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Interview with Former Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk; Interview with New York Times London Bureau Chief Mark Landler; Interview with Bidisha Mamata; Broadcaster and Journalist; Interview with "Pricing the Priceless" Author Paula DiPerna; Interview with "Never Have I Ever" Actress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired June 06, 2023 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Hello everyone, welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have yet to see really convincing evidence one way or another as to how exactly this dam was breached.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Blame game. Kyiv and Moscow accuse each other of destroying a critical dam. I ask Ukraine's former defense minister, Andriy Zagorodnyuk,
about the aftermath.
Also ahead --
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PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: Silence only allows the abuser to abuse.
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GOLODRYGA: -- taking on the tabloids. Prince Harry becomes the first British royal to take the witness stand since the 19th century. Royal
watcher, Bidisha Mamata, and New York Times London bureau chief, Mark Landler, discuss the bombshell phone hacking trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA DIPERNA, AUTHOR, "PRICING THE PRICELESS": If we don't come around to figuring out how to price those value -- priceless things, we will abuse
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: -- "Pricing the Priceless." Writer Paula DiPerna argues how capitalism should be used to fight the climate crisis, and protect the
planet's most prized natural assets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAITREYI RAMAKRISHNAN, ACTRESS, "NEVER HAVE I EVER": So, obviously, Princeton is numero uno in our priorities this year, but also, I'd love a
new phone. The front of mine got cracked when I threw it at a spider.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: -- life, love, and lost, the star of Mindy Kaling's hit comedy drama, "Never Have I Ever," talks to me about the Indian American culture
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.
We begin with the blame game playing out over a dam which has been critically damaged in occupied Ukraine. Both Kyiv and Moscow were pointing
the finger at each other after the Nova Kakhovka Dam was partly destroyed, flooding nearby communities. It's a strategically important reservoir that
supplies water to Russian occupied Crimea, as well as the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. NATO secretary general called it an outrageous act
that put thousands of civilians at risk, causing severe environmental damage. The Kremlin claims that it was deliberate sabotage by Ukraine to
choke Crimea's water source and divert attention from the wider battle.
What do we know right now? Well, that is that the satellite images show the dam was damaged a few days before it collapsed. What we cannot verify is
whether that damage contributed to the collapse or whether it was destroyed deliberately.
Andriy Zagorodnyuk is Ukraine's former defense minister and an advisor to the current government. He joins us live from the Ukrainian capital of
Andriy, thank you so much for joining us today.
ANDRIY ZAGORODNYUK, FORMER UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: So, you heard the Russian allegations blaming Ukraine for this, what is Ukraine's response? Was Ukraine responsible?
ZAGORODNYUK: Well, obviously, I mean, there's absolutely no point for Ukraine to do anything like that. And for us, it's been shocking that, you
know, that happened. Then it was shocking how cynically Russia is blaming us. And then, to be honest, it was pretty shocking how many news and media
picked up this and started to call it a blame game, basically putting on the same footing the -- you know, the truth and propaganda and saying that
we are pointing fingers and all of that sort of stuff.
I mean, for us, it's really difficult, because it's psychological catastrophe in Ukraine, as lots of houses -- people, I mean, without homes
and so on and it's just impossible for anyone who knows Ukrainian policy and Ukrainian people, which is absolutely impossible to think that we can
do this with our own population. I mean, because of the --
GOLODRYGA: Yes. And --
ZAGORODNYUK: Yes. So --
GOLODRYGA: It is understandable. It is understandable, given Russia's history and its list of war crimes committed over the past two years to be
skeptical about their response to who is to blame here. Do you have evidence, though, to point to Russia as the culprit?
ZAGORODNYUK: Well, first of all, there is no reason for Ukraine to do that because we gain nothing out of this, like whatsoever. The disruption of
water supply to Crimea is not going to impact literally anything because, as you might remember, we -- there hasn't been supplies to the Crimea of
the water for some years. And Russians still occupied Crimea, and they still prepared it for the invasion and so on. So, it's not going to disrupt
any military situation.
However, it's going to seriously disrupt Ukrainian military offensive, because it creates a massive barrier from the side of Kherson and Dnipro
River which would be almost impossible to cross with the land operation.
And of course, the dam was under the occupation of Russian. So, they control the dam. There has been a battalion of Russian army standing there
full-time, like 24/7. It's has been in the occupied territory. So, Ukrainian forces did not control it. It was heavily fortified by Russian
soldiers, and so, they had full access to this, we didn't have any access.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. You mentioned the impact that this could have to the counteroffensive, which is believed to be underway now. And obviously,
Ukraine is not disclosing its military planning, but there are military experts who would've expected one of the big goals to sever that land
bridge connecting Crimea to Ukraine.
This would raise questions about the possibility of that happening, at least as quickly as Ukraine would like to see happen. Are there contingency
plans in the work, given that this played out the way it did today?
ZAGORODNYUK: Of course. And there's been a whole number of scenarios for the counteroffensive. So, I'm sure that our armed forces will switch to
some other one. But indeed, that complicates the situation in the south of the country, particularly around Crimea. Because if you look at the map,
there is a whole massive piece of land around Crimea and peninsula on top of it, which access to that piece of land from the west basically, that's
where the flooding happens, it's like completely blocked.
So, indeed, there's been only a couple of crossings through the Crimea in that area, and they don't exist anymore. So, yes, it's --
GOLODRYGA: Is there --
ZAGORODNYUK: We need to do some changes. Yes.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. Is there a chance that this could have been a natural breach given the damage that we reported had recently been done to this dam
just a few days ago?
