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CNN Gets Rare Access to NFL's Medical Preparations on Game Day; Crypto Mining Wreaks Havoc on Towns with Noise Pollution; New Report: Greenland's Temperatures Are the Warmest They've Been in 1,000 Years; Greta Thunberg Says Davos Elite "Fueling Destruction of Planet"; Pivotal "Titanic" Scene Reenacted to Dispute Theory About Film; Ron Klain Expected to Step Down as Biden's Chief of Staff; Supreme Court Unable to find Leaker of Draft Decision; Jeremy Renner Says He Broke 30+ Bones in Snowplow Accident; Inside the NFL's Emergency Action Plan that Saved Damar Hamlin's Life. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired January 21, 2023 - 17:00   ET




JIM ACOSTA, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

We begin this hour with news of a major shake-up at the White House. President Biden's chief of staff Ron Klain is expected to step down in the weeks ahead after the president's State of the Union address.

Klain has worked alongside Joe Biden on and off for decades and his departure comes at a challenging time for the president with a special counsel investigation into handling of classified documents and a possible re-election campaign.

Let's get right to CNN's Arlette Saenz. She joins us from Delaware where President Biden is spending the weekend.

A little bit of news over at the White House this Saturday afternoon, Arlette. Tell us more.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes look Jim. This will mark a pretty significant change in the leadership at the White House as CNN has confirmed that White House chief of staff Ron Klain is planned -- expected to step down from his post in the coming weeks.

Sources say that that transition is expected to happen at some point after the State of the Union Address which is slated for February 7th.

And this comes as really there has been very little turnover when it comes to the inner circle of advisers that have been working with President Biden.

Klain has been there from very beginning of this White House, also worked with Biden when he was vice president as well as during his time in the senate. And it comes as there really haven't been that many senior staff that

have left the White House since Biden took office. Now, Klain has overseen a host of accomplishments for the administration when it comes to navigating the coronavirus pandemic, also getting an infrastructure bill signed into law as well as passing historic investments in climate change initiatives.

But of course, he has also faced a number of challenges in the job including that withdrawal from Afghanistan, also troubling numbers when it comes to the economy and now as the administration is handling the response to the handling of classified documents after President Biden left office. Now, sources say that this decision has nothing to do with that classified documents saga.

Klain has often talked about how this is a very grueling job and it's not typical for a White House chief of staff to remain in the job for the entire four years.

Of course, President Biden is also potentially gearing up to run for re-election, and there are multiple battles expected in the years ahead when it comes to working with Republicans up on Capitol Hill.

Now, as Ron Klain is expected to leave in the coming weeks, much of the focus will now turn to who his replacement would be. Officials have been quietly talking about who could potentially remain replace Klain in this role. And a few of the names that are in the mix include Steve Ricchetti, counselor to President Biden; also Anita Dunn, a long time advisor; as well as Jeffrey Zients who led the coronavirus response for the White House in the first few years of the Biden administration.

The are also a few cabinet secretaries who might be in the mix. Tom Vilsack of Agriculture, as well as Marty Walsh of Labor. But certainly this will mark a very significant change for this White House as President Biden is also preparing to take on some challenges in the coming two years.

ACOSTA: Yes. The next chief of staff is going to be very busy.

Arlette Saenz, thank you very much.

Joining me now to talk about this CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp and special correspondent for "Vanity Fair", Molly Jong-Fast.

Ladies thanks so much for being with us. Molly, obviously this is nothing compared to the turmoil we saw inside the Trump West Wing, but what is the significance? Ron Klain and Joe Biden, they've almost been joined at the hip for a very long time?

MOLLY JONG FAST, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, VANITY FAIR: Yes. I mean, I think two years is a pretty long time to be chief of staff. It is a grueling, grueling job, and I think that people pretty much expected this was going to happen.

I was -- I mean we've been hearing rumors about this for like about a year or so. I don't think it's a huge shock. I mean he has a lot -- Biden has a lot of people, you know, he was vice president, he's been in the senate forever. There's a lot of people who he has very close relationships with like Klain.

