All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday November 12th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
November 12, 2014
Guest: Frank Ancona, Lizz Brown, Sam Dotson, Bill de Blasio, Goeff
Brumfiel, John Holdren, Josh Fox
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
MAYOR FRANCIS SLAY (D), ST. LOUIS: We`re going to do everything we
can to keep them safe during these demonstrations.
HAYES: St. Louis readies for protest in the wake of the expected
grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case. As the Missouri KKK
circulates this flyer, threatening violence against terrorists masquerading
as peaceful protesters. The author of that document joins me tonight. As
does the St. Louis police chief.
Then, after an electoral drubbing, Democrats need to stiffen their
back bones, so says New York`s Mayor Bill de Blasio. And he joins me
Plus, human beings have landed a spaceship on a comet.
HAYES: We`ll tell you how they did it.
And back here on planet Earth --
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a special
responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change.
HAYES: The U.S. and China reach a historic agreement on reducing
carbon emissions, and they said it couldn`t be done.
DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: A lot of entrepreneurs and businesspeople
from China, they laugh at our stupidity as a country.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And for the second day in a row, Missouri state and local officials
have taken to the microphones to talk about their preparations from the
moment that everyone in metro St. Louis is waiting for -- the grand jury`s
decision whether or not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the
shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Earlier today, just hours before a call with Attorney General Eric
Holder, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and County Executive Charlie Dooley
spoke to the public, echoing much of what Governor Nixon said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SLAY: Violence is not the constitutionally protected right. Damaging
property is not constitutionally protected. Inciting violence that is an
immediate threat is not protected by the Constitution. We will not
tolerate any of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Even as Mayor Slay warned against violence, County Executive
Dooley said it was not a foregone conclusion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COUNTY EXEC. CHARLIE DOOLEY (D), ST. LOUIS COUNTY: You`re assuming
that things will go wrong. I`m assuming things will go right. This is a
great place to live. People are very civilized. They`re going to do the
right thing for the right reason.
The majority of our constituency are good people. They want law and
order. Why would I think anything different?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Almost all the coverage has the question of the protesters,
largely African-Americans from the St. Louis metro area and other places
who are angry about what they view as police misconduct and the shooting
death of an 18-year-old boy.
Far less attention has been paid to the ripples of discontent and,
frankly, racist backlash that you can find on social media pretty easily.
Many gun shops in the area are reporting a spike in sales.
And now, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are
sensing an opportunity, distributing flyers around the St. Louis area that
read, quote, "Attention to the terrorists masquerading as peaceful
protesters, you have awakened a sleeping giant. The good people of St.
Louis County of all races, colors and creeds will not tolerate your threats
of violence against our police officers, their family and our communities.
We will use lethal force as provided under Missouri law to defend
Joining me now is Frank Ancona, imperial wizard and president of the
Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Frank, where are you distributing these flyers? And what are people`s
reception to them?
FRANK ANCONA, TRADITIONALIST AMERICAN KNIGHTS OF THE KKK: Well, these
flyers are being distributed across St. Louis County and other areas in
Missouri. And the reception for the most part has been very good to these
You know, a lot of what I just heard right before you brought me on
here was the police saying basically the same thing. They`re not going to
tolerate any violence. And that`s what this flyer`s addressing. It kind
of came about from the hundreds of calls we`ve been getting from residents
of St. Louis County concerned with things that they`re seeing on social
media about random attacks on whites, you know, sniper -- D.C. sniper style
You know, police officers being threatened that their wives are going
to be raped and that they`re all targets. You know, so, all these calls
are coming to us and people saying, what should we do, what should we do?
HAYES: What you`re doing is telling them to arm themselves -- but you
-- it`s a bit ironic for you to talk about how bad violence is when you`re
telling people that you`re going to arm yourself and shoot, you`re advising
people of what the law is for being able to shoot someone. That seems to
everyone seeing this like incitement. It seems that you`re trying to bring
about the exact same thing you`re saying you`re against.
ANCONA: No, actually, it`s addressing the people who are making these
terroristic threats letting them know that the people of Missouri, they
have rights, too, that are guaranteed under our Constitution and this
particular law. And it`s basically educating them on that law and letting
them know what their options are, because a lot of people seem to not --
you know, they`re living in fear. And you don`t have to sit back and let
somebody throw Molotov cocktails at you and just sit there and take it.
HAYES: Do you actually think --
ANCONA: There`s remedies under the law.
HAYES: And the remedy under the law is to shoot someone?
ANCONA: The flyer says --
ANCONA: If you read it says defend. It talks about defense. So, in
order to defend yourself, that means you`re being attacked.