ZAGORODNYUK: Well, there needs to be an investigation, but we have seen the explosions. I'm sure that there will be videos from satellites that
would be evidences of the witnesses and so on. But there is like a very strong chance that we have seen a real video from the explosion. So, it's
obviously was man-made.
GOLODRYGA: The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, as you know, relies on the water flow from the reservoir upstream to cool its reactors. Now, the
IAEA says there is "no immediate nuclear safety risk at the plant right now, but it is monitoring the situation." How concerned are you about the
water levels there at the reactor?
ZAGORODNYUK: I'm not a nuclear specialist, but what our specialist is saying right now that, indeed, it is concerning. The discussions of
Russians possibly could have been exploding the dam since last year. There's been lots of articles and studies since last year, because we kind
of understood that this was one of the key risks. And yes, there is a certain risk.
I'm sure it's manageable, but it's definitely complicated situation. Which is another argument in terms of, like, that Russians would benefit from
this, but Ukrainians like have no benefit from this situation, like, whatsoever at all.
GOLODRYGA: What are your biggest concerns, given your military background in terms of the setback this could have on the counteroffensive?
ZAGORODNYUK: To be honest, I mean, we are quite well prepared for the counteroffensive. I don't think that will disrupt our plans completely. I
mean, I think that there would be some changes, there would be some adjustments.
I think that Russians are quite panicking, and they also have lack of forces. So, perhaps they will move forces out from the occupied -- from the
flooded areas. Particularly, they would feel that that area is kind of safer because of difficult access. So, they would move them to some other
direction. And that may somehow impact our plans, but not cancel them completely.
GOLODRYGA: The flood obviously is a humanitarian tragedy as well and one that could impact the country's grain industry and agricultural industries.
Kyiv is one of the biggest sources, its revenue, and also a grain supplier for the world. What are some of the concerns you have on that front?
ZAGORODNYUK: Well, this is obviously an ecological catastrophe. It's an environmental technological disaster. So, certainly there would be massive
infrastructural consequences for this, which we only now are trying to assess.
There is already pollution from the nearby, like, oil terminals, like small oil stations, which now, that -- all this oil is getting to the water. So,
obviously, it's an environmental issue. It's very substantial. And so, proper, like, logistics and proper trading and agriculture in that whole
area would be severely impacted.
It's difficult after, like, less than 24 hours to assess that, but from what we see already, it's -- of course, it's a substantial damage.
GOLODRYGA: The consequences could be substantial, as you just noted, and just looking at these images, they are horrifying. Even those that had
gained out the likelihood that this dam could be breached last year didn't expect water levels to be as high as they are right now. So, this is, of
course, a serious concern here.
Let me ask you about the war from a broader perspective and that, is the ultimate goal of the country after the end of this war, after Ukraine's
victory, to join NATO, and that is a pursuit that the leaders of the country, that President Zelenskyy, and you yourself continue to make.
You write in "Foreign Affairs," this article, to protect Europe, let Ukraine join NATO right now. It is time then to let Ukraine join, not
sooner or later, but now. By entering the alliance, the country will secure its future as part of the West, and it can be sure the United States and
Europe will continue help it fight against Moscow. Europe, too, will reap security benefits by allowing Ukraine to join the alliance. It is now
apparent that the continent is not ready to defend itself and that it's politicians have largely overestimated its security. Indeed, Europe will
never be secure from Russia until it can militarily stop Moscow's attacks. And no state is more qualified to do so than Ukraine.
You make a compelling argument in this piece, but are you worried that it is one that is falling on deaf ears? Because it does appear that the
majority of NATO members seem to be tiptoeing around this issue.
ZAGORODNYUK: At the moment, yes. Well, thank you. And at the moment I think that, yes, they're not ready. And I think that we are -- with the
articles and with the expert discussions, which is building up that argument and discussing this with expert community, with policymakers, and
I think at some time, European and western, generally, policymakers will understand that Russia is a threat to not just to Ukraine, it's not a
regional conflict, it's a substantial conflict on a -- of a much broader scale.
Also, they will understand that the capabilities currently present in Eastern Europe are not enough. And they are helping up to build a very
strong Ukrainian army. So, since they're investing money and the resources in this army, why don't they plan that this army would be protecting the
whole Eastern Europe, not just Ukraine? And in this case, it would make sense to accept it in alliance.
I don't think it's going to happen like tomorrow or even during the Vilnius summit, which is in one month, but I think that by having this discussion
over and over again, we'll get closer to that.
GOLODRYGA: Andriy Zagorodnyuk, thank you so much for your time today. And we'll continue to follow the latest headlines after this dam breach. Thank
Well, the last time a British royal was in court, get this, it was 1891, and King Edward VII was giving evidence in a gambling scandal. Well, today,
it's Prince Harry in the witness box at London's high court, going up against some of Britain's biggest tabloid newspapers. He's among more than
100 celebrities and socialites suing Mirror Group Newspapers, alleging that their reporters unlawfully hacked their voicemail, and deceptively obtained
private information. MGN is fighting those allegations and claims bosses weren't aware of any illicit activity.
Prince Harry told the court that editors and journalists have "blood on their hands for the distress their behavior and articles caused him."
Journalist and royal expert, Bidisha Mamata, and New York Times London bureau chief, Mark Landler, join me now from London. Welcome both of you.