So I don't think this is going to be a huge deal for him. And I think this -- I mean, I think this was pretty expected.

ACOSTA: S.E., what do you think? Was this pretty much expected all along? I mean this does happen inside administrations, Republican or Democrat. After the midterms, sometimes you have people with fresh legs coming in?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. That's very usual and typical and, in fact, I think Ron had intimated early on that he wasn't going to be a lifer, as it were.


CUPP: And that's because as Molly says the job is very grueling. It's a big job and presidents usually go through one or two or three or four of these over the course of their terms. So not a huge surprise.

ACOSTA: And I want to get both of you to weigh in on this. Molly, you first.

An investigation at the Supreme Court has apparently failed to discover who was responsible for the leak of the draft decision -- the Dobbs decision that ultimately overturned Roe versus Wade. The Supreme Court marshal was forced to clarify that he did also talk to the Supreme Court justices as part of the investigation. According to the reporting over here at CNN but found nothing to implicate them or their spouses.

I have to tell you, this is starting to feel like a "Knives' Out" mystery. Do we need Benoit Blunt to come in and solve this. Maybe there's another movie in the works, Meryl Streep to play Ginni Thomas? I mean what do you think here?

JONG-FAST: Don't do that to Meryl Streep. I would say that I think some of the reporting around this, that the justices didn't have to sign affidavits, just the staffers.

I mean you know -- look, you don't know who leaked it. There's been a lot of people on the left who thought the right leaked it. A lot on the right who think the left linked it. But it is to me -- if you're going to do an investigation and not have any of the Supreme Court justices or their spouses, you know -- I think that is -- you're missing out on a large number of people.

So I wonder what this investigation was really about. If it was sort of set up to never really succeed.

ACOSTA: Yes. S.E., what do you think? I mean it's not like there's a large number of people that they had to talk to as part of this investigation. I mean it's kind of astonishing that they haven't been able to figure this out. CUPP: Well, I don't know. Maybe I see it a little bit differently. As

many as 90 people touched this decision before it was released. That's actual, I think a lot of people that you might want to talk to and I'm not sure it benefits a justice or his or her spouse to leak it, but I could see a low-level staffer getting real excited, you know, about having some big news, and maybe being on one side or the other on the issue, and you could plausibly see both, you know, wanting to slip it to Politico.

So I'm actually much more interested in the sort of folks at the bottom, that they may or may not have talked to than I am the justices and their spouses. I just don't think -- I mean this is so embarrassing for the court. I don't think it benefits the justices themselves that this happened. So I'd be looking elsewhere. But that's just me.

ACOSTA: Well, the mystery continues. And speaking of mysterious, let's talk about embattled Congressman George Santos who received seats on two committees despite all the lies that he's told. Talk about a web of lies to unfold, including this one about his mother being at the World Trade Center and surviving 9/11. Let's listen to this.


REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): My mom was a 9/11 survivor. She was in the south tower, and she made it out, got caught up in the ash cloud.


ACOSTA: Yes. That didn't happen. And we know that because immigration records for Santos' mother newly-obtained by CNN indicate that she was in Brazil between 1999 and 2003 meaning she was not in the World Trade Center, nor could she have inhaled the ash cloud produced that day.

Molly, I mean it just -- these lies keep piling up and I know we're not supposed to be shocked in Washington about politicians telling lies, but I mean this is sort of like Guinness Book of World Records stuff.

JONG-FAST: Yes. I mean he's just an endless gift to Democrats. I mean look, I don't think anyone is happy that there's, like, a serial liar in Congress. And his lies have sort of gone beyond the pale of normal, you know, little lies.

I mean the stuff he's lying about. He said his grandparents were in the Holocaust. He said his mother was in one of the towers. I mean, you know, he's just gone on and on and on.

I mean, I think what's more concerning are the questions of where he got, you know, the campaign -- campaign finance questions, which still need to be looked into. And then also you have the Brazilian government pressing charges you know, are investigating.

