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Golden Globes; Accountability for MBS?; Protests in Myanmar. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 01, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Pro-democracy demonstrators brave the streets again in Myanmar, after security forces open fire, in the deadliest day since
last month's coup.
We ask the U.N.'s special enjoy how the international community can end the bloodshed and defend human rights.
Then: the White House slammed for not punishing the Saudi crown prince himself for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. What will the U.S. do to hold
him accountable? I talk to "The New York Times" Ben Hubbard, author of "MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed Bin Salman."
JODIE FOSTER, ACTRESS: I am a little speechless. I just never expected to ever be here again.
AMANPOUR: Women and Brits win big at the Golden Globes, but should the awards show itself polish up its own image?
ELIZABETH KOLBERT, AUTHOR: It's not clear how the political system will respond to any of these challenges.
AMANPOUR: Reversing climate change. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert talks to our Hari Sreenivasan about whether scientific
innovation can save our planet.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
The international community is under new pressure to defend democracy and human rights after crackdowns in hot spots around the globe, the most
dramatic, in Myanmar where defiant protesters returned to the streets and stared down authorities yet again today. They confronted fear after
security forces killed at least 18 people on Sunday. That's according to the U.N.
Today, the elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was hit with a new charge, inciting unrest. In a moment, I will speak to the U.N. special envoy on
But, first, correspondent Ivan Watson has the tragic story of twin brothers who got caught up in the military's latest crackdown.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shock and grief after the deadliest day since Myanmar's month-old military coup;
33-year-old Ko Ko Aung Htet Naing and his mother mourn the sudden loss of his twin brother, Nyi Nyi. He was one of the victims of Sunday's burst of
KO KO AUNG HTET NAING, VICTIM'S BROTHER: I mean, we go to the road and then we fight for our democracy, but they shoot my brother.
WATSON: Ko Ko says the twins attended many protests against the military dictatorship after the February 1 military coup.
AUNG HTET NAING: Against the military coup, and all -- we really want a democracy.
WATSON: On the night of Saturday, February 27. Nyi Nyi posted what would be his final message on Facebook,
On Sunday morning, the twins were part of this crowd in front of Yangon's No. 5 business education high school. A half-hour earlier, police had fired
tear gas down this street, sending protesters running. But at 9:20 a.m., after a brief lull in the tension, this was Nyi Nyi crumpled in front of
the school gates.
Amid more gunfire, bystanders struggled to drag him to safety. The brothers had been separated in the panic. Ko Ko only learned that his brother was
fatally wounded with a bullet to the stomach, after he repeatedly cold his twin's phone.
AUNG HTET NAING: I called my brother again and again. After that, one of the guys, he take my phone, and he said: "This is not your brother. Your
brother has been shot by the military."
WATSON: The spasm of violence erupted across Myanmar Sunday, claiming victims in at least six cities, according to the United Nations Human
The U.N. secretary-general and U.S. secretary of state both condemned security forces for attacking peaceful protesters. CNN has tried to reach
the military for comment, but it has not responded. The military-controlled media insists police only used tear gas and stun grenades against what they
describe as rioting protesters.
On Monday, protesters were back out on the streets of Yangon rebuilding their barricades. Sunday's killings have only angered the anti-military
movement, this activist says:
THINZAR SHUNLEI YI, ACTIVIST: Even today, after many people got killed yesterday, even today, we see a lot of people out on streets. They resisted
in the same scale. So, nothing can eventually stop us. That's what the military needs to be convinced about that.
WATSON: there's a memorial on the street where Nyi Nyi bled. Ko Ko hopes his brother's death will not be in vain.
AUNG HTET NAING: Please help us, the Myanmar people. Please reject our military, because they are not our leader. They are not our government,
They are not our future.
AMANPOUR: Ivan Watson reporting there.
And joining me now is Christine Schraner Burgener, the U.N. special envoy on Myanmar.
Welcome to the program.
That was a pretty bald-faced display of courage and determination by a population that has now seen live fire directed at it. How do you think
this is going to proceed? They don't show any sign of backing down in front of the junta's violence.
CHRISTINE SCHRANER BURGENER, U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY ON MYANMAR: Yes, indeed.
And I think this is the only thing they can do to resist, and in this peaceful mean, because, in my view, the Tatmadaw, the army, is just waiting
that also people will take arms and defend themselves.
So, it's very dangerous. And I beg the people in Myanmar not to fall in this trap, so to stay peaceful, but it's clearly very easy to say from a
AMANPOUR: But, Special Enjoy, you don't think they're not being peaceful? The protesters are being peaceful, aren't they?
SCHRANER BURGENER: Yes.
AMANPOUR: I mean, the U.N. has condemned the junta, not the protesters.
SCHRANER BURGENER: No, I mean, that the protester could fall in the trap of the army, because they provoke now.
Also, they are spreading rumors about a situation of the detained people. And that could make the people on the street very angry. So I hope they
will keep their strengths. And I'm in daily contact with so many people. And it's clearly very sad to read all the messages I receive every day.
More than 1,000 people call me to help them.