So, this flyer is not --
HAYES: Do you think it -- do you think it contributes to the safety
of the folks in St. Louis to go around distributing these kinds of flyers,
do you think this is making the situation better?
ANCONA: Definitely is. I`ve heard from many people who say they feel
much better that those flyers went out and they understand what their
options are under the law.
HAYES: Have you been talking to law enforcement?
ANCONA: I have.
HAYES: What are those conversations about?
ANCONA: And -- well, defending on who you talk to and, of course, you
know, all these things are off the record, but a lot of them are very
frustrated with, you know, how the governor has basically sided with the
criminals in a lot of instances.
HAYES: Wait a second. You have law enforcement -- Frank, you have
ANCONA: -- thrown at them.
HAYES: Confiding in you as the grand wizard of the KKK, you are
telling me you have law enforcement talking to you personally?
ANCONA: No, I have friends who know people in law enforcement.
HAYES: Oh, you have friends. Yes, uh-huh.
ANCONA: Right. Right. And anyway, you know, who -- why should they
be expected to sit there and be told that somebody`s going to go rape their
wife? What job -- how can you expect someone to do a job and put up with
that? To me that`s a threat of violence against their family.
HAYES: Lots of things get said on social media.
Thank you, Frank Ancona.
Joining me now, Lizz Brown, columnist of "The St. Louis American" and
criminal defense attorney.
Lizz, this seems to be -- the reason I want to have Frank on -- and
it`s not something I really like doing -- is that there is this kind of --
there`s ripples of something dark and ugly that I started to see in social
media around folks in the St. Louis area that I worry about in advance of
what`s coming down the pike. And so much of the attention has been on,
quote, "the protesters getting violent" and it doesn`t seem to me that the
ugliness is necessarily coming from those and certainly not from those
LIZZ BROWN, COLUMNIST, ST. LOUIS AMERICAN: I think that what we
really have to have a discussion about, Chris, is who sets the tone, what
tone has been set? And I will charge that the tone has been set that would
allow for racist organization like the Klan to feel comfortable in
And what is the tone that`s been set? The tone that has been set is
that African-Americans, largely peaceful African-Americans protesters and
activists need to have a response, a military response to them. It`s
almost like they`ve taken a page and twisted it out of the "Untouchables"
where he says that, you know, if you bring a rock, we`ll bring a tank.
That`s the response that has been to the largely African-American
So, you set the tone that these are people that we need to respond to
in this type of way. When you have a chief of police in St. Louis that`s
racially profiling people that commit crimes as black on black crime, what
does that say? That`s saying that crime has a face and the face is an
African-American face. And you don`t have to worry about the crime because
it`s just black folks hurting other black folks.
So, when we set the tone that a certain group of people respond in
this lawless type of way and we have to respond to them in a militaristic
type of way, you open the door for an organization, a racist organization
like the Klan to come in and take advantage of that.
HAYES: So, you think the way that the tone that has been set by
officials so far who have been by -- what they`re saying -- I`m going to
talk to Chief Dotson in just a moment, they`re saying they`re trying to be
calm, they`re trying to urge people to be peaceful, just -- to follow their
First Amendment rights and not use violence, what is wrong? You think
they`re sending a tone of suspicion?
BROWN: When you -- let`s unpack the governor`s response and the
governor`s press conference. A thousand people.
Why are you saying a thousand people? What you can take out of that
is that`s what we need to respond to --
BROWN: -- peaceful protesters. Protesters haven`t shot and killed
anyone. Protesters haven`t harmed people. So why are we responding to
them? Because it`s these types of protesters. You`re setting the tone
that these types of people need to be responded to in this way, and that
opens the door for the Klan to go in and to recruit people.
I lay it at the feet of law enforcement, how they prosecuted this
case, how they responded to peaceful protesters, I lay it at their feet.
This is their fault.
HAYES: Lizz Brown, thank you very much.
Joining me now is St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.
Chief, respond to Lizz Brown about the tone that`s been set by law
enforcement and the tone you`re trying to set in your -- in the
announcement with the mayor and Charlie Dooley today.
CHIEF SAM DOTSON, ST. LOUIS POLICE DEPT.: I think the tone here in
St. Louis is one that we`re working on bridging gaps. While lots of people
are talking, we`re actually sitting down with organizers and protesters
trying to come to common ground.
We`ve talked about what the rules of engagement are. We`ve talked
about a variety of things. So, I think there`s a lot of dialogue going on
at a grassroots level. I think that`s important.
