Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

April 24, 2007


Host: Jose Cardenas

Arizona's Climate Change Part two


  • In the second part of our series on climate change, we focus on the scientific explanations for it.
Guests:
  • John Kavanagh - State Representative
  • Dr. Bruce Merrill - Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Tara Blanc - Associate Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
Category: Environment

View Transcript
Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on "Horizon," a bill dealing with day laborers is working its way through the legislature. Plus we'll examine voters' opinions on President Bush in our latest Cronkite Eight Poll. And we continue our series on the impact climate change in Arizona with a look at the science of global warming. Those stories next on "Horizon."

Jose Cardenas:
Hello and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Jose Cardenas. A bill that would make it a criminal trespass for day laborers to stand on public or private property. Joining us is its primary sponsor, Representative John Kavanagh. Thank you for joining us.

John Kavanagh:
Thank you for having me.

Jose Cardenas:
As I understand, it's more than being considered; it's being considered and now it's on the way to the government.

John Kavanagh:
It will go to the governor where I'm hopeful and confident that she will sign it.

Jose Cardenas:
We're going to want to talk about that. But before we do, what does the bill do?

John Kavanagh:
The bill has two major areas. The first deals with the disruption of traffic on public streets by people standing in or near the street soliciting day labor. When they do that and disrupt traffic it becomes a misdemeanor and the police can basically arrest them, chase them away, take care of the safety problem. The second part increases the penalty if they are on private property against the wishes of the owner. This is in response to some horrendous problems that occurred at Home Depots and Pruitt's Furniture Store. This recognizes that standing on somebody else's property and doing what they don't want -- is to create a job market is more serious than just crossing because it's a shortcut or you want to annoy them.

Jose Cardenas:
Critics have said existing laws are adequate.

John Kavanagh:
They are not. The existing laws concerning obstruction of traffic require an active obstruction. Go into the roadway and block traffic. Day laborers disrupt traffic by standing on the corner, by gesturing, waving, causing cars containing people who want to hire them to pull over; they are indirectly disrupting the traffic. So we need this new tool to take care of this more uh unique way of disrupting and causing safety problems.

Jose Cardenas:
One thing the bill does is increase the penalties. How so?

John Kavanagh:
That only involves private property. Right now if you're on somebody's unfenced private property without permission even because it's signed or they tell you to go it's a class 3 misdemeanor. This raises it to a class 1. Simply because, in the course of setting up a job market, a commercial enterprise and you cause their customers to be dissuaded from entering, you prevent them from parking, this is more serious than just walking across somebody's property in defiance and the law should basically have a penalty consistent with the harm of the act.

Jose Cardenas:
The other significant difference between what now exists and what this would provide is people who hire the day laborers may also be ticketed and fined.

John Kavanagh:
Absolutely. This is a very fair law. It doesn't just go after those who seek labor; it goes after those who seek labor and those who are seeking the laborers, the contractors who are hiring these people. Again, it must be on or near a public street, traffic must be disrupted before this law comes into play. This is a public safety law. It's a safety problem in jurisdictions. We want to get it resolved.

Jose Cardenas:
Opponents have said the law is unconstitutional and similar statutes have been struck down in other jurisdictions.

John Kavanagh:
Opponents are wrong. This law was crafted with the help of Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his staff. They did a lot of research. This law is very similar to a Phoenix statute which makes the same behaviors when it disrupts traffic illegal when people solicit charitable contributions. It's called the Acorn Case. Certainly soliciting labor for yourself or others is no more protected than soliciting charitable contributions. This law is perfectly constitutional and Impartial Legislative Council at the Legislature said this is a constitutional law.

Jose Cardenas:
As I understand the Phoenix law survived a 9th circuit challenge.

John Kavanagh:
That's correct. That's why we're sure this law will also.

Jose Cardenas:
We have just a few seconds left. Do you really think the governor will sign this?

John Kavanagh:
I think she will. She recently vetoed a bill that would stop Scottsdale from outlawing sign walkers. I think the governor will be consistent and vote on the side of public safety and support this bill.

Jose Cardenas:
Representative Kavanagh, thank you for joining us.

Jose Cardenas:
Arizona registered voters don't think history will judge President Bush kindly and Senator John McCain loses ground in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Those are some of the results from the Cronkite-Eight Poll. The poll was conducted April 19 through the 22nd. 827 registered voters were surveyed by Eight TV and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent. Let's get the results.

Mike Sauceda:
In the latest poll 36 percent approved of the job President Bush is doing. 60 percent do not. Those we surveyed were asked how President Bush might be remembered. 3 percent said as one of our best presidents. 14 percent said above average. 28 percent rated him average. 22 percent said he would go down as below average and 31 percent thought he would be remembered as one of our worst presidents. Turning to an issue near and dear to President Bush the Supreme Court upheld a ban on partial birth abortion. 44 percent of those we asked agree with that relief and 46 percent disagree. On another issue we asked what people thought of the firing of radio talk show host Don Imus for making a negative remark about Blacks and women. 39 percent said he should have been and fired and 32 percent said he should not have been fired. We asked whom our participants would vote for in the Republican nomination for president. 32 percent said Arizona Senator John McCain. 37 percent said former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and 11 percent said they would vote for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. 9 percent would choose former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and 6 percent would vote for former senator and actor Fred Thompson. Taking a look at the Democrats, 25 percent would vote for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. 20 percent support Senator Barrack Obama. Former Senator John Edwards received 18 percent of the support. Former Vice President Al Gore garnered 17 percent of the potential votes. Taking a look at the democrats, 25 percent would vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. We also asked about a couple of immigration issues. One question was what is the one thing you'd like to see done about illegal immigration? 29 percent said border enforcement, 17 percent want a guest worker program. 15 percent say stronger enforcement of current laws. 9 percent want to penalize employers who hire undocumented workers and various other solutions were offered. Finally, we asked those we surveyed about a measure that may appear on the ballot penalizing employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. 63 percent said they would support such a measure, 30 percent said they would not.

José Cardenas:
Here to discuss the Cronkite Eight Poll is its director Dr. Bruce Merrill and Associate Director of the poll Tara Blanc. Welcome to "Horizon."

Tara Blanc:
Thank you.

José Cardenas:
Bruce, the lowest rating President Bush has gotten in Arizona. What's behind this?

Bruce Merrill:
Every time we do a poll that parallels the national polls, it follows it closely. 36 percent of the people approve of the job he's doing. I don't think we should be shocked at that. I mean he's had a lot of bad publicity the last several months. You had the Scooter Libby situation, you've had Karl Rove. You now have the Gonzalez on television every night. You have a situation where the war is going badly, where we are losing -- lost nine more American soldiers yesterday. Even the Tillman situation, the cover-up of Pat Tillman cuts very close to home here in Arizona. So I just think things are not going well and that's what the people are reflecting.

José Cardenas:
That would explain why people think he's doing a poor job now but you also had very low numbers in terms of the question how people will judge him historically.