And last week, I was in contact about three hours, meeting with 200 people around the country. And we discussed, and I listened to them, but it's
really devastating to see the situation.
AMANPOUR: Well, essentially, what you're saying is that you're getting pleas to help, but it doesn't look like you can do very much.
Let me just read you what the U.N.'s human rights expert on Myanmar says, Tom Andrews: "The leaders of this military junta have demonstrated their
capacity for brutality. The message they're sending today is clear. They're going to continue their assault on the people of Myanmar."
And we recently spoke to a journalist there who, somewhat like you, believes that the military, the junta, is in it for the long haul. And they
are hunkering down. And, as we have seen, they are not afraid, despite international condemnation, of using live fire and brute force.
What can the United Nations do?
SCHRANER BURGENER: Well, I would like to go to Myanmar as quickly as possible.
And I asked the army, and I had two long discussion with the deputy commander in chief, that I would like to come to listen to everybody to
calm the situation and to find, in dialogue, solution. But I have an office in the capital, Naypyidaw, and I could go with my visa.
But it makes only sense to travel if they are ready to talk with me and if I can receive to Aung San Suu Kyi and the president and others.
AMANPOUR: So, let's just be clear. They're telling the U.N. special envoy that she is not allowed to see either the leaders or the elected leader
SCHRANER BURGENER: They told me that it doesn't depend of my condition. So, if they are not ready to receive me yet -- they didn't say no, but they
said not yet.
I clearly asked, what does it mean? And they said, well, they have to do two steps before I come. The first is to continue interrogation of detained
people, especially also Aung San Suu Kyi about the financial situation of her foundation related to the election.
The second one is to stop the disobedience movement. And then they will receive me in a peaceful environment, they said. But I said that, clearly,
I would like...
AMANPOUR: Sorry to interrupt you. That sounds chilling.
SCHRANER BURGENER: Yes, exactly. So, I...
AMANPOUR: It sounds like they want to force a -- quote, unquote -- "peaceful situation."
Let me ask you how much hope you have that they will actually invite you in. We are hearing reports from sources that the military -- so-called
foreign ministry that belongs to the military right now -- they have taken it over -- they are recalling ambassadors and diplomats from many, many
postings around the world, including the U.S., the U.K. and others, and repopulating these foreign missions with friendly diplomats to the junta.
Presumably, they want to control the narrative.
SCHRANER BURGENER: Yes, clearly, I think they have a clear textbook.
And the coup was planned in advance, in my view, because you cannot change the whole government in one day. The ministers were in place on the second
day of the coup. We heard that all those people from other parties visited the commander in chief already last August in the capital.
So, this, I think it's a clear textbook also that they arrest NLD people. This is, in my view, the aim to ban the NLD party and to hold a new
election. And the Tatmadaw, the army deputy commander in chief told me that they would like to hold new elections in one year.
But clearly, in my view, they want to win and to continue to stay in power. And that they now replace people in embassies is also for me clear in their
strategy. But we should also know that, in the past, all the ministries also had many military guys from the past.
So, it was already very difficult for the NLD government to govern. And I had so many discussions on reforms. And then I suddenly always realized
that people in the ministries are influenced or are old guys from the army, and it was already difficult before the coup.
AMANPOUR: So, NLD is obviously the party of Aung San Suu Kyi.
And one of her ambassadors, who was at the United Nations, so the Myanmar ambassador to the U.N., made an incredibly brave speech over the weekend in
which he appealed for the world not to buy into the junta's rewriting of history and crackdown on democracy,
Let's just play a little bit of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYAW MOE TUN, MYANMAR AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: We need for the strongest possible action from the international community to immediately
end the military coup, to stop oppressing the innocent people, to return the state power to the people, and to restore the democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, again, a very brave intervention in public. It's very rare to see Myanmar officials do that. He was fired for that.
And the question again, is, so, what? I mean, he's in the United Nations asking you to help. Obviously, the U.N. is made up of the sum of its parts.
What is the most important obstacle to you least at least the U.N. being able to hold the junta to account? Is it China? Is it the junta itself?
What is the problem?
SCHRANER BURGENER: I think it must be a unity in the international community.
And if I heard the member states last Friday, when I gave a briefing at the General Assembly in New York, then I could hear the overwhelming position
of not like the situation, that they demand the release of the prisoners, and that stability is coming back with democratization.
But, clearly, there were some states, they didn't condemn the coup. And, also, many member states in the ASEAN are -- have the policy of
noninterference. So, unity will be the most important thing.
Tomorrow, the foreign ministers of ASEAN, they have a meeting, and they will also discuss Myanmar. So, I'm very curious about the results of
tomorrow. But I also hope that the Security Council of the U.N. will come very quickly with a new meeting and make decisions.
AMANPOUR: Well, it's really important.
And, as you say, Special Envoy, the U.S. has said that there will now -- quote -- "be further costs" imposed on those responsible. And the national
security adviser of the United States is promising further details in the coming days. So, let's see what happened -- What happens.
Thank you so much for joining us.
