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PBS's Amanpour Sees Environmental 'Silver Lining' in Coronavirus Epidemic

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Monday's Amanpour & Co., PBS/CNN International host Christiane Amanpour echoed climate alarmists who have suggested that the Coronavirus has been good for the climate by depressing human activity as she suggested there has been a "silver lining" for the environment in China.

The show also gave an unchallenged forum to climate alarmist and author Christiana Figueres, who made dire predictions about how difficult to inhabit the world will be in 2050 if carbon dioxide emissions are not cut in the next decade.

After doing a segment to discuss the latest on the Coronavirus outbreak, Amanpour then segued:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So if there is a silver lining to this crisis, it's visible in the skies above China. The dramatic slowdown in manufacturing and driving has caused a reduction in carbon emissions. We've all seen these NASA satellite images which show the improvement in China's air quality.

The PBS host then introduced the pre-recorded interview, conducted by contributor Sheelah Kolhatkar, by noting that Figueres helped negotiate the Paris agreement, and is promoting her book, The Future We Choose.

Kolhatkar was then seen hyperbolically claiming that there is an "environmental freefall" and "crisis" as she began her interview:

SHEELAH KOLHATKAR: So there's a sense right now that we are in an environmental freefall --

CHRISTIANA FIGUERES, AUTHOR: Crisis maybe.

KOLHATKAR: Crisis is a good way of putting it. Just at the moment when things seem really dire and urgent, it feels, at least from the outside, that policy decisions, global cooperation, all of that is sort of moving backwards. What are the odds that we could turn things around in time?

After the two discussed the issue of the world allegedly needing to cut emissions by 2030 to prevent dire consequences that would around 2050, Kolhatkar followed up: "Could you describe a little bit what that world would look like if we just continued laissez-faire on the path that we're on?"

Figueres began with doom and gloom predictions:

FIGUERES: So, in the year 2050, if we do not do what we have to do by the human race, we will walk out of our homes, and we will not be able to walk down the street without putting a mask on because the air is going to be so polluted that it will be life-threatening. We will not be able -- because of heat -- we will not be able to exercise or play outside.

She went on to predict millions of people migrating to seek food and water, and democratic governments being overthrown by unrest.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Monday, March 9, Amanpour & Co. on PBS:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So if there is a silver lining to this crisis, it's visible in the skies above China. The dramatic slowdown in manufacturing and driving has caused a reduction in carbon emissions. We've all seen these NASA satellite images which show the improvement in China's air quality.

Now, someone who has dedicated her life to climate change policy is Christiana Figueres. She's architect of the 2015 Paris agreement -- she was the U.N. negotiator. And in her new book, The Future We Choose, she urges us all to harness our technological, political, and economic potential to create long-term solutions despite the very real threat that climate change poses to our planet. She tells contributor Sheelah Kolhatkar why she doesn't lose hope.

SHEELAH KOLHATKAR: So there's a sense right now that we are in an environmental freefall --

CHRISTIANA FIGUERES, AUTHOR: Crisis maybe.

KOLHATKAR: Crisis is a good way of putting it. Just at the moment when things seem really dire and urgent, it feels, at least from the outside, that policy decisions, global cooperation, all of that is sort of moving backwards. What are the odds that we could turn things around in time?

(…)

KOLHATKAR: You mention two dates in your book -- 2030 and 2050. What's the significance of these to dates -- these two years?

FIGUERES: By the end of this decade, 2030, we have to have achieved a reduction of 50 percent of our current level of greenhouse gas emissions. And if we do that, then we stand a very good chance of creating a fantastic world. If we don't, we basically have closed the door to anything that we could possibly control or influence over natural disasters that will completely take over. And the ultimate consequences of this will be very evident by 2050. But we can't wait until 2050 to decide that. It has to be now.

(…)

KOLHATKAR: You outline two possible scenarios for life on Earth in the year 2050. The first scenario is what we will end up with if we continue on the current path, not really changing our environmental policies at all, perhaps chipping away around the edges. Could you describe a little bit what that world would look like if we just continued laissez-faire on the path that we're on?

FIGUERES: So, in the year 2050, if we do not do what we have to do by the human race, we will walk out of our homes, and we will not be able to walk down the street without putting a mask on because the air is going to be so polluted that it will be life-threatening. We will not be able -- because of heat -- we will not be able to exercise or play outside.

(…)

We will look at the news every day, and we will see millions of people migrating away from their homes because they do not have enough water -- they do not have enough food -- they do not have the environmental conditions to make their home habitable. They will be forced to migrate, and there will be millions of people migrating away from their homes. And we will have military protection at many borders of countries. That will produce a social, political and economic pressure that will unseat most democracies in the world.

(…)

This is not far-fetched. This is what science is very clearly putting out to us to contemplate this not as a possibility but rather as the path that we are walking toward. So this is no exaggeration. This is not a hyperbole.

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