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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to “Amanpour and Company.” Here’s what’s coming up.
President Trump talks to the nation about his war wall and his government shutdown. We examine the fall out and the threats to the global economy.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers joins me.
And we hear from the climate scientist and committed Christian, Katharine Hayhoe.
Plus, the second part of our interview with rock star, Lenny Kravitz. After touring for three decades, he’s about to get busier than ever and
that is music to his fans’ ears.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I’m Christiane Amanpour in London.
President Trump is seeking the approval of the American people, citing what he calls a humanitarian and national security crisis on the southern
border. In fact, though, illegal border crossings have been falling dramatically over more than a decade.
It comes of course as a partial shutdown of the government continues to impact hundreds of thousands of Americans and disrupt important corners of
the entire nation, like for instance, the very TSA security system the president surely wants in place at airports and other entry points.
While in Beijing, talks between the United States and China over the Bisher (ph) trade dispute said to enter an unscheduled third day, and the stakes
are immense for both countries and also for the health of the global economy. These are the first face-to-face discussions the two sides have
held since presidents Trump and Xi agreed to a 90-day truce in Argentina late last year.
And here to discuss all of this is Larry Summers, the former treasury secretary in the Clinton administration and director of the National
Economic Council under President Obama.
Mr. Secretary, welcome to the program.
LAWRENCE SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: Good to be with you.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, that whole lead up about the crisis, the government shutdown, but the big, big picture, of course, is the global economy and
that’s where you come in. What is your prediction for what the negotiators have been doing up until now?
SUMMERS: Look, I think they have probably been clearing away underbrush in the negotiation. I’m sure they have resolved some issues. I’d be very
surprised if they had resolved all the issues. It’s got to be better that people are talking. It’s got to be better that people think it’s
worthwhile to continue the negotiations. I think the prospects are good but not certain, that some kind of agreement will be reached before the
March 1st deadline, but let’s not be confused.
The real issues, the question of whether the United States and China, two countries with vast economic, vast political power can and happily co-exist
in the world, that’s a question that’s going to be defining international affairs for decades to come. And even if we resolve this trade dispute,
there’s a great deal that’s ahead of us and one has to say that the degree of truculence that has been observed, particularly on the American side, is
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, because we’ve seen with the wall and all the facts and counter facts, I mean, what the administration is saying about
the wall and not borne out by the facts. And what the president started to say at the very beginning of his administration that trade was a good, that
they are easily winnable, that we will win seems to have sort of also boxed him in.
But here’s what he said on Friday just as this round of trade negotiations is going to get underway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: China is not doing well now and it puts us in a very strong position. We are doing very well. But we’re taking in
billions and billions of dollars and I hope we’re going to make a deal with China. And if we don’t, they are paying us tens of billions of dollars’
worth of tariffs, not the worst thing in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, I mean, there’s a lot to unpick that this whole issue, he says China is doing badly, I think he implies worse than the United States
in this trade war, that gives him a very strong bargaining position, a strong negotiating hand. What do you make of that?
SUMMERS: What he said was mostly a melange of confusions. To start with, we’re taking in billions of dollars from American consumers and American
businesses who are paying higher prices because of our tariffs. It’s Americans who are paying these tariffs not the Chinese. Second, the main
problems the Chinese economy have are the problems of changing state enterprise economy into a market economy, and the slowing does not
primarily have to do with our tariffs.
Third, the president vastly overstates the comfort of our own economic position. If you look at consensus economic forecasts, people are now
saying there’s a 40 or 50 percent chance of a recession within the next two years, that’s the right reading of what financial markets are saying.
So, our position isn’t so strong. This whole idea that somehow trade wars are good things is really a very serious misjudgment that’s going to do a
lot of damage to many of the people who the president professes to care most about.
Yes, we should be addressing issues around Chinese trade practices. Yes, there are problems with China, taking our technology from U.S. companies.
But the kind of administration that declares that Canadian steel is a national security issue for us, the kind of administration that suggests
that putting tariffs on European automobiles is somehow a thing we need to do for our national security, that’s a kind of administration that’s going
to have minimal credibility in pursuing the valid American objectives with China.
And the president needs to understand that he has done what other presidents have not done, he has bragged and treated the stock market, when
it was going up, as a reflection of the glory of his policies, that wasn’t right, but live by the sword, die by the sword. And in a period when we
appeared to have a much more volatile stock market, that’s also going to be seen as a reflection on his policies.
AMANPOUR: So, beyond the president himself and his policies and the politics of all of this, there is the very, very serious issue of the
global economic health. And you actually, you just mentioned just there the possibility of a recession, you’ve just written a piece for the
“Financial Times” in which you flesh that out. What signs are you looking for?
SUMMERS: Oh, I think what one has to look for is the spending willingness of consumers, the investment willingness of businesses and the signals that
are coming from market participants, judgments in financial markets to assess the likelihood of a downturn.
