Nightline co-host Juju Chang on Thursday fretted to the United Nations Secretary General about a coming climate disaster that could possibly make it “too late” to stop the end of everything. She then, with no sense of irony, wondered how we could fight a culture of “fear” that is overtaking many.
Talking to Antonio Guterres (a longtime socialist), Chang apocalyptically worried, “The U.N. Climate report is being described as the starkest report yet on the environment. I'm curious, the U.S. Has just this month rejoined the Paris Climate Accords. How do you counter this feeling among everyday people that perhaps it's too late?”
No mention from Chang about previous comments from Guterres, such as when he hyperbolically told CBS in December, “So it's time for the war between human kind and nature to end.” Chang also didn’t follow-up when the UN official ominously warned, “Some industries will disappear. But we need to take care of the people that are involved in those industries.”
This might have been a good time to remind viewers that the Portuguese politician is the former “secretary‑general of the Socialist party.” Destroying industries isn’t exactly a new position for a socialist.
Then, with no sense of remembering that they were just talking about the end of the world, Chang put this question to Guterres:
But as the world evolves, Guterres says an epidemic of misinformation is giving rise to fear and hate. What can be done, in your view, to fight that kind of disinformation that seems to be at the core of all of this divisiveness?
How do we fight “fear” and “divisiveness?” Perhaps not talking about intentionally destroying unfashionable industries and warning of the end of the world.
A partial transcript of the segment is below. Click “expand” to read more.
BYRON PITTS: Up next, one on one with the top U.N. Official. His warning, if climate change fails to be controlled.
1:01 AM ET
PITTS: Finally tonight, a global perspective on some of the biggest issues we're facing today. Here again is my Nightline co-anchor Juju Chang.
JUJU CHANG: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spearheading the united nations response to every major global crisis since he took office this 2017. As the pandemic ravaged the globe, Guterres front and center advocating for increased testing and equal access to vaccines for nations rich or poor. You have called it the biggest moral test before the global economy. What do you think about the fact that 130 countries haven't had a single dose?
CHANG: Among Guterres' other major priorities, urgent action on climate change. A report just released by the U.N. paints a startling picture of a planet in decline, roughly nine million people die from pollution every year. The U.N. Climate report is being described as the starkest report yet on the environment. I'm curious, the U.S. Has just this month rejoined the Paris climate accords. How do you counter this feeling among everyday people that perhaps it's too late?
GUTERRES: It's not too late. On the contrary. We are on time. But we need to do it quickly. And some people say, look, I mean, “There is so much cold temperature in Texas, probably there is no global warming.” The worst of climate change is not only the warming, it's that everything is becoming more extreme. The hurricanes, snowstorms, heat waves. Everything is more extreme.
CHANG: If it's not too late, what are the most effective policies you see going forward?
GUTERRES: I see the technology on all sides. Today it's cheaper to produce energy based on renewables than based on coal or on other fossil fuels. But of course, we need to do this transition with justice. Some industries will disappear. But we need to take care of the people that are involved in those industries. So we need -- let's promote the green economy, but let's support those that are losing with the effect the old economy is phasing out.
CHANG: But as the world evolves, Guterres says an epidemic of misinformation is giving rise to fear and hate. What can be done, in your view, to fight that kind of disinformation that seems to be at the core of all of this divisiveness?
GURERRESS: First of all, truth. And I think the media has a key role to play. We need to re-establish our strong, global commitment to truth. To use truth as the basis for trust. And the problem of today's world is the lack of trust. The lack of trust between people and government, the lack of trust between countries, the lack of trust between institutions. This lack of trust this undermining, is undermining our capacity to prevent conflicts, our capacity to solve conflicts, the capacity to deal with COVID or our capacity to fight climate change.