And I mean -- but I do think it just makes Kevin McCarthy look terrible. Like, he won't take a stand ever. And I think that ultimately this hurts him. ACOSTA: And S.E., I have to ask you about -- I mean some of the other

folks who got committee assignments -- George Santos got committee assignments. Marjorie Taylor Greene got assigned to the Homeland Security Committee despite spreading conspiracies in the past about 9/11. And she also said this about January 6th.



REP. MARJORE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): I have to tell you something. If Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won.

Not to mention we would have been armed.


ACOSTA: Yes. S.E., I know you've been following Republican politics, involved in Republican politics, observing on it many, many years. What is the significant of having Marjorie Taylor Greene on the Homeland Security Committee?

I know that McCarthy said you're going to get back on committees but to have her on the Homeland Security Committee, your thoughts?

CUPP: Well I don't know where she was on 9/11, but I was in New York City, running. And, you know, the thought of this person, this denier, conspiracy theorist, liar, seditionist, and then, you know, some of the other things underlying her conspiracy theories like anti- Semitism, racism, bigotry. All of that is incredibly alarming and appalling that she would have a presence on any committee but especially this one.

And it really just goes to how craven Kevin McCarthy and this Republican House is, buying and selling power like this, like he did. You know, to get Marjory Taylor Greene's loyalty for his speakership nomination. I mean it's just disgusting.

She should have been sidelined, marginalized, gone months, years ago, based on the stuff she said and the stuff she's done. And instead she's being rewarded.

I mean I remember on CNN however many years ago when Trump called her a star of the Republican Party and I said, I have no doubt she will be. Because that candidate then, and now congressperson is being elevated as good conservatives.

People like Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney are literally being kicked out, shown the door. So I think you're only going to get more Marjorie Taylor Greenes with appointments like this and elevated platforms like this.

ACOSTA: All right. S.E. Cupp, strong words there. Molly Jong-Fast, great insights as always. Thanks ladies, so much. Appreciate it. Coming up, "Avengers" star Jeremy Renner says he broke more than 30

bones in that snow plow accident on New Year's Day. We'll have the latest next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: New today, actor Jeremy Renner says he broke more than 30 bones in that frightening snow plow accident New Year's Day. Renner posted this photo on Instagram earlier today, writing that his morning workouts and resolutions have all changed obviously because of what happened. According to the 911 call log obtained by CNN. Renner was completely crushed by the snow plow. And here's part of that call.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shallow breath.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of pain. He's conscious.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's now covered in blankets. His head's covered. Are we drifting off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he starting to kind of drift off and sleep?



ACOSTA: That is scary stuff. CNN's Chloe Melas joins us now. Chloe -- I mean what a close call for Jeremy Renner. I mean, I can't imagine -- I mean some people might not have survived that kind of ordeal. Is there any word on how long this recovery is going to take?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean look, there's some reports out there that it could take over a year, two years. In looking at this photo, you know, I'm not seeing any casts or whatnot, but he says in that caption, Jim, that he broke over 30 bones.

And that's been the big question, is what are Jeremy Renner's injuries? We know that they're significant. We know based on this 911 call that went on for 20 minutes and was incredibly graphic. You can hear him moaning in the background. The person on the phone who calls the 911 dispatch says that he's drifting in and out of sleep and that he had been crushed.

And we know this is a 14,000-pound multi-ton snowcat, the snow plow that he owns, that he had used to move a car that was stuck in his driveway, that a family member got stuck in this unprecedented snow in the area.

And he gets off the snowcat after he tows the car and it starts to roll and he had to jump back up on the snowcat and that's when he fell off and it rolled on top of him.

And it took paramedics, Jim, over 25 minutes after that 911 call that you all just heard was played to get to him because of road closures due to snow in the area. He's lucky to be alive.

ACOSTA: He really is. It's unbelievable. It's just unreal what he's gone through.

And Chloe, let's talk about Alec Baldwin. He apparently plans to finish the movie "Rust" despite being charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Her husband is set to serve as an executive producer at the same time the Hutchins family release a statement this week saying the charges are warranted.

What do you make of all -- we talked to Joey Jackson earlier on in the program and he thinks the prosecutors have a tough case to make here. What do you think about all this ?

