MNN interviews TV personality Jerry Springer about global warming and how we can make a difference. (Video by Nick Scott/MNN, Mike Lindsay/MNN and Ashley Chase/MNN).

Stay tuned for the second half of our Jerry Springer interview, coming soon...


Ashley: What do you think about global warming and what’s going on with climate change?
Jerry Springer: Well, global warming is real. There are just too many scientists that made the point and so we shouldn’t even be arguing that. The question is what can we do as a society? And there are things we can do and we can require, you know, we can start, other than what we individually do, but also there’s no reason that we can’t have cars, you know, the technology is there, that we can’t have cars that pollute less.
Ashley: Right.
Jerry Springer: And those, you know, and we can do that ultimately by legislation. Maybe you want to phase it in so you don’t, so you give companies a chance to retrofit and put the vehicles together, but we can do that and it’s not beyond scientific understanding for how to make a cleaner environment. So, I’m, frankly, fairly optimistic. I think the greater problem is gonna be to get the whole world to agree because you have some countries that are pretty industrialized and some that are just now coming into wanting to develop. And they’re gonna want less restraints than maybe more sophisticated societies can live with. And that’s gonna be the problem. But I don’t think this is beyond science. We know how to clean up the environment and we need to do it, you know. The earth will be here for me.
Ashley: Right.
Jerry Springer: I don’t have that many years left. But, and probably even for my child, but grandchildren? You know, we ought to start thinking about that.
Ashley: Everything that we’re doing as humans and especially as Americans with excess and everything that we do, are we ruining the planet for future generations? And do you think it’s reversible?
Jerry Springer: Well, it is, some parts of it are reversible. Some, the damage is already done. You know, if you’ve damaged the environment, a certain species are gone or whatever, that’s not gonna be repaired. But I think a lot of the pollution stuff, we can reverse. Not all of it, but some of it. We certainly can slow down the pace of the destruction of the environment.
Ashley: Right.
Jerry Springer: And maybe if we slow it down enough and change our habits, maybe during that interim more science will be developed to find even better ways of doing it. But there’s no question. Our society is built on making more, getting more. It’s a free enterprise system. And you need money to live on to buy things, to buy food, to whatever you want to buy for your family. Shelter. And the way you get money is by producing something. So, therefore people try to produce more, make more, do more, in order to have a good life for their family. But by doing that, you wind up ruining the environment. So, it’s almost like our system is built to conflict with a good environment, you know. We’re not a society that says, you know, walk to work everyday.
Ashley: Right.
Jerry Springer: You know, this society isn’t, we’re not gonna do that. Or at least it’s not the will to do that now.
Ashley: We’ve come to the point of convenience.
Jerry Springer: Yeah. And I think so we have to, so we’re fighting that. It’s not just how do you clean up the environment. How do you change our view of life and how we want to live? And how many people really are willing to say, “You know what? I don’t need that. I can afford it. But I don’t need it.” And then all of a sudden, there’s an occasion, say, well, okay, for this.
Ashley: Right.
Jerry Springer: Or it’s my kid. How can you not? You know, we all, and I’m as guilty as anyone on that.
Ashley: Right.
Jerry Springer: That’s the burden. It is folly to believe there isn’t such a thing as global warming.
Ashley: Right.
Jerry Springer: And there’s a folly to think that we don’t have an effect on the pace of what’s happening to the environment. I know some things are cyclical over tens of thousands of years, but we’re increasing the pace.
Ashley: Right.
Jerry Springer: And I don’t think the weather we’re getting now is accidental. Clearly there’s been more outrageous weather, you know, in the last 10, 15 years than there was when I was a kid.

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Jerry Springer: 4 minutes for the planet
Video: MNN sits down with TV host and former politician Jerry Springer to talk about the environment and what problems we're leaving for future generations. 'I