Mark, let's just set the scene here and talk about the historic nature of this appearance of Prince Harry. We told you that the last time that
someone in a senior level of the royal family was in court was over 100 years ago, well over 100 years ago. What did we see today?
MARK LANDLER, NEW YORK TIMES LONDON BUREAU CHIEF: Well, considering there hasn't been a senior member of the royal family in court for, as you say,
130 years, Prince Harry handled it, at some level, like a guy who really knew what he was doing. He answered the questions in a very calm matter-of-
fact matter. He didn't rise and take debated. He didn't lose his temper. And I think he really acquitted himself fairly well given the fact that, as
you say, royals in general avoid courtrooms, they much prefer to settle trials, settle legal cases before they ever get to trial.
So, today was something of a test for Harry, and at least on the opt -- from the optic's point of view, leave aside the legal case, I think he
performed relatively well.
GOLODRYGA: Bidisha, his trial involves dozens of articles that have been written about him, and as we heard from Mark, it's quite a divergence from
how the royal family typically handles the media and social headlines in the public to begin with. They avoid confrontation.
One royal insider, however, noted that Harry would see himself as fighting their battle too, to protect the reputation of the monarchy. Is this how
you view they see it?
BIDISHA MAMATA; BROADCASTER AND JOURNALIST: Not quite because the motto of the royal family has always been, never complain, never explain. I think
that if Prince Harry is telling himself the narrative that, I'm standing up for the royals, that's not quite what's happening. Although, I do think he
sees himself as crusading on behalf of all people in the public eye in the sense of celebrities, and he's also crusading for his own childhood self.
In his statement in court, the preprepared written statement, he spoke about the destruction of his childhood. The fact that every new alleged
breach of his privacy brings him back to thinking about what he was like as a child, what he went through and his brother went through and what his
mother went through.
We have seen this back and forth between the Mirror Group and himself all day now, and what he seems to be doing is putting in front of them dozens
of articles from dozens of years, and they are almost going through it line by line. And Mirror Group is saying, well, this detail here, you could have
been betrayed by someone at the palace. And it's Prince Harry's job legally not to put the ethics and the sort of flavor of the way the tabloids work
on trial but to say, no, you acquired this information through illegal unlawful means.
GOLODRYGA: He said that began at his early days at Eton, when he was a student then and he was confused as to why voice messages that he had
received, he got the indication that they had already been listened to when he hadn't received them.
You mentioned some of his statements there. I'd like to read for our audience what he said. He said, as a teenager and in my early twenties, I
ended up feeling as though I was playing up a lot of the headlines and stereotypes that they wanted to pin on me mainly because I thought that, if
they were printing this rubbish about me and people were believing it, I may as well do the crime, so to speak. It was a downward spiral, whereby
the tabloids would constantly try and coax me, a damaged young man, into doing something stupid that would make me a good story and sell lots of
newspapers. Looking back on it now, such behavior on their part is utterly vile.
Mark, what are arguments the defense is making in response to these statements?
LANDLER: Well, the defense is making a narrow argument, which is that it denies having hacked the phones of Harry or there are, in fact, other
plaintiffs in this case. So, it's making the narrow argument that it hasn't hacked their phones. It has acknowledged that there were a couple of cases
of unlawful gathering of information. I think this had to do mostly with the use of private investigators.
And so, at the end of this case, there probably will be some form of restitution to the plaintiffs, including Harry, but I think the Mirror
Group's goal is twofold, they want to keep those numbers as low as they can and they don't want to open the door to a floodgate of other people coming
to them to either litigate or ask for large settlements based on hacking.
So, you know, one of the arguments they are making is you're -- is a classic statute of limitations arguments in the United States, why is Harry
waiting for more than 12, 13, 14 years since the phone hacking scandal to bring these charges. Harry's lawyers respond, well, you concealed your
methods from us at the time. So, how are we able to know what your nefarious techniques were?
And so, you know, they're making a much more, to some extent, a narrow case, whereas Harry is making a broader case, a broader indictment of the
effect tabloids have had on his life and on the lives of many other prominent people.
GOLODRYGA: Bidisha, does it help him at least in the court of public opinion, as we heard from Mark, that he has joined over 100 other
plaintiffs and celebrities and well-known figures in this case?
MAMATA: Yes and no. Exactly as Mark pointed out, this is a legal trial. It is not Netflix "Harry and Meghan" episode seven or eight, it is a very
tricky position for Prince Harry, because on the one hand, he is a star witness, he's a star litigant, and he is bringing so much emotionality to
his statements and to his sheer presence because from a public point of view, of course, we know the whole story. So, this is just another element
of the soap opera.
And the Mirror Group are repeatedly saying, you need to prove these allegations, we need to nail down all of this, we need to get to the
granular level. This is not about whether British tabloid culture is terrible, whether we are all awful people, whether Prince Harry can
truthfully make the statement as he did in court today that the British media and the British government are "in bed together and are also at rock
bottom." A royal is never meant to comment on the politics of the day. So, Harry is breaking massively with convention, but sticking close to his
GOLODRYGA: Mark, what could this ultimately mean for the U.K. press, when the judge finally hands down his ruling? Is this sort of a precedent
setting potential here?
LANDLER: Well, it's sort of a strange situation, because the hacking scandal, of course, unfolded many years ago. And by all accounts, the worst
misdeeds, the worst forms of hacking and voicemail interception have been rooted out of the industry long ago because they feared that if they didn't
voluntarily curb their practices the government would do it for them. So just some extent, it is correct to say that this is happening long after
the conduct itself.