MELAS: First of all I think that it's a very tough case to make and there are a lot of inconsistencies with what's people are saying took place on the day of the shooting more than a year ago.

But I will say this -- I think Alec Baldwin has no choice but to go back and film. We know from the production company that this is going to take place likely this spring and I know that they're just trying to get things in order.

There's a lot of things in place to do this. But there is this civil case against Alec Baldwin by the family of Halyna Hutchins.


MELAS: So he has to go film this movie so that they can give the profits to Halyna Hutchins' widower, to the son, to the family, you know, as I'm assuming he thinks that they deserve that, and they should get that, and the insurance money and profits from the film.

But what I think is striking is that like you point out, Jim when they announced this settlement that they had come to a resolution that Halyna Hutchins' husband would be a co-producer, and they would go off in a sort of Kumbaya moment on this movie and get them money, he says there should be no blame, in his statement. Then they come out in a statement this week after the criminal charges are announced and they say we support the charges and they actually support our own independent findings.

Which to me is an about-face from the statements that just a few months before. We don't know how Alec Baldwin is feeling about all of this because no one has spoken to him but I have spoken to his attorney who tells me that they plan to fight these charges and that they will see it through to a jury trial if they have to.

ACOSTA: And you spoke with Baldwin back in August though. And looking back now what stands out to you?

MELAS: I mean look, he says that he didn't pull the trigger. And that's what stands out to me, because the district attorney this week telling CNN's Josh Campbell that they say he did pull the trigger and that they think the FBI report supports that.

Take a little listen to some of my interview with Alec Baldwin that we did in August.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: We both assumed when David Halls handed me the gun and said we have a cold gun on set, he had checked. He told the sheriff's department in his interview that he did not check. In the OSHA report, they said that Hannah Reid handed the gun to Halls and said don't give it to Alec until I get back to the set. I've got to go do something else.

And this is a 1 in a billion event. And in that 1 in a billion event there are two people who didn't do what they were supposed to do, they didn't do.

And I'm not sitting here saying I want them to go to prison or I want their lives to be hell -- I don't want -- but I want everybody to know that those are the two people that are responsible for what happened.


MELAS: The two people that he was saying are responsible for what happened are Hannah Gutierrez-Reed who is facing the same charges now as Alec, and Dave Halls who took a plea deal.

At the time when I spoke to Alec in August he said that he did not believe that he was going to be facing criminal charges. And we know, Jim, that he felt blindsided by this.

But I also want to point out (INAUDIBLE) getting a lot of messages own social media that Alec did cry at some point in my interview and he said that really cared for Halyna and that they were like a family on the set. That he did care about safety. And that he was not in charge of hiring these people, although he was a producer, but he didn't have anything to do with hiring Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and others on the set.

ACOSTA: All right. Well, it's a case we're all going to be watching, we know you as well. Chloe Melas, thank you very much for all that. We appreciate it.

MELAS: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Coming up, in the wake of Damar Hamlin's frightening collapse, we'll show you what happens behind the scenes at an NFL game that can mean the difference between life and death.

Stay with us.



ACOSTA: Last time the Bills and the Bengals faced off they never finished the game because of Damar Hamlin's collapse. Tomorrow the two teams will meet again in the AFC playoff divisional round. It's not clear if Hamlin will be cheering on from the sidelines. But Bills coach Sean McDermott says he's been at the team facility almost daily.

Much of the credit for Hamlin's remarkable recovery was given to the team's medical staff that gave him immediate assistance when he suffered cardiac arrest.

CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently got a rare behind-the-scenes look at how the NFL prepares for these kinds of emergencies.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: When Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest, the game stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another Bills player is down. Maybe Hamlin.

DR. GUPTA: But for the emergency response team everything was just getting started.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead and go over to the cot. I don't like how he went down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to need everybody. All call. All call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring everybody. We need the airway doc, everybody. Bring the cot with the medics, all of you. and get wheels out here.

DR. GUPTA: As rare as this all is, I'm going to explain now the remarkable chain of events that came together to save Damar Hamlin's life.

DR. ALLEN SILLS, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, NFL: This is actually the EAP for --

DR. GUPTA: It starts with this.