We’re certainly not in a downturn yet. The Christmas season in the United States was strong as best we can tell and certainly hiring was substantial
in December according to the employment survey. But if you look at some of the more forward-looking indicators, what businesses are saying they expect
in terms of orders in the coming months, what consumers buying intentions are, what’s happening to the price of products, what’s happening to the
price of commodities, those are sending a more troubled signal. And that combined with very substantial uncertainty around the European economy and
various problems that seem to be arising in the Chinese economy all create a sense that — certainly the peak rate of expansion globally has probably
passed and we’re going to see slowing.
And whenever you start to see slowing, the prospect or possibility of recession is something that you have to reckon with.
AMANPOUR: And let’s not forget, you know, the Apple shares and the kind saw some significant losses. So, it’s not just as you say, growth slowdown
and manufacturing slowdown in United States. But as we — in China rather. But as we were discussing, these talks are going into an unscheduled third
day. And, you know, just ahead of that, there’s been a lot of interviewing and soundbites and commentary from Americans, from farmers who have being,
you know, affected by this.
I want to say, you know, two differing opinions by Americans farmers on this whole tariff war issue. Just this a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY KAVANJIAN, WISCONSIN FARMER: I would tell him that farming and agriculture is a global business, that we cannot be protectionist. China
imports 60 percent last year of the soybeans that we grew in this country, and that’s a good thing because it helps our balance of trade. Our buyers
they’re wanting to buy from us but they’re not going to because of what’s going on at a higher level.
And I know people who probably won’t be here next year at the farm and that’s — that hurts everybody because the AG industry is the basis for our
rule communities here, it supports our economics here.
TRENT THIELE, IOWA PIG FARMER: They put the tariffs where they did to retaliate against Trump. It sucks that I’m losing money but I’d assume be
me losing the money than the whole United States for years on in. I still support him on what he’s doing because, in the end, it’s the greater good.
The only way for us to get this problem really fixed for the next generation is to punish through it now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: OK. So, two different opinions, two farmers, a soybean farmer, a pig farmer, one supports the tariffs and one sees the definite problems
But what is the way out of this now? The Chinese have said — I don’t know whether you think that — I mean, you said that you think there’s likely to
be a solution but their state media has said, “Look, if we were going to rise or rather raise the white flag and surrender, we would have done this
much earlier on. We’re not going to.”
SUMMERS: China’s not going to surrender, but there certainly practices that China should be adjusting. There’s no reason why American companies
who want to do business in China should have to enter into a joint venture with Chinese partners where they give over all their intellectual property
and then they get kicked out of the joint venture a few years later. That’s a wrong trade practice and we’re right to want to see that changed.
So, there are legitimate issues that China can compromise on and I think they’ve signaled a willingness to compromise. What they have also signaled
is that they’re not going to buy into a theory where the United States is the leading technological country for all of history and they’re not
allowed to try to catch up, they’re not going to accept that and no sovereign country would accept that it.
I think we have to be very careful in the United States not to project a sense that our goal is to hold China down. Our legitimate goal is
reasonable fairness for American producers like the fairest that Americans provide foreign producers who want to do things in the United States.
And I think if we can confine our demands to that and if China can approach this in a spirit of compromise, I think we can work this through. But if
China thinks that they can just go on buying spree that manipulates the trade deficit statistic and that that will resolve the problems, I think
they’re making a mistake. And if we think we can reasonably aspire to stop China, a country that has standards of living. Like they were in our
country in the 1930s, from growing rapidly, that’s not a reasonable thing for us to think. And so, what we have to do is find some kind of middle
AMANPOUR: So, let’s get back to the U.S. economy and how it affects people. Of course, with the new elections, with the midterms, a whole new
wave of congresspeople have been elected, many Democrats with — you could call them Socialist Democrats, and they have raised legitimate questions
about who the humming economy is actually benefiting, America’s economy is doing well, employment is very good, but who does it actually benefit.
And I ask you because you have written prominently about a recent road trip you took across America and you say that it shaped or reshaped perhaps or
focused your view of people and their relationship with the economy and how it’s working for them. Give us a broad sense of what you found on that
SUMMERS: You know, for somebody like me who’s spent his life on the East Coast with occasional visits to California and who hasn’t spent much time
in the heartland of our country, it was a very, very good experience.
And what you realized was that there were people who worked very, very hard, who frankly didn’t have their eyes glued to “CNN” or “The New York
Times” or news shows but were concerned with what was happening in their communities, who want their children to get to have experiences they hadn’t
been able to have and to live better than they had and who are worried about the future.
And I think that more of our economic policy needs to be directed at those people in a hardworking middle class and we need to make sure that our
economy’s growth isn’t mostly for technologists in the San Francisco area, in financiers in the New York area and scholars in the Boston area. And I
knew that, I said that many times but I saw it in a different way as we drove through Iowa and South Dakota and parts of Wyoming and Idaho.
AMANPOUR: Well, it must have been, as you described, very eye opening for you and you quite honestly say it took you out of your ivory tower and, as
you’ve described, shows you a different side of what’s going on.