But, you know, Harry's point is that the underlying culture of intrusiveness, of remorselessness, of excess has remained even if the
papers aren't actually hacking anymore. And so, I think that if he were to emerge victorious, it would be a blow for his case, and it might cause some
introspection on the part of the tabloids, but I think it's also worth pointing out that, you know, Harry has become a very different figure than
he was even five years ago.
He lives in Southern California, he has his own life, he has his own causes. The press here is uniformly gone fairly sour on him. And so, I
think that, you know, it was very interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that when Piers Morgan, a former editor of the "Daily Mirror," was door
stopped recently and asked about these charges, he gave a very defiant response, I'm not going to be lectured by the likes of Prince Harry about
privacy issues. I think that many in the British media may take that point of view, even if they're not quite as blunt as Piers Morgan is about it.
GOLODRYGA: And, Bidisha, I mean, Mark is right to note that the public views of Prince Harry have definitely changed over the last few years, and
this isn't the only case that he's bringing, he's suing two other newspaper groups over alleged phone hacking as well, and that is the News Group
Newspaper that is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and the Associated Newspapers. Both of those organizations deny any wrongdoing, but could we see him take
the stand again?
MAMATA: Well, we know that he is litigious. So, yes. I think that is a possibility, if it gets that far. And if you continue these three big media
groups together, it's very telling what Prince Harry is doing. If you notice in all of his interviews, he keeps referring to the British media,
the British tabloid press, it's all one monolith to him.
And what makes these trials and these actions that he takes so compelling is the fact that we can see right through to the heart of what's actually
driving him. Yes, of course, it's about principles, it's about media operations, and ethics, and values, what kind of a world do we all want to
participate in, but it's also deeply personal. He's being triggered and retriggered every time there's an article.
GOLODRYGA: Mark, for our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world, it may not have been as privy to the constant coverage of the royal family and
of Prince Harry as a youth, and his mother in the 1990s and early 2000s. Give us a sense of what that press was like back then.
LANDLER: Well, it's probably hard to imagine what life was like for a young man at the center of that maelstrom. You know, it is a fact that the
royal family is a fairytale. And for some period of time, the tragedy and the tribulations and the pitfalls of young Harry were central to that
fairytale. So, he would have figured on the front pages of tabloids multiple times a week. And, you know, one can only feel sympathy when you
think about what that was like for a 14 or 15 or 16-year-old young man to have to deal with.
You know, and that, in part, explains why he withdrew from royal duties and why he and his wife, Meghan, have moved to Southern California. I think he
felt like he did not want to submit to that kind of a role for -- you know, for the coming years and he wanted to try something different. Of course,
as we know, from his experience in United States, particularly as a celebrity couple, the cameras have a habit of following people like that
and he's encountered his own brush with paparazzi and attention in the United States as well.
So, it's really not easy for a global figure like Prince Harry. But I don't think anything compares to the intensity of what he endured as a teenager
GOLODRYGA: Mark Landler, Bidisha Mamata, thank you so much. We'll continue to cover this story for our viewers. We appreciate your time.
LANDLER: Thank you very much, Bianna.
MAMATA: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, we turn next to an innovative way to protect our planet. From wildfires to record breaking heat waves, the climate crisis is having
a real cost, both to humans and wildlife. Growing carbon emissions are largely to blame. So, what is the solution?
Writer Paula DiPerna argues in her new book, "Pricing the Priceless," that the natural world is an invaluable asset and we need to start viewing it
that way in order to prevent future pollution. She joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss why this could be the key to spurring climate action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, thanks. Paula DiPerna, thanks so much for being with us. First, what's it mean? What does
that mean to price the priceless?
PAULA DIPERNA, AUTHOR, "PRICING THE PRICELESS": Well, it's kind of to walk a metaphysical and financial line, really, to accept that we are dependent
on invaluable priceless things. We all know love is priceless, health is priceless, but so is the atmosphere and so are the wildlife and so are the
wetlands. And that if we don't come around to figuring out how to price those values -- priceless things, we will abuse them.
And as we have seen, through history, what you don't pay for, you tend to abuse. So, we are trying to figure out a way to reverse the abuse and move
natural assets from, you know, sort of being constantly a cost centered to being an asset that you protect.
SREENIVASAN: So, you know, you point out that we have figured out how to price lots of abstract things, say, the entire sort of doc com boom comes
to mind, because I'm old enough for that. But even today, how we look at the value of a company that's technically not selling anything and not
making a profit.
DIPERNA: Yes. I mean, the question came to my mind. I mean, I love Uber, it's very convenient. But how can something like Uber or WeWork or any of
these sharing economy businesses that are basically software, the markets, value them in the billions of dollars, and our atmosphere is valued at
zero? That sort of doesn't make sense to me and, you know, that's kind of where this idea came from. And we also value our art, we value a lot of
things that -- you know, the value is in the eye of the beholder. So, that's abstraction nature of it shouldn't be holding us back particularly
from a reasonable system of pricing.
SREENIVASAN: So, you know, let's walk through some of the examples that you have. I think people understand, for example, that there is value in
art, but usually they say, well, it just depends on what somebody is willing to pay for it. You know, you have a whole chapter on Detroit
museums and the art that was in Detroit and what kind of value that we ultimately had to place on it. So, what do we take as a lesson from the
valuation of art that we can apply to the climate?
