Stewart Brand

  • Aired:  05/06/10
  •  | Views: 23,999

Stewart Brand accepts the use of nuclear power because he wants to see us get off all the fossil fuels. (5:25)

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS AN ENVIRONMENTIST WITH A NEW BOOK ABOUT LIVING GREEN.

I WONDER IF THOSE DEAD TREES ENJOYED HIS BOOK BEING PRINTED OFF THEM.

PLEASE WELCOME STEWART BRAND.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

HEY, MR. BRAND, THANKS FOR COMING ON.

NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> MY PLEASURE.

>> Stephen: NOW, TO EDUCATE THE AUDIENCE HERE, YOU ARE THE

AUTHOR PRESENTLY OF "WHOLE EARTH DISCIPLINE," AN ECOPRAGMATIST MANIFESTO.

WHAT IS AN ECOPRAGMATIST?

>> TRYING THE CATCH UP WITH THE REAL WORLD.

30 YEARS AGO THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT SORT OF DECIDED SOME THINGS ANN CHANGED MUCH SINCE.

AND THE WORLD HAS CHANGED A LOT.

SO I THINK NOW THE SITUATION IS THAT CITIES ARE GREEN, NUCLEAR POWER IS GREEN, GENETICALLY

ENGINEERED CROPS ARE GREEN.

>> Stephen: WAIT A MINUTE,

NUCLEAR POWER IS GREEN?

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: WHY?

THAT'S THE COLOR IT WILL EVENTUALLY GLOW?

>> IT DOESN'T PUT OUT AS MUCH POLLUTION AS COAL.

>> Stephen: YOU USED TO BE AGAINST NUKES?

>> I WAS.

BUT THINGS HAVE CHANGED.

THE ISSUE IS HUGE AND IT'S AN INTRACTABLE PROBLEM.

SO WE'RE HAVING TO GET USED TO THINGS LIKE ACCEPTING NUCLEAR POWER AS PART OF THE PICTURE TO

TRY TO GET AHEAD OF THE GREENHOUSE GAS SITUATION.

>> Stephen: WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE WASTE, SIR?

I'M ALL FOR NUCLEAR POWER, BUT YOUR COME PATRIOTS MUST FEEL BETRAYED BY YOU.

>> YEAH, YEAH, I GOT...

>> Stephen: DO YOU GET A LOT OF DEATH THREATS WRITTEN ON HEMP PAPER?

>> I DID GET ONE GOOD E-MAIL THAT SAID, "YOU EVIL TRAITOR,"

AND HE SAID, "IF I STILL HAD MY CATALOG, I WOULD BURN IT."

>> Stephen: WHAT DO WE DO TACT WASTE THAT PEOPLE ARE SO AFRAID OF?

>> TWO THINGS.

THERE'S NOT VERY MUCH OF IT.

IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH FUEL,

THEREFORE IT DOESN'T MAKE MUCH WASTE.

THE WASTE ARE IN CONTAINERS AT THE REACTOR SITES, PERFECTLY SAFE THERE.

FOR 50 OR 100 YEARS WHILE WE THINK ABOUT IT.

ONE OF THE THING OBAMA'S COMMITTEE IS LOOKING AT PLACES WE MIGHT PUT IT IF WE WANT TO,

AND ONE NEW TECHNOLOGY IS CALLED BORE HOLES.

YOU DIG A HOLE THREE MILES DEEP IN THE GROUND RIGHT THERE AT THE SITE INTO THE BASEMENT ROCK.

IF YOU WANT TO GET RID OF THIS STUFF, THROW IT DOWN THERE,

THROW CONCRETE ON TOP OF IT AND FORGET ABOUT IT.

>> Stephen: AND MAYBE YOU HIT OIL.

AS A PRAGMATIST YOU REALIZE WE STILL NEED PETROLEUM?

>> THEN YOU GET DOUBLE VALUE OUT OF IT.

THAT'S HOW YOU PAY FOR THE BORE HOLE.

>> Stephen: DO YOU BELIEVE WE SHOULD USE OIL?

WE'VE GOT TO USE OIL.

DRILL, BABY, DRILL.

ECOPRAGMATIST ME ON THIS ONE.