And we're going to turn now to the wholesale assault on human rights in Yemen, which has reached a new low. It is the world's worst humanitarian
crisis, as the six-year-war drags on between Iran-backed rebels and the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia.
One of that coalition's bombing raids over the weekend killed five civilians, including a woman and a child, according to the U.N.
Riyadh's shoddy human rights record was already in the headlines after the White House released an unclassified report concluding that the crown
prince approved the capture or murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
And now the Biden administration is facing criticism for allowing Mohammed bin Salman to escape unpunished.
Here to discuss is "The New York Times"' Beirut bureau chief, Ben Hubbard. He's author of "MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed Bin Salman"
Welcome back to the program, Ben Hubbard.
I mean, you know the dynamics of Saudi Arabia, and you have spent such a long time writing about the current de facto ruler there, that you know as
well as anybody. What is the conundrum? Do you think it is fair that the United States is being blamed for not holding MBS personally accountable in
terms of visa restrictions or sanctions or the like?
BEN HUBBARD, AUTHOR, "MBS: THE RISE TO POWER OF MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN": Well, there's certainly a lot -- certainly, in the human rights community and a
lot of Saudi dissidents, members of Congress, lots of people that were hugely disappointed at the, I would say, somewhat limited action that the
administration decided to take.
There have even been voices of people saying that the U.S. should somehow get involved in the Saudi succession process to try to stop Mohammed bin
Salman from becoming Saudi Arabia's next king.
I think the trick here is that I think the consensus among I think most Saudi experts is that MBS is not going anywhere. I think most people
recognize that there are not many rivals that he has left and that, unless something remarkable and unexpected happens, he's very likely to become the
next king of Saudi Arabia, and he could be in place for many, many decades.
So, I think that the challenge here for the Biden administration was that they had to strike a balance. They, on one hand, wanted to lay down some
red lines and say this kind of behavior is unacceptable, and that, if this sort of thing goes on in the future, we're likely to take even harsher
measures against it.
But at the same time, I think that there was a risk of causing a full-scale breach with a partner that the United States has had a functional
relationship with for now 76 years. So, I think that's really where kind of the tension in this decision came from.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me play what the White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, has said about -- basically answering this very question, about why the
ruler, the de facto ruler, has himself not being hit with any punishment, although the organization that was blamed for carrying out the hit directly
and personally has been sanctioned.
Let's just play what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Historically, and even in recent history, Democratic and Republican administrations, there have not been
sanctions put in place for the leaders of foreign governments where we have diplomatic relations and even where we don't have diplomatic relations.
And we believe there is more effective ways to make sure this doesn't happen again and to also be able to leave room to work with the Saudis on
areas where there is mutual agreement, where there is interests, national interests, for the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Ben, she's kind of saying from the podium what you sort of said that, this has been a decades-long relationship, et cetera.
But, of course, Donald Trump did sanction the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, and also the foreign minister, Javad Zarif. So there is
a precedent set.
The other issue is that the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings has said that you kind of can't have it both ways, have your
intelligence community of the United States blame the de facto ruler of a country for a brutal murder, and then say, oh, but we're not going to do
anything about it to you, because that gives sort of like a carte blanche. She said it's actually dangerous.
Weigh in on that.
HUBBARD: Well, I think the release of the report and the new sanctions that came out on Friday, I mean, they were they were a resounding slap to
the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. I mean, there's little precedent in the history of this relationship or anything like that.
I mean, just making these public, not an official -- sort of a leak to the media, but in putting them out in an official government document that
nobody can argue is inauthentic and argue is a rumor or anything like that, is accusing him of complicity in such a heinous crime, is really something
that we have never seen before.
Now, in terms of where this goes in the future, it really depends. I mean, I think that there is a hope in the administration that this is a way --
there's kind of an acknowledgment that they're going to have to interact with this guy. They can't just dump Saudi Arabia. They can't get rid of him
and put some other crown prince in place.
And so I think that there's -- I think there's -- the debate going on here is really, what kind of effect is this going to have on his behavior? I
think the administration hopes that -- he's young. He's only 35 years old. Maybe he's going to learn from this and that will help him sort of learn
how to avoid this kind of thing in the future.
There's certainly plenty of other people who worry that you're giving people, leaders in countries like this a green light, and basically saying
you can get away with this kind of thing, and the United States will not punish you directly, because we need you for things.
And so the only way we can really see where it -- how it's going to work out is to see kind of how Mohammed bin Salman proceeds into the future.
AMANPOUR: OK. Well, Ben, what does the United States really need Saudi Arabia for right now? And, I mean, that's a serious question. I realize
they have been allies strategically for many, many years. It was based on the ability to get cheap oil, in return for securing the kingdom, based on
FDR's first agreement with the first king, Ibn Saud.
But where does it stand right now? I mean, the dynamic has changed. And just look at Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition conducted another bombing
raid. We have got kids, we have got women killed. Again, the U.N. massively disappointed that only $1.7 billion was raised for an impending famine in
What does the U.S. really need from Saudi Arabia? Who needs who more, is my point?
