Culture

David Letterman And Al Franken Sit Down And Discuss Climate Change In Personal Terms In ‘Boiling The Frog’

David Letterman is delivering on his post-Late Show promise of diving into more serious journalistic affairs, first by joining the National Geographic climate change docu-series Years of Living Dangerously, and is now taking his knowledge of one of the most serious threats to mankind and is spreading it through easy going conversations with Senator Al Franken. In Funny or Die’s Boiling the Frog, Letterman and Franken spell out the seriousness of climate change in simple, but personal terms, and why certain politicians are so dead set on claiming it’s all fake. Episode one kicks off with Franken explaining the series (above).

In Episode two, Franken dives right in, claiming that the Koch brothers and their fossil fuel empire led to an army of lobbyists through Citizens United. Letterman delivers a stressed outlook of the average American who cares about climate change but can only control so much. He asks, “What can I do?” And the question of whether calling your representative actually matters is answered by Franken: “We really take it seriously.”

Rhode Island Senator and climate change expert Sheldon Whitehouse joins Letterman and Franken to explain carbon pricing in episode three, which is essentially like the scene from Fight Club in which Jack explains cynically: “Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.”

Or, better put by Whitehouse, the cost of the damage of climate change is baked into the cost of the product to offset said damage.

Part four gets a bit tougher, as the two men talk about disappointing their kids and their grandkids by not addressing climate change now. He said: “I don’t want them in 50 years saying, ‘grandpa you knew about climate change, you were a United States Senator, why didn’t you do anything?'” Letterman admits that he’s looking for Franken’s life. He wants to do something truly meaningful.

Part five discusses job creation, and how Letterman saw first hand what the natural gas companies did to his coal-working state of Indiana. He wants to continue to evolve, and not get caught up in a vicious cycle of pollutants and poor infrastructure which will make life worse for future generations. Franken explains that China is going to be spending an astronomical amount on renewable energy, and he wants Minnesotans to sell it to them. Letterman also makes up a word and then Franken takes some of his beard as a keepsake.

Finally, part six wraps up the must-watch series as the two men take turns mocking Rush Limbaugh’s baseless and confusing claims that sea levels won’t rise because an ice cube in a drink doesn’t raise the level of water in the glass. Yep.

But in the end, Franken is far more positive about the situation than Letterman, because he sees what’s being done at the state level. Not only is wind and solar power becoming cheaper than coal, which will attract businesses, but he believes the states taking charge of their situations can set the country as a whole on the right path, regardless of what the Trump administration is trying to do.

(Via Rolling Stone)

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