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Interview With Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA); Interview With British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons; Interview With Senior Climate Adviser to California Governor Gavin Newsom Lauren Sanchez; Interview with "Fire of Love" Director Sara Dosa. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired July 27, 2022 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't even fathom to tell you this spotting that we're seeing and the fire behavior we're seeing on this.
SIDNER (voice-over): California on fire again, and, this time, bigger, hotter and faster. As Governor Newsom calls for more aggressive action, I
speak to his senior climate adviser, Lauren Sanchez.
FARHAN HAQ, UNITED NATIONS DEPUTY SPOKESMAN: All parties have reconfirmed their commitment to the initiative.
SIDNER: Will the deal on Ukrainian grain collapse? As the world anxiously awaits for a Russian blockade to end, I speak to British Ambassador to
Ukraine Melinda Simmons.
REP. SETH MOULTON (D-MA): Now, if you or a loved one has a mental health crisis, you just know you can dial 988 to immediately get help.
SIDNER: Turning the table on suicide with a mental health hot line. Our Michel Martin speaks to Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton about a new
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Mauna Loa, and this is the largest volcano on our planet.
SIDNER: Volcanoes. As an eruption in Japan puts the country on highest alert, we look at the awesome and destructive power that lies under the
earth's surface. And I speak to "Fire of Love" director Sara Dosa about how far a couple was willing to go to understand them.
SIDNER: Welcome to the program. I'm Sara Sidner in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.
Extreme weather made worse by the climate crisis continues to ravage our world. In St. Louis, Missouri, record-breaking rainfall is causing
widespread flood flooding there, while Europe is still in the grip of wildfires devouring acres of land and wreaking havoc on people's lives.
And, in California, which is no stranger to blazes, it has seen unprecedented wildfires in scale and spread with the Oak Fire near Yosemite
National Park. The California Fire Department says they are making good progress in containing the flames, although much work remains to be done.
Over the weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County and called for more aggressive action on climate.
California is indeed experiencing its worst drought on record, creating a bone-dry environment and a monumental challenge for my first guest today.
Lauren Sanchez is senior climate adviser to Governor Newsom. And she joins me now from Oakland, California.
Thank you for coming on the show.
LAUREN SANCHEZ, SENIOR CLIMATE ADVISER TO CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM: Thank you so much for having me, Sara.
SIDNER: Let's talk about the way things have changed.
I have spent a lot of my career in California, covering wildfires every single year. And what I have seen myself and what you hear from
firefighters and those who are experts on climate is that things are hotter, the fires are hotter, they're faster, and they're more expensive.
Can you give me a sense of the danger that exists now in California, compared to, say, 30 years ago?
SANCHEZ: Absolutely, Sara.
And it really -- I would just like to open with emphasizing that California really is on the front lines of the climate crisis. In your introduction,
you covered the impacts that we're seeing around the world, tarmacs melting in the U.K., flooding in Missouri, but, here in California, unfortunately
for all of our communities, these are realities we're living in day to day.
Thankfully, we have made quite a bit of progress on the Oak Fire over the last few days. We're now seeing 32 percent containment, burning over 18,000
acres, but we know that we need to do even more to protect this state from the ever-growing threats of the climate crisis, drought, wildfire, extreme
heat projected across the Central Valley this summer.
That's why the governor called last week for additional action on climate change and why we're investing a record $54 billion into our climate budget
SIDNER: When you talk about the investment have money and what California is doing, because California is affected and has been affected by this in a
really impactful way, even compared to some other states in the United States, but isn't it incumbent on the federal government and indeed the
world to all take measures?
Because just having California do something is not going to necessarily move the needle, if you will, on really helping to slow down or stop the
way in which we are getting hotter and hotter and hotter in this world. What do you think about what the federal government is doing? And are they
committed to doing more? Do they think this is an actual emergency?
SANCHEZ: Yes, it's a great question, Sara.
I like to remind folks California is only 1 percent of global climate pollution. So, even if we were to do everything we possibly could tomorrow,
it's likely that we would see fires and heat and drought. So we know that we need critical partners in tackling this crisis.
The governor sent the president a letter over the weekend really reaffirming the state's commitment and support to his climate agenda. And
the governor has been quite clear about his disappointment in Congress' inaction as it relates to climate recently, but we know that the president
is looking at all tools at his disposal in order to really advance action across the nation.
I would also point out, Sara, as the fifth largest economy, a lot of what we do here in California, because of our market power and our market size,
has ripple effects around the world. The governor was the first leader to declare in 2035 an end to the tailpipe and a transition to all electric
We have seen that now replicated around the world, dozens of other countries, automakers and states following in California's lead. It's why
the governor has signed recent agreements with leaders like China and Canada and New Zealand, really emphasizing the global solidarity we need to
tackle this crisis together.
SIDNER: I want to talk about one of the things that's really driving this. It isn't just the heat. It is also the drought.
You have Lake Mead, the Colorado River, all of these areas, when you see what's happened to the water that is needed not only to fight the fires,
but for agriculture, of which California has many, many, many areas that is agriculture and the food basket of the United States and the world.
Can you give me a sense of where we're at when it comes to what this drought is doing and what kind of measures that California is taking? And
are they enough to try and deal with the drought end of this?
SANCHEZ: Yes, absolutely, Sara.