HAYES: You know, I`ve got to say there`s this expectation that you
can sort of feel brewing in the air and I think probably the press plays
part of that. But it`s not just the press. I mean, Governor Nixon coming
out and saying, we`ve got the National Guard on stand-by, you know, at what
point do you enter into this vicious cycle where there`s this self-
fulfilling nature to the whole thing where you have folks like the grand
wizard of the Klan distributing flyers and people in gun shops saying this
has been good for business, and everybody fearful that something will
happen and that creates the condition for something ugly to happen?
DOTSON: I think you`re absolutely right. The first guest didn`t help
the conversation and the dialogue at all that`s going on here in St. Louis.
But I think the governor`s tone was we are going to protect people.
We`re going to keep people safe. We`re going to protect property. And
we`re also going to protect the constitutional rights of people that want
to come out and have their voices heard.
The conversation about the National Guard, if the governor does want
to activate the National Guard, it`s to help support local law enforcement.
It`s not to take the front line. It`s to allow us to do our jobs better.
I think that`s what gets lost in the conversation.
I see your tag line, "preparing for war." Actually in St. Louis,
we`re preparing for peace. We`re trying to get to that point.
HAYES: You know, you say that, but, you know, we know there`s
$172,000 spent on things like tear gas and strange kind of cluster grenade
tear gas devices from St. Louis County. That quote comes directly from a
family member of Michael Brown. That`s why it`s in quotation marks there.
There are people who feel that the remarks from the governor, the data
that was acquired by "The Guardian" about the preparation in St. Louis
County feels to them more like they`re in preparation for war. Obviously
you can only control the police department you can control. But we`re
talking about a lot of law enforcement agencies across the whole metro
DOTSON: But I think you have to look at it in context. We have a
responsibility to keep people safe. That`s our number one goal. We have a
responsibility to protect property. We have a responsibility to protect
people`s constitutional rights.
So, the equipment purchases that are happening are to further those
endeavors. They`re not to go out and to go on the offensive. It`s
actually just the contrary.
If you look at what`s happened over the last several months, we`ve
done an unbelievable job of keeping people safe both on the law enforcement
side and on the protesters` side. That`s really what this investment is
So, to characterize it as an offense is not correct at all. Really
what it is, is the tools that we have to keep us all safe in our community.
HAYES: So, Chief, what have you learned -- I mean, what have you
learned in watching this play out? Obviously, protests both in North
County and all over Metro St. Louis, they`ve been in the heart of St.
Louis. Your police have interacted with protesters. What have you
DOTSON: I think what we`ve learned is exactly what the governor said
and the mayor and the county executive. Hey, we have lots of areas to
grow. Jobs, for example. The governor announced a program for 2,000 in
jobs. We`re talking about a lot of things.
So, what I`ve learned is that the dialogue is the most important thing
that`s happening. What I`ve learned is, is that we have to work at a very
This has become about law enforcement`s interaction with the
community. There`s a lot of room for improvement on both sides and that`s
the dialogue that has to continue.
The noise that we hear about preparing for war and the equipment
purchases, that really needs to take a back seat. What needs to happen are
organized groups from the protesters side needs to sit down with government
officials on our side and really say, how are we going to move this region
forward? How are we going to continue the dialogue?
The grand jury ultimately will make a decision. Regardless of what
that decision is, we still have a community here. We have to move this
community to a more positive place. That`s what the dialogue is. That`s
what I`ve learned.
HAYES: Do you know what the grand jury`s decision is?
DOTSON: No, I don`t.
And I wake up every morning to a text or a tweet that says that it`s
coming out. The only people that know that are the grand jury, and they
haven`t -- as far as I know, have not made a decision yet.
HAYES: Chief Sam Dotson of St. Louis -- thank you very much for your
time, sir. Appreciate it.
DOTSON: Thank you, Chris. Thank you.
HAYES: A prominent Democratic politician thinks he knows what it will
take for Democrats to actually win elections again. It won him his
election, after all. The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio will be my
guest right here at this table, right after this.
HAYES: We may have learned the secret to understanding President
Obama`s next two years. I`ll tell you what it is ahead.
Plus, shameless plug for an interview tomorrow -- Jon Stewart of
"Daily Show" fame. Maybe you`ve heard of him. You don`t want to miss
HAYES: As Democrats continue to sift through the wreckage of the
midterm election, one particular pattern is starting to emerge -- the
economy. Exit poll last week 78 percent of voters said they are very or
somewhat worried about the direction of the economy in the next year. And,
unfortunately, for Democratic candidates people worried about the economy
were more likely to vote Republican.
Now, it is not a great mystery why the economy remains top concern for
many Americans. Even as unemployment dropped to a six-year low of 5.8
percent, the stock market hit record highs this week, most people just
aren`t feeling the impact of the economic recovery.
