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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Thanksgiving means thanking the creator and man for blessings. It can be said that our greatest blessing is Planet Earth, and maybe we're not taking enough care of Planet Earth. Let's see.

Issue One: The Green Rush.

AL GORE (former vice president): (From videotape.) Tipper and I will go to Oslo and I will accept this award on behalf of all of those who have been working so long and so hard to try to get the message out about this planetary emergency.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Nobel Peace Prize this year went to Al Gore. Gore has awakened the world to the reality and the danger of global warming. This alert and the scientific evidence behind it has set off a worldwide scramble to profit from a tectonic shift.

There's big money to be made in the green gold. The gold rush of yesteryear has become the green rush of today. General Electric, General Motors, Archer Daniels Midland, ExxonMobil, are racing to discover how, through their own businesses, they can feed the demand for green -- green fuels, green subsidies, green mandates.

You've heard of blue-collar jobs and white-collar jobs. Well, climbing up the ladder, we now have green-collar jobs. The Credit Suisse Group has introduced a new, quote-unquote, "global warming index." It lists new green investment stocks and other green instruments for major banks. Over the next 25 years, global demand for energy will climb by 40 percent.

This combination of profit motive, market incentives and government regulation has unleashed billions of dollars in new research on two fronts: New energy and efficient energy. Economists predict that this wave of innovation will reshape world markets as radically as the computer boom of the '90s.

But skeptics say we've heard that song before, notably in the '70s during the energy crisis. Washington then subsidized synthetic fuel. Washington then subsidized solar panels. Nuclear took on a new life. Detroit retooled; built engines that delivered more miles to the gallon and a catalytic converter built around it.

Then, after all this commotion, after all this reaction to the escalation of oil prices, the price plummeted and the big green balloon burst.

Question: So which will it be this time, a green boom or a green bust? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: It'll be both, John. It's going to start off with a boom because there's an enormous political movement to transfer wealth and power to the federal government and from nation-states to international bureaucrats who can control the planet and the rest of it.

Businesses are going to reach into this thing and make all the money they can on good capitalist principles. The media love an end- of-the-world scenario; nothing better than that for ratings. And it's all going to continue, John, until we're going to wake up and find the ocean did not rise 20 feet at all and the planet is warming very slowly and it's not a crisis.

Then they'll find a new one, like bird flu or nuclear winter. They find these every decade, one or another. And then it will go away and everybody will have made a lot of money, and government everywhere will have more power. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So global warming is the big lie. Is that what you're saying?

MR. BUCHANAN: It's not a lie. It's occurring. But it's a big con.


MS. CLIFT: I guess Pat is planning on waking up maybe 50, 70 years from now and declaring he was right.

Look, global warming is real and it's serious, and public policy has to change. Government is going to have to subsidize alternative fuels and green strategies. And the model is the Internet. The federal government invested in the Internet, and then the private sector commercialized it.

And this has to be cast as opportunity, not like sacrifice the way it was when President Carter warned us about this 30 years ago. There is money to be made here and there is opportunity here. And if we don't do it, it's going to be a lot more costly in the future.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you share Eleanor's view or do you share Pat's view?

MR. BLANKLEY: Obviously Pat has got it right on this.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you mean, "Obviously"?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You evaluate arguments, don't you, when they come at you?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yes. The temperature of the world has been fluctuating since the beginning of the planet. It goes up. It goes down. Right now it's probably going up. Man's participation in that is ambiguous. The fix for it is impossible economically. The reality is that we're going to rely -- in the absence of the unanticipated invention, we're going to rely overwhelmingly on oil and gas for the foreseeable future to have enough energy to maintain the prosperity of civilization.

All of the other programs which will be invested in are going to be on the margin and not economically viable without subsidy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is the prospect of curbs on global warming by government -- that is, through mandates and subsidies -- enough to fire up the business community? You would know this because of your prominence in the Financial Times. Does it fire them up to get involved in the technology to curb global warming? MS. FREELAND: Yes, absolutely. And what I think is really interesting and why the debate today is quite different from the way it was three or five years ago is mainstream American business people, not bleeding-heart liberals, are very interested in green technology.

And the reason that things are different now is partly because of globalization. You know, what is different between now and the '70s is we have China and India coming on line as consumers of resources. Whatever your views are about global warming, non-renewable resources are running out. And so there is this huge opportunity. The danger for America is if the American government doesn't proactively set the standard --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Chrystia --

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Wait a minute. Let me ask Chrystia a question.