And maybe just to take a step back, I mean, looking at the photos, crippling the state and across the American West on the drought is what
keeps me up at night. It's what keeps the governor up at night with four young children, really wondering about the future that we're leaving our
I'm afraid to have kids working on climate change day in and day out, because I just worry about where they will get the water from, the smoke
they will be inhaling year-round. Nothing is more motivating in terms of the action we are trying to implement across the government.
So, as it relates to the drought, early June, water conservation numbers show some progress and a move in the right direction towards our statewide
goal of a 15 percent reduction in water use. But we know there's more we could be doing.
It's why the governor is working really closely with local water agencies to achieve a significant increase in water conservation and why we are
trying to communicate clearly with Californians, in terms of the role we all need to be playing to save our water and make sure that we are also
preparing for a California, Sara, that is going to be hotter and drier.
We're shifting the mind-set away from a notion of a cyclical drought and into the new normal that we need to be preparing for and shifting the
SIDNER: Let me ask you about one of the -- one of the things that California has -- is trying to do, which is, by 2035, California wants all
cars sold in the state to be electric.
Is this really possible? Because, in California, people do complain about the taxes there. And to ask them to buy electric cars, which are generally
far more expensive than your average petrol or gas cars, is this even a possibility to make...
SANCHEZ: So, I'm glad you asked about this one, Sara, because this has been a particular area of leadership for the governor.
We are moving towards 100 percent clean vehicles by 2035. That's actually a regulation that's being codified at the Air Resources Board next month. It
follows the governor's leadership. We are addressing affordability and accessibility concerns, including through the $10 billion we just agreed to
spend with the legislature to give incentives to Californians to bring down the costs of those cars.
And I would point out, Sara, that, given the volatility of gas prices and what we have seen in terms of the Ukraine war and reflected at the pump,
there's never been a better time for Californians to get into cleaner vehicles and get off of oil.
We're also spending unprecedented funding and luckily have some federal support in terms of building out a charging network across the state.
And I guess I would point out, the move to clean vehicles, there are, Sara, 30 million cars on California's roads. It's responsible for half of our
carbon pollution in the state. But it's also a really big driver of air pollution, and as our partners and communities in Los Angeles and the
Central Valley know that we need to clean up the air and prevent asthma and health impacts from our kids, as well as tackling the climate crisis.
I'd also briefly point out, Sara, that electric vehicles are actually one of our top exports here in the state. So, when we talk here in California,
about climate action being good for the economy and good for business and delivering opportunity, there's no better example than our move on electric
vehicles, and how many of those are being manufactured in state and how we're transforming the world's -- how the world drives around this planet
SIDNER: I know there's just, I think, over 12 percent of new cars sold in California are zero emissions. So there's a long way to go before 100
percent of them are zero emissions by 2035. It's a steep climb.
I want to ask you about something political now. Gavin Newsom had this, I don't know if it's an attack ad, but it was -- it's a comparison ad between
Florida and California, saying to people in Florida, hey, come to California. Your freedoms are here.
And it was talking about women's reproductive rights, saying that, we are a state that is going to allow you to live the way that you are used to
But I want to push back a little bit on this ad, because, in California, you have got an affordable housing crisis. You have the climate crisis. And
there are a lot of people saying, more people don't need to move to California. California is essentially at its limit because of all of these
things, including the cost of gas, for example, and the cost of fuel, for example.
What do you make of this ad? And do you agree with inviting people from another state to come to California?
SANCHEZ: Well, Sara, you're going to have to ask the governor about that ad.
But what I can speak to is what we're doing here in California to make sure that those Floridians or Texans or whomever needs to come to this state is
here with open arms, and that we are reassuring them that we will protect them from climate impacts and from climate change and how it's bearing down
on our communities.
And we would also ask that they join us in this movement. A big part of the $54 billion that the governor invested into the budget is about mobilizing
an all-of-society movement to tackle climate change, because we know that this isn't something that we're going to be able to avoid. It's here now.
And we know that, by building the solutions here in state, whether it's policy or technology, satellites, we can really take advantage of one of
the greatest economic opportunities, which is taking action on this issue.
SIDNER: All right, Lauren Sanchez, senior climate adviser to California Governor Gavin Newsom, thank you so much for being on AMANPOUR.
SANCHEZ: Thank you, Sara. Take care. Stay safe.
SIDNER: Thank you.
A different front line, but high stakes as well, in Ukraine, where Russia is making small advances in the east of the country.
And amid the response from the West, the United Kingdom stands out, having gone farther than any other European nation in its support to Ukraine
financially and militarily. It is the largest donor of bilateral aid to the country, just after the United States.
And at the center of it all is British Ambassador to Kyiv Melinda Simmons.
I spoke to her earlier today and asked whether she thinks the country can really turn the tide against Russia.
SIDNER: U.K. Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons, thank you so much for joining our program.
MELINDA SIMMONS, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Good to be with you.
SIDNER: Let's talk about the difficulties of all this.
Russia has about 20 percent of the country and in clutches, according to President Zelenskyy. Do you think that there is any possibility that
Ukraine can go back and get some of that territory or hold on to the territory that it has now?
SIMMONS: Well, I do.
And ministers in the U.K. government have said that too. I think that this has been a terrible experience and continues to be for the Ukrainian
people. But I think we must all be looking on with awe, frankly, at the way in which the Ukrainian armed forces are battling to protect their country.