Take income, for example, which has been stagnant for a decade. As
"New York Times`" David Leonhardt points out, median income last year
adjusted for inflation was actually $3,600 lower than when George W. Bush
took office in 2001. And one party seems to be bearing the brunt of
voters` discontent. The Democratic Party`s overall favorability has
dropped to a record low of 36 percent in a new Gallup Poll and it`s down 7
points among Democrats themselves.
One prominent Democratic politician said he has a prescription to turn
things around. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who was elected on a
platform of economic populism thinks his party needs to recommit itself to
core progressive values, writing in a "Huffington Post" op-ed today, quote,
"Acknowledging the need to address income inequality wins elections."
Joining me now, the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, someone
who I think is a test case of that.
So, I read your piece today and I like it. Sort of confirmation bias,
like I have those politics and all of us who believes in these things want
it to be the case that the stuff we believe in, if only people said what we
believe, then we`ll vote for it.
But what`s the evidence?
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: I think there`s evidence all
over the country. Look at the Democrats who won, including in some tough
places, Al Franken in Minnesota, great example, challenged Wall Street,
talked about economic reality, talked about how people are hurting and how
the middle class was falling apart. We have to do something about it. Won
handily in a state that Republicans have done very well in recent years.
Look around the country, Jerry Brown raises taxes on millionaires for
education wins handily.
Dan Malloy in Connecticut was supposed to be dead man walking. What
he`d do? He gave people paid sick leave, he raised the minimum wage, he
taxed people -- increase education for the wealthy to increase education.
These clear messages of addressing economic reality and being real
Democrats, being proud, progressive Democrats, folks are going to vote for
the real thing. But when Democrats veer away from that, Democrats stay
home and other folks aren`t --
HAYES: So, Dan Malloy was a great example, right? Here`s a guy -- he
very -- I`m an admirer of Dan Malloy`s, very progressive, right? He
squeaked -- I mean, let`s be clear -- he squeaked by and he got pummeled,
right? Because I guess that my feeling to your op-ed conservatism is a
real thing out there, right?
DE BLASIO: Wait a minute.
HAYES: And it will fight tooth and nail and people are often
persuaded by those arguments.
DE BLASIO: It was because Dan Malloy was up against such massive
resources that I make my point. The same with Al Franken.
The folks who were up against huge resources and failed anyway because
they had a message that actually meant something to people.
Look, what you said before -- folks in this country have lost faith in
Democrats including Democrats losing faith in their own party. That`s
because Democrats aren`t speaking to economic reality.
HAYES: OK, but there`s a difference between speaking and delivering.
This seems to me the knob of the issue. You can speak to it, right, but
then you get in office and what do you actually do, right?
The problem of wage stagnation is so deep, so structural, right?
Mayor of New York, right? Universal pre-K looks like it`s happening, it`s
being piloted. That was not a sure thing. That`s a great thing. I`m pro
universal pre-k, right? That doesn`t necessarily put money in people`s
pocket. Some people won`t have to pay for pre-K.
But -- the question is, how do you get at that problem? You can
promise all you want, but how do you deliver?
DE BLASIO: OK, first of all, the New York example. Pre-K does put
money in the pockets of folks who don`t have to pay for child care and
other options. After school we`re doing the same reality.
Building affordable housing addresses the number one expense in
people`s lives. Giving people paid sick leave who didn`t have it means
they don`t have dislocation income. Raising minimum wage, creating a
living wage program where government subsidizes employers.
HAYES: So, you`re saying you can attack around the problem.
DE BLASIO: Well, not even around, you attack from enough angles,
enough directions, it starts to add for something.
And on top of that, then let`s go to Washington where you can make the
real big changes. If you`re talking about actually having real regulation
in the financial industry, real investment in infrastructure and education,
the kinds of things that would be transcendent in this country, those can
be achieved in Washington. Governors, Malloy is a good example, have
achieved some of those pieces or Jerry Brown is a good example, achieved
some of those pieces.
We`ve got the building blocks but the message of the op-ed is
Democrats who ran from those values got paid back for it.
HAYES: So, what category is Andrew Cuomo in?
DE BLASIO: Look, I have a message for all Democrats, let`s be clear.
I would say it to him for sure. I think this is the wave of the future,
because if Democrats don`t --
HAYES: But that`s not how he positioned himself and he went to re-
election fairly smoothly.
Andrew Cuomo positioned himself -- I`m not making a substantive
judgment on this, I`m saying his political positioning, he even said it,
the extremes of the left and right. That`s what you have. And here am I,
Andrew Cuomo in the center.