Well, many, as I say, of the new generation, the new class of elected representatives are taking on this issue and even now discussing taxes in
the Democratic Party, you remember of the Democratic Party, and the most prominent of these is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, and she said
this weekend to “60 Minutes” the following about where the correct tax level should be on Americans. Here’s what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: You know, you look at our tax rates back in the 60s and when you have a progressive tax rate system
your tax rate, you know, let’s say from 0 to $75,000 may be 10 percent or 15 percent, et cetera. But once you get to like the tippy tops, on your
$10 millionth, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent, that doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at — in extremely high rate
but it means that as you climb up this ladder you should be contributing more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: She seems to have done a lot of her work. Paul Krugman has supported her even though the Republicans call it sort of insane voodoo
economics. I mean, that’s my word. But what do you think? I mean, where do you stand on this issue now going forward, especially to, you know,
correct the inequality?
SUMMERS: The congresswoman is right, we need more progressive taxes in the United States. The top 1 percent and the top 10th of a percent and the top
100th of a percent, they should all be paying more than they are in order that most Americans, the Americans I saw on my trip, can pay less and can
get better Medicare benefits and stronger Social Security benefits. She’s quite right about that.
What’s the right way to do it? I think economists have mostly come to the view that it’s a better idea to close a whole range of loopholes than it is
to just set high tax rates because when you have high tax rates, as we did in the 1960s, it turns out that people take advantage of more and more of
the loopholes and you don’t actually collect as much money as you’re hoping to.
So, I this she’s right in spirit in calling for more progressive taxation but I think there’s room for a very productive conversation about what the
right way to do it is. And I’d rather see us get there with measures that stop people from avoiding taxes by putting it abroad or by putting it into
real estate tax shelters whereby using financial engineering to avoid taxes. And I think we can raise very substantial amounts of revenue,
certainly a trillion dollars over the next 10 years, probably more from the very top of the income and wealth distribution and that’s what we should do
in order to fortified what government does for most of the people who are the bedrock of our country.
AMANPOUR: Right. It’s really a fascinating moment to see all of this now in play. Secretary Summers, thank you very much indeed for joining us
Now, President Trump’s border wall has been controversial from the beginning with many critics concerned about the now debunked facts and
figures that the White House puts forward to support its construction. Scientists share a similar concern over false information and demagoguery
when it comes to the environmental issue of fossil fuels versus sustainable and clean energy.
We talk about how to cut through the falsehoods with climate scientists, Katharine Hayhoe, in just a moment.
But first, our Bill Weir talks to coal miners in Pennsylvania. Who, just like the wallers, were promised the world by then candidate Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL WEIR, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across America, more and more coal fired smoke stacks are smoke free. The power plants beneath
them, cold and dark, the mines that once fed them, abandoned.
But for the past couple of years, miners and their families let themselves believe that a coal comeback was on the way, thanks to promises like this.
TRUMP: We are putting our great coal miners back to work.
ART SULLIVAN, COAL MINING CONSULTANT: He’s trying to get their votes. He isn’t telling them the truth.
WEIR: He’s lying to them?
SULLIVAN: He’s lying to them.
WEIR: You use to work in this mine?
SULLIVAN: I worked in this mine. I was a face boss.
WEIR: For 52 years Art Sullivan worked in and consulted on mines around the world and he blisses (ph) every time he hears the president claim to be
the savior of coal.
SULLIVAN: And that really disturbs me because these are really good people, these are the people that I have spent my life working with. And
if they have the truth, they will make the right decisions.
WEIR: If the president was honest, he would explain to those folks that mines like this are never ever coming back to life again, not because of
regulation but competition. Coal just cannot compete with cheaper cleaner natural gas, wind and solar. That’s the reason more coal fired power
plants have gone out of business in the first two years of Donald Trump, in the first four years of Barack Obama. Another 20 are expected to go down
this year. And if a miner is hired today, chances are he’ll be digging to fill demand in India.
Do you feel the president gave these communities false hope in the last couple of years?
BLAIR ZIMMERMAN, FORMER COAL MINER: In my opinion, absolutely. I mean, I’m an expert, he’s not. And I — when he was campaigning, I asked — I
talked with people and I said, “What’s your plan? How are you bringing back coal?” Because it could be brought back if these plants would come
back up and deregulating stuff will help this much, it’s not going to help a lot.
WEIR: Trump’s EPA now led by a former coal lobbyist and Andrew Wheeler recently moved to lift Obama-era caps on how much poisonous mercury and how
much heat trapping carbon power plants can pump into the sky, which really worries climate scientists like Penn State’s Michael Mann.
MICHAEL MANN, PENN STATE CLIMATOLOGIST: We’re already experiencing impacts of climate change that could have been avoided had we acted, you know, two
decades ago when we knew already at that point that there’s a problem.
WEIR: In order to save life, as we know it, man says rich countries need to be on carbon free electricity by 2030, which means 80 percent of current
coal reserves need to stay in the ground.