For them, this is an existential issue. And with the recent provision of long-range missile systems from an expanded range of countries, that has in
recent weeks enabled them to stabilize things a bit.
So, I think we know that we're in this for a longer haul. But I think the next period is going to be quite critical for Ukrainians to take the
advantage and see how they can do exactly that, to start to reclaim some of their territory. We all know that that's their stated intention.
SIDNER: Our colleague Jim Sciutto spoke to the U.K. spy chief, Richard Moore, who said that, in his estimation and from what they're seeing, that
Russia is about to run out of steam.
Does that sound right to you? He's talking about manpower and supplies. Does that sound right to you? And, if so, how long do you foresee this war
SIMMONS: Well, I mean, I think that's perfectly possible.
I follow the statistics, like many other people. I'm not a military expert. So I can't comment further than what Richard has said.
SIMMONS: But what I do no for absolute certain is that, in the first phase of this war, Russia completely underestimated what it would take to do what
they originally wanted to do, and what I still think they want to do, which is to take Kyiv and take the whole of the country, and sent far too little
capability to do that.
That then became compromised. They turned their attention to the east. And it looks like a little bit of the same is happening again. So I think we
have to see. In particular, we will have to see what Russia does when the weather gets colder. If they try to create a hiatus and use it to try to
backstop and refuel, then we will know for sure that their capability is running short.
SIDNER: You were one of the last ambassadors to leave Kyiv as the invasion happened. Why did you stay so long? Why did you put yourself in that
position? Why was it important for you to be there?
SIMMONS: I stayed until I was instructed to leave. I wanted to stay and my government wanted me to stay for as long as I could, for as long as it was
safe, to show that incredibly important support, moral support, for the country.
But also, of course, as long as I was in Kyiv, I could continue to have the conversations that I have been having, ever since it became clear that this
was going to happen, with representatives of the Ukrainian government who themselves remained in Kyiv. So I remained for -- to show that support.
But I also remained because I'm the ambassador and I have a job to do. And as long as I could do that job in Kyiv, I wanted to stay there and do it.
SIDNER: Do you have any fear or consternation that you will be forced to flee again, that Kyiv will again come under attack or the invasion
I know that, every now and then, there is a missile strike in the capital. But it's been pretty rare since the very beginning. Are you -- are you
afraid that you may have to again leave the country?
SIMMONS: So, first of all, fear isn't a part of this. It really isn't. We have made the judgment to come back, because, again, there is a job to do.
And we can be secure here to do it. And for as long as we can do that, we will.
But I think it's a mistake to think of Kyiv as having gone straight back to normal just because of our relative absence of missile strikes. There are
anti-tank hedgehogs on a lot of streets. There are checkpoints and barricades, albeit fewer than there were. Not all of the city has returned.
We're maybe at about 75 percent, 80 percent maximum, not many children, although cafes and shops are open.
And, most crucially, we hear air raid sirens, sometimes three, four times a day. They have become a bit rarer, but they're still happening. In the last
couple of days, I have been woken up at night a few times by them. There's a living reminder, really a daily, sometimes an hourly reminder, that,
although things are calm, things are not normal.
So I think we live here and we work here in the understanding that there is a sense of fluidity about it. We all understand, all of us, not just U.K.
diplomats, but all of the diplomats who are here, that it's possible that we may have to move ourselves again to be somewhere safer, if we need to.
But it's a last resort thing. And we will stay here for as long as we possibly can and for as long as it is secure to continue the important work
SIDNER: I was there for a few weeks in Kyiv. And I understand what you're saying about the missile strikes and the sirens going off regularly. It
keeps you on alert.
SIDNER: And that's for people like us, who can leave. You have, obviously, citizens there who really say they have nowhere else to go. And it's a very
difficult way to live.
I want to ask you about the U.S. and its allies looking at providing Ukraine with more fighter jets. Their air force has been outgunned, if you
will. That would be a big shift to do so. What do you think about the U.K. and potentially U.S.' approach? And are you worried that, if that happens,
if there are new fighter jets that are given to Kyiv, that they this might escalate the war?
SIMMONS: Well, I think we might be beyond the point where we have a conversation about escalating war.
I mean, the war is happening because Russia has invaded. And the war stops when Russia stops invading. That -- it's really that simple an equation.
Ukraine needs to defend itself. It has been invaded without reason. It's an invasion of democratic values, as well as being an invasion of a country.
We are an ally country of Ukraine, and we have regular discussion with them about the capability they have and what they need.
And we do that together with other allies that include the U.S. and include many other countries. And, quite importantly, we have conversations with
each other about who is best placed to provide the range of support that Ukraine needs.
The U.S. is the biggest provider of military aid. The U.K. right now is the second biggest provider of military aid. We are, therefore, key countries.
But we talk as a group in order to ensure that those who are best placed, considering where Ukraine is in the invasion, can help with what they need.
We have been talking about escalation at so many different points. I really don't think that's the cornerstone of the argument. The cornerstone of the
argument is Russia realizing that they cannot finish what they started, and they need to stop.
SIDNER: And those words will be of great comfort, obviously, to the leadership in Ukraine, notably President Zelenskyy.
I want to talk about the U.K. It has such an incredibly strong, perhaps the strongest relationship and support of Ukraine. But are you a bit worried
about public support?