MS. FREELAND: If the American government doesn't set standards, then America will not lead this innovation revolution --

MR. BLANKLEY: There's a point to be --

MS. FREELAND: -- the way it led the Internet revolution.

MR. BLANKLEY: There's one point that needs to be corrected.

MS. FREELAND: And that is a real danger. America could be left behind.

MR. BLANKLEY: There's one point that needs to be corrected. You say we're going to run out of non-renewable energy sources. The history of the knowledge of reserves in oil, going back 100 years, has been constant predictions we're running out. We have enough shale oil to convert --

MS. FREELAND: The shale and the -- (inaudible) -- are very important sources of new fuel.

MR. BLANKLEY: We have coal that we could gasify.

MS. FREELAND: But those require new technologies too.

MR. BLANKLEY: And all of those can provide almost unlimited energy for hundreds of years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me get in here. Do you have any green growth stocks that you can recommend?

MS. FREELAND: We're not stock-pickers at the Financial Times. But what I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what are you reading there? A lot of copy crosses your desk.

MS. FREELAND: I think there are two things which are really interesting that are happening on the business front in this area. One is the big mainstream major industrial and retail companies getting interested. You cited GE. Wal-Mart is also getting really, really interested in being more green, more energy-efficient.

The other really interesting thing going on, Eleanor touched on, which is Silicon Valley, which is a fabulous -- the world's engine of innovation, right now is becoming very interested in environmental technology.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, what is working -- MS. CLIFT: It's the wave of the future. Just listen to the political candidates. There are still some troglodytes on the Republican side, but --

MR. BLANKLEY: You don't believe political candidates, do you?

MS. CLIFT: -- John McCain is out there.

MS. FREELAND: In contrast with Pat and Tony, I believe in capitalism.

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me speak here.

MS. FREELAND: Capitalism is going to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, Pat, go ahead.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, we had the Club of Rome. We're all running out of oil in 1979. Now we've got more than ever. What will deal with -- as oil goes to $100 a barrel, $150 a barrel, gasoline goes up, there's no doubt about it, people will get into their little Priuses. That's what they'll buy. People become more fuel-efficient. They put storm windows up. That's -- the free market will work and solve this problem. There's a racket going on --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When we get our government --

MR. BUCHANAN: -- a racket in trying to grab power.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: When we get government mandates to deal with global warming, that's going to create the market.

MR. BUCHANAN: You know what? Let me tell you something. Those government mandates --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Forget capitalism.

MR. BUCHANAN: When those government mandates cost money and tax dollars and make heating bills go up and gasoline go up, those politicians will be thrown out of office.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Nothing makes a market like a government mandate, Pat, and they're coming.

MS. CLIFT: The oil --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Which looms larger as an existential threat to the American way of life -- in fact, to life in general? Which is the larger threat, terrorism or global warming?

MR. BUCHANAN: If we have nuclear terrorism, it'll change our way of life forever. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: The chance of being hit by a terrorist is minuscule. The potential for ending the planet is out there.

MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, for heaven's sakes. Ending the planet?


MS. CLIFT: Yes. The planet cannot -- there is a tilting point at which time --

MR. BUCHANAN: Eleanor, nobody behaves as though -- who behaves as though the world is ending?

MS. CLIFT: American policy is going to change, Pat, whether you like it or not, because --

MR. BLANKLEY: Okay, Eleanor has --

MS. CLIFT: -- (inaudible) -- politicians out there who are smart enough. And the oil market --

MR. BLANKLEY: Let's maintain regular order.

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me.

MR. BLANKLEY: Regular order.

MS. CLIFT: Excuse me, please. The oil market is the biggest failure of free markets, because it did not take into account the damage to the environment --

MR. BLANKLEY: The oil market is being encumbered --

MS. CLIFT: -- in this cost of oil.

MR. BLANKLEY: -- is being encumbered by Congress not allowing us to drill the 142 billion barrels that are sitting off of our coast, the 8 percent of --

MS. CLIFT: That would pay for a couple of weeks or months; that's all.

MR. BLANKLEY: -- (inaudible) -- we could get out of --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on, Eleanor.

Go ahead.

MR. BLANKLEY: But to answer your question, terrorism could completely destroy our way of life. We will adjust to the energy demands of the future. MR. BUCHANAN: Sure.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MS. FREELAND: Global warming. And the two are connected, because as we see the rising price of oil, that is fueling petro- authoritarianism, which is the biggest political threat right now.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Terrorism will wane.