MANN: I think there’s enough resilience in the system that we can withstand one term, one four-year term of Donald Trump. I’m not sure we
can withstand two.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, what will it take to unite people on this issue of climate change? The science, at least, is settled and comprehensive. And on this
show, we will not give moral or factual equivalents to the handful of denies out there but we will make it a priority to highlight the way
forward and to examine solutions.
It’s a call to reason, which has long been championed by the award-winning climate scientist, Katharine Hayhoe. She is a committed Christian. She is
married to a pastor. She’s also an atmospheric scientist who was the lead author on last year’s damning U.S. National Climate Assessment. And Hayhoe
told me that when it comes to climate, she prefers to crunch the numbers than rely on anyone’s interpretation of faith or political ideology.
Katharine Hayhoe, welcome to the program.
KATHARINE HAYHOE, ATMOSPHERIC SCIENTIST: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: Let’s first take the facts about carbon emissions. We just saw that report from Bill Weir and he demonstrates vividly the closures of U.S.
coal plants around the country. And yet, the latest report says emissions are up and they are up something like 3.4 percent in 2018. Explain to us
why that’s happening.
HAYHOE: The carbon intensity of energy production is actually going down but the natural gas serving as a bridge, so to speak, between coal and
clean energy has pretty much come to the end of its term. And so, while we continue to use more and more energy and while coal plants are closing, a
lot of that energy is still coming from natural gas even though here in the State of Texas, wind and solar is growing rapidly.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, talk to us about Texas because, you know, the rest of the world, the rest of the country sees it as a sort of a bellwether state
and they believe it to be pretty much conservative and reliably sort of corporate and reliably fossil fuel, since a lot of fossil fuel energy comes
from Texas. But what are the actual facts? How is Texas doing its part in the climate debate?
HAYHOE: Texas is a very interesting place to live for a climate scientist. I do live in a very conservative part of the state where the majority of
people would say that, yes, climate is changing but they’d be hesitant to attribute it to humans.
Texas also has the highest CO2 emissions of any state and, of course, it’s known worldwide as an oil and gas producer. But Texas also leads the U.S.
in wind energy production and it’s rapidly climbing to the top in solar energy production as well.
And from my own perspective, I study what climate change means to people in the places where we live, Texas is one of, if not, the most vulnerable
states in the nation to the impacts of a change in climate.
AMANPOUR: So, describe that for me. Because, obviously, we’ve seen the hurricanes, we know what happened in Houston. But tell us a little bit
more, because I think the interface between climate and people, climate and our communities, climate and our actual, you know, neighborhoods is
something that hasn’t been — that hasn’t gone across well enough, it’s all sort of 30,000 feet worth of science and then on the other hand, the
deniers. So, to tell us about, you know, what it’s seen and how vulnerable it is.
HAYHOE: I completely agree with you and I feel that that is the missing piece in the puzzle of what’s preventing climate action. We feel as if the
impacts only matter to polar bears or future generations or people who live far away. Whereas in actual fact, we ourselves are being impacted here and
now in the places where we live by a changing climate.
And one of the main ways that we are affected is when climate change loads the dice against us. So, it takes naturally occurring events like heat
waves, droughts, floods, hurricanes and it amplifies them, making them stronger or more frequent or sometimes both.
So, Texas leads the U.S. in the greatest number of billion-plus weather and climate disaster since 1980. They’ve seen over a hundred of them. So,
because Texas is naturally vulnerable to all of these different types of weather and climate events, we get pretty much everything in Texas, even
blizzards, snow storms and ice storms. Because of that, we are also most vulnerable to the impacts of a change in climate.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, now, let’s tackle the — I don’t even know how many pounds now, but the gorilla that says the cast out on what is settled
science and does it through, you know, monetary reasons or religious reasons or whatever. And you have spent a lot of time talking about this
from a scientific point of view.
I just want to play a little bit of your “TED” talk this past year and you describe what happened when you opened the floor to questions. Let me just
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYHOE: I ended my talk with a hopeful request for any questions and one hand shot operate away. I looked encouraging, he stood up. In a loud
voice he said, “You’re a Democrat, aren’t you?” “No,” I said, “I’m Canadian.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, that’s a great line. And you’ve also said that a thermometer is neither liberal nor conservative. So, tell me how you are
tackling this highly politicized, highly ideological battle over whether humans are responsible for this climate change.
HAYHOE: I have a conversation just about every day with someone who rejects the science of climate change. And when they do so, they typically
throw up what I think of as sciency (ph) sounding myths. It’s just a natural cycle they say or, “You scientists are just making this up to line
your pockets,” or sometimes they throw up religiousy (ph) sounding myths. If God’s in control, this could never happen or the earth is going to end
But if we let people talk more than about 30 seconds, immediately the conversation will take a right turn into, “I don’t want a price on carbon.
I’ve heard that fixing climate change will destroy the economy. I wouldn’t be able to drive my truck any more if we have limits on carbon.” Just
about all of the objections that I have heard, the genuine objections to acting on climate have everything to do with solution aversion.