DIPERNA: Well, so, if you think of the art collection in the Detroit Museum, art museum, which -- you know, it was priceless, had all kinds of
phenomenal works, Dezan (ph) and Mattis and the famous, famous Diego Rivera murals, when the City of Detroit was confronting bankruptcy, people there
thought, oh, well, we'll just sell the art and we use that money to pay off the debts.
Well, you know, three or four different appraisers came in and they all had different valuations for that collection. The Diego Rivera, they couldn't
even price at all because it was really truly priceless, they couldn't agree to a price.
So, what happened was all this kind of, you know, different opinions kind of melded into a decision, which was, you know what, we can't value this
art. It's beyond value. It's so important that we actually cannot value it. So, let's just stipulate a base number and some foundations came in and put
that money forward, and that was used to pay off pension funds and other debts, and the art was taken off the table, never to be put on --
potentially on an auction block ever again. A trust was created.
So, that was a case where actually pricelessness saved a whole city, and it was the ability of the governments then and the foundations and eventually,
the museum itself to assign itself a value that could never be stipulated. And so, the success was that everyone agreed that there was so much value,
we couldn't put a price on it, therefore, we better never squander it. It's too important.
SREENIVASAN: So --
DIPERNA: And the atmosphere should be in the same category.
SREENIVASAN: Yes. So, let's say that there are people who understand that there is value in the atmosphere, we would all be dead without our
protection. But you're going to have multiple countries lobbying in kind of different ways on how to price the atmosphere. So, how do we come to that
compact, that agreement, that says, OK, this is in fact priceless and we shouldn't really be bargaining with it?
DIPERNA: Well, you have some agreements now, obviously, you have -- you know, the main way to price the atmosphere is through what are known as
carbon markets and cap-and-trade in particular, which is basically a diet. You know, the emitters go on a diet and agree or are required to lose
carbon weight, so to speak. Stop emitting. And, you know, the atmosphere is our cosmic penthouse, really. If you look up, if you could see 60 miles,
you'd be seeing the end of the atmosphere. That's all the little bit of space.
I don't know the last time you rub your face, but one of the astronauts said that the atmosphere was in relationship to the earth as peach buzzes
to the peach. So, that's a bit -- you know, it's of like the hair on your face, the skin of your face.
And so, into that (INAUDIBLE) that's a super scarce supply. So, supply and demand says, you can't waste that supply for a low price, you have to make
the price go up. So, the cap-and-trade really puts -- stipulates a quantity of space that may still be used to pollute. And as that cost goes higher,
those stipulated uses will become too expensive and therefore, pollution should drop. That's the principle.
SREENIVASAN: When we talk about cap-and-trade and carbon markets, I mean, in a way, the United States gets close and it can't pull the trigger. There
are active lobbies across the federal government, as well as state governments, that are still very locked into their way of profits, which is
to fossil fuels and the mineral extraction that happens on their lands. So, how can we get to a point where, well, without large-scale participation in
a cap-and-trade market it becomes ineffective?
DIPERNA: Basically, what people forget is the cap-and-trade is not just like a penalty, it's also an opportunity. So, the higher the price to
pollute, the more incentive to invest in alternatives. So, if you invest in alternatives because, let's say, the cap and the price on the atmosphere is
$30 a ton, when it goes to $60 a ton, then it makes sense to invest in an alternative because you'll make money on that. It's the same with what is
called green investing, in ESG investing.
I mean, people think they're going to lose money investing, you know, shipping capital from detrimental uses to productive environmental
protection, that's a moneymaker these days. It's an old story that you have to accept a concessionary return if you invest in things that are more
oriented to environmental protection.
You make money in ESG. It is not -- it is in no ways -- some of the opposition to ESG has been that it's not prudent, it's not in the best
shareholder interest, when in fact, actually, it is supremely in the shareholder's interest. One, because it's protecting shareholders from
potential risks, many of which you don't see yet, like wildfire and flood.
And secondly, it's a moneymaker. So, if you exclude investors and money managers from looking at ESG funds, you're basically saying, don't look at
these funds that might make more money than other funds.
SREENIVASAN: You pepper the book with tons of examples. One of the examples, say for example, forests in Myanmar. Tell us a little bit about
what that shows the rest of the world.
DIPERNA: So, Myanmar, notwithstanding all the disruption today, was one of the first countries to try to value its forest, it's ecosystem, it's
wetland services, and they did what's called an ecosystem service analysis. And that began to price, say for example, the value of the mangroves, which
everybody thinks, oh, we can't swim at the beach, there's no beach there, you know, they're just a bunch of wasteland, tangled route.
Mangroves keep the ocean from banging into the coast. And so, there's a value to that. But since we don't value the mangroves, but we value the
coastal property, we cut the mangroves down thinking, well, we'll make more hotels there, when actually, overtime, those hotels get slammed by
typhoons. And so, in Myanmar, this groundbreaking study was done, and they were even able to value the labor of elephants in pulling logs out of the
forest and put a value on the elephant as a worker, not just as a cost center, oh, elephant, we have to feed it. No, this element is providing
tremendous value to the country.
Nature, you could say, is the most underpaid and unpaid worker in the history of the world. We don't pay nature anything for its work. So, nature
is subsidizing our economy very directly, and we don't see that either. And the irony is that some numbers say that the value of nature's work is
larger than the GDP of the world.
SREENIVASAN: What would that number be?