MS. FREELAND: It is -- Venezuela, Russia, the Middle Eastern states.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Terrorism will wane, Pat. That's the problem for you. Terrorism will wane.

MR. BUCHANAN: One nuclear --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Global warming is going to stick around.

Issue Two: Internal Combustion Engine.

Americans adore their automobiles -- driving them, washing them, shining them, showing them off. How many drivers in the U.S.? Two hundred million. How many cars in the U.S.? Two hundred and forty- two million.

How many urban miles driven? Eight hundred and seventy-five billion.

What do cars produce besides obsession? Hint: Exhaust -- tailpipe emissions, toxic gases. The internal combustion engine that brought so much happiness to mankind has become society's villain. Now gas-guzzling SUVs are being traded for high-mileage sedans. Hybrids combine internal combustion engines with electric motors. Hybrids are the most popular choice for those who want to go green. How many hybrids hit the U.S. roads in 2007? About a quarter of a million. Hybrids carry a price tag more than standard vehicles, $2,000 to $7,000 more. So hybrids are not for everyone. But they are popular.

Question: Boone Pickens wants America to shift to a cleaner- burning fossil fuel, natural gas. Is that a good solution? Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: I'm not an expert on this. Natural gas may still contribute to global warming. But, look, Al Gore, in his 1990 book, "Earth in the Balance," forecast the end of the combustion engine and he was mocked for it. But we will be driving something else years from now. And Chevrolet is already advertising their Volt, which is now a concept, but they'll have it on line by 2010, and it's a plug-in hybrid. And that's a way also to pump up the electrical grid.

MR. BUCHANAN: There are --

MS. CLIFT: So, yes, we will save thousands of --

MR. BLANKLEY: We're going to be --

MS. CLIFT: -- (inaudible) -- and we will be going through a transitional period. We'll eventually be driving --

MR. BLANKLEY: We're going to be using the internal combustion engine --

MS. CLIFT: -- (inaudible) -- even Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: We're going to be using the internal combustion engine for the foreseeable future. The problem -- MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What does that mean?

MR. BLANKLEY: Foreseeable. But the problem with --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How far can one see it?

MR. BLANKLEY: A pretty long way.

MS. CLIFT: Not very far.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Ten years? Twenty years? Thirty years? Forty years?

MR. BLANKLEY: I would guess 30 or 40 or 50. But, look, the problem with electric cars -- there's nothing wrong with them except that we don't have battery technology that allows you to save up enough energy to be able to use it as you use an internal combustion engine. The day that the battery technology permits that, then obviously that will become an important --

MS. CLIFT: Chevrolet is developing it.

MR. BLANKLEY: No, they don't have it yet.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You drive an SUV, do you not?

MR. BUCHANAN: I drive a 10-year-old Navigator, John. It gets 13 miles on the road.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you experience social odium?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you experience social odium? Do people look at you and say, "Get rid of that guzzler"?

MR. BUCHANAN: I experienced social odium before I had the Navigator, John. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that the SUV is going to be a discontinued model in view of the rising tide of social odium against it?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, I think what will happen is this. Eleanor is correct. Look, the market will start moving toward electric cars as gasoline gets higher and higher. But there are people like me who are more interested in safety and are willing to pay for it. But the new Navigator will get 15 or 18 miles to the gallon. The miles per gallon will go up. Cars will be safer. But I'll tell you, there's no doubt, if the price of gasoline rises, these new things become economically viable. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does this inevitably raise the problem of obesity? The SUVs are needed because of the expanded seating, okay? If you reduce obesity, you get into that problem, do you not? But the problem is that you'll carry more weight around also. That's also the problem with obesity. So are we going to put out a health bulletin from the White House on obesity because of --

MS. FREELAND: I'm less concerned about chubby American drivers than I am about all those Chinese and Indian people who are now getting rich enough to have cars.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you don't see any linkage there at all.

MS. FREELAND: Well, the real challenge, I think, with climate change and with non-renewable resources is people are getting richer around the world. That's fantastic. And they are going to want to live the way Americans do. And the question is, how does the global environment accommodate that? I think the solution is innovation.

MR. BUCHANAN: The Chinese aren't going to listen to us.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, keep the engine, change the fuel, but update both -- 40 miles a gallon, less gas, less carbon emission, less global warming, less green graying. The problem: Detroit says it's a disaster. Standards are set too high. The Detroit Big Three like alternative fuels such as E85, a blend of ethanol and gas that cuts global warming emissions.