What is the EAP? What does that stand for?

DR. SILLS: It's for Emergency Action Plan.

DR. GUPTA: And that takes place for every game?

DR. SILLS: So basically any time or any place that players are going to be active, there has to be an Emergency Action Plan. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- have been administering CPR --

DR. SILLS: The EAP was followed to the letter that night. In that moment everyone knew what they needed to do, how they needed to do it and had the equipment to do it and felt comfortable.

DR. GUPTA: Dr. Allen Sills is chief medical officer of the NFL. He is giving me a sideline view of the preparedness that goes into every game day. And once you see this, you will probably never watch a game the same way again.

You may have missed this. Pop-up blue tent. It's on every sideline.

DR. SILLS: It's like a medical exam room. We have kind of made this a medical space, even in the middle of a very busy stadium. This is so much easier to do things in here. Just like I said, everybody is just more relaxed. You don't have the cameras, you don't have the fans.

DR. GUPTA: Or this. The injury review screen.

DR. SILLS: We can be down here on the sideline and the spotter's booth, if they see an injury video, they'll cue it up for us, put on the video exactly what we need to see. We can ask them to run it back. We can talk --

DR. GUPTA: The spotter's booth. They are the eyes in the sky.

Hey. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome, welcome.

DR. GUPTA: Thank you.


DR. GUPTA: This is it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- another part of our game day medical preparations. The real goal of this booth is to help spot any injuries or illnesses on the field. It could be hard to see the whole field from down there.

DR. GUPTA: Right

SILLS: It's probably to me one of the most unique things in sports is the spotter can directly communicate down to the referee. These people can stop the game.

SUE STANLEY-GREEN, CERTIFIED ATHLETIC TRAINER: So, we watch every - every play probably minimally four times, and then we'll go back and watch it again.

GUPTA: Got it.

STANLEY-GREEN: And so, you know, we just want to make sure we don't miss anything.

SILLS: It's always about the right people, the right plan and the right equipment. We have almost 30 medical professionals. And everyone has a job to do.

GUPTA (voice-over): E.R. doctors, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, paramedics, x-ray techs and airway specialists, like Dr. Justin Deaton.

DR. JUSTIN DEATON, NFL AIRWAY MANAGEMENT PHYSICIAN: So this is the bag that I carry. And it's got a number of things in here that we could use.

The first thing is a portable video larynx scope. We have a portable ultrasound machine that we can use. And we also have the ability to perform surgical airways.

I really have all the resources available here that I would have in an emergency room.

GUPTA (on camera): What's the biggest challenge of that scenario versus being in an emergency room?

DEATON: Well, the biggest challenge is the external environment and the chaos of the situation.

When you have a larger-than-average-size person that's laying flat on the ground and not able to be elevated to a certain level with extra equipment plus, you know, cameras and other people around, those are really the confounders and the things that make it more difficult to manage.

GUPTA: How does everyone know you're the guy in charge?

DEATON: I wear a red hat on the sideline. And that signifies me as the emergency physician, the airway physician, so that even the other team knows when I come out what my role is.

GUPTA (voice-over): Every game comes with new lessons. For example, on September 25th, when Miami Dolphin Tua Tagovailoa stumbled after a hit, he was allowed back in the game. That won't happen again.

SILLS: You know, we changed the protocol earlier this year when you and I spoke to say, if we see something that looks like ataxia on video, they're also done.

GUPTA (voice-over): And as the teams all warmup, there is one final, crucial step.

(on-camera): Every time I'm in the operating room we do something known as a time-out. Everyone stops what they're doing and makes sure that everyone's on the same page.

This is the same sort of thing that's happening here behind me. It's called a 60-minute meeting. It happens 60 minutes before every game. A chance for all the medical professionals to make sure that they know

who each other are, and make sure that they know who's going to do what if there's some sort of crisis out on the field.

DR. KEVIN KAPLAN, HEAD PHYSICIAN ORTHOPEDICS FOR THE JAGUARS: All right, so let's start with introductions so that everybody's familiar with the medical staff that's here at the game.

