ABC Sends Reporter to Africa to Lecture Americans on Climate Change

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Reporting live from Victoria Falls in central Africa for Wednesday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s chief meteorologist Ginger Zee used the spectacular location to lecture American viewers about climate change. It was all part of the network’s new Extraordinary Earth series leading up to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in April.

Standing alongside National Geographic photographer Nichole Sobecki, with the falls in the background, Zee proclaimed: “...we’ve been talking and I know that the U.S. and China, China being number one, U.S. number two right now, are the biggest carbon emitters.” Sobecki then brushed China aside and hyped America as the real culprit:

 

 

Right now, the U.S. and China are the largest emitters. But we have to remember that the historic record for carbon emissions is held by the U.S. Throughout history we have put more carbon into the atmosphere than any other country. And you have to realize that we’re 4% of the population and we’re responsible for somewhere between a quarter to a third of all global carbon emissions.

Zee uttered “wow” in response, explaining moments later: “And carbon emissions being related to climate change.” Sobecki confirmed: “That’s what’s warming our planet.”

Sobecki pleaded: “You know, climate change doesn’t have borders. You know, if we’re going to move forward and we’re going to adapt to the challenges to come and those already underway through climate change, we have to do that together....collectively to help take care of our planet.”

“I edge on fear sometimes,” Zee admitted regarding climate change, but she declared that “this has made me very hopeful, hopeful that there are people doing the right thing.” As evidence of that hope, she hailed: “There are parts of Africa, you were telling me, where plastic bags have been banned and you even get fined. So I feel like there are things we can do to clean this planet up and I know people are doing them. We just have to start.”

Sobecki concluded: “We can do a lot better, and we need to.”

Apparently this is the kind of liberal scolding GMA viewers can look forward to over the next two months.

Here is a transcript of the February 19 segment:

8:33 AM ET

GINGER ZEE: So talented National Geographic photographer with me here, Nichole Sobecki, and Nicole, we’ve been talking and I know that the U.S. and China, China being number one, U.S. number two right now, are the biggest carbon emitters. But you told me something interesting about Africa.

NICHOLE SOBECKI [NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC]: That’s exactly right. Right now, the U.S. and China are the largest emitters. But we have to remember that the historic record for carbon emissions is held by the U.S. Throughout history we have put more carbon into the atmosphere than any other country. And you have to realize that we’re 4% of the population and we’re responsible for somewhere between a quarter to a third of all global carbon emissions.

ZEE: Wow.

SOBECKI: If you compare that to where we are right now, you know, 54 African nations making up this vast continent have contributed a mere 4%.

ZEE: Wow.

SOBECKI: That’s a stark contrast and it’s especially poignant when you realize that this is the continent, Africa, that’s most at risk for many of the negative effects of climate change.

ZEE: And carbon emissions being related to climate change.

SOBECKI: That’s what’s warming our planet.

ZEE: Stunning, stunning information here guys.

ROBIN ROBERTS: It really is, Ginger. On a personal level, what are each of you going to take away from being in such a special place?

ZEE: I’ll let Nichole start.

SOBECKI: Right, I mean, standing here in front of this amazing awesome power of the falls it’s so clear to me the intimate ties between ourselves and the natural world, between Africa and the rest of the globe. And that makes me think about our responsibility and the choices that we’re making. You know, climate change doesn’t have borders. You know, if we’re going to move forward and we’re going to adapt to the challenges to come and those already underway through climate change, we have to do that together. So it makes me think about the choices I can make, the responsibility I have, and what we can do collectively to help take care of our planet.

ZEE: That was the best answer, but I’ll try to follow that up. I would say the interconnectedness of us is fascinating, but also it’s really about, to me, I edge on fear sometimes but this has made me very hopeful, hopeful that there are people doing the right thing. There are parts of Africa, you were telling me, where plastic bags have been banned and you even get fined. So I feel like there are things we can do to clean this planet up and I know people are doing them. We just have to start.

SOBECKI: We can do a lot better, and we need to.

ZEE: We’re feeling it, Robin.

ROBERTS: I can tell. It’s gorgeous and it’s so powerful to have you there. And I gotta say, I follow Nat Geo on Instagram, the pictures, the stories, absolutely beautiful and really bringing us all together. So safe travels back home, both of you, and thank you for being there for us.

LARA SPENCER: Amazing job, Ging.

ROBERTS: Amazing, amazing. [Cheers and applause]

MICHAEL STRAHAN: And you know, you heard all the talk about climate change and how it’s affecting them there, but climate change is also hitting us here at home as well. And tomorrow, we’re going to tell you what you can do to help. So not talk about it, be about it.

ROBERTS: That’s right.

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