Bruce Merrill:
But again, remember that his ratings were the highest of any president in the polls in history right after 9/11. So to some degree, the question of how will he go down in history still reflects where people are now. For instance, if it looks like we're going to have a victory in the Middle East and the economy is smoking and things are really good you can expect those numbers to change by the time he leaves office.

José Cardenas:
Did you have more than 50 percent of the people thinking he's one of our worst presidents?

Bruce Merrill:
Well, yes, he's doing not very well right now.

José Cardenas:
Anything you can compare it with historically?

Bruce Merrill:
Not really. There was certainly the Nixon situation at the bottom of Watergate. He was down in the 28, 29 percent rating. The polls that have been done show him because of the scandals of not being a very successful president. And I think presidents begin to give a lot of consideration to how they are going to go down in history. But you can look at it two ways. Many people don't agree with his policies, but a lot of people are going to say, well, he hasn't caved in to the polls. He is doing what he thinks is the right thing regardless of whether the public likes it or not, maybe that's a commendable attribute.

José Cardenas:
Tara. We go to people who give the poll results to the people who want to be president. On the republican side, John McCain is slipping. Why is that?

Tara Blanc:
There are a couple reasons for it we think. First it has to do with the way we set the question up. We dropped one candidate and we added one candidate. We had not included it last time. We dropped one candidate and added one candidate, Fred Thompson-- the one we added. He picked up about 6 percent of the vote. The other part of that appeared to go to Mitt Romney, who has been highly visible in the last few months in terms of fund-raising and things in the media. He doubled, went from 6 percent to almost 12 percent in this poll. Some of that is attributable to other things with other candidates and adding Thompson to the mix. There have been things in the media about McCain that have caused people to look at his viability as a candidate.

José Cardenas:
Those would be things like the marketplace incident in Iraq that give a different picture.

Tara Blanc:
I understand that there were some comments that people felt were inappropriate about the bombing of Iran recently, the little music thing. I think that it's like the Howard Dean situation, a comment taken completely out of context, but if you start to hear it and play it those things can really damage a candidate early in the presidential race.

José Cardenas:
On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton still in the lead.

Tara Blanc:
She's still in the lead. She's just a few points ahead of Obama. If you were to look at the results from our poll in terms of the sampling errors, they are fairly close, still neck and neck in Arizona.

José Cardenas:
That hasn't changed.

Tara Blanc:
No. That's pretty much stayed the same.

José Cardenas:
Bruce, on the issue of Iraq and a timetable for withdrawal, it looks like most Arizonans favor the Democratic position.

Bruce Merrill:
Not a majority but more Arizonans do favor having withdrawal attached to funding by quite a bit over those opposed to that. Again, we have been monitoring the war since the war has been going on. A majority of Arizonans do not support the way the president has been conducting the war, so this question pretty much parallels the percentage of the people in Arizona that are unhappy with the way the war is being conducted.

José Cardenas:
You also polled reactions to the Supreme Court's decision on partial birth abortion.

Bruce Merrill:
We did. What we found is it divided the public almost right down the middle. We have had this division in Arizona politics for a long time between the social conservatives and the religious right on one hand who of course celebrated this decision, and on the other hand you have the progressive liberal democrats who did not like that decision at all.

José Cardenas:
It's regarded as a relatively red state. Is it surprising it was that close?

Bruce Merrill:
I think it's a complex issue. Partial birth abortion has a lot of negative connotations. I don't know that people really know what that means. Some of my medical friends tell me there is so such thing in medicine and in the old area. I just think it has a lot of negative connotations. When we ask people how they feel about abortion in general, more people are supportive in Arizona about abortions than are against it.

José Cardenas:
Tara, also the kind of same thing on the Don Imus firing, almost a 50/50 split.

Tara Blanc:
People were split pretty much 50/50 on whether he should have been fired or not from CBS radio. It goes back to the same thing Bruce said. What you're looking at is measuring the fact that we have some polarization in this state. We have pretty even division in terms of conservatives and liberals. They tend to take a stand you can very well predict. A lot of it is very partisan. The republicans and the conservatives tend to support the ban on partial birth abortions but were against the firing of Don Imus. The more moderate liberals, it was flipped the other way.

José Cardenas:
Tara. We have about three seconds left. Your comments about the immigration question.

Tara Blanc:
We asked people just top of mind what they thought should be done. The biggest answer, which came in a variety of ways, just close the borders, stop people from coming in. A third of the people said that. People also are very supportive of sanctions on employers. There's, I think, some frustration with the fact that that hasn't come to the forefront more quickly and there's a lot of support for trying to cut down the opportunities for people wanting to come into the country. They think that's one way to do it.

José Cardenas:
Thanks for joining us.

Bruce Merrill:
Good to be here.

Tara Blanc:
Thank you very much.

José Cardenas:
There have been many heated debates about the cause of global warming, there's no debate that the planet is getting hotter. In the second part of our series on climate change we look at the growing focus on the ways of sustaining life in the midst of change. Here's a recap of two events recently that affected the climate change debate including Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."

Larry Lemmons:
Al Gore will be known as the man who got the most votes for president in the 2000 election but still lost. He returned to congress in March, an Oscar winner, meeting some resistance.

Representative Joe Barton:
I have an article from the science magazine which I will put into the record at the appropriate time that explains historically a rise in co-2 concentrations did not precede a rise in temperatures but actually lagged temperature by 200 to 1,000 years. Yes, lagged. We know that co-2 levels have historically and repeatedly far exceeded the levels of concentrations that we now are experiencing.

Al Gore: The fact that more co-2 traps more heat in the lower part of the earth's atmosphere is really beyond dispute. That's not me saying that. That's what the scientists have known for 180 years. The ten hottest have been since 1990. The hottest was in 2005. The hottest in the United States of America was 2006. The hottest winter ever measured globally was December of last year and January and February of this year. Last month. This is going on right now. The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem. If the crib is on fire you don't speculate that baby is flame retardant. You take action. The planet has a fever.

Larry Lemmons:
Concurrently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been releasing its 2007 report, endorsed by scientists around the world and concludes among other things that human-made warming has likely had an influence on physical and biological systems, that effects are bringing about global climate change that will force to us change the way we live. Recently "Horizon" spoke with Sir Crispin Tickell, the director of the foresight program at Oxford State University.

Sir Crispin Tickell:
You have a whole set of issues. First of all, weather is changing all over the world. Instead of talking about climate change, I think it would be better although it's my phrase, not of that in the report, talk about climate destabilization. It's happened before in the history of the earth. It hasn't happened in quite a long time. That's the first point, really. So you get more rain, more droughts, more extreme events and usually in places where they haven't happened before or happened relatively rarely. The next big chapter of course is sea level rise. The moment you have the melting glaziers in Antarctica and Greenland and in the Arctic, and I have been down to see both.

Larry Lemmons:
You've been down there?