HUBBARD: Well, there's certainly no question that I think Saudi Arabia needs the United States more than the United States needs Saudi Arabia.
I think there's a certain amount of inertia here, the fact that this relationship has been around for such a long time. There are major changes
going on in the relationship. I mean, you spoke about, a number of decades ago, the U.S. was incredibly -- Saudi oil was very, very important to the
United States. That's not the case anymore.
The United States in general now produces much of its own oil. And so it's just much less dependent on that. I think the argument for maintaining the
relationship comes down to the role that Saudi Arabia plays in a number of things. Having stable global oil markets is still important to the United
Saudi Arabia is still the largest and wealthiest country in the Muslim world, or -- and sort of one of the most powerful countries in the Arabic
and the Muslim world. And so there's an idea that anything that the United States wants to do there, having the heft of Saudi Arabia involved in that
is going to make it easier for them to do what they want to do.
You certainly have other powerful foreign policy experts who will argue that the Saudis have just gotten away with too much for too long, the
relationship is not as important as it used to be, and that the United States can use its leverage over Saudi Arabia to try to get some changes on
some of these more egregious behaviors.
AMANPOUR: And yet who knows, because we keep seeing them. I mean, for instance, you have been covering it for a very long time.
And you believe you were hacked and tech experts told you that you were probably hacked by them. And we know also that it's even difficult now to
speak truth to power as a journalist.
Take Bryan Fogel, the documentary producer of "The Dissident," a film about Jamal Khashoggi's death, a forensic investigative look at this, and he
can't get a global platform to release it, because of their want to have deals with Saudi Arabia.
Talk to me about that part of this equation now, because they clearly have an intimidating effect on media and on business leaders.
HUBBARD: Yes, I mean, they definitely have a lot of heft that they can use.
And I think that's one of the reasons that the release of this report was so interesting. I mean, this is very much in an arena where the Saudis
cannot do much to push back. There's no way that they could have stopped this process from moving forward, not in Congress, not in the White House.
They couldn't have done anything to prevent this report from coming out.
And so I think that, in a way, I don't want to say puts them in their place, but it sort of puts them on warning. I think that, if I were sitting
in Riyadh right now, I would be sort of looking over a lot of these things that I have been involved in, recognizing the amount of damage that they
have done to the standing of my country, to the reputation of the crown prince, and the way that they have overshadowed a lot of the, I think,
positive changes that are actually taking place inside the kingdom.
I mean, who talks about these things anymore?Giving women the right to drive, loosening some of the some of the social restrictions, changing
religious rhetoric, I mean, all of these kinds of human rights issues, all of the hacking, the social media manipulation, and then these kind of
efforts to go after and silence dissidents, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, all of that has completely overshadowed everything that I think the
leadership in Saudi Arabia right now would like to be known for.
And so I think that's all got to be part of their calculation. Whether they think that they continue -- they can continue to get away with this stuff,
I don't know. I mean, I think that I would have -- a lesson that I would have drawn from that would have been, well, this is damaging my reputation.
And if I want to have the standing in the world that I believe that I should have, then I might have to change my ways.
AMANPOUR: Just very briefly, on the issue of Western investigative reporters trying to get their work broadcast on global platforms, and not
being able to because of business agreements with whatever it is, China, Russia Saudi Arabia, as a journalist, how do you feel about that?
And what's the chilling effect of that?
HUBBARD: Well, it's going to be a major -- I mean, it's going to be a major factor. I mean, sure, I think that news organizations have always
built ways to keep themselves insulated from that, where sort of the money side doesn't touch the journalism side. But it's much more difficult if
you're in the era of Netflix.
I mean, if you're a documentary filmmaker, and you don't have a newspaper, or you don't have a TV station that's going to publish your documentary,
you need to get it on one of these distribution networks, and then I think it becomes much, much more difficult.
We get into the culture realm, you get into television shows, things like that, and these, at the end of the day, are for-profit companies. They're
not -- their primary goal is not disseminating information, per se, but disseminating entertainment and turning a profit.
And so if you're -- if you're Netflix, and you're now looking at the Arab world, and looking at markets that you want to get into, Saudi Arabia is
incredibly attractive, population of 30 million, lots of people with money and TVs to buy your subscriptions.
And so when you sort of make the decision about, oh, do we put up this documentary that might cause them to block some of our content or not let
us into their country, you're going to think twice about that. And I think the same goes for China and for other authoritarian states that are using
their heft to try to limit the information that their people can look at.
Chilling, indeed, Ben Hubbard, thank you so much indeed for joining us tonight.
Now, human rights were the key theme of the film that we have featured on this program. Of course, we have done "The Dissident," but also "The
Mauritanian" about Mohamedou Ould Salahi's 14-year ordeal in Guantanamo Bay without charge.
Last week, we spoke to Jodie Foster about her role as his lawyer, Nancy Hollander. And on Sunday, Foster won the Golden Globe for best supporting
Women walked away with quite a few of the trophies, including the prize for best director. Chloe Zhao became the first Asian woman to win that Category
4 for "Nomadland."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHLOE ZHAO, DIRECTOR: "Nomadland" is core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing. So, for everyone who has gone through this difficult and
beautiful journey at some point in their lives, this is for you.
