|00:00:01||WHITEHOUSE: AND THE RESULTS ARE REALLY PROFOUND.|
|00:00:03||I'LL CLOSE WITH THIS POINT IN THIS DISCUSSION.|
|00:00:12||FOR AS LONG ESSENTIALLY AS MANKIND HAS BEEN ON THIS EM, FOR 800,000 YEARS, TO PUT 800,000 YEARS IN SCALE, WE'VE PROBABLY BEEN ENGAGED IN AGRICULTURE AS A SPECIES FOR 10,000 OR 15,000 YEARS.|
|00:00:25||BEFORE THAT, WE WERE PURE HUNTER GATHERERS.|
|00:00:30||SO 800,000 YEAR, 8,000 CENTURIES IS AN ENORMOUS PERIOD OF TIME IN HISTORY.|
|00:00:36||IT IS THE ENTIRE SWEEP OF THE HUMAN SPECIES ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.|
|00:00:40||AND THROUGHOUT THAT PERIOD, WE HAVE EXISTED WITHIN AN ATMOSPHERE THAT STAYED WITHIN A RANGE OF CARBON CONCENTRATION.|
|00:00:51||FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 8,000 CENTURIES, WE HAVE NOW ROCKETED OUTSIDE OF THAT RANGE.|
|00:01:02||THAT OUGHT TO BE A PRETTY SIGNIFICANT WARNING TO US THAT WE ARE IN NEW AND UNTESTED TERRITORY IN TERMS OF THE BASIC CONDITIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENT THAT SUPPORTS OUR SPECIES.|
|00:01:14||AND BECAUSE THE CONCENTRATIONS IN THE ATMOSPHERE HAVE GROWN SO GREATLY, SO HAS THE ACIDITY OF OUR OCEAN.|
|00:01:24||AND IF YOU GO BACK INTO GEOLOGIC TIME TO LOOK AT WHAT CHANGES LIKE THIS POTENTIALLY LEAD TO, YOU SEE REALLY MASSIVE AD VERSE EVENTS LIKE CATASTROPHIC DIE-OFFICE OF SPECIES.|
|00:01:41||SO WE'RE PLAYING WITH VERY, VERY POTENTIALLY BIG CONSEQUENCES.|
|00:01:48||WE'RE PLAYING OUTSIDE OF THE BOUNDARIES THAT HAVE GOVERNED OUR PLANET FOR 800,000 YEARS AND WE ARE REFUSING TO CORRECT WHAT IS GOING ON, I BELIEVE, AS YOU HAVE BOTH POINTED OUT, BECAUSE OF ONE PREDOMINANT REASON -- AND THAT IS THE POWER OF SPECIAL INTERESTS TO PHONY UP A DEBATE THIS|
Mr. WHITEHOUSE. And the results are really profound.
I will close with this point in this discussion. For as long essentially as mankind has been on this Earth, for 800,000 years--to put 800,000 years in scale, we have probably been engaged in agriculture as a species for 10,000 or 15,000 years. Before that we were pure hunter-gatherers. So 800,000 years--8,000 centuries--is an enormous period of time in human history. It is essentially the entire sweep of the human species on the face of the Earth. Throughout that period, we have existed within an atmosphere that stayed within a range of carbon concentration. For the first time in 8,000 centuries, we have now rocketed outside of that range. That ought to be a pretty significant warning to us that we are in new and untested territory in terms of the basic conditions of the environment that supports our species. And because the concentrations in the atmosphere have grown so greatly, so has the acidity of our oceans. If you go back into geological time to look at what changes such as these can potentially lead to, you see really massive adverse events such as catastrophic die-offs of species.
So we are playing with potentially very big consequences. We are playing outside of the boundaries that have governed our planet for 800,000 years, and we are refusing to correct what is going on, I believe, as both of you have pointed out, because of one predominant reason; that is, the power of special interests to phony-up a debate in this town.