Because, as the economy shifts, as we're heading into the potential of a recession, inflation is high, and there's these monies being spent, not
just by the U.K., but the U.S. as well, are being promised Ukraine, do you worry that there may be a looming shift in how the population feels about
giving this money to Ukraine to help it try to repel Russia? So
SIMMONS: So, of course, it's perfectly possible, as Russia uses hybrid tactic after hybrid tactic, right, instrumentalizing the export of grain
and now instrumentalizing the energy for Western Europe, it just uses kind of weapon after weapon, right?
But the polling in the U.K. has been extraordinary for making clear just how high the support is for the U.K. government's policy on Ukraine. And
it's been striking to see how much further European countries and the U.S. and others in general have polled quite high support for Ukraine, given
some of the hardship that some of those countries, many of those countries, relatively speaking, would have to take on.
But I do think that the onus is on all of us who are deeply into this invasion and working 24/7 on it to make sure that the rationale for this is
clearly understood all the way through, particularly considering this is going to be going on for a long time.
I think the important point here is that there is no room for complacency just because you think right now you have public support. You have to be
alive to the consequences of each of the decisions that ministers make and make sure that those are clearly communicated and why.
But, right now, today, I get very little sense that the U.K. public thinks anything other than that this is an egregious invasion and that it has to
be stopped, because there is a good understanding in the U.K. about the further consequences if you don't.
In other words, this isn't just about helping out Ukraine now. This is both about values and it is about Russia's expansionist objectives that they may
have for other countries in the former Soviet Union.
SIDNER: Yes, I think you are certainly correct when you respond that the population has looked at this from around the world and said, there was no
reason for this invasion. There was no provocation. And people were horrified to see what was happening there.
Ambassador, thank you so much for your time.
And, also, I love your nails. Very nice touch there.
SIMMONS: Thank you, peace and patriotism.
Thank you very much.
SIDNER: A new initiative in the United States for suicide prevention is already changing lives.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now an easy-to-remember three digit dialing code, 988. The hot line saw a 45 percent increase in calls
and messages the very first week the new number came into effect.
U.S. House of Representatives' Seth Moulton co-wrote the bill to change the number after revealing his own experience with post-traumatic stress
disorder, or PTSD.
To discuss his mission reforming mental health care, the congressman joins Michel Martin.
MICHEL MARTIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sara, thank you,
Congressman Moulton, thank you so much for talking with us today.
MOULTON: It's good to be here. Thanks, Michel.
MARTIN: So, you're a sitting member of Congress. You're a former Marine. Right or wrong, this isn't the profile we normally associate with people
who are open and aggressive and out-there mental health advocates.
So, as briefly as you can, just tell us, how did you become engaged with this subject?
MOULTON: Well, I mean, frankly, I'm really trying to change that. And I think we have to change that, because so many people in America every
single year die by suicide or go through a mental health crisis, without even trying to get help, because of the stigma around it.
And this was true for me too. I mean, when I got back from Iraq, I started having bad dreams and night sweats and difficulty with relationships, some
of the typical post-traumatic stress symptoms you read about.
But it took me a long time to come to terms myself with the fact that I probably had post-traumatic stress. And, by the way, I call it post-
traumatic stress because one of my best friends in the Marines said to me once, he said: "Seth, after what we have been through, it would be a
disorder if you didn't have a reaction to it, if you weren't affected."
MOULTON: So, it was really the younger Marines that I served with, younger Marines in my platoon, who first sought help for post-traumatic stress and
started talking about it that really inspired me to do the same.
Now, when I was elected to Congress, I kept this totally hidden. I kept it hidden the fact that I had dealt with post-traumatic stress or, even worse
from a political perspective, that I had sought help for my mental health issue, because that's for a long time in American politics basically been a
death sentence for any political career.
But I decided, you know what, that's not leadership, I have got to lead the same way these young Marines set the example for me and get out there and
talk about my story. So I took a leap of faith and thought that it might end my political career. But, a few years ago, I told my story of dealing
with post-traumatic stress.
And, instead, it's really, rather than ending my career, it's sent me on a bit of a crusade to improve mental health for all Americans.
MARTIN: Was there a eureka moment that allowed you to embrace this as part of your story? Do you know what I mean? Was there something that said to
you, look, it's time for me to let the world in to who I really am and what I have really gone through?
Do you recall?
MOULTON: I think it was a time when, sadly, my platoon was together for a funeral of one of the great Marines I served with who died after we got
And I saw what a difference it made for these young guys that someone in my position would be willing to talk about this and tell my story. And that's
been my experience ever since. I mean, I have had people all over the country come up to me and say, Seth, thank you. Thank you for sharing your
story. Now I feel like I can share mine.
MARTIN: So, 988, you're one of the authors of the legislation that created 988 as an alternative to 911.
What does this do? What is the benefit of this?
MOULTON: Well, of course, the most obvious benefit is that it is a number of people can remember. You wake up in the middle of the night and your
house is on fire, you don't have to Google the local fire department. Everyone knows you dial 911.
And now, if you or a loved one has a mental health crisis, you just know you can dial 988 to immediately get help.