I'm Kevin Kaplan, head team physician orthopedics for the Jaguars.

DEATON: Justin Deaton, Airway Management Physician.

KAPLAN: So, the most important thing, Justin is going to be on our 30- yard line. He stands just to our right.

If a player goes down, obviously, he won't know if it's orthopedic or internal medicine. He'll step out onto the field.

Our all-call sign is an X. So if you need him to come out, he will come out with an X.

All of the important equipment, airway, defibrillator, all the medications are all behind him with our paramedics on our sideline.

If a player needs to get taken off of the field, the ambulance is going to be in the tunnel to your right.

If you need anything at all, we'll be out there for you guys if you need us. Otherwise, hopefully we have a safe and healthy game. Good luck.

GUPTA: Now, keep in mind, the medical team was able to get to Damar Hamlin within 10 seconds. And speed really matters here.

Every additional minute that someone in cardiac arrest goes without CPR, mortality goes up by up to 10 percent.

SILLS: This is a process that's in place for every single game. And we train in the off-season. And just like the players train and practice, we do as well. So, I have tremendous confidence.

But you always want to see a game with no injuries. And you want everyone to, frankly, be bored on the medical standpoint. That's a good game from my standpoint.

GUPTA: I hear you.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: All right. Thanks to Sanjay for that story.

Coming up, a different kind of mining bringing a different kind of pollution to one of the most peaceful spots in the North Carolina.



MIKE LUGIEWICZ, MURPHY RESIDENT: When it`s at about 75, 80 decibels, I`d say a jet engine, a jet engine that never leaves.



ACOSTA: If you've heard anything about the crypto market lately, it usually involves words like "fraud charges, bankruptcy or losses" measuring in the trillions of dollars.

Even some of those who didn't invest in cryptocurrencies are experiencing steep losses and peace and quiet.

CNN's Bill Weir has their story.



BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the sound of Green Mountain Farm --


WEIR: -- certified by Quiet Parks International as one of the most peaceful spots in North Carolina --


WEIR: -- thanks to their rare local enforcement of laws against noise pollution.


WEIR: Meanwhile, about 90 minutes away, beautiful Cherokee County sounds like this.


WEIR: It is stack upon stack of computer servers, and the fans needed to cool them.

This is what`s known as a crypto mine. And it makes the sound of people in San Francisco trying to make virtual money.

WEIR (on camera): How do you describe that noise?

LUGIEWICZ: We`re probably sitting at probably 65 decibels right now. When it`s at about 75, 80 decibels, I`d say a jet engine, a jet engine that never leaves.

WEIR (voice-over): Sixteen months after the mine fired up without warning, Mike Lugiewicz put his house up for sale in frustration.

TOM LASH (ph), MURPHY RESIDENT: There would be turkeys out in the field and deer by the hundreds.

WEIR (on camera): Yes.

LASH (ph): You don`t have that anymore.

WEIR (voice-over): While Tom Lash (ph) misses the wildlife --

PHYLLIS CANTRELL, MURPHY RESIDENT: You don`t sleep at night.

WEIR: -- Phyllis Cantrell says she feels trapped.

CANTRELL: You can actually lay your head on the pillow and hear it hum up through the walls.

WEIR (on camera): No way.

Have you thought about moving?

CANTRELL: We`re 73 years old. Where are we going to go?


WEIR: Imagine a game where the dice have a billion sides and the first person to roll a 10 wins. That is essentially crypto mining.

And to play that games these days, you need computers, thousands of computers, running 24/7, 365.

And after China outlawed crypto currency and crypto mining, more and more mines like this began popping up in Appalachia, places where the power is cheap and the regulations are either nonexistent or unenforced.

(voice-over): But in this deep-red Republican pocket --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's up 24/7. (INAUDIBLE). What are you guys going to do to help?

WEIR: -- the mine has upended local politics.

JUDY STINES, MURPHY RESIDENT: I like to be behind the scenes, and I -- I like to stir the pot. And I knew that we -- we needed to win an election.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forget the noise --

WEIR: Outrage over the mine helped flip the balance of power in November`s county election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Homegrown U.S. Senator Thom Tillis.

