first order of business was to simply preach conservation. Residents were paid to turn green lawns into brown desert landscapes, and it helped quite a bit. Today, El Pasoans have cut their water usage by 35 percent per person. But for a city that significantly relied on the river, it was becoming increasingly dry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no question that I think that climate changes are affecting the Rio Grande.
GUPTA: To better understand what climate change looks like here, we traveled two hours up river just outside of truth or consequences, New Mexico. We made our way now to the Elephant Butte dam. You can see it over here behind me. Built in 1916. At times the water has become so high that it would actually spill through the dam. But take a look at the water levels now. It's about three percent of the total capacity.
PHIL KING, CIVIL ENGINEERING, NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY: What we are seeing is a systematic increase in temperature. So we're seeing the snowmelt run off earlier and historical, and a more rapid melt than average. And again, for a given level of snowpack less runoff actually reaching the river and reaching our reservoir here.
GUPTA: Phil King is a professor of civil engineering at New Mexico State University. We're certainly that what we're seeing here is worsened by climate change.
KING: With very high confidence, yes.
GUPTA: A reservoir like this may fill again one day, but when it does it probably won't fill as quickly and the water will drain faster than ever before. That's the thing about climate change. It doesn't happen drip by drip. It is cycles that are continually getting worse and worse. And so to keep this major American city from going completely dry despite being nowhere near a coast, they built the world's large inland desalination plant. It treats the brackish water underneath El Paso's main aquifers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It basically gives El Paso an insurance policy against drought.
GUPTA: Another more provocative step creating a closed loop. Exactly what it sounds like. Treating sewage water and then sending it directly back into drinking water pipes. Toilet to tap. (INAUDIBLE) El Paso Water shows me how it's done. It starts by filtering out solids like rags and wipes out of raw sewage then there are many levels of filtration and treatment for the bacteria, viruses, and everything else. Moment of truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's do it.
GUPTA: OK. Let's do this. Smells like water. It looks like water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheers.
GUPTA: It's what is necessary to make El Paso drought resistant. A taste like water. (END VIDEOTAPE)
VAUSE: Thanks to Dr. Sanjay Gupta for that report. And we'll be right back.
[02:41:09] VAUSE: Well, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg helped turn the phrase lean in to inter (INAUDIBLE) but sometimes leaning in doesn't work as the former U.S. first lady and now best-selling author Michelle Obama put up bluntly on her book tour (INAUDIBLE) to make a point. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Remember when Michelle Obama made this motto famous.
MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: When they go low, we go high. Always going high when they go low.
MOOS: But what about going a bit low when it comes to language using a word many of us used privately, oh, say a dozen or so times a day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you.
MOOS: Before a sold-out crowd at an arena in Brooklyn, Mrs. Obama was talking about equality within marriage and having career. I tell women that whole you can have it all, nope, not at the same time. That's a lie. It's not always enough to lean in because that doesn't work all the time. The lean in reference was to Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg's book entitled Lean In.
SHERYL SANDBERG, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, FACEBOOK: Do not lean back, lean in.
MOOS: Meaning women should be more aggressive on their own behalf in the workplace. It was the lean in idea that Mrs. Obama dissed with the S word.
MOOS: The good news is we don't have to bleep the former first lady. The bad news is that's because we couldn't find video of the moment or swearing brought them the house.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOOS: She said (INAUDIBLE) and we all went crazy tweeted one audience member tattoo it on my body write another tweet. The line that you can have it all deserves an expletive. Amen. But critics call it classless. Mrs. Obama immediately caught herself saying I forgot where I was for a moment. I was getting real comfortable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I'm back now. But sometimes that stuff doesn't work. MOOS: She swaps stuff for the cuss word. A cuss word that had
stronger than what our husband once called Kanye West.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a jackass.
MOOS: The mugs in front of Michelle read find your voice. Some fan of her voice to be course that when (INAUDIBLE) hit the fan. Her fans didn't give a (INAUDIBLE) Jeanne Moos, CNN New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.
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