>> THAT'S A TOUGHER ONE TO SAY THIS WEEK.

>> Stephen:, WELL, THAT THING IN THE GULF, ALL THIS SAYS TO ME

IS THERE'S A LOT OF OIL DOWN THERE WE'VE GOT TO GO GET.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN USING PETROLEUM, YES OR NO, SIR?

>> YOU CAN GET MORE URANIUM OUT OF THE SALT WATER THAN SOIL.

>> Stephen: DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD BE USING OIL?

>> I'D LOVE TO SEE GET OFF ALL OF FOSSIL FUELS BASICALLY.

>> Stephen: WHAT ABOUT CLEAN COAL?

[APPLAUSE]

THANK YOU FOR APPLAUDING CLEAN COAL.

[LAUGHTER]

WHAT ABOUT CLEAN COAST GUARD?

>> I HOPE IT HAPPENS.

>> Stephen: IT'S HAPPENING NOW.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE ADS.

IT SAYS "CLEAN COAL." AND THEN A POWER CABLE COMES OUT AND IT CLICKS INTO TO A LUMP OF COAL.

CLEAN COAL.

HAVE YOU HEARD THE TERM "CLEAN COAL."

>> EVERYBODY'S HEARD...

>> Stephen: HAVE YOU HEARD THE TERM "CLEAN COAL"?

>> YEAH, I HAVE.

>> Stephen: THEREFORE THERE'S CLEAN COAL.

GO AHEAD.

[LAUGHTER]

>> I'VE CHANGED MY MIND ON.

THIS I WAS CONVERTED BY A A GUY FROM ENGLAND.

>> Stephen: WILL HE GIVE ME A STRAYING ANSWER?

>> HE WILL.

WHAT HE WILL SAY IS YOU'VE GOT TO DO EVERYTHING.

AND EVEN THAT'S PROBABLY NOT ENOUGH.

THE REASON YOU HAVE TO DO CLEAN COAL IN SOME WAY HE PERSUADED ME IS THAT EVERYBODY WILL KEEP

BURNING KOHL, IT'S SO DAMN CHEAP.

>> Stephen: IT'S SO DELICIOUS.

ENERGY-WISE.

WE'RE THE SAUDI ARABIA OF COAL.

WE'VE GOT SO MUCH OF IT.

SO EITHER THE GOVERNMENT IS SAYING, LOOK, IT'S EXPENSIVE,

CARBON TAX, WHATEVER IT IS, OR SOMEBODY FIGURES OUT A WAY TO DO

CLEAN ENERGY THAT'S CHEAPER THAN COAL, WHICH NOBODY HAS ANY SIGN OF YET, OR WE HAVE TO DO SOME

FORM OF CLEAN COAL.

SO I'M SOMEWHAT PERSUADED IN THAT DIRECTION MORE THAN I DID IN THE BOOK.

>> YOU'RE ALSO PART OF THE LONG NOW FOUNDATION WHICH PROMOTES LONG-TERM THINKINGMENT AND

YOU'VE DESIGNED A MONUMENT,

WHICH CONTAINS A CLOCK THAT TICKS ONCE EVERY YEAR FOR 10,000 YEARS.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: YOU MUST BE LATE ALL THE TIME.

[LAUGHTER]

WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?

>> WELL, JUST OUT HERE IN THE HARBOR, THE STATUE OF LIBERTY.

>> Stephen: I KNOW HER WELL.

BEAUTIFUL LADY.

>> BEAUTIFUL LADY.

THIS IS A STATUE OF RESPONSIBILITY.

THE IDEA IS JUST TO HAVE A CLOCK THAT WILL KEEP ON TICKING AND BONGING AND DOING CHIMES INSIDE

A MOUNTAIN IN NEVADA, RELIABLY FOR 10,000 YEARS.

>> Stephen: AND NOTHING WILL GET IN OR OUT OF THERE FOR 10,000 YEARS?

>> NO, PEOPLE WILL GET IN AND OUT AND ENJOY IT, CRAWL UP INSIDE THE CLOCK.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

IT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD PLACE TO STORE OUR NUCLEAR WASTE.

STEWART||||

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