But the other thing I hope it addresses is this stigma, because there's two fundamental problems with mental health care in America. The first is that
people don't know where to call or where to turn in that desperate moment. But the second is that they're afraid to do so. They're embarrassed to do
That's why so many Americans every single year don't get any help for their mental health condition. I mean, imagine if half the Americans who broke a
leg every year never saw a doctor, never got a cast, never got it set.
That's where we are with mental health. And the beauty of 988 is, just because we're having conversations like this, we're chipping away at that
stigma. We're telling Americans it's OK to talk about mental health. It's OK to get help for an issue in your brain, the same way you would for any
other organ in your body.
And my dream is to get to a point where mental health care is so routine, so routine, that it's just like getting an annual physical, that you take
care of your mental health even if you don't think you have an illness. You check in on it. In fact, you proactively make yourself mentally stronger,
the same way that you go to the gym or go for a run in the morning to take care of your physical health.
MARTIN: Talk a little bit more about what you see as the scope of the issue.
I mean, you just cited some pretty powerful statistics there of just about the number of people, the breadth of this problem in American life. And
it's not just returning veterans who are struggling. I mean, we know that - - we know that adolescents over the course of the last couple of years, because of COVID, have had a really tough time.
We know that LGBTQ youths are having a difficult time. We know that African-American youth, younger people are experiencing a great deal of
stress, even relative to their peers who are of other ethnic groups.
So, give me a sense -- your sense of the scope of the issue.
MOULTON: Well, you're absolutely right. It is skyrocketing among our youth. Mental health issues have skyrocketed because of the pandemic. And
the end result is that over 45,000 Americans die by suicide every year. Every one of them alone. And all because they just don't get help in that
I think one of the most encouraging statistics out there is that somewhere around nine out of 10 Americans who attempt suicide but do not succeed. So,
they're not successful. They don't try it again. Once they get help, they realize, I don't want to do that. I want to continue living. But it's so
critical to get help in that moment, in that desperate moment, and that's exactly what 9-8-8 is trying to solve.
MARTIN: What happens when you call 9-8-8? The number has just gone live, like, within the last -- as we are speaking now, it's just gone live within
the last couple of weeks. What will happen when people call 9-8-8? And how does that differ from what -- some of what we've seen in the past when
people -- if they called for help at all, they would call, say 9-1-1?
MOULTON: Right. Well, you're going to get connected directly to a trained professional who is experienced in helping with these mental health crises,
to help you get through that critical moment. And they have an amazing track record of success.
Now, we try to connect you directly to someone who can share your experience. So, if you're a veteran, you can talk to a fellow veteran or
someone who's trained in veterans' issues, or if you're in LGBTQ plus youth, you're going to talk to someone who's had that experience as well.
But just simply being able to talk to someone who knows how to work through an issue like this, and then once you get through your crisis, connect you
to long-term care, that is exactly what 9-8-8 is designed to do.
What won't happen is you're not going to have police rushing to your house. You're not going to be put on some list. You're not going to be -- you
know, parents aren't going to be called if you're young. This is not about getting in trouble. It's just about getting help. And that is one of the
most important things for people to know.
MARTIN: You know, you said earlier, and you've said it a couple of times that you also co-authored a piece for "Time" with Zak Williams every --
people, I think, remember the late comedian Robin Williams who took his own life and his son, Zak, and you have worked together on some of these issues
and trying to highlight them. What are other things you say in your piece, and you just said now is that there are two basic reasons why so many
Americans don't address mental health? They're either afraid or discouraged from getting help or they don't know how to get it.
I mean -- but, forgive me, but isn't there a third problem here which is that our access points are broken? I mean, health care in the United States
is expensive. It is not widely available in some places that leave the kind of, culturally competent pair that you're talking about that is so
essential. I mean, it's part of the problem that our delivery systems are broken.
I mean, I guess, there's no other way of asking, are the people to offer the service really there? Do we really have the infrastructure to treat
MOULTON: It's a great question because there are a lot of issues with mental health care in America. And we've highlighted the top two. But you
raise a third which is simply getting access to that care, like if you -- you might be able to talk to someone at 9-8-8, but then how are you going
to get the long-term therapy that you need? A fourth or fifth issue is that we just don't have the clinicians. We just don't have the therapists out
there who can provide this long-term care.
So, you know, you're absolutely right. There's a lot of work we have to do on mental health care in America. But the most important thing we can do to
save lives is just get people help in that critical moment. If you can get them through that, then they're in a much better position to survive long
But as someone who still see the therapist, myself, just to proactively take care of my mental health, to check in every once in a while, because I
think it makes me a better dad, a better husband, a better Congressman to do so. I know that it's hard to get an appointment with a therapist. And
that's a problem all over America. So, don't get me wrong, this is a first step. But there's a lot more work to do.
MARTIN: What is that work though? What's the plan for that? For increasing the capacity there?
MOULTON: Well, we have to get more people to go into the field, it's one thing we have to do. So, we're looking at ways that we can incentivize more
people to go into mental health. One of the things that I've always fought for is called parity health care. So, mental health is treated the same as
physical health. That also means that it's reimbursed the same for our caregivers. Because, you know, a lot of doctors don't go into mental health
because they don't see the kind of financial returns that you get from being a surgeon or something like that. That is something we need to
change, as well.