The fact that we fear the solutions more than we fear the impacts. We think the solutions will destroy our way of life and lead to a much lower
quality of life than we enjoy today, whereas we view the impacts as very distant and far off, they don’t really matter to us.
So to address this, I have to do two things that are very uncomfortable for a scientist to do. The first thing is rather than engaging with people
from the head as we often do with data and facts and charts and figures; I have to engage with people from the heart, sharing with them from my heart
why I care.
Why this matters to me and to people that I care about and love. And then the second thing I have to do is something that we scientist are not
trained to do and that’s why we need everybody on board helping with this, we have to talk solutions.
And so I love talking about examples of where companies like a solar panel manufacturer in San Antonio took in oil patch (ph) workers who lost their
jobs when oil prices dropped and retrain them to do solar panel manufacturing.
Or the fact that a Chinese company went into Wyoming and trained coal miners in Wyoming to do wind energy installations. We need to think to the
future and people who work very hard, like coal miners, deserve the opportunity to continue to contribute to the new clean energy economy.
AMANPOUR: Much of the back lash, as you’ve just described, also includes sort of a faith based backlash. Can you explain to us how you explain to
your faith based community that you can have faith and be a committed Christian and also being really rigorous atmospheric scientist as you are?
HAYHOE: So when people say, you know God’s in control so humans can’t affect the planet, I point them to Genesis One where it says that God gave
us, humans, responsibility over every living thing on this planet.
And when they say that oh, humans can’t affect something as big as this planet. I say well let’s look at Revelation where it says God will destroy
those who destroy the earth. And then when they say well, the world’s going to end anyways, I point them to Thessalonians where people back then
were saying oh, you know the world’s going to end any day.
So we don’t have to work anymore. We can just kind of sit back and relax and wait for Christ to return and the Apostle Paul wrote to them. And the
Apostle Paul was, you know, a little salty at times and he said get a job. Support your family. Care for the orphans and the widows and the poor.
We don’t know what the future holds but we do know that right here, right now; we are called to love others as we ourselves have been loved by God.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, why then do you think what is the root of in many parts of the Christian community in the United States, you know, people are
encouraged to believe the opposite of what you’re saying. Why is that?
HAYHOE: The reason is because we have confused our politics with our religion. For many people, unfortunately, in the United States today,
they’re statement of faith is written first by their political ideology and only second by the Bible.
And when the two come into conflict as unfortunately they often do these days, they will go with their political ideology over their faith.
AMANPOUR: And tell me about the polls because they’re sort of counter intuitive. People believe that there’s climate change but — but a
majority believe what?
HAYHOE: The majority — about 70 percent believe that climate is changing now because the evidence is right in front of us. Wildfires are burning
about twice the area now in the western U.S. that they would without a change in climate. Hurricanes are being supersized by a factor of 30, 40
percent more rainfall falling today than they would have — would have 100 years ago.
So 70 percent of people agree that climate is changing and about the same number agree that plants and animals and future generations and even people
in developing countries would be affected.
But only a minority agree that we ourselves will be affected. And even though just over 50 percent do agree that climate is changing due to human
activities, there’s a strong identity gradient.
The number one predictor of whether we agree climate is changing and humans are responsible is not how much we know about the science, it is simply
where we fall on the political spectrum.
The further to the right we are, the less likely we are to agree with simple facts that we’ve known since the 1850s that by digging up and
burning coal and gas and oil, we’re releasing heat trapping gases into the atmosphere where they’re wrapping an extra blanket around the planet,
trapping heat that would otherwise escape to space and that’s why the earth is running a fever.
AMANPOUR: All right. So the earth is a running a fever. We are now caught up in a debate and you were part — you were one of the authors of
the government’s quite cataclysmic climate report, which the president dismissed.
But I mean it was really devastating talking about the economic impact. You know what you said was a threat multiplier.
The military calls this a threat multiplier. Just — just explain — explain that.
HAYHOE: We care about a change in climate not because it’s increased the average temperature of our planet by one or two degrees C. We care about
it because that warming affects almost every aspect of our lives.
The description of threat multiplier I think is the most apt (ph) one because it takes the things that we’re already concerned about. We’re
concerned about producing enough food, about keeping the economy healthy, about having sufficient water, about working with — with countries that
are suffering from political conflict and strife.
We’re worried about providing safe places for people to live. And today climate change affects all of those things. The U.S. national climate
assessment really addressed what I feel is the most dangerous and wide spread myth that the largest number of people have bought in to and that is
the myth that it doesn’t matter to me.
The climate assessment brought this issue home to every region of the U.S., every sector of the U.S. It pointed to very specific ways that people are
already being affected whether by sunny day flooding along the east coast.
Whether Native American tribes that are being forced to abandon their ancestral lands already due to sea level rise and erosion. Whether
increasing risk of water shortages, stronger droughts, greater heat waves; it brought all of that down to the local level where people live.
And it helped us understand that we’re already being affected and in fact, we are already starting to respond but not fast enough.
AMANPOUR: And people are starting to respond governments in China, in India, in all sorts of places; they get it. Now, the youth, the young
people of the world are really concerned about this because obviously it is the world that they will inherit.