DE BLASIO: Look, he put forth a host of things that mattered a lot to
progressives, including marriage equality, including action for women`s
rights, et cetera. So, he had a progressive platform.
But I`m arguing something that I think is transcendent nationally.
You don`t talk about economics, you don`t talk about income inequality and
don`t present a platform for actual change -- you will not win.
And to your point, do you have to marry it with substance and
achievement, by definition, yes, then the golden age of the Democratic
Party was when there was both the message and the achievement on the
ground. We`re going to have to work our way up to that level again.
But I tell you something, if we don`t learn this lesson now for the
next two years, how Democrats should fight in Washington, how people should
comport themselves looking forward to the 2016 election, the same thing we
saw this time will happen on a greater level. People will stay home.
People who actually want to vote Democrat will stay home if Democrats don`t
start acting like real progressives again.
HAYES: One of the things we saw in the exit polling was an amazing
change in opinion on marijuana legalization. It`s something that actually
cuts across different political coalitions. You`ve made some news with
Commissioner Bratton. I`m using my prop here which is apparently this is
This is oregano just for the record. This was -- I`m holding this up
because you and Commissioner Bratton held it up at a news conference. You
made a decision in New York City, no more criminal arrests for marijuana
under that amount.
DE BLASIO: Correct.
HAYES: What led to that?
DE BLASIO: The idea that, first of all, our cops are putting a lot of
time into processing arrests for something that is clearly a minor offense.
That time, that energy, that focus could go into fighting more serious
crime. That`s point one.
Point two, a lot of young people`s lives were being deeply and
negatively affected by a criminal record that came from a marijuana arrest.
Now with a summons, there`ll still be a debt to society to pay, in
this case, it will be a monetary debt to society. But it will not come
with a criminal record.
HAYES: What do you say to people who say this doesn`t get at the
disproportionate enforcement, right? That the problem here is that you
have police, you know, whether stopping and frisking or stopping or
policing more heavily black and brown youth than they do white people. And
that this is fine, but it doesn`t get at this root problem of what zip
codes are people going to find themselves busted for weed or get a summons
to begin with?
DE BLASIO: Look, I think the whole mission is to have people treated
fairly across the city. That is what we`re trying to do. It`s a larger
process of reform with the NYPD. That`s why stops are down intensely
compared to last year with the stop and frisk policy being so broken.
That`s why we`re actually retraining the entire NYPD, 35,000 officers
are going to be retrained in how to work with the community and address
things in a more equitable fashion. That`s process of change that takes
But I can tell you one thing -- thousands will benefit from the fact
that they`re not going to have a criminal record, and the amazing part of
the policy that we put in place is it will actually give cops more time to
go after more meaningful crime.
HAYES: There`s a line -- I think New York Governor Mario Cuomo, you
campaign in poetry, you govern in prose, right? So, you`re in the prose
Bill de Blasio today, Mayor Bill de Blasio could get in a time machine
to six months ago and talk to candidate de Blasio and tell him one thing,
what would you tell him?
DE BLASIO: I would say stick to your guns. I would say, you got to
it (ph) literally, this is what I`ve learned.
HAYES: You were more right than you thought?
DE BLASIO: No, there`s a difference to that. It`s pertinent to where
we started this conversation.
The public rightfully yearns for some consistency. Meaning, if you
come in with a progressive platform, you better damn well stick to it.
Don`t moderate it. Don`t water it down. Don`t try and explain it away.
Just do it.
And that builds a sense of faith and possibility and that`s what I`ve
learned certainly in these first 10 months.
HAYES: New York`s Mayor Bill de Blasio, always a pleasure.
DE BLASIO: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Something amazing happened just a little south of
where I`m sitting today in this great city. Some pretty high stakes drama
on television screens everywhere this afternoon. Window cleaner stranded
69 floors up on the side of the tallest building in the western hemisphere.
We`ll show you the tape, next.
HAYES: Incredible scene today here in New York. One World Trade
Center, tallest building in New York City at over 1700 feet tall just
officially opened last week. It`s currently has just one tenant, Conde
Nast, which occupies 24 of the 104 floors. Side note, think about how
weird it is to go to work every day in that building right now.
Now with the rise of a new skyscraper comes the task of cleaning its
windows which takes a special breed of daring and skill. Today, while
cleaning One World
Trade Center, the scaffold that held the two men cleaning those windows
malfunctioned, which left them dangling 68 stories above the street from
the side of the tallest building in the western hemisphere. It took about
an hour before
firefighters from inside the building used a diamond saw to cut through
three layers of glass and attach an extra harness to each of the men and
finally pulled them to safety.