Sir Crispin Tickell: Yes, I went in 2003. I went in August last year. I saw for myself seeing all those glaciers melting and the effect it's having. As glaciers melt, so the underneath the glaziers the water causes them to slide. It means they begin sliding into the sea. Second major element in this report from the intergovernmental panel is sea level rise. The next is changes in water supplies. That follows logically. People who didn't have water may now have too much of it. Those who do have it don't find they have enough of it. You have recurrent droughts taking place as has happened before in the southwest of the United States. Then you've got the elements of changes in biodiversity, a code word for saying the behavior of other species, bacteria, viruses, all that greatly affects human health as well as other species. You've got the whole range of technological issues which means certain of the technologies we are pursuing going to be entirely benign or are they going to have unforeseen consequences? I'm sure you've heard about the law of unforeseen consequences. Any technology always has good effects but it often has bad ones too. You have to look into that. The current president of the Royal Society in London, that's the same as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, have said he rates the chances of our civilization surviving until the end of this century are about 50 percent. That is quite a judgment from quite a person.

José Cardenas:
Joining us to expound on those points, the director of the global institute of sustainability at Arizona State University, Charles Redman. Charles thanks for joining us. 50 percent chance of survival. Does it make sense to talk like that? Is it helpful?

Charles Redman:
I was in general agreement with the things Sir Crispin said, but 50 percent, I think that's something to worry about unless you say will we want to be here? Will it be half as nice to be here, then I'm in full agreement that society and civilization will change. I don't think it will disappear.

José Cardenas:
One of the points made in the video was the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. How significant is that?

Charles Redman:
I think it's been a panel from all over the world that's been studying for a long time. Every time they report they tell us in stronger and stronger words that we have to begin to take global climate change seriously. In this report in particular it was saying not just the climate is changing but the impact on people will be serious and the impact on some people will be much more serious. And has to be addressed.

José Cardenas:
You had Al Gore probably more animated than most people can ever remember seeing him saying the planet has a fever. Yet you have others who are saying there's no need to address this now. Let's wait until the technology develops until we address it in a more meaningful way. What do you say to that?

Charles Redman:
Certainty isn't something that scientists like speaking of, but I think the weight of evidence is strong in favor of rapid action. I think Gore's position is the longer we wait the greater the risk and the greater the difficulty in righting our trajectory. But I think we have to think about this as the likelihood. I think the prudent task is to take action, to try to do what's most efficient, what's most economically feasible and what will make the world a better place. I actually don't believe that solving a lot of these climatic threats involves a worse livelihood. I, in fact, believe that innovations in energy and transportation, innovations in housing and climate control, these things are going to lead to a better life if we do it right. I'm not around to say let's wait until we have it worked out in the laboratory because I don't think that will happen. I think we have to get it out on the street and try to take action today.

José Cardenas:
If we don't do it or do it wrong what can we expect to see in Arizona in the near future?

Charles Redman:
I think Arizona has its own signature of climate issues that everyone is aware of. It's generally hot; we don't get a lot of rainfall down here in the deserts. Those are the two issues we're most worried about. This international commission has made a variety of possible scenarios for the future. We have looked at: what does that mean to Arizona. We can't be sure, but by far the majority of scenarios suggested it will get somewhat hotter in Arizona, but more importantly, it may get substantially drier. So we have to start thinking about how do we manage the water we have most effectively? How do we address a world where stream flow and reservoir heights might be less than they are today. Accommodate growth in this Valley; accommodate a future life-style that we all want to live.

José Cardenas:
The problems are enormous. Or seem to be. Yet the solution is not necessarily at the national or even the state level. What do you think?

Charles Redman:
Actually, I agree very much with that. I think that we should be addressing climate change and its solutions at the city level or the metropolitan level because that's where we feel it. When we drive to work, when we see the brown cloud, when we experience the urban heat island, that's all at the city level. I think it's at the city level that leadership should emerge. All over the world cities are signing on to climate change agreements, but more importantly, and I'm not saying climate change is the whole issue, looking at ways to make the world more stable and better is what we need to do. It's at the city level that I think we can do the most good and I think there is some leadership in the Valley and in Arizona to take the initiative here.

José Cardenas:
Charles Redman, thanks for joining us on "Horizon." Appreciate you being here.

Charles Redman:
Thank you.

David Majure:
The student organized green summit recently took place on the campus of ASU. Companies were there to show off their environment friendly products and services and to explain why going green makes good economic sense. We'll talk about what you can do to fight global warming Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

José Cardenas:
Thanks for joining us on this Tuesday evening. I'm Jose Cárdenas. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

Cronkite-Eight Poll


  • What do Arizonans think about the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on partial birth abortion? Are President Bush's approval ratings as low in Arizona as they are in the rest of the nation? Those are a couple of questions we asked registered Arizona voters in the latest Cronkite-Eight Poll. Poll Director Bruce Merrill and his Associate Director Tara Blanc will discuss the results. Read the complete Poll results.
Guests:
  • John Kavanagh - State Representative
  • Dr. Bruce Merrill - Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Tara Blanc - Associate Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
Category: Cronkite-Eight Poll

View Transcript
Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on "Horizon," a bill dealing with day laborers is working its way through the legislature. Plus we'll examine voters' opinions on President Bush in our latest Cronkite Eight Poll. And we continue our series on the impact climate change in Arizona with a look at the science of global warming. Those stories next on "Horizon."

Jose Cardenas:
Hello and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Jose Cardenas. A bill that would make it a criminal trespass for day laborers to stand on public or private property. Joining us is its primary sponsor, Representative John Kavanagh. Thank you for joining us.

John Kavanagh:
Thank you for having me.

Jose Cardenas:
As I understand, it's more than being considered; it's being considered and now it's on the way to the government.

John Kavanagh:
It will go to the governor where I'm hopeful and confident that she will sign it.

Jose Cardenas:
We're going to want to talk about that. But before we do, what does the bill do?

John Kavanagh:
The bill has two major areas. The first deals with the disruption of traffic on public streets by people standing in or near the street soliciting day labor. When they do that and disrupt traffic it becomes a misdemeanor and the police can basically arrest them, chase them away, take care of the safety problem. The second part increases the penalty if they are on private property against the wishes of the owner. This is in response to some horrendous problems that occurred at Home Depots and Pruitt's Furniture Store. This recognizes that standing on somebody else's property and doing what they don't want -- is to create a job market is more serious than just crossing because it's a shortcut or you want to annoy them.

Jose Cardenas:
Critics have said existing laws are adequate.

John Kavanagh:
They are not. The existing laws concerning obstruction of traffic require an active obstruction. Go into the roadway and block traffic. Day laborers disrupt traffic by standing on the corner, by gesturing, waving, causing cars containing people who want to hire them to pull over; they are indirectly disrupting the traffic. So we need this new tool to take care of this more uh unique way of disrupting and causing safety problems.

Jose Cardenas:
One thing the bill does is increase the penalties. How so?

