Opinion | ‘Climate Change Is Not a Subjective Thing.’ How Does the U.S. Approach to the Environment Look From Abroad?


“All right. Let’s see. I’m going to hit play.” Flint switched from water purchased from the City of Detroit to water pumped from the Flint River. “The tomatoes were turning black.” “My water comes out of my faucet smelling like it came out of someone’s butt.” “That’s — that’s America?” “What?” “Oh, my God.” “Wow.” “You would never see that in Norway.” “It’s inexcusable.” “That made me angry.” “It looks like they don’t even want to solve anything.” “No.” [MUSIC PLAYING] “O.K. The top selling car by country.” “For Germany, the Volkswagen Golf. Yeah.” “Every time you go out, you see a Fiat Panda.” “U.K., a Ford Fiesta. That is so obvious.” “Of course.” “Yay.” “No.” “Trucks!” “Geez — Have you seen — that truck is huge!” Which man is sexier? “Truck.” “Truck.” “Truck.” “Oh, God.” “This is definitely the guy your mom wants you to marry, and this is the guy you’re going to run off to and leave him.” “S.U.V.’s were the second-largest contributor to the increase in global carbon emissions. Wow.” “Truck and S.U.V.s sales have steadily increased.” And they’re actually making them bigger as well. Take the 2021 Chevy Tahoe, for example. It will be almost seven inches bigger than just the 2020 model. “Last time I checked, human beings were still all roughly the same size.” “I literally cannot think of a reason why cars would have to get bigger.” “Are they compensating for something?” “Last year in Norway, the sale of electric cars actually surpassed that of fossil fuel cars.” “Here in the U.K., the government are planning to stop selling all diesel and petrol cars in a few years.” “In Milan, for example, you cannot get to the center city with a car. And they’re trying to expand that, and to make that area much bigger.” “In the Netherlands we have more bikes than people.” “CO2 emissions per capita.” “India is 1.9.” “China, you have 8.12. In Germany it’s 8.52.” “India and China are always sort of hung by their eyelashes when it comes to CO2 emissions and whatnot, but I wonder how U.S. is faring on that list.” “Wow, I, I,” “Oh, my God. I thought it was going to disappear.” “So America has more than 15 times of Zimbabwe. But they’re the ones that are pointing fingers to other countries. I think that’s ridiculous.” [MUSIC PLAYING] “So in Zimbabwe. Where I’m from, plastic bags and plastic food containers have officially been banned.” “The government here in the U.K., a few years ago, introduced a charge when it comes to using a plastic bag.” “In France, we banned plastic bags a few years ago. I couldn’t imagine a world without plastic bags but then you adjust.” “What?” “You’re banning a ban. Someone said, I think, you know what, let’s ban progress.” “The fact that Zimbabwe, a developing country, is doing way more is frankly just disappointing and embarrassing.” [MUSIC PLAYING] “Germany is the world leader in recycling. If you don’t separate your rubbish in the right bins, they will not be picked up, and you will be fined.” “In Norway, we have this reverse vending machine, where you put in plastic bottles.” “Of course we recycle. Who doesn’t?” “Wait, what?” “Mountains of trash.” “I had no idea that they had landfills in America.” “This would never happen in the Netherlands.” “I guess the next generation of Americans will have to live with poisoned water and soil. What can you do?” We used to export a third of our recycling and pay countries like China to deal with it for us. “What, you can’t do it yourself?” “Hold on, America used to sell garbage to other countries. Why didn’t we think about this?” “Wow.” “This looks like, literally, the end of the world.” Thirty named storms formed this season. The National Hurricane Center had to borrow letters from the Greek alphabet. “Oh [BLEEP]” “Terrifying.” “O.K., let’s see what this is.” In the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky. This isn’t about science. This is really about government controlling almost every aspect of your life. “It’s not about science, it’s about them trying to control you? That is arguably the most ignorant thing I’ve ever watched or heard in my whole life.” Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up. I believe the ability to measure, with precision, the degree of human activity’s impact on the climate is subject to more debate. “Climate change is not a subjective thing. It shouldn’t be like a debate.” “And I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not a fan of Boris Johnson. I don’t really care for much that comes out of his mouth. But even he doesn’t deny climate change.” “We have a lot of different types of parties in Norway but even the far-right parties don’t deny climate change because if they did, they would be publicly ridiculed.” “Yeah.” “It makes me really angry to see all of this. America being this complacent about climate change doesn’t only affect them. It affects the whole world.” Polar bears that live on Svalbard in Norway are coming to the city center because they’re losing their habitat and their food. “In France, too, we have wildfires and it’s happening more and more often.” “We have storms who flatten entire forests.” “In Zimbabwe, we’re receiving less rainfall.” “The typhoons, the cyclones.” “The typhoon in Bengal.” “They’re getting stronger by the day.” “It’s clear that America has more money. Why isn’t that extra money being used to protect the environment and to fight climate change.” “I think this is about setting an example. If America can’t get it right, how can we expect the rest of the world to know how to combat climate change.” “Somebody has to lead the way and set an example. It has got to be you.”


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