We also just need to normalize care. I mean, my vision is to get to a point where everyone has a mental and annual mental health checkup the same way
that you have an annual physical. I mean, if I told you that after this interview I was going for my annual physical, you wouldn't look at me and
say, oh my God, what's wrong with you, or you wouldn't think that. You would say, of course, you're getting your annual physical. That doesn't
mean you're sick, you're just getting a checkup.
Well, imagine the difference if I told you, right after this interview, I'm going to see a psychiatrist. I'm going to get a mental health appointment.
You know, the natural reaction that we all have to that is, my gosh, what's wrong?
We've got to change that. We've got to get to a point where getting a mental health checkup is as routine as an annual physical. And I'd like to
see that happen for every high-schooler in America. That's really my vision here and my goal. To set an example when kids are pretty young that this is
OK. But to get there will require a lot more clinicians. You're absolutely right. And so that's another issue that my colleagues and I in Congress on
the mental health caucus, people who really care about these issues and recognize what a difference addressing them can make in people's lives. And
this is one of the many things that we continue to work on.
MARTIN: Do you feel that you've helped in -- to diminish the stigma in some way, even among your colleagues and your peer group?
MOULTON: A little. I mean, my colleagues tell me that. They tell that -- they tell me that it's made a difference to hear me share my story. But
I'll tell you, I mean, I thought this could very well end my political career. It's a bit gamble for me to come out and publicly share this.
You know, when you run for office, your friends ask you, OK, what's the skeleton closet? You know, what's the thing that you don't want people to
hear about? And this was it for me. This was my big skeleton when I first ran -- I mean, I only told a couple of people on my team that I saw a
therapist because I knew how damaging this could be to a career in politics. So, we have a long way to go. But I do think -- so we got a long
way to go but I do think we are making progress. And I do think it is getting better.
MARTIN: What about people who have security clearances? I mean, that's been a factor -- you know, that's another factor, frankly. I know it's very
specific to certain fields. But, you know, is this the kind of thing that's going to be held against you if you need a security clearance to work in,
say, intelligence or in law enforcement, for example?
MOULTON: That is a great question because the short answer is often yes. And that's something that we need to change. We had a vote on that recently
in the House of Representatives to try to change that policy. Because, look -- I mean, honestly, it's some of the people who have the most experience
who have been in the worst situations overseas who you want working in these positions. And yet, they are obviously the people who are most
susceptible to these issues.
But what Americans need to know is that if you treat these issues, you can get through them. You can get better. I mean, I'd like to think that I'm
living proof of that. And it's no different than, you know, you may not be hired as a security guard if you have a broken leg. But if you get that
broken like treated and it's all better, then sure, you can get that job. It should be exactly the same with mental health.
MARTIN: Before I let you go, is there anybody, in particular, who you think is doing this particularly well? Like is there any place that you
could point to where you think people have kind of figured this out? You -- I don't know, there's just so many -- there's just so many factors here.
There are certain peoples, kind of, religious beliefs. There are certain peoples' concept of what it means to be a strong person. People tell us
that there are certain cultural barriers, right, within certain groups where people follow? That's just not something we do, you know, that's fine
for them. That's not something my group, you know, does.
Do you feel like, there's a place that's done this well that you can point to or is this just so uncharted territory for all of us?
MOULTON: I don't know anyone that's doing perfectly. But I do know a community that improved a lot. It is the veterans' community. And the place
we were 20 years ago, when the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began, is so different than where we are today. I mean, I remember back in 2004, one of
the absolute heroes in my company who did it. I mean, it's something truly heroic in combat. The thing you read about in history books.
Naturally, he came back with post-traumatic stress. And to make a long story short, he was just kicked out of the marine corps. In fact, he was
made ineligible for VA care. Imagine that, someone who deserved it more than any of us was actually made ineligible because of the way he was just
booted out of the marine corps for how he came back.
Well, that's changed a lot now. I mean, now you have our most elite special forces units practicing mindfulness, doing mental health training to make
them better at their jobs, to proactively improve their mental health before they go into combat. You have great organizations like Home Base up
in Massachusetts, based at Mass General Hospital and partnered with the Red Sox that are encouraging veterans to come in and just take care of these
issues when they get home.
So, my hope is that while the military and veteran community certainly hasn't figured it all out, the progress that we've made should be an
inspiration to other groups of people as well. And it should help set an example for how we take care of mental health for all of America.
MARTIN: Congressman Seth Moulton, thank you so much for talking with us today.
MOULTON: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: Extraordinary interview. And if you or anyone you know is suffering and in need of help, a reminder the new 9-8-8 suicide prevention
hotline is available in the United States. And you can find a worldwide directory of resources and international hotlines through the International
Association for Suicide Prevention, or you can turn to Befrienders Worldwide.
And finally, continuing with our coverage of the natural world where disasters are rife, not only above our Earth's surface but also below. A
7.0 magnitude earthquake in the Philippines has left at least five people dead and 64 people injured. And the eruption of Japan's Sakurajima volcano
has put the country into its highest alert with around 1,350 potentially active volcanoes around the world.
I went to Hawaii, a volcanic hot spot to find out a bit more about how they work and the destruction, but also the creation that follows.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER (voiceover): As the sun rises each morning here in Hilo, Hawaii, it reveals destruction and creation happening simultaneously at the heart of
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I witnessed this from new heights with pilot and volcano expert Samantha Hansen. From up above, the full scale of
volcanic activity is clear.