John Kavanagh:
That only involves private property. Right now if you're on somebody's unfenced private property without permission even because it's signed or they tell you to go it's a class 3 misdemeanor. This raises it to a class 1. Simply because, in the course of setting up a job market, a commercial enterprise and you cause their customers to be dissuaded from entering, you prevent them from parking, this is more serious than just walking across somebody's property in defiance and the law should basically have a penalty consistent with the harm of the act.

Jose Cardenas:
The other significant difference between what now exists and what this would provide is people who hire the day laborers may also be ticketed and fined.

John Kavanagh:
Absolutely. This is a very fair law. It doesn't just go after those who seek labor; it goes after those who seek labor and those who are seeking the laborers, the contractors who are hiring these people. Again, it must be on or near a public street, traffic must be disrupted before this law comes into play. This is a public safety law. It's a safety problem in jurisdictions. We want to get it resolved.

Jose Cardenas:
Opponents have said the law is unconstitutional and similar statutes have been struck down in other jurisdictions.

John Kavanagh:
Opponents are wrong. This law was crafted with the help of Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his staff. They did a lot of research. This law is very similar to a Phoenix statute which makes the same behaviors when it disrupts traffic illegal when people solicit charitable contributions. It's called the Acorn Case. Certainly soliciting labor for yourself or others is no more protected than soliciting charitable contributions. This law is perfectly constitutional and Impartial Legislative Council at the Legislature said this is a constitutional law.

Jose Cardenas:
As I understand the Phoenix law survived a 9th circuit challenge.

John Kavanagh:
That's correct. That's why we're sure this law will also.

Jose Cardenas:
We have just a few seconds left. Do you really think the governor will sign this?

John Kavanagh:
I think she will. She recently vetoed a bill that would stop Scottsdale from outlawing sign walkers. I think the governor will be consistent and vote on the side of public safety and support this bill.

Jose Cardenas:
Representative Kavanagh, thank you for joining us.

Jose Cardenas:
Arizona registered voters don't think history will judge President Bush kindly and Senator John McCain loses ground in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Those are some of the results from the Cronkite-Eight Poll. The poll was conducted April 19 through the 22nd. 827 registered voters were surveyed by Eight TV and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent. Let's get the results.

Mike Sauceda:
In the latest poll 36 percent approved of the job President Bush is doing. 60 percent do not. Those we surveyed were asked how President Bush might be remembered. 3 percent said as one of our best presidents. 14 percent said above average. 28 percent rated him average. 22 percent said he would go down as below average and 31 percent thought he would be remembered as one of our worst presidents. Turning to an issue near and dear to President Bush the Supreme Court upheld a ban on partial birth abortion. 44 percent of those we asked agree with that relief and 46 percent disagree. On another issue we asked what people thought of the firing of radio talk show host Don Imus for making a negative remark about Blacks and women. 39 percent said he should have been and fired and 32 percent said he should not have been fired. We asked whom our participants would vote for in the Republican nomination for president. 32 percent said Arizona Senator John McCain. 37 percent said former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and 11 percent said they would vote for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. 9 percent would choose former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and 6 percent would vote for former senator and actor Fred Thompson. Taking a look at the Democrats, 25 percent would vote for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. 20 percent support Senator Barrack Obama. Former Senator John Edwards received 18 percent of the support. Former Vice President Al Gore garnered 17 percent of the potential votes. Taking a look at the democrats, 25 percent would vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. We also asked about a couple of immigration issues. One question was what is the one thing you'd like to see done about illegal immigration? 29 percent said border enforcement, 17 percent want a guest worker program. 15 percent say stronger enforcement of current laws. 9 percent want to penalize employers who hire undocumented workers and various other solutions were offered. Finally, we asked those we surveyed about a measure that may appear on the ballot penalizing employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. 63 percent said they would support such a measure, 30 percent said they would not.

José Cardenas:
Here to discuss the Cronkite Eight Poll is its director Dr. Bruce Merrill and Associate Director of the poll Tara Blanc. Welcome to "Horizon."

Tara Blanc:
Thank you.

José Cardenas:
Bruce, the lowest rating President Bush has gotten in Arizona. What's behind this?

Bruce Merrill:
Every time we do a poll that parallels the national polls, it follows it closely. 36 percent of the people approve of the job he's doing. I don't think we should be shocked at that. I mean he's had a lot of bad publicity the last several months. You had the Scooter Libby situation, you've had Karl Rove. You now have the Gonzalez on television every night. You have a situation where the war is going badly, where we are losing -- lost nine more American soldiers yesterday. Even the Tillman situation, the cover-up of Pat Tillman cuts very close to home here in Arizona. So I just think things are not going well and that's what the people are reflecting.

José Cardenas:
That would explain why people think he's doing a poor job now but you also had very low numbers in terms of the question how people will judge him historically.

Bruce Merrill:
But again, remember that his ratings were the highest of any president in the polls in history right after 9/11. So to some degree, the question of how will he go down in history still reflects where people are now. For instance, if it looks like we're going to have a victory in the Middle East and the economy is smoking and things are really good you can expect those numbers to change by the time he leaves office.

José Cardenas:
Did you have more than 50 percent of the people thinking he's one of our worst presidents?

Bruce Merrill:
Well, yes, he's doing not very well right now.

José Cardenas:
Anything you can compare it with historically?

Bruce Merrill:
Not really. There was certainly the Nixon situation at the bottom of Watergate. He was down in the 28, 29 percent rating. The polls that have been done show him because of the scandals of not being a very successful president. And I think presidents begin to give a lot of consideration to how they are going to go down in history. But you can look at it two ways. Many people don't agree with his policies, but a lot of people are going to say, well, he hasn't caved in to the polls. He is doing what he thinks is the right thing regardless of whether the public likes it or not, maybe that's a commendable attribute.

José Cardenas:
Tara. We go to people who give the poll results to the people who want to be president. On the republican side, John McCain is slipping. Why is that?

Tara Blanc:
There are a couple reasons for it we think. First it has to do with the way we set the question up. We dropped one candidate and we added one candidate. We had not included it last time. We dropped one candidate and added one candidate, Fred Thompson-- the one we added. He picked up about 6 percent of the vote. The other part of that appeared to go to Mitt Romney, who has been highly visible in the last few months in terms of fund-raising and things in the media. He doubled, went from 6 percent to almost 12 percent in this poll. Some of that is attributable to other things with other candidates and adding Thompson to the mix. There have been things in the media about McCain that have caused people to look at his viability as a candidate.

José Cardenas:
Those would be things like the marketplace incident in Iraq that give a different picture.

Tara Blanc:
I understand that there were some comments that people felt were inappropriate about the bombing of Iran recently, the little music thing. I think that it's like the Howard Dean situation, a comment taken completely out of context, but if you start to hear it and play it those things can really damage a candidate early in the presidential race.

José Cardenas:
On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton still in the lead.