WEIR: With the new board of commissioners now asking for federal help in ending American crypto mining.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) -- to champion legislation to ban crypto mining operations in the United States of America. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Motion passed.


WEIR: When asked over LinkedIn for reaction, Chandler Song, one of the mine's co-owners, wrote, "Oh, boy, they wanted us so bad a year ago."

As for the proposed ban, it is unconstitutional, to say the least.

Song and his crypto mining co-founder made "Forbes'" 30 -- under 30 list a few years ago and recently claimed quarterly revenues of more than $20 million.

But when asked follow-up questions, Song went silent.

His mine in Murphy has not, so far. But the county attorney is looking for a legal way to shut it down.

A cautionary reminder that the next time you hear a place as peaceful as Green Mountain Farm --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re playing roulette with their lives.



WEIR: -- chances are someone got loud and fought for it.

Bill Weir, CNN, Murphy, North Carolina.


ACOSTA: And joining me now, CNN chief climate correspondent, Bill Weir.

Bill, when people think about pollution, noise pollution is not typically the first thing that comes to mind. But, my goodness, it really has clobbered this town.

WEIR: It's so fascinating, Jim, this kind of pollution galvanizes folks this way. I mean, Appalachia, we know about other kinds of mines that kind dirty the air or the water and affect some people.

But this affected so many people relentlessly that they rallied together.

I've been having some exchanges with owner of that crypto mine on LinkedIn since the story ran. He refuses to see their complaint.

He's frustrated that they welcomed him at the beginning, and now everyone's pointing fingers.

I try to say, look, it seems like you've worn ought your welcome with the noise here with the noise. Either your choices are soundproof it, apologize, move or fight it in court. I asked three times what he's going to do. He refused to answer.

But the public sentiment, writ large, across the southern United States, there was a huge winter storm on Christmas eve. First rolling blackouts in Tennessee Valley Authority.

The folks in Murphy when their power out in the night and it was freezing, the first thing they did was check the crypto mine to see if it was still running there.

So there's going to be pressure points from zoning laws, from legislation, maybe from power customers complaining. This is just the beginning of the fight it looks like.

ACOSTA: Yes. I've been in that part of the country. Gorgeous out there. To think about that kind of peace and quiet disturbed, I see why they got fired up.

Bill, here's another eco disaster right on top of us. This one made my jaw drop.

A report came out this week that temperatures in Greenland are the highest they've been in 1,000 years? Can you tell us how science arrived at that. That's a long time.


ACOSTA: What does that mean just for Greenland and the rest of us?

WEIR: Greenland, Vikings were there. This was the result of work done studying ice cores. If you drill these deep ice cores -- Fred Pleitgen or colleague was there 10 years ago when they started the project.

Go back like layers like rings on a tree. Each snowfall traps the atmosphere of that particular year.

They've amassed enough data going back deep as the ice cores allow to show them right now it's, we're a degree and a half above, especially last 15 years, a degree and a half Celsius above the rest of the planet not to mention pre-industrial levels.

You'll recall that the Paris Accords want to limit to 1.5. In Greenland, they're well beyond that. It's four times warmer up there than the rest of the planet.

This has huge implications for sea level rise at this current melt rate. By the end of the century, it will be about a foot and a half of sea rise. If the whole thing goes, it's 25 feet of sea rise. That's centuries away.


But just another big, blaring bright red flag from these folks at the top of the world who are really risking their lives to go up there and get this data because it's melting so fast.

Trying to tell us that it's going to keep going unless folks wake up and start to take real global action.

ACOSTA: Let's talk about Davos. The world's elite gathered there to talk about climate change.

Activist Greta Thunberg apparently is blasting them for fueling the destruction of the planet.

I mean, trying to talk to some big wigs out of going to Davos for this summit. That's going to take an awful lot.

But tell us more about this.

WEIR: This is, you know, every year an annual reminder that the climate crisis actually is a class problem. The top 1 percent of the world's economy -- the folks at the top 1 percent consume way more than the bottom 50 percent.