But there's a problem with E85. Namely, it cuts back on the demand for gasoline, and that eats into the profits of big oil. And big oil largely controls a multitude of gas stations. And the vast majority of those gas stations have not converted to carry E85. Big Three says that big oil is stalling the conversion.

Do you follow that?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yes. It's utter nonsense, but I follow it. (Laughter.) There is going to be a tremendous demand for gasoline indefinitely. Now, ethanol and other substitutes, which are less efficient -- we have to use a gallon of diesel fuel to make a gallon and a quarter of ethanol -- is largely the result of lobbying in the Iowa caucuses than it is about a technology that's optimal.

MS. CLIFT: It's not nonsense. If the Big Three had been ordered to have higher fuel standards years ago, it would have been a gift to them. They'd be better off today. And the problem is that this is going to require uncommon leadership. And there is a new book by Bob Kuttner, "The Squandering of America," where he talks about the economic elites basically having power over both parties. And you can't -- this is your topic too, isn't it?

MR. BUCHANAN: Right. MS. CLIFT: And the business corporations have --

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me tell you --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, Pat, hold on.

MS. CLIFT: -- have kept us from developing in these areas the way we should.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got to get out. Exit question: Will the automobile as we know it -- namely, with its high octane, high horse power and internal combustion engine -- become as outmoded as the horse-drawn buggy? Yes or no.

MR. BUCHANAN: That is nonsense. The automobile will be here. It will be more fuel-efficient.


MS. CLIFT: The combustion engine will be gone in 50 years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Fifty years?

MS. CLIFT: Yes. In 50 years we'll all be driving something different, if we're still around.

MR. BLANKLEY: The engine will be with us. But I have horses as well. We can have both.

MS. FREELAND: Eventually yes, but we will all have the same level of comfort in our daily lives. That's going to be essential, because otherwise people won't accept it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think that the -- I think Gore is right. I think that it's going to -- the automobile engine as we know it will be gone within 50 -- I'll say 50 years.

Issue Three: Blowin' in the Wind.

Don Quixote was a dignified country gentleman with a vivid imagination. Quixote looked at flocks of sheep and saw armies of men. He looked at windmills and saw giants.

Well, Quixote could scarcely have imagined that one day the famed windmills of La Mancha would be spread throughout Europe. Today Spain is the world's leader in per capita production of energy from wind turbines. The churning blades produce 12,000 megawatts of power. This equals -- get this -- 12 percent of Spain's total energy production. Comparing Spain's windmill energy with the U.S.'s, if Spain is a big blow, the U.S. is a puny puff -- 12 percent versus less than two-tenths of 1 percent.

Question: What about putting windmills inside the halls of the U.S. Congress? Would that cut our reliance on other forms of energy, especially in an election year? I ask you, Chrystia.

MS. FREELAND: Given the amount of hot air, of course it would.

MR. BUCHANAN: It contributes to global warming, that hot air. John, look, they have wind farms. They've got them out in Palm Desert. But Teddy Kennedy himself objected to a wind farm off Hyannis port. People don't want these things in their backyard and they won't let them be put there.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do they destroy the vista? MR. BUCHANAN: Sure, they do. They're dreadful.

MS. CLIFT: There are places they can put them and there are places where they don't interfere with bird migration. But, look, there's all kinds of cool stuff out there. You have climate scientists talking about harnessing the power of the oceans, putting turbines on the floor of the oceans. People are thinking creatively here --

MR. BUCHANAN: I know they are.

MS. CLIFT: -- because there is a sense of urgency around this issue.

MR. BUCHANAN: But look --

MS. FREELAND: And because they can make money. I mean, it is going to be a really big business opportunity.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think we'll discover how important it is when the Chinese take over our technology and start putting it out themselves? Do you think that will be the signal for us that wind is really important?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think the Chinese are really in our yesterday right now. They're the biggest polluters on earth. They've got this horrible --

MS. FREELAND: They're not. America still emits more CO2 than China.

MR. BUCHANAN: All right, let me tell you -- CO2, but everything else --

MR. BLANKLEY: CO2 is not a pollutant.

MR. BUCHANAN: They're dying over there from that pollution they've got there.

MR. BLANKLEY: CO2 is not a pollutant.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do we favor solar energy?

MR. BLANKLEY: It's not poisonous.

MR. BUCHANAN: Solar energy is fine for warming houses.