I just want to play a bite — a little part of a speech from a young girl, a Swedish girl at the latest climate conference, which took place in
Poland. Here’s what she said.
GRETA THUBERG, CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVIST: You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden, you leave to us children. But I don’t
care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet.
AMANPOUR: So there is that young girl putting the adults at the climate conference on notice and saying you’re just not getting it. This is our
future and you are not protecting us. You’re leaving it to us. What are the solutions Katharine Hayhoe?
HAYHOE: What we really lack is a vision of a better future. When we talk about climate action, we’re presented with two opposing apocalyptic
visions. One where climate change continues unchecked, which could mean the end of civilization as we know it.
Not the end of the planet, the planet will be fine. But the end of civilization because our civilization is built on the assumption of a
stable climate. And then on the other side we have the apocalyptic vision of well, we have to throw away everything that makes our current lives so
No electricity, no water, no cars, nothing. So — so we’re faced with these two opposing visions of the future and no wonder people are more
afraid of the one where we throw away all our modern technology versus the one where climate impacts affect us.
But the reality is neither of those has to happen. We need a positive vision of the future where we do continue to have abundant energy for all,
not just us here in developed in country but people in every country around the world, but that energy comes from clean sources that don’t pollute our
air or our water and will never run out on us.
We need to have this positive vision where there’s abundant food for people. Where there’s water available to people. Where’s there’s safe
places for us to live. Climate change is a threat multiplier and it multiplies threats like hunger, poverty, disease, lack of access to clean
water, and even civil and political conflict.
AMANPOUR: You’ve talked about one of the things we individuals could do is to be very careful of our own carbon footprint. And you take that very
seriously. You’re talking to us from Texas where you live. Describe how you arrange your professional life so as not be gallivanting all over the
HAYHOE: As a climate scientist, I’m very sensitive to the fact that the biggest part of my personal carbon footprint is my travel. Yet, at the
same time when I do travel, I’m talking to people about a change in climate and the most important thing we can do to fix climate change right now is
talk about it.
Because if we don’t talk about it, why would we care. If we don’t care, why would we do anything to fix it? So what I do is I ask people would you
accept a virtual presentation. And I do about 3/4 of my talks now, virtually.
And then when I do get invitations, I gather them all together and when I travel somewhere, I traveled to the U.K. last year; I make sure that every
single day I’m going to a different place, talking to a different group of people about a change in climate.
And I also look at other ways that we personally can eat lower down the food chain. We don’t have to have meat every day and we certainly don’t
need to eat as much beef as we do. I look at ways that we can save energy in our houses hanging up our clothes to dry and changing our lightbulbs.
But the most important thing each one of us can do about this problem is talk about it. Because if we don’t talk about it, why would anyone care?
AMANPOUR: When you say talk about it, we’re talking about it — we’re committed to doing it. What do you think the media’s responsibility here
HAYHOE: The two most important things for us to talk about are first of all, how it matters to us and the places where we live. So tell the
stories about how real people are being impacted today, by the way that climate change is loading the weather dice against us. And then second of
all, talk solutions.
There are so many incredible, inspiring solutions out there from pay as you go solar in Sub-Saharan Africa, to the wind and solar boom through the
reddest states in the United States. We need to feel, first of all as if the impacts really do matter to us. But second of all, that there are
positive, beneficial, attractive solutions that will give us not a worse, but a better life.
AMANPOUR: Katharine Hayhoe, thank you so much for joining us. An infectiously optimistic spirit.
HAYHOE: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So let us see if we can continue to talk about, and try somehow to reach some kind of tipping point where we can move the dial, and as she
said to save our civilization.
Now we continue our interview with the multi-talented rock star, Lenny Kravitz, sitting down with our Hari Sreenivasan — he talks about three
decades of touring, charity work — and why he, his daughter, his ex-wife and her new husband are one, big happy family.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
HARI SREENIVASAN: You’ve done this now — you’ve been touring 27, 28 years on the road?
LENNY KRAVITZ: Thirty, next.
SREENIVASAN: Third years.
KRAVITZ: Third this — year coming, yes.
SREENIVASAN: So is the music changing you, are you changing the music, I mean how does — how do you see that sort of evolution?
KRAVITZ: I do what comes through me. I’m open to everything, I listen to new things — I’m still listening to the classics and still discovering old
music that I hadn’t discovered. But I don’t follow the trends, I don’t try to make hit records — I never have. Every hit record that I’ve had, has
just been something that happened.
For me it’s about being myself, and through the years that ride will be up and down, and up and down, and straight and — you know, I’m fine with
that. Because here I am 30 years later, and the arenas are full and the records are being listened to, and the old fans are there — the new fans
are there. I’m quite grateful that I get to live my life doing what I love, and that I can still be doing it with the best in front of me.
SREENIVASAN: You’re not one to chase trends, quite the contrary — you’re a trendsetter especially when it comes to fashion, a sense of style, I
guess — where did you get that? How did you, was it watching your parents?