DIPERNA: Well, the GDP of the world is somewhere between 100 trillion and the number that was started in terms of ecosystem services at one point was
125 trillion a year, which makes the economy a subsidiary of nature. So, you know, even if those numbers are wildly off say by $30 or $40 trillion a
year, that's still a very significant amount of subsidy that nature is providing the economy and we've to get it not to be subsidizing necessarily
And so, I think back to the individual, when you look around you see, well, there's a swamp or there's a tree and the branches are just beautifully
blowing in the wind, you don't think that they are actually performing a service for us. And so, that's where I think a lot of our mental efforts
should go, is to reconceptualizing ourselves as living in an economic environment when we're nature, not just a beautiful pristine environment,
even as though -- as much as we love that.
SREENIVASAN: Paula, one of, the things that your book does is lay out the important role that insurers play and in how we price our risk. Just last
week, State Farm Insurance said that they are no longer going to ensure new homeowners in California, they are citing, let me quote here, "rapidly
growing catastrophe exposure." Because 25,000 homes have been destroyed by wildfire there in just the past five years. But at the same time, there's
also something called the Forest Resilience Bond. Explain that for us.
DIPERNA: So, the Forest Resilience Bond is a fantastic invention, a financial invention a couple of years ago, some graduate students at the
Haas Business School came up with it. And basically, you know, the shorthand is it's a way to value, securitize, invest in environmental
benefits that will be realized somewhere down the line.
So, you take a forest, you think, OK, it's just trees standing there. Well, forest tending, taking care of a forest, it's kind of like gardening the
forest. You have to take the brush out from the ground, you have to trim the trees, you have to try to somehow make sure a fire doesn't jump from
one tree to another. And of course, that requires water. And if there's no water and no rain, the trees become very dry. So, it's a terribly vicious
And in the case of California, the government, the Wildlife Service, was spending a fortune putting forest fires out, wildfire forest out. And
therefore, eating into its budget for preventing the fires. So, the Forest Resilience Bond brings together beneficiaries, that's what they are called,
of a resilient forest, who are, of course, obviously, the Wildlife Service, everybody benefits if the Wildlife Service can protect the forest, but also
local insurers who don't want to pay, and cannot pay, increasingly, homeowners who are burned out, let alone killed and hurt. Tourism operators
who require, you know, forests be healthy so the tourists will come. And even hydro power plants.
So, the bond quantifies all these benefits and secure investors, private investors, as well as public investors, who said, OK, quantitatively, a
forest -- this group of trees in Lake Tahoe, is an example, is worth X, and we'll put several -- we'll put X into it, and the beneficiaries who had
benefits later, pay the bond back.
So, it's kind of advancing time, in a way, and it's very exciting. And they've gone from a couple of million to 25 or 30 million. I think there's
even two funds now, almost 50 million, where private investors have put money upfront to enable the forest to be tended properly to postpone
wildfires and bring the benefits of resilient forest into the balance sheet.
It's just way you fund -- it's an infrastructure concept. And so, thinking of forest as infrastructure is a breakthrough because infrastructure, you
have to maintain, it's just like, you know, a cost.
SREENIVASAN: So, tell me about what companies, Fortune 500 companies or otherwise, especially public companies, can do actively to try to start
pricing some of these things, to try to start putting it on the books. You talk a little bit about the global shoe company, Puma, and their kind of
environmental P&L, what can we learn from that?
DIPERNA: Well, the Puma environmental P&L was a fantastic experiment. I mean, for example, they calculated all their environmental cost, you know,
what it costs them to buy leather, not just the price of the leather, but the price of the land, if they had to pay for the land and the water value
in the land. So, they had two columns, they had, you know, regular books that they filed financial returns and then, they did these environmental
And their environmental costs, if they had to pay for them, would have significantly eroded their profits. And so, it would have been a lot of,
you know, red ink ode to nature. So, that illuminated for them this potential cost.
Now, is that cost ever going to come to bear on them though regulation and scarcity? You know, if you can no longer count on being able to graze
animals, therefore, because of drought and because of other conditions or even regulation, then you have to think about, well, where am I going to
get those materials? So, it behooves a company like Puma to think ahead.
And, you know, all companies really can start thinking about environmental profit and loss, and I think, you know, it's a bit of a lobbying point for
me but I think all companies would be served by level playing fields, a regulatory level playing field, and that includes a national -- certainly
in the United States, a national carbon price.
SREENIVASAN: How do you make sure that a company that starts taking some steps in this way isn't greenwashing? By that, I mean, you know, OK, fine.
You know what, I'm going to go ahead and pay for these carbon offsets, but it's basically kind of a rounding error for us.
DIPERNA: Yes. That's a tricky one. You know, I think the offsets question, which is where, you know, instead of making a direct reduction, people
invest in say tree planting and other things that capture carbon, sequester carbon, if that's what we're talking about, I mean, those projects really
need to be tied back to the diet. They need to really be tied back to the idea of an overall reduction.
It's also true though that constantly reducing emissions every year, especially if you are a power plant, how are you supposed to do that if you
fix the power plant and it's going to run for 20 years, you know, what other fixes can you make?
So, the offset thing is complicated, but it's not as controversial as some people like to think it is. We really need to break out of these themes
that have -- we've been plagued us for so long that prevent progress.
DIPERNA: There are a lot of people who want to do the good thing, and they should be encouraged. And the ones who are greenwashing will get caught
sooner or later, especially if it's in their financial filings, because, you know, if you lied to the SEC in your financial filings, it's a criminal
offense. So, you go to jail for that. That's fraud.