MR. BLANKLEY: Wait, CO2 is -- this is an important point. People call CO2 a pollutant. It is not poisonous. It is not toxic.

MS. FREELAND: If you're a person who denies global warming, then you would not -- MR. BUCHANAN: CO2 is what plants and trees live on. They live on it. It's their food.

MR. BLANKLEY: It is not a pollutant. You can't call it a pollutant.

MS. CLIFT: Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.


MR. BUCHANAN: What about the rain forests?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Of the alternative energies -- I'm going to nail you down, Buchanan -- available, you've got wind. You've got solar. You've got hydro. You've got nuclear. You've got the exotic renewables like the ocean currents and ocean gradients, the difference in temperature all the way down two miles.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And then you get electricity from that. Which one could handle all of the U.S.'s electricity?

MR. BUCHANAN: Nuclear could handle every bit of it. And what nuclear can't do, coal will do.

MS. CLIFT: I think we need to have a mix of everything, but there probably is a -- I don't want to call it a nuclear renaissance; that sounds kind of weird. But I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, wait a minute --

MS. CLIFT: -- nuclear power will get another look.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, I want you on record on this. Are you favoring nuclear power?

MS. CLIFT: I'm favoring another look at nuclear power.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh. Can you get out through that side door?

MS. CLIFT: That's my -- (inaudible) -- answer.

MR. BLANKLEY: Look, nuclear --

MS. CLIFT: I didn't say I supported it. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can you improve on Eleanor?

MR. BLANKLEY: No, I couldn't improve on Eleanor. She's one in a million.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Keep going. MR. BLANKLEY: Nuclear energy is about 20 percent of our stationary electrical source. We're going to have to expand the number of plants we have just to keep it at 20. But, yes, if we can get rid of the laws that intrude, there's no reason why nuclear couldn't be producing a very high percentage of our stationary energy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We have 103 nuclear power plants in the world. The United States has 25 percent of those. What do you think of nuclear? Could it handle it?

MS. FREELAND: I think Eleanor is right, and it is going to be a nuclear renaissance.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'll go along with that.

Issue Four: Green Consciousness.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (From videotape.) And that consciousness will seep into everything you do. Once you're conscious of the stuff, it's going to impact what you accept and what you reject. And then, all of a sudden, you wake up and we are living in a greener, healthier, more sustainable world. And that's where we have to get to.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Green consciousness? Yes. But willing to pay more to save the world? Maybe not. Twenty-two thousand people in 21 countries were polled by the BBC. Ninety percent of Europeans and 70 percent of Americans said human activity is a leading cause of global warming.

In another poll last spring, U.S. residents only, what percent of Americans said they are willing to change their lifestyle to improve the environment? Ninety-four percent. But when it comes to paying the price tag, green takes a back seat to greenbacks, as the polls show.

Question: Can Americans be convinced to go green? Will incentives be enough, or will it take economic disincentives? I ask you, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, I think the Americans are green in the sense we want clean air and clean water. We don't want garbage on our beaches. We want the Potomac to be pure. We want to take care of animals. I think there's a real sensitivity to it.

What Americans aren't willing to pay for, I think, is a lot more money to deal with some danger that they see as a real abstraction and maybe a scam.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If everybody changed incandescent bulbs to fluorescent light bulbs, they would save $8 billion in the United States.

MR. BLANKLEY: If they don't break the bulbs. We bought one of those and it got broken before we even installed it. It would have lasted for 10 years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you raining on my parade here?

MS. CLIFT: Not everyone has butter fingers, Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: I'm sorry. I know.

MS. CLIFT: I think the rest of us can deal with those light bulbs.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to get into this?

MS. FREELAND: Yeah. I think what's really important is people are not going to do it if it means a big lifestyle sacrifice. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions. Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Ethanol will become the synfuels thing, John. You're going to have to turn the whole country into growing corn to make it work. And as Tony said, it takes a gallon of energy to make a gallon of ethanol.

MS. CLIFT: They'll make ethanol from switchgrass. So you can have your corn, Pat. And Republicans will lose suburban women if they don't get more aggressive in addressing global warming.

MR. BLANKLEY: Somewhere around the 2010 election, the big issue will be permitting drilling of oil. As the price of oil goes up, there will be a panic, and we'll start drilling again in a big way.

MS. FREELAND: Oil will hit $100.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I predict that the transportation energy technology breakthrough that the world needs will happen through biomass fuel. Put your money there, Pat. Get out of gold and get into biomass.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend. Bye-bye.