You know, it`s pretty incredible that happened. Although it got me
thinking, we can get a space rocket on to a comet and we have not invented
a way of cleaning
windows that does not involve dangling human beings hundreds of feet in the
That said, nice job, everyone.
HAYES: Today human beings landed a spacecraft on a comet, and that
comet is 310 million miles from earth and it took the spaceship ten years
traveling some 4
billion miles to get there. And I honestly can`t even believe I just said
The European Space Agency launched Rosetta in March 2004 from French
Rosetta was never meant to travel directly to its destination, because it
had to fly around the solar system several times using the gravitational
force of both Earth and Mars to slingshot deeper into space.
Now, by 2011, it had actually traveled so far from the sun, it could
no longer power itself with solar energy. So it was put into hibernation
for three years.
In August of this year, Rosetta began orbiting this comet, a 2 1/2-
mile wide object known as 67-PGC, which like all the comets and asteroids
in our solar system could well provide vital information about the very
foundational building blocks of
For reference, this is a rendering of the size of the comet compared
to Los Angeles. Rosetta has spent three months orbiting the comet which is
in itself an important first, orbiting around a comet that is let`s keep in
mind moving at 84,000 miles per hour.
Then, after finding just the right spot, a landing probe called
Philae, which weighs about 220 pounds, separated from Rosetta to begin its
And at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time that probe successfully landed
on that comet, another first for space exploration.
Scientists believe the harpoons may have failed to deploy because the
comet has such weak gravitational field, the lander Philae might have
coming to rest.
Even during descent, the lander was transmitting data of its mother
spacecraft of the Rosetta and of the comet itself which scientists expected
basically spherical, but which was, to use their words, duck shaped.
Data about the comet`s gases are already being transmitted -- ammonia,
methane and hydrogen sulfide have already been detected. Dust particles
made of magnesium and sodium are already being analyzed. So
congratulations to those who had those two compounds in the pool.
The lander and Rosetta and never returning. And in fact, the lander
has only about 64 hours of battery power remaining to fully analyze soil
samples and transmit that data.
So Rosetta and its lander are so far away their transmissions even
traveling at the speed of light take 28 minutes to reach Earth. For a
comparison, light from our own sun takes 8 1/2 minutes to reach us.
Joining me now Geoff Brumfiel. He`s science correspondent for NRP.
All right, Geoff, I mean, how, how, how did they do this?
GEOFF BRUMFIEL, NPR: Well, it took a lot of time and a lot of effort
and a lot of thought and frankly, some luck. I mean, they started
designing the mission ten years before they actually set out to do it. And
it all came down to this morning. They had to get that lander out, gravity
pulled it down to the surface, and it appeared to make contact. So I mean,
it was really pretty impressive.
HAYES: So, how do you power this thing? Is it solar powered the
way and then when it`s got too far from the sun it has got battery powered
to store up enough power to keep going?
BRUMFIEL: Right, so the spacecraft itself is solar powered and that`s
why they had to shut it off, because it actually got so far from the sun,
even its massive solar panels which are like the length of a couple of
London buses or something, they couldn`t actually power the spacecraft.
So, they had to shut it down. They start it back up. The lander also has
solar panels, and as you said it has batteries as well.
If it can capture the sun, the lander can continue to operate, but
that`s only if they landed in a place where they have good illumination.
Otherwise, as you said, they`re going to run out of battery power pretty
HAYES: And explain to me -- I mean, I was thinking back to high
school physics about trying to work out the calculation of how you`re going
to get this moving thing on to that moving thing. Walk me through the
principle by which you`re sort of slinging the craft around these orbits in
Mars and Earth to pick up the velocity necessary to sling it out further
BRUMFIEL: Yeah, well, the real trick here is not actually going by
because, of course, you know, you can pass by anything in the solar system
with enough planning. The trick is getting in the same orbit and that
takes a lot of work and a lot of energy, because you have to move from
Earth`s orbit all the way out into deep space to follow the orbit of this
comet which goes around the sun then goes back out to where Jupiter is and
then comes back around again.
So, it`s a real operation, as you said, and you know, and you know it
took multiple fly-bys of the Earth and Mars to sort of build up speed like
you`re running around a racetrack, you know, trying to get faster and
faster. And finally after ten years they caught it.
HAYES: OK. So what are we hoping to learn? I mean, as a technical
marvel, this is just beyond impressive, it actually makes me think, oh, we
can solve anything if we can do this. But what exactly is the point here?
I mean, what do we learn from this piece of rock that`s, you know, we
showed in our graphic how big it would be compared to Los Angeles?