KRAVITZ: I really think a lot through my mother, and through growing up in New York City in those early `70s was really influential being around all
these artists and these musicians, writers that had a flair, you know, style. That’s also what got me in to interior design and architecture.
You know, being around all of these people that express themselves through their clothing, through their interiors and their art, yes.
SREENIVASAN: Your daughter recently said that that was actually part of what was tough growing up, knowing that you had such a cool dad and a cool
mom, that they were such fashion plates (ph). I think the quote she said like, “dude, can you just be low-key a little bit? Just a shirt that I
can’t see your nipples through would be so dope.”
KRAVITZ: Yes we were, I think in Miami at the time — it was hot.
SREENIVASAN: I don’t think that explains the multiple times that you’ve had see-through shirts.
KRAVITZ: Yeah, no — I mean, you know, she had to grow up with that. And.
SREENIVASAN: What’s it like seeing your daughter now, flourish and become.
KRAVITZ: It’s the most beautiful thing ever. I mean, I had no idea which direction she was going to go in to and I — I thought she would not go in
this direction. You know, when your parents are doing it you kind of, want to go the other way.
KRAVITZ: And then all of a sudden she started acting and auditioning, and getting parts. It was like, “where did this come from?” And now I look at
her, and it’s just beautiful to see that she did it on her own. Did people know who she was because of her parents? Yes, but that lasts about five
SREENIVASAN: Ultimately it’s your skills that get the.
KRAVITZ: It comes down to your skills, and she kept us out of it. I didn’t want to be a part of it, and she has her own direction, and her own
vision. And I watch her, and I learn — it’s really beautiful to see.
SREENIVASAN: One of the things that’s interesting, in the last few months what we’ve also seen is that you’re quite friendly with Jason Momoa whose
married to Lisa Bonet, your ex-wife?
KRAVITZ: That’s my brother, absolutely.
SREENIVASAN: How do you pull that off, because most people can’t do that.
KRAVITZ: It’s funny, people — the reactions. I went to go see him host “Saturday Night Live”.
SREENIVASAN: You guys have matching rings.
KRAVITZ: Yeah, he — well he gave me one, after the show he gave me one of his rings. And — but it’s interesting to see the reactions from people,
like “how do you do it?” And, “it’s so amazing,” and “what an example of blended families and love and respect.” And for us it’s just normal. And
yes, I know it doesn’t have to be that way, and I know that so many people don’t go in that direction.
KRAVITZ: They can’t handle that. But we’re family, you know? Lisa and I were once together, and we had Zoe. And now we’re back to like a brother-
sister kind of relationship, but we’re just as close and we love each other just as much as we did.
It’s just a different dynamic, she’s now with Jason — they have their relationship. He respects me, I respect him. We like each other very
much, we love each other. I now spend time with their kids, and I mean — we’re one family and that’s the way it should be — love is love.
I’m not going to stop loving somebody because we’re not having that type of relationship, romantic relationship. When you say let love rule, you have
to let love rule in all the categories, you know?
SREENIVASAN: You have been designing for quite some time. You’ve designed a farm in Brazil, you’ve designed homes — interior designed them. You’ve
had a one-off Rolex, furniture for CB2. I mean, is this like making music?
KRAVITZ: Absolutely, it’s — for me it’s the same thing. I love making furniture, doing interiors, designing products. I’ve been fortunate to
work with great brands like you just said the watch, I mean Leica Cameras, Steinway piano, creator-director right now for Dom Perignon for two years,
doing hotels, doing condominiums, private homes.
The creative process is the same — you start with nothing and you make something. And I love it, I was not educated in it formally. I didn’t go
to school for it, it’s just something that I had within me and I’ve been working on that for years and I built this company Kravitz Design and we’re
working all around the world doing different things, and it’s a lot of fun. And I get the same joy, the same buzz that I get from making music.
SREENIVASAN: Well why still make music?
KRAVITZ: Because I have no choice. I have to. I hear it still — I still hear it, it still comes out of me. And when I’m in the studio to this day,
it’s the same as when I was in high school.
The feeling I used to get going in to a studio — the studio was a magical place. You couldn’t just walk in to a studio — a studio was a place you
had to be invited, or you had to have the money to go in. And when you got in there it was like, going behind the curtain, “Wizard of Oz”, you know?
It’s like, “wow the mixing console, and the equipment, and the room.” It’s like a sacred temple, you know? And I’m still just as excited as I was
then. I’m really grateful that I still have that, that I’m not jaded — that I’m not tired. That I’m still excited to make art, and to express
myself. Otherwise I would not be doing it.
SREENIVASAN: The place you go back to, this tiny island in the Bahamas — Eleuthera, it’s a place that doesn’t have a lot. And you are also donating
to a non-profit that’s working there to try to build medical clinics, to try to.
SREENIVASAN: Bring dental care — why, what — why there?
KRAVITZ: Well, charity begins at home, as my mother always taught me as a child. And I was sitting at home one day and I had some friends that I had
invited from New York, happened to be a dentist and his wife.