We don't say goodbye. We say, see you down the road. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And no woman had won best director since Barbra Streisand in 1984.
But history couldn't eclipse controversy. The Globes have faced withering criticism for the lack of diversity among their nominees and in their own
Nischelle Turner is a host of "Entertainment Tonight," and she's joining me from Los Angeles to talk about all of this.
Welcome back to the program, Nischelle.
Just your reaction to Chloe Zhao winning for "Nomadland." I mean, the film was beautiful, amazing film starring friend Frances McDormand.
But Zhao won for best director. And I think there was an unprecedented number of women nominees for best director this time, right?
NISCHELLE TURNER, HOST, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": Yes, three nominees for women in this category, which was unprecedented, unheard of, but also well-
I heard you talking about the fact that you had Chloe on the program. And I spoke with her just a couple weeks ago, and just talking to her about this
film and the love that she had for the film that she was making. And if you have seen it, you know how beautifully this film was shot. I mean, it
really is a master class in directing. It's gorgeous. It's beautiful. And it's really a special story to be told.
So, I think it was well deserved for her in that category. I mean, any of the women I think that made movies, "Promising Young Woman," "One Night in
Miami," all those directors were women, were well-deserved for this honor.
But you're right. There was of course, a controversy going in, the lack of diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association itself, which is a
concern, rightly concerned. The Times Up movement got involved. There were people really speaking out, holding them to account.
And they did address it in the show last night. They brought out three of the members and they talked about how there will be change, that they
didn't need to look at themselves, and that we will see certain change in their members in the rank-and-file going forward.
AMANPOUR: And, Nischelle, how do you think they got away with for so long? Because, yes, there's been now a couple of exposes, a couple of pointed
articles written. But this has been going on for decades and while -- you know, even the Oscars had to try to get over, you know, Oscars So White.
Clearly, you know, it wasn't happening at the Golden Globes. You know, I mean, people were very upset that --
AMANPOUR: -- I will destroy you and the creator of that fantastic series did not get a look-in. How do you think that it will change and do you have
confidence that it will at the Golden Globes?
TURNER: You know, that's a -- it's a really good question, Christiane. And you are right, Michaela Coel, was woefully overlooked. She deserved every
nomination, every act like she could get, it's a brilliant series that she's doing. It's groundbreaking. And they missed big time on that one.
You know, I was talking about this earlier this morning how I don't really understand how in 2021 you can look at a room that you are in and not see
any diversity in that and not realize that something is amiss there. I am not really sure how you can do that. And you are also correct, with
everything that the academy went through with the Oscars So White campaign, I can't believe that the other organizations didn't look within themselves,
and before they were called out, and say, oh, you know what, we have an issue here, too, we need to change something. It was almost like it was
And, you know, in the early days when they were first getting some heat about this, they pushed back with, well, you know, 35 percent of our
members are women. And so, they were throwing out some of the other numbers there, but the fact remains, they don't have one African-American member in
87 people, and that is an issue especially when you want diverse voices, inclusive voice. And what they've always been thought of, the Hollywood
Foreign Press in the past, is kind of zigging when other people zag. They may not have some of the nominations that we would think as are worthy. I
mean, sometime you are like, oh, gosh, how did that slip in there with them?
And so, people kind of laughed it off for a while. But I think in this time and space, when we are all trying to be better allies to whatever group,
you know, that is out there, it was very tone deaf how they did not look inside of themselves.
And after the Golden Globes, last night, Christiane, there was also -- the times that movement also put out a strongly worded statement saying, you
know, just saying what you said on that program isn't enough. We don't want to cover anything up. You have to be better. We will continue hold you to
account. And I think that they will.
Now, I will say in defense of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, while they did not have any African-American members in their rank and
file, in their voting body, I do feel like there was a lot of diversity displayed in the winners last night. I think that across the board we saw a
wide range and wide spectrum of people winning that really reflect this industry and reflect America. So, so on that front, I do think that there
is change being made.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Let me play you then, since you led me to this, I think that he would have won anyway, because his acting is just so phenomenal,
and that's Chadwick Boseman, the late Chadwick Boseman, who won best actor for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." Absolutely fantastic. And his widow gave a
really heartfelt speech that I think some have said, you know, if it had been real people in the audience, there wouldn't have been a dry eye in the
AMANPOUR: This is a little clip of what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAYLOR SIMONE LEDWARD, WIDOW OF BEST ACTOR AWARD WINNER CHADWICK BOSEMAN: He would say something beautiful. Something inspiring. Something that would
amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you were meant to be
doing at this moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It was so heartfelt and it really was a standout speech, I think, of the evening. What was your reaction as you listened to Taylor
TURNER: You know, at one point she said -- she was talking about what she thought Chadwick would have said and she said, I don't have his words, but
she actually did. She really did have his words. And I think she embodied the spirit of who he was. He was a man who believed in the work, who loved
the craft with everything he had and put everything into it. And I think she was poised and she was beautiful and she was heartfelt, and those are
all of the things that he definitely would have been if he were standing on the stage as well.