Tara Blanc:
She's still in the lead. She's just a few points ahead of Obama. If you were to look at the results from our poll in terms of the sampling errors, they are fairly close, still neck and neck in Arizona.

José Cardenas:
That hasn't changed.

Tara Blanc:
No. That's pretty much stayed the same.

José Cardenas:
Bruce, on the issue of Iraq and a timetable for withdrawal, it looks like most Arizonans favor the Democratic position.

Bruce Merrill:
Not a majority but more Arizonans do favor having withdrawal attached to funding by quite a bit over those opposed to that. Again, we have been monitoring the war since the war has been going on. A majority of Arizonans do not support the way the president has been conducting the war, so this question pretty much parallels the percentage of the people in Arizona that are unhappy with the way the war is being conducted.

José Cardenas:
You also polled reactions to the Supreme Court's decision on partial birth abortion.

Bruce Merrill:
We did. What we found is it divided the public almost right down the middle. We have had this division in Arizona politics for a long time between the social conservatives and the religious right on one hand who of course celebrated this decision, and on the other hand you have the progressive liberal democrats who did not like that decision at all.

José Cardenas:
It's regarded as a relatively red state. Is it surprising it was that close?

Bruce Merrill:
I think it's a complex issue. Partial birth abortion has a lot of negative connotations. I don't know that people really know what that means. Some of my medical friends tell me there is so such thing in medicine and in the old area. I just think it has a lot of negative connotations. When we ask people how they feel about abortion in general, more people are supportive in Arizona about abortions than are against it.

José Cardenas:
Tara, also the kind of same thing on the Don Imus firing, almost a 50/50 split.

Tara Blanc:
People were split pretty much 50/50 on whether he should have been fired or not from CBS radio. It goes back to the same thing Bruce said. What you're looking at is measuring the fact that we have some polarization in this state. We have pretty even division in terms of conservatives and liberals. They tend to take a stand you can very well predict. A lot of it is very partisan. The republicans and the conservatives tend to support the ban on partial birth abortions but were against the firing of Don Imus. The more moderate liberals, it was flipped the other way.

José Cardenas:
Tara. We have about three seconds left. Your comments about the immigration question.

Tara Blanc:
We asked people just top of mind what they thought should be done. The biggest answer, which came in a variety of ways, just close the borders, stop people from coming in. A third of the people said that. People also are very supportive of sanctions on employers. There's, I think, some frustration with the fact that that hasn't come to the forefront more quickly and there's a lot of support for trying to cut down the opportunities for people wanting to come into the country. They think that's one way to do it.

José Cardenas:
Thanks for joining us.

Bruce Merrill:
Good to be here.

Tara Blanc:
Thank you very much.

José Cardenas:
There have been many heated debates about the cause of global warming, there's no debate that the planet is getting hotter. In the second part of our series on climate change we look at the growing focus on the ways of sustaining life in the midst of change. Here's a recap of two events recently that affected the climate change debate including Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."

Larry Lemmons:
Al Gore will be known as the man who got the most votes for president in the 2000 election but still lost. He returned to congress in March, an Oscar winner, meeting some resistance.

Representative Joe Barton:
I have an article from the science magazine which I will put into the record at the appropriate time that explains historically a rise in co-2 concentrations did not precede a rise in temperatures but actually lagged temperature by 200 to 1,000 years. Yes, lagged. We know that co-2 levels have historically and repeatedly far exceeded the levels of concentrations that we now are experiencing.

Al Gore: The fact that more co-2 traps more heat in the lower part of the earth's atmosphere is really beyond dispute. That's not me saying that. That's what the scientists have known for 180 years. The ten hottest have been since 1990. The hottest was in 2005. The hottest in the United States of America was 2006. The hottest winter ever measured globally was December of last year and January and February of this year. Last month. This is going on right now. The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem. If the crib is on fire you don't speculate that baby is flame retardant. You take action. The planet has a fever.

Larry Lemmons:
Concurrently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been releasing its 2007 report, endorsed by scientists around the world and concludes among other things that human-made warming has likely had an influence on physical and biological systems, that effects are bringing about global climate change that will force to us change the way we live. Recently "Horizon" spoke with Sir Crispin Tickell, the director of the foresight program at Oxford State University.

Sir Crispin Tickell:
You have a whole set of issues. First of all, weather is changing all over the world. Instead of talking about climate change, I think it would be better although it's my phrase, not of that in the report, talk about climate destabilization. It's happened before in the history of the earth. It hasn't happened in quite a long time. That's the first point, really. So you get more rain, more droughts, more extreme events and usually in places where they haven't happened before or happened relatively rarely. The next big chapter of course is sea level rise. The moment you have the melting glaziers in Antarctica and Greenland and in the Arctic, and I have been down to see both.

Larry Lemmons:
You've been down there?

Sir Crispin Tickell: Yes, I went in 2003. I went in August last year. I saw for myself seeing all those glaciers melting and the effect it's having. As glaciers melt, so the underneath the glaziers the water causes them to slide. It means they begin sliding into the sea. Second major element in this report from the intergovernmental panel is sea level rise. The next is changes in water supplies. That follows logically. People who didn't have water may now have too much of it. Those who do have it don't find they have enough of it. You have recurrent droughts taking place as has happened before in the southwest of the United States. Then you've got the elements of changes in biodiversity, a code word for saying the behavior of other species, bacteria, viruses, all that greatly affects human health as well as other species. You've got the whole range of technological issues which means certain of the technologies we are pursuing going to be entirely benign or are they going to have unforeseen consequences? I'm sure you've heard about the law of unforeseen consequences. Any technology always has good effects but it often has bad ones too. You have to look into that. The current president of the Royal Society in London, that's the same as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, have said he rates the chances of our civilization surviving until the end of this century are about 50 percent. That is quite a judgment from quite a person.

José Cardenas:
Joining us to expound on those points, the director of the global institute of sustainability at Arizona State University, Charles Redman. Charles thanks for joining us. 50 percent chance of survival. Does it make sense to talk like that? Is it helpful?

Charles Redman:
I was in general agreement with the things Sir Crispin said, but 50 percent, I think that's something to worry about unless you say will we want to be here? Will it be half as nice to be here, then I'm in full agreement that society and civilization will change. I don't think it will disappear.

José Cardenas:
One of the points made in the video was the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. How significant is that?

Charles Redman:
I think it's been a panel from all over the world that's been studying for a long time. Every time they report they tell us in stronger and stronger words that we have to begin to take global climate change seriously. In this report in particular it was saying not just the climate is changing but the impact on people will be serious and the impact on some people will be much more serious. And has to be addressed.

José Cardenas:
You had Al Gore probably more animated than most people can ever remember seeing him saying the planet has a fever. Yet you have others who are saying there's no need to address this now. Let's wait until the technology develops until we address it in a more meaningful way. What do you say to that?