SAMANTHA HANSEN, PILOT AND VOLCANO EXPERT: If you look out here across the horizon, you see all these like, little mini mountains out here, and these
are all cinder cones. So, they're almost like mini volcanoes right on the side of the big volcano. This whole thing right here that we are flying
over right now, this is Mauna Loa, and this is the largest volcano on our planet.
SIDNER (on camera): You really see how the lava is spread out.
SIDNER (on camera): I mean, it's very apparent.
HANSEN: If you were to cut the island in half it would look like Swiss cheese. It's just riddled with these lava tubes. As the island gets bigger
and bigger, right, these lave tubes kind of, you know, build on each other.
SIDNER (voiceover): But most of the volcano isn't what you see here, it's underwater where eruptions can and do occur. Like the massive explosion in
the waters of Tonga, just one of the over 1,300 potentially active volcanoes worldwide. Capable of creating earthquakes, tsunamis, and
entirely reshaping the landscape. One of the most devastating eruptions in Hawaii happened here in 2018 at Mount Kilauea where we joined volcanologist
KENDRA LYNN, VOLCANOLOGIST: This was the most significant collapse event that's really been recorded and observed since western visitors arrived at
SIDNER (voiceover): Lava at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit crept across the island. Oozed over homes, roads, and burst out of fissures. The eruption
went on for over 100 days, destroying more than 700 homes, and forcing thousands to evacuate. That one event, dramatically changed the landscape.
LYNN: Here at the summit, almost daily, there was magnitude five earthquake as all of these rocks started to collapse in on themselves and
create the new crater.
SIDNER (voiceover): And the destruction brought a new course of exploration for Kendra. The study of rocks and how they form.
LYNN: We often look to the rock record and the different types of rocks that are preserved around the volcano to understand past behavior. We look
for patterns that might clue us in to how the volcano will behave in the future.
SIDNER (on camera): Is there any prediction as to when the next eruption might be or what it's going to look like?
LYNN: It is difficult to say when, but we do know for sure that it will happen again someday.
SIDNER (voiceover): Scientists are working hard to determine just how catastrophic that eruption might be. Today, volcanic activity is confined
to a closed area of the park. But at night, a mile away, the molten lava is clearly visible.
MICHAEL NEWMAN, PARK RANGER: What's really remarkable about Hawaii is that it's a living landscape. It's a place where the volcano breathes. We can
see the steam breathing from the crater. We can feel the movement of the Earth.
We can see land being created as we speak. And it's a place where we can really become in touch with nature.
SIDNER (voiceover): For the Hawaiian people, like Park Ranger Michael Newman, the volcanoes are part of more than just the physical world.
NEWMAN: Kilauea volcano is a sacred place. Where we are today is not just a volcanic landscape, but it's a cultural landscape. Volcanoes,
unfortunately, have a reputation of being very destructive. But in the Hawaiian perspective, volcanoes are a place of creation. And everything
that we see today would not be here if it weren't for volcanoes.
SIDNER (on camera): Tourists come here to see lava, they come here to see, sort of, what is happening with the Earth. You look at this differently.
NEWMAN: Every place here in Hawaii has ties -- geological ties. Every place is a part of Ohana. The land is our Aumakua. It's our ancestors.
SIDNER (voiceover): Both a place of the past and the erupting future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER (on camera): For centuries, these beasts of nature have inspired awe and fear. But one married couple risked their lives to study them and
in so doing saved lives. French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft traveled the world to document every eruption they could find. The couple,
though, died while filming at ?Mount Unzen in Japan in 1991. The legacy of their incredible footage forms the new award-winning documentary, "Fire of
Love". And earlier, I had the privilege of sitting down with its director, Sara Dosa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: Sara Dosa, welcome to the show. This is an incredible film, partly because of the two people who tell their story of love, and partly because
of the unbelievable video that is in this. It is stunning. This film -- it's delicious. The sound, the shot -- the tight shots. Can you give me a
sense of how on Earth did you get these kinds of pictures?
SARA DOSA, DIRECTOR, "FIRE OF LOVE": So, it's really thanks to Katia and Maurice Krafft that we have these images. Katia and Maurice Krafft, you
know, these French volcanologists, they fell in love over their shared passion for volcanoes in the 1960s. They grabbed cameras and really
dedicate their lives towards getting us close to erupting volcanoes as possible, to capture the imagery in an effort to really understand, kind
of, the magic, the power, and of course the science of volcanoes. So, it's really thanks to their love and their boldness to get so close to capture
these images that we have them now in our film.
SIDNER: We have this video of Katia standing incredibly close to a volcano erupting. And it is -- it gives you chills because you worry about her. And
I noticed that you started the film with their lives ending. Like you gave that, sort of, foreshadowing at the very beginning. Why did you do that?
DOSA: There is a few reasons we chose to tell the audience that seeing that would be their last day. We do that because we really didn't want the
audience to be focused on how Katia and Maurice might die doing such dangerous work, that's an inevitable question that arises. But instead, we
hoped people would focus on how they live. And that's really what "Fire of Love" is about. It's about this remarkable, meaningful life that these two
humans lived in relationship with their beloved volcanoes.
The other thing, too, is this is a collage film that's told through the materials that they left behind. Their footage, their photographs, their
writings. And we wanted the audience to know, first and foremost, that what they're watching is their materials that were left behind when they passed.
