CNN’s Camerota Laments Her PC Lifestyle Has Not Solved Climate Change

On Labor Day afternoon, CNN host Alisyn Camerota devoted a segment to allowing a CNN contributor and environmental alarmist, John Sutter, blame energy companies for an alleged “climate crisis,” and call for regulations forcing an almost immediate end to fossil fuel use.

Sutter said individuals aren’t to blame, which the CNN host expressed relief, that her politically correct personal behavior hasn’t stopped “climate catastrophes.” After recalling the latest on the wildfires in California, Camerota informed viewers of a push by some medical journals for more environmental regulations. She then hyped an article posted by her CNN colleague as she introduced him:

That call for government action is being echoed in a new CNN opinion piece written by CNN contributor and MIT science journalism fellow John Sutter. In his op-ed, he says, quote, “Stop blaming yourself for the climate crisis.” Sutter warns, quote, “The narrative must shift from one of individual responsibility — ‘if I turn off this lightbulb, I’m saving the planet’ — to one of the government and corporate accountability.”

She then lamented that her politically correct lifestyle has not influenced the climate:

I read your op-ed with such interest, and I found it strangely freeing, to be honest, because I’ve been recycling and composting my heart out. I have bought an electric car. My family and I have cut out virtually all red meat, and yet still these climate catastrophes keeping happening somehow. And so your point is that we can do as much as we can individually, but that’s not really the root of the problem. What is the root of the problem?

Sutter began by blaming the fossil fuel industry and governments that will not regulate them. He soon complained that the media does not cover the issue enough, and called for a fast reduction in the use of fossil fuels:

In polling, you know, Americans say they hear about climate change in the media like, you know, and it’s about a quarter of Americans say that they regularly hear about it in the media. And about the same — maybe a third say that they have a conversation about it even like somewhat frequently. But I do think that’s a problem, but I think the energy is better placed, pushing for local, state, national and international policy change, right? Like, we need regulations that are going to get us out of the fossil fuel era and do that really, really quickly — as quickly as possible. You know, the science tells us we need — the world needs to be carbon neutral by about the year 2050.

This episode of CNN Newsroom was sponsored in part by the UPS Store. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

CNN Newsroom

September 6, 2021

3:40 p.m. Eastern

ALISYN CAMEROTA: But from catastrophic fires to flooding, from Hurricane Ida, it’s all part of the climate crisis that’s prompting more than 230 leading medical journals to issue a statement to world leaders calling for urgent action. .The editors of the journals warn, quote, “Rises above 1.5 degrees Celsius increase the chance of reaching tipping points in natural systems which could lock the world into an acutely unstable state.”

They add: “We as editors of health journals warn, call for governments and other leaders to act, marking 2021 as the year that the world finally changes course.”

That call for government action is being echoed in a new CNN opinion piece written by CNN contributor and MIT science journalism fellow John Sutter. In his op-ed, he says, quote, “Stop blaming yourself for the climate crisis.” Sutter warns, quote, “The narrative must shift from one of individual responsibility — ‘if I turn off this lightbulb, I’m saving the planet’ — to one of the government and corporate accountability.” And John Sutter joins me now. John, thanks so much for being here. 

I read your op-ed with such interest, and I found it strangely freeing, to be honest, because I’ve been recycling and composting my heart out. I have bought an electric car. My family and I have cut out virtually all red meat, and yet still these climate catastrophes keeping happening somehow. And so your point is that we can do as much as we can individually, but that’s not really the root of the problem. What is the root of the problem?

JOHN SUTTER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, and first I’ll just say that I think that it’s good that you’re doing those things — I do a lot of those things, too — and I think it’s important because those small personal acts to connect us to this massive, uber-global crisis. But I also think that there’s been this false narrative that’s been pushed really by the fossil fuel industry to blame individual people — to make us feel guilty for our choices when the truth is that there are, like, big global systems — especially the energy system — that underlie and produce the climate crisis, right? It’s not — unless I have a lot of money to afford to buy a bunch of solar panels to put on my house — I may not have a lot of agency or choice in where my electricity comes from, right? I can’t — it’s not unless I have a lot of money to afford solar panels to put on my house — I may not have, depending on where I live, a lot of agency or choice in where my electricity comes from, right?

There are sort of national, international-scale policy decisions that need to be made to sort of shove the world out of the fossil fuel era as fast as possible and reach, you know, like, carbon neutrality to sort of make the world safer. And we aren’t going to get there with individual actions alone, and I think that there’s been a concerted effort by fossil fuel companies over the decades to try to make us feel bad for that and make it feel like this should be placed on your shoulders instead of on the shoulders of the big companies and the governments, frankly, of the world that have talked about this issue for decades now, but really haven’t, you know, taken the actions — massive actions that are necessary in order to make the planet safer.

CAMEROTA: I think that’s such an interesting perspective. And does the flip side of that perspective also hold true? Which is, it doesn’t really matter if my neighbor or the guy at the gym believes in climate change, because climate change doesn’t care if he believes in it. I don’t have to waste my breath convincing somebody. We should put our energy, instead, into what?

SUTTER: So, yeah, I think there is the — climate change has been described as this like sort of sinister math problem, right? It’s about the atmosphere and how much, you know, heat-trapping gas, how much carbon dioxide we put into it that creates this blanket that makes it warmer and warmer. I do think that efforts would be better placed, rather than trying to convince a neighbor — I do think those conversations are important — I’ll say that — and I do think that they’re not happening enough. 

In polling, you know, Americans say they hear about climate change in the media like, you know, and it’s about a quarter of Americans say that they regularly hear about it in the media. And about the same — maybe a third say that they have a conversation about it even like somewhat frequently. But I do think that’s a problem, but I think the energy is better placed, pushing for local, state, national and international policy change, right? Like, we need regulations that are going to get us out of the fossil fuel era and do that really, really quickly — as quickly as possible. You know, the science tells us we need — the world needs to be carbon neutral by about the year 2050.

So that date may sound like sci-fi and really far away, but it’s really rapidly approaching when you think about it like in an Earth time kind of way. So I say, like, have those conversations, but they are not — your neighbor isn’t to blame for the magnitude of this. Money interests that have profited from the pollution of the planet are to blame, and our governments for not acting faster.

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