Charles Redman:
Certainty isn't something that scientists like speaking of, but I think the weight of evidence is strong in favor of rapid action. I think Gore's position is the longer we wait the greater the risk and the greater the difficulty in righting our trajectory. But I think we have to think about this as the likelihood. I think the prudent task is to take action, to try to do what's most efficient, what's most economically feasible and what will make the world a better place. I actually don't believe that solving a lot of these climatic threats involves a worse livelihood. I, in fact, believe that innovations in energy and transportation, innovations in housing and climate control, these things are going to lead to a better life if we do it right. I'm not around to say let's wait until we have it worked out in the laboratory because I don't think that will happen. I think we have to get it out on the street and try to take action today.

José Cardenas:
If we don't do it or do it wrong what can we expect to see in Arizona in the near future?

Charles Redman:
I think Arizona has its own signature of climate issues that everyone is aware of. It's generally hot; we don't get a lot of rainfall down here in the deserts. Those are the two issues we're most worried about. This international commission has made a variety of possible scenarios for the future. We have looked at: what does that mean to Arizona. We can't be sure, but by far the majority of scenarios suggested it will get somewhat hotter in Arizona, but more importantly, it may get substantially drier. So we have to start thinking about how do we manage the water we have most effectively? How do we address a world where stream flow and reservoir heights might be less than they are today. Accommodate growth in this Valley; accommodate a future life-style that we all want to live.

José Cardenas:
The problems are enormous. Or seem to be. Yet the solution is not necessarily at the national or even the state level. What do you think?

Charles Redman:
Actually, I agree very much with that. I think that we should be addressing climate change and its solutions at the city level or the metropolitan level because that's where we feel it. When we drive to work, when we see the brown cloud, when we experience the urban heat island, that's all at the city level. I think it's at the city level that leadership should emerge. All over the world cities are signing on to climate change agreements, but more importantly, and I'm not saying climate change is the whole issue, looking at ways to make the world more stable and better is what we need to do. It's at the city level that I think we can do the most good and I think there is some leadership in the Valley and in Arizona to take the initiative here.

José Cardenas:
Charles Redman, thanks for joining us on "Horizon." Appreciate you being here.

Charles Redman:
Thank you.

David Majure:
The student organized green summit recently took place on the campus of ASU. Companies were there to show off their environment friendly products and services and to explain why going green makes good economic sense. We'll talk about what you can do to fight global warming Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

José Cardenas:
Thanks for joining us on this Tuesday evening. I'm Jose Cárdenas. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

Day Laborers


  • We discuss a bill dealing with day laborers which is working its way through the legislature.
Guests:
  • John Kavanagh - State Representative
  • Dr. Bruce Merrill - Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Tara Blanc - Associate Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
Category: Immigration

View Transcript
Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on "Horizon," a bill dealing with day laborers is working its way through the legislature. Plus we'll examine voters' opinions on President Bush in our latest Cronkite Eight Poll. And we continue our series on the impact climate change in Arizona with a look at the science of global warming. Those stories next on "Horizon."

Jose Cardenas:
Hello and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Jose Cardenas. A bill that would make it a criminal trespass for day laborers to stand on public or private property. Joining us is its primary sponsor, Representative John Kavanagh. Thank you for joining us.

John Kavanagh:
Thank you for having me.

Jose Cardenas:
As I understand, it's more than being considered; it's being considered and now it's on the way to the government.

John Kavanagh:
It will go to the governor where I'm hopeful and confident that she will sign it.

Jose Cardenas:
We're going to want to talk about that. But before we do, what does the bill do?

John Kavanagh:
The bill has two major areas. The first deals with the disruption of traffic on public streets by people standing in or near the street soliciting day labor. When they do that and disrupt traffic it becomes a misdemeanor and the police can basically arrest them, chase them away, take care of the safety problem. The second part increases the penalty if they are on private property against the wishes of the owner. This is in response to some horrendous problems that occurred at Home Depots and Pruitt's Furniture Store. This recognizes that standing on somebody else's property and doing what they don't want -- is to create a job market is more serious than just crossing because it's a shortcut or you want to annoy them.

Jose Cardenas:
Critics have said existing laws are adequate.

John Kavanagh:
They are not. The existing laws concerning obstruction of traffic require an active obstruction. Go into the roadway and block traffic. Day laborers disrupt traffic by standing on the corner, by gesturing, waving, causing cars containing people who want to hire them to pull over; they are indirectly disrupting the traffic. So we need this new tool to take care of this more uh unique way of disrupting and causing safety problems.

Jose Cardenas:
One thing the bill does is increase the penalties. How so?

John Kavanagh:
That only involves private property. Right now if you're on somebody's unfenced private property without permission even because it's signed or they tell you to go it's a class 3 misdemeanor. This raises it to a class 1. Simply because, in the course of setting up a job market, a commercial enterprise and you cause their customers to be dissuaded from entering, you prevent them from parking, this is more serious than just walking across somebody's property in defiance and the law should basically have a penalty consistent with the harm of the act.

Jose Cardenas:
The other significant difference between what now exists and what this would provide is people who hire the day laborers may also be ticketed and fined.

John Kavanagh:
Absolutely. This is a very fair law. It doesn't just go after those who seek labor; it goes after those who seek labor and those who are seeking the laborers, the contractors who are hiring these people. Again, it must be on or near a public street, traffic must be disrupted before this law comes into play. This is a public safety law. It's a safety problem in jurisdictions. We want to get it resolved.

Jose Cardenas:
Opponents have said the law is unconstitutional and similar statutes have been struck down in other jurisdictions.

John Kavanagh:
Opponents are wrong. This law was crafted with the help of Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his staff. They did a lot of research. This law is very similar to a Phoenix statute which makes the same behaviors when it disrupts traffic illegal when people solicit charitable contributions. It's called the Acorn Case. Certainly soliciting labor for yourself or others is no more protected than soliciting charitable contributions. This law is perfectly constitutional and Impartial Legislative Council at the Legislature said this is a constitutional law.

Jose Cardenas:
As I understand the Phoenix law survived a 9th circuit challenge.

John Kavanagh:
That's correct. That's why we're sure this law will also.

Jose Cardenas:
We have just a few seconds left. Do you really think the governor will sign this?

John Kavanagh:
I think she will. She recently vetoed a bill that would stop Scottsdale from outlawing sign walkers. I think the governor will be consistent and vote on the side of public safety and support this bill.

Jose Cardenas:
Representative Kavanagh, thank you for joining us.

Jose Cardenas:
Arizona registered voters don't think history will judge President Bush kindly and Senator John McCain loses ground in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Those are some of the results from the Cronkite-Eight Poll. The poll was conducted April 19 through the 22nd. 827 registered voters were surveyed by Eight TV and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent. Let's get the results.

