Franken tells Letterman about who is behind a lot of the inaction in Washington on... more »


I'll lead. I don't want to upstage you.
You're a gentleman.
So, yeah, I think people here are excited to see you.
No, they're probably not.
Okay, imagine you're a headline writer, right?
And Al Franken gets elected to the senate.
"No Joke," right?
And the headline writer
at all these papers
felt really good about that.
Well, Like when I die,
the lead will be,
"Letterman: Stupid Human Trick."
There you go.
Same kind of a thing, yeah.
That's better than no joke. But, you're right.
You don't get here much.
And they've got these cameras here,
so what do you want to ask?
Well, I'm very frustrated because at my age,
and I have a young son,
I would like to have something tangible
to at least think about
that offsets all of the pessimism that is built up in me
on the topic of climate change.
So I'm here to make you feel better.
That's a question.
Yes, Yes. It is a question.
It just seems to me that whoever is the leader
in fighting climate change
then becomes the leader of the world.
So why aren't the Republicans motivated by that?
It's really the Koch brothers.
The Koch brothers.
Tell us, describe for us
who they are and what they represent.
Okay, Siegfried and Roy Koch
are these two brothers
who have this huge fossil fuel empire.
And they spend an enormous amount of money in politics,
and my Republican colleagues are afraid of them.
They fund, you know, Heritage Foundation
and all these climate denying
fake science outlets.
The biggest thing was the combination of Citizens United,
which allows unlimited amounts
of dark money into the political system.
So, where in 2000,
John McCain was talking about this problem,
now they can't.
Now, no Republican dares to say
that climate change is real and that
we really have to do something about it.
I see. The Koch brothers,
what are they trying to achieve via this?
They just want to be able to be secure in their retirement.
They have, I don't know,
tens and tens of billions of dollars-
They have not been good with their money.
I think it's kind of power.
I have my Republican colleagues
on the energy committee,
and they know that if they say
climate change is real
and we got to do something about it very urgently,
the Koch brothers will spend
tens of millions of dollars
right away to get them a primary opponent.
And in those red states,
you're not going to be defeated by a democrat,
you're only going to be defeated by a Republican
who's further to the right than you are.
What I hear in your explanation
is the edges, the beginning,
of the encroachment on a democracy.
Is this something the Founding Fathers foresaw?
To scare somebody into a counter position?
No. It's pretty touch-and-go here.
That's why it's so important for the people
that are watching this,
that they get involved, because they have kids-
Let's talk about that. What can a person do?
I told you what I do.
I drive around in my electric car
and people look at me like I'm the Ice Cream Man.
Everyone loves the Ice Cream Man.
Does your electric car have a little thing that goes,
"do do da do do da do do?"
I did get that.
That's why calls are important.
We take them very seriously.
Every call gets recorded.
That's a great point. It was almost a cliché
at one point: "Call your congressman. Call your senator."
Does that still work?
We really take it seriously.
Where the calls are coming from and what they are.
% of climate scientists say this is real.
The other 3%,
a number of them work for fossil fuel companies.
And anyone who is saying this ain't real
is talking through his butt.
Wow, uh, I'd pay to see that.
That in itself does cause some-
Pollution, Yeah.
I've had people explain this to me.
I don't understand it.
And I think, okay,
probably I'm not the dumbest man in America.
But I'll bet a lot of people don't understand it.
You sell yourself short.