He is the front runner of the rest of the award season. I think we will see much more of her, and it is well deserved. There is a part in "Ma Rainey's
Black Bottom" where he has a monologue and he is screaming at God and praying to God and asking God, you know, why he has left him. And I just,
really, when I watched that and he was gone, it sat different because it felt like a cry from him, you know, because he was going down road. And so,
his body was so ravaged with cancer and no one knew.
So, I just think that even though he is gone, this really is his time, the work he did, the work he left speaks for itself. And I think we're just all
blessed to have had him here for the 42 years we did.
AMANPOUR: I've reacted the same way when I saw the film and when I saw him first come out in his first scene and he was so gaunt. I mean, it was just
really shocking. And then, you know, to hear that speech after he had passed, it was very, very dramatic.
AMANPOUR: Let's just play, you know, the legends of Hollywood. Well, Jane Fonda who got a lifetime award addressed head on this diversity issue and
so did one of the host. So, let's just play it and we'll get one last comment from you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANE FONDA, CECIL B. DEMILLE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNER: There's a story we've been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry,
the story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out, the story about who is offered a seat at the table, and who is kept out of
the rooms where decisions are made. So, let's all of us, including all of the groups that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins
awards, let's all of us make an effort to expand that tent.
TINA FEY, GOLDEN PRESS AWARDS HOST: Even with the stupid things, inclusivity is important, and there are no black members of the Hollywood
Foreign Press. I realized HFPA, maybe you guys get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French Mcdonald's, but you got to change
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Tina Fey, obviously, were the comedy, but, you know, a legendary actress and activist like Jane Fonda coming out and saying that.
Do you think that will have, you know, a significant effect?
TURNER: Well, I do. Because, first of all, I mean, her body of work speaks for itself in a lot of ways, her activism and how she has been an ally to
different marginalized communities. But I do think that something we have been speaking to, especially people of color in this industry is that we
can't be the only ones who are standing up to saying no more. We can't be the only ones who continue to try and speak out against racism and
inequality in this industry. We have to have true allies. We have to have people stand in lock step with us. And Jane Fonda did that last night.
I mean, I thought her speech was beautiful, it was concise, it was to the point, and she included everyone. She was inclusive and she talked about
something she learned from every piece of art that she saw this year. And I thought that was beautiful, to connect that all, and to say, this is what
unifies us. This is where we really come together in our art, and that can go a long way to heal. I thought that she was brilliant and beautiful.
I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, I think they're the best. I don't think they need to have anybody else host the Golden Globes ever. But the two of
them, I think they just do a phenomenal job. And I do love how Tina gave us a medicine with a little spoonful of sugar, because sometimes it does take
a little sweetness to hear it.
So, I do think there is change being, Christiane. I think it's slow to come. But we are taking steps and taking strides.
AMANPOUR: Well, it's important and I am glad to hear you say that. And we'll see -- you know, we'll watch, the proof will be in the pudding, won't
it, down the road.
AMANPOUR: Nischelle Turner, thank you so much indeed for joining us.
Global warming and climate change call evermore loudly for us humans to green up. But could our attempts at saving the environment also be part of
the problem. Elizabeth Kolbert is a Pulitzer prize winning environmentalist. She's a journalist and staff writer for "The New Yorker."
Her new book, "Under a White Sky," looks at some of the unique efforts to solve the climate crisis. And she's joining our Hari Sreenivasan to discuss
these climate interventions and their unintended consequences.
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Elizabeth Kolbert, thanks for joining us.
You say in book that this is a book about people trying to solve problems created by people trying to solve problems, and explain that.
ELIZABETH KOLBERT, AUTHOR, "UNDER A WHITE SKY: THE NATURE OF THE FUTURE": Well, a lot of the stories that I tell in the book began with tremendous --
for example, engineering projects. The first story in the book deals with the Chicago River, which is actually reversed in the early part of the 20th
century, the flow of the river. And that was done to solve Chicago's sewage problems. But the way that was accomplished, this huge engineering project
that was, you know, really the biggest -- one of the biggest engineering projects of its day was to connect it up with the whole Mississippi water
system and Mississippi drainage basin.
And that had the effect of connecting these two previously separate drainage basins, it's the Great Lake drainage basin and then Mississippi
drainage basin. And that has allowed species to cross who should not be allowed to encounter each other to cross from one basin to another. And
that has become an issue in the 20th century as both of these water basins have become highly invaded water basins. And you have a lot of invasive
species wreaking havoc separately and the two water basins that people don't want to be able cross from one to another.
SREENIVASAN: Well, one of the species that we're concerned about, at least, along the Chicago River is the different species of Asian carp. And
what are the types of efforts that we have made or are making now to try to prevent just this fish?
KOLBERT: The biggest one right now is that you get to a section of this canal that was built to reverse the Chicago River and it's electrified and
you will see these huge signs that say, you know, keep your kids and pets nearby if you are, you know, on a boat, because if they jump in the water,
they will be electrocuted, high danger of, you know, electric shock.