Mike Sauceda:
In the latest poll 36 percent approved of the job President Bush is doing. 60 percent do not. Those we surveyed were asked how President Bush might be remembered. 3 percent said as one of our best presidents. 14 percent said above average. 28 percent rated him average. 22 percent said he would go down as below average and 31 percent thought he would be remembered as one of our worst presidents. Turning to an issue near and dear to President Bush the Supreme Court upheld a ban on partial birth abortion. 44 percent of those we asked agree with that relief and 46 percent disagree. On another issue we asked what people thought of the firing of radio talk show host Don Imus for making a negative remark about Blacks and women. 39 percent said he should have been and fired and 32 percent said he should not have been fired. We asked whom our participants would vote for in the Republican nomination for president. 32 percent said Arizona Senator John McCain. 37 percent said former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and 11 percent said they would vote for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. 9 percent would choose former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and 6 percent would vote for former senator and actor Fred Thompson. Taking a look at the Democrats, 25 percent would vote for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. 20 percent support Senator Barrack Obama. Former Senator John Edwards received 18 percent of the support. Former Vice President Al Gore garnered 17 percent of the potential votes. Taking a look at the democrats, 25 percent would vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. We also asked about a couple of immigration issues. One question was what is the one thing you'd like to see done about illegal immigration? 29 percent said border enforcement, 17 percent want a guest worker program. 15 percent say stronger enforcement of current laws. 9 percent want to penalize employers who hire undocumented workers and various other solutions were offered. Finally, we asked those we surveyed about a measure that may appear on the ballot penalizing employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. 63 percent said they would support such a measure, 30 percent said they would not.

José Cardenas:
Here to discuss the Cronkite Eight Poll is its director Dr. Bruce Merrill and Associate Director of the poll Tara Blanc. Welcome to "Horizon."

Tara Blanc:
Thank you.

José Cardenas:
Bruce, the lowest rating President Bush has gotten in Arizona. What's behind this?

Bruce Merrill:
Every time we do a poll that parallels the national polls, it follows it closely. 36 percent of the people approve of the job he's doing. I don't think we should be shocked at that. I mean he's had a lot of bad publicity the last several months. You had the Scooter Libby situation, you've had Karl Rove. You now have the Gonzalez on television every night. You have a situation where the war is going badly, where we are losing -- lost nine more American soldiers yesterday. Even the Tillman situation, the cover-up of Pat Tillman cuts very close to home here in Arizona. So I just think things are not going well and that's what the people are reflecting.

José Cardenas:
That would explain why people think he's doing a poor job now but you also had very low numbers in terms of the question how people will judge him historically.

Bruce Merrill:
But again, remember that his ratings were the highest of any president in the polls in history right after 9/11. So to some degree, the question of how will he go down in history still reflects where people are now. For instance, if it looks like we're going to have a victory in the Middle East and the economy is smoking and things are really good you can expect those numbers to change by the time he leaves office.

José Cardenas:
Did you have more than 50 percent of the people thinking he's one of our worst presidents?

Bruce Merrill:
Well, yes, he's doing not very well right now.

José Cardenas:
Anything you can compare it with historically?

Bruce Merrill:
Not really. There was certainly the Nixon situation at the bottom of Watergate. He was down in the 28, 29 percent rating. The polls that have been done show him because of the scandals of not being a very successful president. And I think presidents begin to give a lot of consideration to how they are going to go down in history. But you can look at it two ways. Many people don't agree with his policies, but a lot of people are going to say, well, he hasn't caved in to the polls. He is doing what he thinks is the right thing regardless of whether the public likes it or not, maybe that's a commendable attribute.

José Cardenas:
Tara. We go to people who give the poll results to the people who want to be president. On the republican side, John McCain is slipping. Why is that?

Tara Blanc:
There are a couple reasons for it we think. First it has to do with the way we set the question up. We dropped one candidate and we added one candidate. We had not included it last time. We dropped one candidate and added one candidate, Fred Thompson-- the one we added. He picked up about 6 percent of the vote. The other part of that appeared to go to Mitt Romney, who has been highly visible in the last few months in terms of fund-raising and things in the media. He doubled, went from 6 percent to almost 12 percent in this poll. Some of that is attributable to other things with other candidates and adding Thompson to the mix. There have been things in the media about McCain that have caused people to look at his viability as a candidate.

José Cardenas:
Those would be things like the marketplace incident in Iraq that give a different picture.

Tara Blanc:
I understand that there were some comments that people felt were inappropriate about the bombing of Iran recently, the little music thing. I think that it's like the Howard Dean situation, a comment taken completely out of context, but if you start to hear it and play it those things can really damage a candidate early in the presidential race.

José Cardenas:
On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton still in the lead.

Tara Blanc:
She's still in the lead. She's just a few points ahead of Obama. If you were to look at the results from our poll in terms of the sampling errors, they are fairly close, still neck and neck in Arizona.

José Cardenas:
That hasn't changed.

Tara Blanc:
No. That's pretty much stayed the same.

José Cardenas:
Bruce, on the issue of Iraq and a timetable for withdrawal, it looks like most Arizonans favor the Democratic position.

Bruce Merrill:
Not a majority but more Arizonans do favor having withdrawal attached to funding by quite a bit over those opposed to that. Again, we have been monitoring the war since the war has been going on. A majority of Arizonans do not support the way the president has been conducting the war, so this question pretty much parallels the percentage of the people in Arizona that are unhappy with the way the war is being conducted.

José Cardenas:
You also polled reactions to the Supreme Court's decision on partial birth abortion.

Bruce Merrill:
We did. What we found is it divided the public almost right down the middle. We have had this division in Arizona politics for a long time between the social conservatives and the religious right on one hand who of course celebrated this decision, and on the other hand you have the progressive liberal democrats who did not like that decision at all.

José Cardenas:
It's regarded as a relatively red state. Is it surprising it was that close?

Bruce Merrill:
I think it's a complex issue. Partial birth abortion has a lot of negative connotations. I don't know that people really know what that means. Some of my medical friends tell me there is so such thing in medicine and in the old area. I just think it has a lot of negative connotations. When we ask people how they feel about abortion in general, more people are supportive in Arizona about abortions than are against it.

José Cardenas:
Tara, also the kind of same thing on the Don Imus firing, almost a 50/50 split.

Tara Blanc:
People were split pretty much 50/50 on whether he should have been fired or not from CBS radio. It goes back to the same thing Bruce said. What you're looking at is measuring the fact that we have some polarization in this state. We have pretty even division in terms of conservatives and liberals. They tend to take a stand you can very well predict. A lot of it is very partisan. The republicans and the conservatives tend to support the ban on partial birth abortions but were against the firing of Don Imus. The more moderate liberals, it was flipped the other way.

José Cardenas:
Tara. We have about three seconds left. Your comments about the immigration question.

Tara Blanc:
We asked people just top of mind what they thought should be done. The biggest answer, which came in a variety of ways, just close the borders, stop people from coming in. A third of the people said that. People also are very supportive of sanctions on employers. There's, I think, some frustration with the fact that that hasn't come to the forefront more quickly and there's a lot of support for trying to cut down the opportunities for people wanting to come into the country. They think that's one way to do it.