BRUMFIEL: Well, there`s nothing particularly special about this comet
except that it`s one that we were able to catch. But I mean, comets are
really important. They`re believed to be primordial remnants of whatever
the nebula that made our solar system was made of. They contain a lot of
water. And the current theories are that water here on Earth probably came
from comets. The comets bombarded the Earth and brought with it the water
we needed for life.
There`s also organic molecules on comets and some people think maybe
the very building blocks of life itself came from comets.
HAYES: That s mind-blowing. Geoff Brumfiel, thank you very much.
HAYES: All right, you ever find yourself in an argument where the
person you are arguing with starts to lean more and more heavily on the
same single point and then in the argument you find a way to completely
rebut that point? It`s a good feeling. And Barack Obama did that to
Republicans on the single most consequential issue of our time. More on
HAYES: In just a little bit over an hour, the Today Show`s Al Roker
will attempt to set the record for the longest uninterrupted live weather
report broadcast. To break the record, he has to keep it up for 34 hours.
The feat, dubbed hashtag #rokerthon will begin at 10:00 p.m. Eastern
tonight and continue until 8:00 a.m. Friday. If you want to check in on Al
to see how he`s doing, the whole thing is going to be livestreamed at
At this point, you might be asking why is Al Roker doing this? Well,
it`s for a good cause. It`s raising money for the United Service
Organizations (USO). You can pledge your support for him via his crowdrise
campaign at crowdrise.com/roker. He`ll kick it all off on the last word
tonight with Lawrence O`Donnell. Good luck, Al.
HAYES: For the past few years the People`s Republic of China has been
the best friend of Republican climate change denialists, because even after
losing the argument on the climate scientists, the denialists could fall
back on this argument, "the rest of the world, including China, the world`s
biggest emitter of
greenhouse gases, won`t do anything to slow climate change, so why should
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: China, India, all these countries that
are still growing, they`re not going to stop doing what they`re doing.
America is a country, it`s not a planet.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY: The experts agree that a climate
policy that does not include massive energy consumers like China and India
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO: We can`t do it alone as one nation.
RUBIO: The benefit I think is difficult to justify when you realize
it`s only us doing it, nobody else is doing this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think we can control the emissions from
India nor do they have any desire to control it.
RUBIO: See, the United States is a country, it`s not a planet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we have statements such as we do have from the
leaders in China, in India and other countries saying under no
circumstances are they going to accept any kind of mandatory reduction,
what are we doing here?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And so here`s what`s happened over the last nine months. In
secret, the U.S. government and China negotiated a climate agreement. And
then Barack Obama flew to China and he sat across from the Chinese
president for five hours and put the finishing touches on that agreement.
And then today, the president turned
around to the denialists and said, oh, really, China`s going to do nothing,
huh? Well, let me tell you about this little deal I worked out with the
president of china.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today I am proud that
announce a historic agreement. I commend President Xi, his team and the
Chinese government for the commitment they are making to slow, peak, and
China`s carbon emissions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: China and the U.S. are responsible for more than 40 percent of
the world`s carbon emissions. Under the agreement announced this morning,
the U.. is setting a new target to cut carbon emission by 26 to 28 percent
by 2025, while China is agreeing to start reducing emissions by 2030, that
means they`ll peak in 2030 and to make clean energy 20 percent of its total
Now that is a huge deal, because over the past 15 years, as John Kerry
pointed out today, China has accounted for roughly 60 percent of the growth
in carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. And now it has agreed to reverse
This deal explicitly addresses and removes the Republican climate
denialists` best argument against fighting climate change here in the U.S.
And guess what, they are not happy about it.
Senator James Inhofe, the climate change denier who will likely soon
chair the environment and public works committee today called the deal a
non-binding charade that won`t change China`s behavior. And soon to be
senate leader Mitch McConnell had this to say at a photo op with smiling
senate freshman today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: As I read the agreement, it requires the Chinese to do
nothing at all for 16 years while these carbon emission regulations are
creating havoc in my state and other states around the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Mitch McConnell needs to take another look at the agreement.
To meet its target of 20 percent clean energy by 2030, China will have to
generate more power from clean energy than is generated in all the coal
fire power plants that exist in China today, enough clean energy to nearly
match the total electricity generating capacity of the entire United
After the break, we`ll go straight to the White House for inside
details on this historymaking deal. My interview with the president`s top
adviser on science and technology is next.
HAYES: We`re back talking about the absolute blockbuster climate deal
announced late last night between the U.S. and China. I spoke to John
Holdren. He`s the head of the White House office of science and technology
policy. I asked him about the deal`s significance.