And we just started talking, I said, “man, you should see what’s going on around here. There’s a lack of care, and there’s lack of education.” And
he said, “that I can’t believe,” just like that (ph). Because I was describing how so many people had really bad oral health.
So I took him around the neighborhood in my Jeep, and I started stopping people on the road, and said, “hey man, how you doing? Oh good, this is my
friend Dr. So-and-So,” and I said, “how’s your mouth?” And the guy looked at me like, “what does that mean?” I said, “no, how’s your mouth? What’s
going on in your mouth? Do you have a pain?” And we started — he started examining people on the hood of my Jeep, on this one road — he had his
goggles and his thing, and all this stuff to look in there. He had his mask and he couldn’t believe what he found.
I said, “You see, it’s a big problem.” People with their mouths just rotted out – infections, and I mean people with no teeth.
And – and – and so, we just said, “You know what? Let’s help these folks, and purchase all of the mobile equipment – high-tech equipment.” He got
his doctors to come down; he had like 35 doctors, and we set up a clinic in the middle of town, and worked for four or five days and helped 400-some-
odd people the first time.
And we’ve now being doing this – this is our fourth year coming up now, and it’s the Let Love Rule Foundation and the GLO Good Foundation that’s headed
by Dr. Levine, my partner. And it’s beautiful; we’re about to have it again in a couple of weeks.
The endgame is to have a freestanding medical – full medical clinic with all of the equipment that will be free to the island.
SREENIVASAN: And in order to help that, you’re also behind a toothpaste? I mean this is not a Lenny Kravitz toothpaste, but –
KRAVITZ: Well, that’s – that’s – that’s the newest component. So myself and the two sons of Dr. Levine, Julian and Cody, have started a toothpaste
called Twice, which comes with two toothpastes – one for morning, one for night – two different flavors, two different dynamics – encouraging people
to brush twice a day, because 100 million folks don’t brush twice a day – a fact.
And part of the proceeds go back to this mission so that we can continue doing this – service the people in the island, and also take it to other
places in the world in the future. So it’s a beautiful thing; and I get to do this in my backyard, at home. And it’s an honor to be able to provide
SREENIVASAN: You have gotten to play with everyone from Al Green to Jay-Z; you’ve performed at the Super Bowl. Rattle off a few moments that come to
mind about music and your participation in it.
KRAVITZ: I mean I’ve had the opportunity to work with my heroes and the people that influence me and educated me – from Prince to David Bowie, to
Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones, to Robert Plant, to B.B. King, to –
SREENIVASAN: That’s incredible luck.
KRAVITZ: – Labelle – I mean – you know, Madonna, and – you know. I can’t think of anybody just right at this second, but –
KRAVITZ: – you know.
SREENIVASAN: What do you remember? I mean give me like – it might not be a moment that we witnessed, half a billion people watched at the Super
Bowl, but what’s – what’s something that –
KRAVITZ: The quiet moments when you’re at home –
KRAVITZ: Like having Stevie Wonder in your living room, playing your piano, and just singing with you and having fun, you know – when nobody’s
watching; the same thing when Mick Jagger is sitting at my piano, playing the blues, and those kind of moments when – when nobody’s looking and
you’re just having fun.
Sitting with Lionel Ritchie in the kitchen, writing a song, and my grandfather, who’s alive at the time, telling us, “Hey, could you guys take
that somewhere else? I’m trying to watch the television.” Those are the moments, yes.
SREENIVASAN: Are you going to go on tour now, for this album?
KRAVITZ: Yes, I’ve been – I’ve been on tour for this album. We’ve already done Mexico, Europe and a small tour of America; and I’m getting ready to
do South America – from Chile, all the way to up to Brazil and Argentina and Columbia and so forth.
And then I’m going to do a full tour of Europe again, and then a full tour of the United States again, and that will go into the end of the summer –
SREENIVASAN: Are you already working –
KRAVITZ: – of 2019.
SREENIVASAN: Are you working on more music already?
KRAVITZ: Yes, I’m two albums ahead of myself – yes.
SREENIVASAN: Wow. Is that how it usually works?
KRAVITZ: No, I usually do one at a time, and then I take a break. But I’m committed for the next five years to keep working without break; I feel
it’s a time for me to just continue on this journey with no break.
SREENIVASAN: That’s intense.
KRAVITZ: Yes, it’s beautiful.
SREENIVASAN: Lenny Kravitz, thanks so much.
KRAVITZ: It’s a pleasure to speak with you. Take care, man.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: Well, all of that work is going to make his fans very, very happy – rock legend, renaissance man Lenny Kravitz. Now join me tomorrow
for my interview with the Oscar-winning director, Barry Jenkins.
The star behind “Moonlight” talks to me about his latest movie, the romantic tragedy-drama, “If Beale Street could talk.” It’s based on the
book by James Baldwin; and it won a Golden Globe on Sunday night for best supporting actress, Regina King.
That’s it for our program tonight.
Thanks for watching Amanpour and Company on PBS and join us again tomorrow.