José Cardenas:
Thanks for joining us.

Bruce Merrill:
Good to be here.

Tara Blanc:
Thank you very much.

José Cardenas:
There have been many heated debates about the cause of global warming, there's no debate that the planet is getting hotter. In the second part of our series on climate change we look at the growing focus on the ways of sustaining life in the midst of change. Here's a recap of two events recently that affected the climate change debate including Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."

Larry Lemmons:
Al Gore will be known as the man who got the most votes for president in the 2000 election but still lost. He returned to congress in March, an Oscar winner, meeting some resistance.

Representative Joe Barton:
I have an article from the science magazine which I will put into the record at the appropriate time that explains historically a rise in co-2 concentrations did not precede a rise in temperatures but actually lagged temperature by 200 to 1,000 years. Yes, lagged. We know that co-2 levels have historically and repeatedly far exceeded the levels of concentrations that we now are experiencing.

Al Gore: The fact that more co-2 traps more heat in the lower part of the earth's atmosphere is really beyond dispute. That's not me saying that. That's what the scientists have known for 180 years. The ten hottest have been since 1990. The hottest was in 2005. The hottest in the United States of America was 2006. The hottest winter ever measured globally was December of last year and January and February of this year. Last month. This is going on right now. The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem. If the crib is on fire you don't speculate that baby is flame retardant. You take action. The planet has a fever.

Larry Lemmons:
Concurrently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been releasing its 2007 report, endorsed by scientists around the world and concludes among other things that human-made warming has likely had an influence on physical and biological systems, that effects are bringing about global climate change that will force to us change the way we live. Recently "Horizon" spoke with Sir Crispin Tickell, the director of the foresight program at Oxford State University.

Sir Crispin Tickell:
You have a whole set of issues. First of all, weather is changing all over the world. Instead of talking about climate change, I think it would be better although it's my phrase, not of that in the report, talk about climate destabilization. It's happened before in the history of the earth. It hasn't happened in quite a long time. That's the first point, really. So you get more rain, more droughts, more extreme events and usually in places where they haven't happened before or happened relatively rarely. The next big chapter of course is sea level rise. The moment you have the melting glaziers in Antarctica and Greenland and in the Arctic, and I have been down to see both.

Larry Lemmons:
You've been down there?

Sir Crispin Tickell: Yes, I went in 2003. I went in August last year. I saw for myself seeing all those glaciers melting and the effect it's having. As glaciers melt, so the underneath the glaziers the water causes them to slide. It means they begin sliding into the sea. Second major element in this report from the intergovernmental panel is sea level rise. The next is changes in water supplies. That follows logically. People who didn't have water may now have too much of it. Those who do have it don't find they have enough of it. You have recurrent droughts taking place as has happened before in the southwest of the United States. Then you've got the elements of changes in biodiversity, a code word for saying the behavior of other species, bacteria, viruses, all that greatly affects human health as well as other species. You've got the whole range of technological issues which means certain of the technologies we are pursuing going to be entirely benign or are they going to have unforeseen consequences? I'm sure you've heard about the law of unforeseen consequences. Any technology always has good effects but it often has bad ones too. You have to look into that. The current president of the Royal Society in London, that's the same as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, have said he rates the chances of our civilization surviving until the end of this century are about 50 percent. That is quite a judgment from quite a person.

José Cardenas:
Joining us to expound on those points, the director of the global institute of sustainability at Arizona State University, Charles Redman. Charles thanks for joining us. 50 percent chance of survival. Does it make sense to talk like that? Is it helpful?

Charles Redman:
I was in general agreement with the things Sir Crispin said, but 50 percent, I think that's something to worry about unless you say will we want to be here? Will it be half as nice to be here, then I'm in full agreement that society and civilization will change. I don't think it will disappear.

José Cardenas:
One of the points made in the video was the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. How significant is that?

Charles Redman:
I think it's been a panel from all over the world that's been studying for a long time. Every time they report they tell us in stronger and stronger words that we have to begin to take global climate change seriously. In this report in particular it was saying not just the climate is changing but the impact on people will be serious and the impact on some people will be much more serious. And has to be addressed.

José Cardenas:
You had Al Gore probably more animated than most people can ever remember seeing him saying the planet has a fever. Yet you have others who are saying there's no need to address this now. Let's wait until the technology develops until we address it in a more meaningful way. What do you say to that?

Charles Redman:
Certainty isn't something that scientists like speaking of, but I think the weight of evidence is strong in favor of rapid action. I think Gore's position is the longer we wait the greater the risk and the greater the difficulty in righting our trajectory. But I think we have to think about this as the likelihood. I think the prudent task is to take action, to try to do what's most efficient, what's most economically feasible and what will make the world a better place. I actually don't believe that solving a lot of these climatic threats involves a worse livelihood. I, in fact, believe that innovations in energy and transportation, innovations in housing and climate control, these things are going to lead to a better life if we do it right. I'm not around to say let's wait until we have it worked out in the laboratory because I don't think that will happen. I think we have to get it out on the street and try to take action today.

José Cardenas:
If we don't do it or do it wrong what can we expect to see in Arizona in the near future?

Charles Redman:
I think Arizona has its own signature of climate issues that everyone is aware of. It's generally hot; we don't get a lot of rainfall down here in the deserts. Those are the two issues we're most worried about. This international commission has made a variety of possible scenarios for the future. We have looked at: what does that mean to Arizona. We can't be sure, but by far the majority of scenarios suggested it will get somewhat hotter in Arizona, but more importantly, it may get substantially drier. So we have to start thinking about how do we manage the water we have most effectively? How do we address a world where stream flow and reservoir heights might be less than they are today. Accommodate growth in this Valley; accommodate a future life-style that we all want to live.

José Cardenas:
The problems are enormous. Or seem to be. Yet the solution is not necessarily at the national or even the state level. What do you think?

Charles Redman:
Actually, I agree very much with that. I think that we should be addressing climate change and its solutions at the city level or the metropolitan level because that's where we feel it. When we drive to work, when we see the brown cloud, when we experience the urban heat island, that's all at the city level. I think it's at the city level that leadership should emerge. All over the world cities are signing on to climate change agreements, but more importantly, and I'm not saying climate change is the whole issue, looking at ways to make the world more stable and better is what we need to do. It's at the city level that I think we can do the most good and I think there is some leadership in the Valley and in Arizona to take the initiative here.

José Cardenas:
Charles Redman, thanks for joining us on "Horizon." Appreciate you being here.

Charles Redman:
Thank you.

David Majure:
The student organized green summit recently took place on the campus of ASU. Companies were there to show off their environment friendly products and services and to explain why going green makes good economic sense. We'll talk about what you can do to fight global warming Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

José Cardenas:
Thanks for joining us on this Tuesday evening. I'm Jose Cárdenas. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

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