So, we had to acknowledge their death in doing that.
And also, this is a film that's about time. And we wanted to, kind of, pull into focus the fleeting nature of human life amid the enormity of a
volcano's life span, so to speak. So, those are considerations we had in wanting to let everyone know first, you know, first off, these people have
passed but you're watching, you know, their legacy on screen.
SIDNER: Something that they really wanted to share with the world, which is why I think they got so close to these extremely dangerous volcanoes
that have killed thousands of people over time. Maurice and Katia grew up in France. They had to live through the aftermath of World War II. And you
get this real sense that they were, if not sick of humanity, annoyed with humanity. And they turned to, you know, the Earth and what it was doing and
the life there. Would you say that that sort of drew their humanity out to be around something that they absolutely couldn't control, but that was
DOSA: Absolutely, yes. Katia, Maurice expressed that they felt a, kind of, disillusionment with humanity. They really saw humans possessing the
potential to create but instead destroy.
That was something, you know, they experienced as they were children in the aftermath of World War II, as you mentioned. And also, they came of age
during the Vietnam war. They were so enchanted by what seemed like the creative powers of volcanoes. You know, volcanoes possess the ability to
create new land. And of course, there's the destructive side as well.
But it was through learning about, kind of, the vastness, the expansiveness of these forces, using science as their lens through inquiry that they
were, kind of, put in touch with the precarity of their own humanity. How fragile human life is. And thus, how important it is to live every day with
intention and meaning.
And how their work could also go on to save lives. They were uniquely positioned to understand volcanoes. And so, they could really work with
governments, with decision-makers in order to educate people to -- for example, move out of the way of an eruption, to evacuate in time to
implement warning systems in order to save human's -- save human life as well.
SIDNER: You know, when you speak about this, they do have an incredible legacy. They were two of the few volcanologists that got very close to gray
volcanoes, which is the most dangerous type of volcanoes. And I, too, am fascinated with the absolute beauty and the danger that they possess. Can
you give us a sense of what they have done for humanity, and what they have done for the study of these, you know, monstrous explosions that happen
with gray volcanoes? And whether or not it's made a difference in peoples' lives?
DOSA: Yes, absolutely. One of the things they did was, by so boldly capturing this imagery, they essentially kind of pressed a fleeting
phenomenon to posterity through the camera. You know, an eruption only happens the same way once. And so, by having it on film, scientists are
able to study time and time again. So, that alone, their cinematography, their photography was a form of data which was very valuable to --
especially, the burgeoning field of volcanology when they were really coming up.
But as you mentioned, explosive volcanoes or gray volcanoes are an extremely powerful deadly force. Very tragically many scientists have lost
their lives, including Katia and Maurice in 1991 in Mount Unzen due to getting -- being, you know, so close to these eruptions. But in 1986, Katia
and Maurice actually filmed what's known as a pyroclastic surge. Which is essentially a burning ash cloud that races down a mountain at beguiling
They were able to film a pyroclastic surge which helped people understand how it moved. That went into a video that taught people how to understand
volcanic hazards that spread around the world and helped governments to, kind of, understand just how dangerous this force is.
And it's quite tragic but poetic, just a week after their own death, their video went on to save -- well, along with many factors, but their video
helped to save many lives in the Philippines. Because decision-makers there had seen this video, had understood, kind of, the power and the potential
dangers of pyroclastic surges, and were able to work with people on the ground to evacuate just before Mount Pinatubo exploded in 1991.
SIDNER: Maurice Krafft said, I prefer an intense and short life to a monotonous long one. A kamikaze existence in the beauty of volcanic things.
That is quite a mouthful and quite an interesting idea. But Katia did not seem, like, she had that same idea for her life, and you showed that. Why
show that, sort of, decision that the two of them are doing the most dangerous thing, but they both have a different idea of how they want their
lives to end, even though they both ended together in this terrible way.
DOSA: Yes, Katia and Maurice both were so passionate and so in love with volcanoes. And they found such meaning in living life with volcanoes and
through the pursuit of scientific inquiry in that way. Maurice burnt quite intensely. Katia certainly did, too.
But they did have differences, as you said. Katia dreamed of a long life with volcanoes. She wanted to see as many volcanoes as possible. To
understand them as deeply as possible. Maurice wanted that, too. But for him, it's -- through our research, it was about that, kind of, intensity of
the experience a bit more so. And so, they both kind of -- they had a conflict there. They're usually able to reconcile though because they knew
that it was so important to be in sync with each other, to support each other, if they were going to pursue their ultimate love, which was being
close to erupting volcanoes. So, that always forced a reconciliation.
We like to think of the film as a love triangle between Maurice, Katia, and volcanoes. And it was that pursuit of these volcanic forces that always,
kind of, pulled them back together in the end. And very tragically, you know, they did die together. But it is a bittersweet death. Of course, it's
devastating and people still mourn them, as well as the other 41 people who passed away in that explosion. But they died truly doing what they loved.
SIDNER: Sara Dosa, director of "Fire of Love", I got to tell you, this is one of the most extraordinary, beautiful, dangerous films that I've seen in
a very long time. Thank you so much for bringing it to us.
DOSA: Thank you so much, Sara.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: "Fire of Love" is exquisite. And that is it for us now. Thank you so much for watching. And goodbye from New York.