SREENIVASAN: Yes. There have been reports that we, as a society, have been really kind of engineered to think about ideas like the carbon footprint as
that we have of personal responsibility and that our personal impact, collectively, can add up. And I wonder whether that takes our eye off the
ball in some ways from the largescale and institutional pollution that we collectively enable, where we aren't asking more of our regulators or our
corporations because we're saying, hey, I get to buy, I don't know, a hybrid, or an electric car and I'm doing my part?
DIPERNA: Yes. That's a really important point, and I've given it a lot of thought too, because, you know, we do have an individual responsibility,
but the scale of the problem now is such that we really do need to figure out where can we get the biggest impact and the fact for our efforts. And
I've concluded that the little bit we do individually, it can't hurt. But we have to figure out something that brings it together and
institutionalize it, as you said, and one of the main things is how you spend your money, what you actually do by. But also, where you invest.
Where you -- you know, talk about -- talk to your bank, even if it's just a little checking account, ask the bank where they're investing.
And gradually, we need to up the whole thing so that it becomes a matter of economic security as opposed to individual responsibility. We really need
to bump it up to, you know, the top of the line.
SREENIVASAN: The book is called "Pricing the Priceless." Author Paula DiPerna, thanks so much for joining us.
DIPERNA: Thank you very much. Always a pleasure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Up next, we are speaking with the star of Mindy Kaling's hit show "Never Have I Ever." Maitreyi Ramakrishnan plays Devi, an Indian
American high schooler navigating life, love and loss with none other than tennis legend, John McEnroe, narrating every twist and turn. The final
season drops on Netflix this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAITREYI RAMAKRISHNAN, ACTRESS, "NEVER HAVE I EVER": So, all in all, things were decent. I'm not ready to say goodbye yet. I'm not sure I'm good
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know it's scary. Our lives are changing, but change is good.
RAMAKRISHNAN: I've got this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: And we are thrilled to have Maitreyi join us now from New York. Welcome to the program. Wow. What a ride it has been.
GOLODRYGA: We have been following your character navigate through high school for three seasons now. The show has amassed a huge following. What
is this like for you and is it a bittersweet moment knowing that this is the final season?
RAMAKRISHNAN: Honestly, yes. It's been a real rollercoaster journey since I was 17, back in 2019, where I was, you know, going to Hollywood to learn
that I love acting so much and I love nothing more than that. But now, it feels, yes, bittersweet, but honestly, mainly sweet. I'm so excited for the
fans to see season four and what we have going on. And I'm just excited for like, you know, the future, because all good things to come to an end. And
I am very grateful for the whole ride that it's been.
GOLODRYGA: Well, it has been a wonderful ride for your fans. And I have to tell you, there are quite a few on the Amanpour team as well, and I have
become your latest one, because I started watching the show and I thought, you know, I'm going to do my research as a journalist and watch one or two
episodes, and, of course, I get hooked and I like keep watching because it's so addictive. And you really have a way of connecting with, not only
your character, but also with some of the main themes that high schoolers are dealing with and young girls are dealing with in the country. How are
you able to really connect with your character that way?
RAMAKRISHNAN: Well, I think -- in all honesty, I think that Devi's character actually -- and really all the characters, are dealing with
things that are pretty universal, not just for young girls and not just for young teens, they're doing such human realities of insecurity, self-
confidence, self-love and all those journeys that come with that. And that is why so many people, like myself, can see themselves in the characters
that you find in "Never Have I Ever," whether it's Devi or maybe Ben or Paxton or Nalini, anyone in, you know, Devi's family, and I think that is
the beauty of what makes the show what it is.
GOLODRYGA: And it's also something that so many people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds can identify with as well, because you
touched on issues that impact all of us and all teenagers, but you talk about the cultural aspect of it as well. And an immigrant myself, I
appreciate that, because there are times in your youth when you're a little embarrassed or you just want to fit in and blend in with everyone else.
Let's show our viewers a clip of just one of those cultural moments that Devi experiences.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAMAKRISHNAN: First, I would like to thank you for taking care of my dad, and making sure he has ESPN on repeat up in heaven, it means a lot to us.
Also, if you have to time to please bless my college application, that would be awesome. That is the most important thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Devi, pray that Dr. Keys is willing to write your recommendation.
RAMAKRISHNAN: I'm on it, mom. Why do you think I'm dressed like a nun today? I'm going to ask her first thing in AP Lit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
RAMAKRISHNAN: Like my mom said, a rec from Dr. Keys would be sick. So, obviously, Princeton is numero uno in our priorities this year. But also, I
would also love a new phone. The front of mine got cracked when I threw it at a spider.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, baby. God, they're not Santa Clause.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: How did this culture clash play out through this series, and what have your own backstory and family story did you bring with you?
RAMAKRISHNAN: I mean, my own culture is also being Tamil. So, this is just something that I've lived my entire life. It's not necessarily something
that I, you know, deliberately bring in any particular way other than just being myself, but it is so amazing to be able to have that in a show, just
represented. We don't need to explain every single aspect and we're not a documentary, we are a half-hour comedy that aims to be funny. That is, you
know, "Never Have I Ever's" goal.
But just by merely existing in this show, we are able to show representation of different cultures and have the specificity that comes
with Tamil identity, that I, as a Tamil person, resonate with.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. And as we mentioned, the show was co-created by Mindy Kaling and loosely based on her life as well. And this isn't the type of
representation, the Indian American experience that was as prevalent just a few years ago and a decade ago or so or more, we're seeing more of that
now, thankfully. Do you feel a certain responsibility to the Indian American community here, in your portrayal of Devi?