Excuse me. Tickle in my throat.

So she's calling out the hypocrisy of people who come there in private jets and talk about a new, different, cleaner planet but really do nothing in terms of policy or in terms of real capitalist movements from private companies going beyond green washing.

She's been the most vocal critic. She had that go back-and-forth with the MMA fighter around the holidays there as well.

She has huge cachet with the youth movement. Her voice stuck as a voice of a generation right now.

ACOSTA: Don't mess with Greta Thunberg. That MAA fighter you're referring to, I think he learned that one the hard way.

Do they accomplish -- I've been to Davos and I covered Davos when Donald Trump was there and wondered what is the president doing here?

Anyway, putting that to the side, do they actually accomplish anything when it comes to stopping climate change at this thing?

WEIR: Yes. I mean, you would like to hope that the sort of the heft of the people in that room, the power, money they control, that the conversations moving in that direction.

It's interesting, there was a dystopian novel came out a couple years ago from one of the great writers who thinks about the future on climate change and what the world would look like. It's called "The Ministry of the Future."

And in his book, a Davos-like assembly is taken hostage by youth activists and climate activists and they're held, they're locked into their meeting rooms for weeks. But then, in the end, they let them go and nothing really happens.

It's sort of the metaphor for hopelessness of these conversations when the physics out in the real world don't care who meets, who promises, who votes what way. It just keeps moving us more towards an unpredictable planet.

ACOSTA: Yes. When I talked to the young people in my life, this is the issue they care about. Almost more than anything else. Bill, it's great you're also on top of it.

Bill Weir, thanks, as always. Appreciate it, my friend.

WEIR: My pleasure, Jim. Good to see you.

ACOSTA: Thank you.

Coming up, it's an iconic movie mystery. Did Rose sink Jack's chances in "Titanic?" There's a forensic re-enactment now to answer that question.



ACOSTA: Legendary astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, is over the moon about his new bride. Aldrin took to Twitter on Friday announcing he had married his long-time love on his 93rd birthday.

Aldrin holds a prominent place in space history, being the second person to ever set foot on the moon, following crew mate, Neil Armstrong, back in 1969 as part of the legendary Apollo 11 mission.

When you've been to the moon, how do you top that for a honeymoon? That's one question I have this evening.

"Titanic" Director James Cameron is finally sinking a controversial theory about his movie. Could Jack have survived the icy waters of the Atlantic just by climbing onto that door with Rose?

Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the un-sinking of the Titanic.


MOOS: Timed to coincide with the movie's 25th anniversary.

The film's director is trying to finally slam the door --


MOOS: -- on that age-old question about the door. Did Rose hog it when Jack could have fit?

"Room on that door for a family of four," argued critics, adding pooches to prove the point. But now Nat Geo uses a scientific reenactment --


MOOS: -- using stunt doubles plastered with censors foundering in cold water. This is the teaser.

They consulted an expert on hypothermia. Within eight minutes, Jack would have been unconscious in that position.

By the way, Director James Cameron told reporters, "It's technically not a door. It's a piece of paneling from the first-class lounge."

Yes, well, whatever it was, it's been put to the test before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Jack's death was needless.

MOOS: Myth Busters determined that if only they'd tied Rose's life jacket underneath the wood, the additional buoyancy could have supported them both.

But Director Cameron was unmoved.


The dude is going down.

MOOS: Cameron compares it to Romeo and Juliet.

STEPHAN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW": In the famous line you say, "I'll never let you go, Jack."

KATE WINSLETT, ACTRESS: "I'll never let go, I promise."

COLBERT: But you do.




MOOS: This is one movie controversy that just won't sink.


MOOS: Colbert and Kate Winslet --

WINSLETT: Come on, darling, there's room for two.

MOOS: -- have already done their own reenactment and no lifeboats were needed.

All hands on desk.

WINSLETT: Yes! MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ACOSTA: I mean, Rose could have tried, right? That's just cold.

That's the news. Reporting from Washington, I'm Jim Acosta. I'll see you back here tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

The unsinkable Pamela Brown takes over the NEWSROOM live after a quick break.

Have a good night.