And so, that electrification, these electric barriers they are called, that is designed to -- if you are a fish, you're supposed to sort of nudge up
against this barrier, feel a shock and turn around and go home, that's basic the hope. But no one really wants to completely rely on this
technology. So, there is also a lot of what is called the barrier defense, which consist of just basically fishing for Asian carp, tossing them, you
know, into a big vat, which I watched this process as well, and grinding them up and using them for fertilizer. So, you know, there's a lot of
efforts, a tremendous effort to try to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.
SREENIVASAN: You go from manmade caves where scientists are trying to save a specific species of fish to laboratories where there's literally cross
breeding of coral or attempts at it, and then you talk a little bit about what we trying to do to stop a poisonous frog. And tell us about the cane
toad and what humans are trying to do.
KOLBERT: So, the cane toad is a toad that's native to the south and Central America that was exported around the world in the vain hope that it
would control beetles that were eating sugar cane crops in various places, the Caribbean. And in Australia, they've really wreaked havoc in there.
You can tell the story in a kind of a comic way that Australians have tried every which way to try to kill cane toads, they run them over with their
lawnmowers, they bash them with golf clubs, they freeze them in the freezer, and nothing has put a dent in them. They are continuing to expand
their territory. And they are dangerous to Australia's native wildlife because they are highly toxic. And if you're not having evolved in their
presence, you chomp into you and you die if you're a marsupial or a reptile or a person, just for that matter.
And so, I went to visit some scientists of this incredibly (INAUDIBLE) secure facility outside of Melbourne where they were gene editing cane
toads with the help of this, you know, cutting edge crisper to try to make them nontoxic, essentially nontoxic cane toads. And they had actually
succeeded in doing that. I met some very interesting, you know, nontoxic cane toads.
SREENIVASAN: I mean, implied and unattended consequences is that we really -- we didn't plan for them, but can we plan for it? Because whether it's
the cane toad or it's, you know, the escape of Asian carp into our streams, each time we try to solve one of these problems we come up with three or
four other problems, and how do we mathematically solve for that? How do we prepare for that any eventuality especially with something sensitive as
KOLBERT: Well, I think that's a huge question and, you know, many people who are working on these issues are trying to grapple with those questions
right now. I don't we have an answer for that. We are -- you know, biological and geochemical systems are very complicated and find -- we
should approach them with a lot of humility, frankly.
But that doesn't mean that there aren't amazing things that can be done. We've also done amazing things as human beings, that's, you know, why we're
in the (INAUDIBLE). So, these technologies, a lot of them, they are double- edge swords and saying, well, we should only take the good parts and not the bad parts is what, you know, optimally we should do, but the track
record, as you would suggest, is not that great.
SREENIVASAN: You know, there's the idea that we have the power today to start playing God. Are we good at it yet? I mean, do we have a choice not
to in some of the cases like say the king?
KOLBERT: Well, I think one of the profound issues that we are grappling with is that, you know, in the Anthropocene, we already are playing God, we
are not just doing it consciously, right. So, we are changing the climate, we are changing the biosphere. When we are move species around the world,
you know, purposely or inadvertently, as we are doing every single day, I mean, there is an estimate that 10,000 species are being moved around the
world every day in the ballast water of our super tankers.
So, every day we're changing the world, you know, inadvertently and sometimes we're changing it very consciously, you know, through farming,
through -- agricultures had massive effects, you know, putting up dams, you know, the list goes on and on. And I think that the lesson is we sort of
are already are playing God, we're just not thinking about it. And the question is, if we do think about it more carefully, will we get any better
at it? And that's a pretty big question, and that is certainly the question at the heart of the book, are we capable of that? And I don't have the
answer to that question.
SREENIVASAN: One of the areas that I think people would almost want a God- like solution is climate change. It's happening. It's real. The science shows it. We have had a tremendous impact on accelerating it. You speak to
a range of different scientists and researchers and even private companies that are working to solve this. One of them is -- one of the ideas is to
shove CO2, take it out of the air, shove it back into the ground, turn it into rock again. How does that work?
KOLBERT: Yes. It's an amazing, you know, technology. I mean, taking CO2 out of the air. CO2 is basically an acid and you can take it out of the air
using chemicals that are basic, that will bind with it. Then you heat up those chemicals and push the CO2 off and you can bury it underground. I
visited, you know, my own emissions theoretically in Iceland which had been sucked out of the air to this machine that look like an old air conditioner
and then it was being piped almost a mile underground into this volcanic rock where it would react with the rock and form calcium carbonate and
basically be solidified.
And that is a viable technology. It's just extremely expensive. And the question is, you know, can we scale up that technology or any technology to
really make a measurable dent in our own CO2 emissions? That is something that is urgently required, to be honest. Something -- some form of that
which could -- because it is already built into all of these calculations of how we are going to keep the temperatures under from rising more than 2
degrees Celsius. There's already a lot of carbon dioxide removal, it's called, built into those calculations.
So, a lot of people, you're going to be hearing more and more about that in coming years because it is really necessary.
