Franken wants Letterman to hear about a real solution to climate change. Behind... more »


Have you ever been involved in--
every year my son and I go out and
pick up trash on our road.
Have you ever done that?
Oh my god.
Is there a lot of trash?
The variety of trash is sickening.
What's the worst thing you've found?
Gatorade bottles full of urine.
Well, that's 'cause people don't wanna stop.
I understand that. I have to use the bathroom now.
You don't see me calling for an empty jug of Gatorade.
Did they have the lid on it?
It's all sealed up, yeah.
And and Harry invariably will say,
"Hey dad, look. Gatorade!"
I say, "yeah I wonder what flavor that is,"
and we both laugh real hard.
Ironically, in 2008, the best
candidate for president
on climate change was McCain
because he was talking about a price on carbon.
I've had people explain this to me.
I don't understand it.
And I think, OK, probably
I'm not the dumbest man in America.
You sell yourself short.
But, you know what I'm saying?
Is there something more obvious that people could grasp?
What I want to do is get a colleague of mine,
Sheldon Whitehouse,
to explain a price on carbon.
Oh God.
I mean, great - I just have no attention span.
Sheldon Whitehouse, meet
David Letterman.
Nice to see you.
Sheldon is the expert on climate change.
He is actually the greatest champion
on this issue.
So he is going to explain pricing to you.
Can you explain it to me
whereby all of us will understand it?
If you're gonna have a market with competition,
and you have one product that doesn't poison anybody,
and another project that poisons a lot of people,
you want to try to bake the cost of that poisoning
into the cost of this product.
That's what a carbon price does.
It takes the poisoning of oceans
and of people and of the atmosphere,
gives it a price,
and puts that cost into the price of the product.
So, for a person like me,
this is the equivalent of cigarettes.
Used to be 30 cents a pack,
they're now $12.00 a pack.
Because we understand that
the poisoning of people
associated with that product is something
that we all pay for the healthcare
for those poisoned people.
And it's the same with farmers
who get crushed by drought,
foresters whose fires burn, and
fishermen in Rhode Island who can't catch whiting
or winter flounder any longer because they've all moved
seeking cooler waters.
Rhode Island is the ocean state.
Thanks, Al. I've seen the license plates.
Excuse the expression, I'm beating a dead horse here
because I know
on the other side of the aisle,
the same wisdom does exist,
but is not manifested.
Every Republican
who has worked this through to a
solution out there,
essentially all of them come to the same solution
which is a price on carbon
that is revenue-neutral.
Where you give the money back,
so you're not creating more big government.
And we more or less have said, 'yes.'
Well, that's good. I feel better about it.
Oh, good.
It's also known as Little Rhodie.
So it is.
Rhode Island.
Ok, thank you Sheldon.
Thank you, Al.
Appreciate it.
Great pleasure meeting you.
Pleasure meeting you.
Good luck.
Yes sir.
I don't know why we didn't begin with him.
I don't know either...
'cause he knows what he's talking about.
He knows what he's talking about.
And he was talking about fishing off of Rhode Island.
You know,
Maimonides said
something to the effect of--
Give a man a fish, you'll feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, you'll feed him for a lifetime.
And then I've added, "unless there are no fish."
I saw that show that you did,
'Years of Living Dangerously.'
You know, what struck me in that show
is that you appeared to be so stupid
in it.