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CBS This Morning: Human Extinction Looms, Global Warming to Blame

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  It happened again on CBS This Morning.  They had a guest, Elizabeth Kolbert, and she's got a book out about The Sixth Extinction, meaning us, and she's interviewed by, well, the whole crew.  Our first bite is with Norah O'Donnell.

O'DONNELL:  When we hear extinction we think the dinosaurs, catastrophic.  Are you predicting something catastrophic?

KOLBERT:  The dinosaurs, there's a pretty firm scientific consensus that the dinosaurs were killed off by an asteroid impact.  And now you often hear scientists, and I have heard scientists say, we are the asteroid, humans are the asteroid. We're changing the planet so rapidly that we're having that sort of -- could have that sort of effect.

RUSH:  Charlie Rose next.  It just keeps getting better here, folks.

ROSE:  What are you really saying here?  That we are gonna become extinct, perhaps, because of what we're doing to the planet?  And what is it about the way the planet is going to extinct us?

KOLBERT:  Well, the lesson that we learned from the asteroid impact is that very rapid change in the planet, a lot of animals just can't keep up, a lot of organisms can't keep up with that.  And what we are doing right now, the reason it is comparable, or potentially comparable to an asteroid impact, is we're changing the planet very, very fast. 

RUSH: I don't believe this.

KOLBERT: We're putting a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  We're putting a lot of carbon dioxide --

RUSH:  To absolutely no effect!  To absolutely no effect whatsoever!  It's natural -- gotta rein myself in here.  So, in her brilliance, Norah O'Donnell asks if we can reverse the extinction.

O'DONNELL:  Elizabeth, this is reversible? 

KOLBERT:  Well, if you're already gone, if you're one of the unfortunate species that's already gone, clearly it's not reversible.  The question is what are we going to do now that we have, sort of have, this understanding of what we are doing.  Can we mitigate the effects of what we're doing?  And there the answer is clearly yes.  There are many things we could do.  For example, we could stop putting so much CO2 into the atmosphere --

RUSH:  Okay.  All right.  So why even go on living?  I mean, it's hopeless.  You don't need to work. You've been liberated from that, and, even at that we're destroying, we are the asteroid, we are extincting ourselves. You know, back in the 1980s they told us 20 years and we're finished, and those 20 years went by and they said another 20.  We're now in the third cycle of 20 years.  It's just so absurd.  You talk about subjecting yourself to idiocy each and every day.  That's why you have to be able to laugh at it. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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