SREENIVASAN: You also talk to people who are thinking about the ideas of spraying, well, almost diamond bits or the bits of the limestone into the
air to try to -- well, what are they trying to do with it? Why would you want to do something like that?
KOLBERT: Even at the point that we stopped emitting CO2, which, as I say, I hope we could do as soon as possible, we still have a radically changed
climate and we know that, you know, there are a lot of ecosystems and there's lot of the parts of the world, you know, where agriculture could be
And if we wanted to, you know -- really, you hear people talk about reversing climate change, and the only idea that people have come up with
so far that seems even theoretically possible to do that is to counteract all the CO2 or part of the CO2 that we've, you know, already pumped into
the atmosphere and continue to pump into the atmosphere by putting some kind of particulate matter into the stratosphere where it would sort of
float around, create the sort of stratospheric haze, this is what happens after a big volcanic eruption, we get a lot of sulfur dioxide and the
stratosphere this haze, creates beautiful sunsets, and it has a temporary cooling effect because it is reflecting sunlight back to space before it
hits to the earth -- hits earth. So, you're getting less direct sunlight on earth.
So, the idea is perhaps you could use this to create cooling that would counter act some or all of the warming. Now, you know, obviously that
raises tremendous questions.
SREENIVASAN: It's just mindboggling to think about spraying anything around the entire planet. But the amount of energy you would have to use
to, let's say, get planes into the sky to disperse this and then not to mention that we'd still be pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. So, you'd have
to keep pumping more and more or spraying more and more to try to cover this up, wouldn't we?
KOLBERT: Well, I guess the best-case scenario, and I am offering this once again in theoretical terms, would be ramping down CO2 emissions, you
wouldn't be ramping them up. If you continue to ramp them up, I think pretty everyone would agree, you're getting into some very, very dangerous
territory. Now, even if you are ramping them down, you may be getting into some very, very dangerous territory.
But I think that one of the messages, I think, of the book is for better or worse, you know, we are not in a situation where we have great answers
where this the panacea that's just going to make all of these problems go away. The world is altered. We're continuing to alter it. We're not getting
back the planet, you know, that we had. And we're going to have to make some very difficult decisions, and hopefully, we make them wisely.
But once again, as the world becomes more imperiled, it is not clear how the political system will respond to any of these challenges.
SREENIVASAN: What has the pandemic done to this? Has it kind of brought into focus this affect that we have?
KOLBERT: I mean, I think that the pandemic really, that COVID really follows very much the pattern that I am looking at in the book. It was, you
know, a sort of human and natural systems that came together. It is a virus that jumped species. We don't know how it jumped species, but it clearly
came from some other species. That was a product of the way that we interact with the natural world, either someone brought something out of,
you know, the woods or the jungle or a domesticated species. And we know that this was a recipe for a pandemic. Many people have talked about the
way we deal with animals where it was a recipe for some kind of a big -- some kind of outbreak.
Then we spread it around the world instantaneously. You know, we -- the way we live in this globalized world, you know, the virus was in the Falkland
Islands very quickly, one of the most isolated places on earth.
And then, even so, we could have still, you know, all stayed home and really tried to bring the virus under control. We didn't. We really have
let it rage out of control. And we are sitting here hoping for a techno fix. Hoping for a vaccine. And, you know, we were very, very fortunate and
there's some really cutting-edge technologies that went into making the vaccines that some of us Americans are getting now, but we are also now
worried about, you know, variants that are going to escape these vaccines. And we don't know where this story is going to end, but it has a lot of the
elements that we are talking about, about the ways that humans interact with nature and then things either happen that we don't care for and we
hope that some technology is going to save us, but there's usually another chapter to it.
SREENIVASAN: Is this part of human nature that we try to problems? I mean, obviously, we have done this since we walked out of the cave, so to speak.
But we create other problems in the wake of it and then we have to try to solve those problems. I mean, it just seems like we invent so many things
to solve one thing without necessarily thinking about the consequences of how those tools or technologies could be misused by mistake or
KOLBERT: Well, there's sort of a mismatch. I mean, the interesting thing about our species is we are a technological species. There really is no
other technological species. And we don't wait to evolve, you know, a new claw or a new tooth, we just go out and invent something.
And when you do that and, you know, lots of things can happen that you didn't necessarily anticipate. Now, have we been doing that, you know, as
you said, since we basically became human, quite possibly, but the stakes were a lot lower, right? Because there were -- you know, our technologies
just weren't very sophisticated.
And now, as our technologies are incredibly sophisticated, we are still the same people that we were, you know, when we lived in caves. And that has --
Ed Wilson -- E.O. Wilson has a quote, which I won't get exactly right, but we basically have, you know, paleolithic brains and space aged
technologies, and that's a complicated situation to be in. And that gets us back to this question of, you know, can we learn how to control ourselves
and control our own technologies in time to actually, you know, solve some of these problems or are we just going to sort of, you know, stumble along?
SREENIVASAN: The book is called "Under a White Sky." Elizabeth Kolbert, thanks so much.
KOLBERT: Oh, thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: And that is it for now. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.