RAMAKRISHNAN: I think, honestly, first of all, not just Indians, but rather South Asians as a whole. The sad truth is, is that people definitely
bundle up South Asians into one umbrella. And honestly, even just a bigger umbrella of Asian, and there is a huge responsibility, because we don't
have enough representation yet, and it is also a huge privilege to be able to do what I do.
And I know that that only comes with me being able to represent the best possible way I can, which is by being myself, and that can only do so much.
So, I try to, you know, keep my expectations realistic of what I'm able to do. But there is a sense of responsibility that Mindy has been holding on
to her shoulder for a long time, and many before myself. So, it's not just me.
GOLODRYGA: You do it masterfully, I have to say.
RAMAKRISHNAN: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: And on top of that, your inner monologue, John McEnroe. I mean, who would have thought, and yet, it works so well.
RAMAKRISHNAN: It does.
GOLODRYGA: Christiane talked about this to John about this earlier in a previous conversation. I want to play for our viewers what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MCENROE, SEVEN-TIME GRAND SLAM TENNIS CHAMPION: When I read it, I was like, wait a minute, I'm supposed to be the narrator for this high school
girl, Indian American girl, who is trying to grow up and figure out how to deal with her friends and friendships and relationships? How did that
happen? This is crazy. And I saw a press, they go, this is crazy. And then, crazy, but maybe it would work.
So, it turns out, long story short, that Mindy's father was a big fan in India. She's is a first generation American -- Indian American, obviously
coming to the States. Her dealing with, you know, what it was like for her growing up. But the girl had a temper. So, it was like, oh, who else has a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Oh, I grew up watching him. I knew all about that temper. And I have to say, he was a joy to watch. You can't be serious. And what's
interesting, is this really worked with your character.
GOLODRYGA: Did the two of you interact at all? I mean, what is that relationship like?
RAMAKRISHNAN: Well, I mean, I did get to, of course, meet him onset in season one. He does make an appearance, which is really super cool. We get
to see him in the flesh, instead of just narration. But I did also meet him multiple times in different like table reads, which is super cool.
But, yes. I mean, he's such a good sport about it all. He nails his narration. And it truly is such a great fit for Devi's character. I mean,
they are both hotheads, but people still both root for both of them. I mean, we are rooting for him on the court, we are rooting for Devi in the
high school hallways of Sherman Oaks.
GOLODRYGA: What were your first initial thoughts when you read that he would be participating in this series as the narrator of your inner
RAMAKRISHNAN: I mean, in all transparency, I didn't know who he was at first, because I'm not a sports person.
GOLODRYGA: I was going to ask you that. If you knew who he was.
RAMAKRISHNAN: I figured that's what you are going to ask, to be honest. I figured. But no. I've said this before and he knows it himself, I didn't
know he was. And because I'm just not a, you know, big sport head. But once we found out, I was like, OK, that's cool. Happy to have you here.
So, yes, it was honestly kind of chill for me, but I just appreciated it as a creative and as a fan of the show of "Never Have I Ever" how smart the
decision was on so many levels for Devi's character.
GOLODRYGA: Extremely creative as well. So, listen, we've watched you for the past three years, you've got a bright future ahead of you. What is
next? What are you thinking of doing?
RAMAKRISHNAN: Probably just, you know, living. Living a little. I've kind of worked really hard since I was 17, these past four years, through the
pandemic. So, I'm kind of excited to just, yes, be a real human being. And --
GOLODRYGA: Does that mean a break? A break from Hollywood for a bit?
RAMAKRISHNAN: Oh, I'm still going to work, I'm still going to, you know, live my life as a very, very determined actress who understands that she
has to run 10 times faster than some people, being a brown woman. But that also means I can respect, you know, my time as a person who needs to know
how to have fun and live and embrace life. So, yes.
GOLODRYGA: So, for your fans out there that are sad to see the show come to an end, what are some parting words you have for them?
RAMAKRISHNAN: For the fans that are sad, I will say I think this season is the best season. I think they are going to be very, very happy with it. And
if they are not, I mean, it's the last one. So, I would really strongly encourage you to be happy with it.
GOLODRYGA: I think everyone is pretty happy with it, from some of the reviews that I have read, what I've heard from my colleagues as well and
from what I've seen. Maitreyi, thank you so much for joining us. It is a really fun show, and it's really exciting to watch you on the screen.
RAMAKRISHNAN: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Can't wait to see what's next for you.
RAMAKRISHNAN: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: And finally, today marks 79 years since D-day, the invasion that change the course of World War II. President Macron and military
officials welcomed veterans to Normandy honoring those who fought for freedom and democracy. Among them is 100-year-old Jake Larson, the last
surviving member of the unit that stormed Omaha Beach in 1944.
And back in 2019, he shared his memories of that day with Christiane. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE LARSON, D-DAY VETERAN: I remember when I hit the beach, machine guns were opening up and firing at me. And I found this (INAUDIBLE), what I call
a burn (ph) of sand, kind of limestone, that sits in a powder and it was about six to inches inches high, and it was a protection from those machine
guns. So, I lay behind it thinking, how am I going to get out of this thing without being shot at me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Wow. I could just listen to him and his colleagues there and those who bravely fought to defend democracy and freedom all those years
ago. We thank them for their service and their sacrifice, for all of those involved in the D-Day landings. We have a lot to learn from them still.
Well, that is it from now. You can always catch us online, on our podcast and across social media. Thank you so much for watching and goodbye from