JOHN HOLDREN, WHITE HOUSE OFICE AND SCIENCE AND TECHNOLGY POLICY:
This is first time that the United States and China have agreed jointly to
lead on the problem of global climate change, announcing their respective
national targets for greenhouse gas reductions after 2020 even though the
targets were independently determined by each country is a signal to the
world that the United States and China are ready to lead and they`re ready
to lead with ambition in addressing the challenge of global climate change.
HAYES: There are folks that point out the fact that China`s goals,
which is to peak by 2030 are basically what they were on a trajectory to
do. Is this really changing anything?
HOLDREN: I think it`s changing a lot. You know, ten years ago
Chinese analysts were saying privately they might be able to peak by 2050,
that became 2040, then it became 2035. 2030 is a big deal: China has never
officially committed to peak at any particular date. And the 2030 peak is
very significant in terms of a real sea change in the official Chinese
HAYES: And on the U.S. side of this, those commitments that the U.S.
has made, I think is it 26 percent by 2020, am I getting that right?
HOLDREN: It`s a range, 26 to 28 percent by 2025 and...
HAYES: So, how are we going to keep to that?
HOLDREN: Well, we believe that we can get there using existing
authorities. The EPA`s power plant rule is going to be very important in
getting there. The implementation of our vehicle fuel economy standards is
going to be important, the continuing expansion of our renewable energy
portfolio is going to be very important.
But our analysis shows that we can get there and we intend to do it.
HAYES: How did this come about? I mean, it`s a pretty remarkable
step that happened today. How did these negotiations take place. How are
they kept secret? How does the deal finally get done?
HOLDREN: Well, initially the proposal was made by Secretary Kerry to
his Chinese counterpart that led to some months of discussion, many trips
back and forth by officials of the two countries. But in the end, it was
President Obama`s conversation with President Xi that moved it across the
finish line. There was a U.S. negotiating team that was meeting with China
back and forth again over a
period of many months, but it`s important to understand that they didn`t
actually negotiate the targets.
The targets were developed by the two countries separately. We egged
each other on in terms of calling for an increased ambition. But the idea
of a joint announcement was to show the world that the two biggest emitters
of greenhouse gases are now ready to lead in ambitious strategies to reduce
HAYES: So, is there anything binding here for either country? I
mean, what happens if China misses the targets? What happens if we miss
HOLDREN: Well, in China these targets basically have the effect of
law. In the United States, they do not have the effect of law, but they
have the determination of the president of the United States and his whole
administration to bring them into being and we`re going to do everything
possible to do that because it`s in our national interests to do it.
HAYES: You`re a scientist, Mr. Holdren. And the scientists I talked
to routinely tend to be some of the most radical folks on this issue. They
look at the scale of what we have to do and the scale of what they`re doing
and what we
are doing and they just -- their heart sinks at the mismatch between the
As a scientist who understands what the science says we must do, how
are you feeling today?
HOLDREN: I`m feeling good today. This is an enormous step in the
right direction. I have spoken in the last 12 hours with many leading
scientists around this country and around the world about this announcement
and I can tell you that the scientific community from people I`ve sampled
is very excited about the magnitude of this step.
It`s only a step. It is not going to get us all the way to where we
need to be, but if we carry out these commitments and then follow with
appropriate encores, we can get this job done, we can meet this big
HAYES: John Holdren, thank you very much for your time. I really
HOLDREN: My pleasure, thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now, environmental activist Josh Fox director of
Gasland Parts One and Two.
Josh, your reaction to this deal?
JOSH FOX, ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST: Well, it`s amazing. It`s kind of
astounding. Nobody saw this coming. I don`t think anyone saw this coming.
It is historic. It is a very, very big deal.
I mean, t doesn`t get us...
FOX: ...where we need to go. You know, it`s kind of hard to party
you`re in the middle of the biggest hangover of the century, right. You
kind of -- but it is the United States and China entering reality, entering
FOX: It`s kind of a means for rejoicing, right? I mean, we`re now on
the planet Earth, we`re acknowledging the catastrophe exists and that we
have to work together to meet beat it.
And what China has decided to do -- Mitch McConnell is eating his
words right now, because China has decided to build an entire United
States` worth of power for renewable and non-carbon sources, in 16 years,
in 16 years.
HAYES: Right, the idea that they can`t do anything for 16 and then
they`re going to like turn all that...
FOX: In 16 years they`re going to build an entire United States`
non-carbon non-fossil fuel power, which means, right, that we can do the
HAYES: That`s right.
FOX: And it means that we have to do the same thing.
HAYES: That`s a great point, we can do the same thing.
FOX: What, are we going to let the Chinese beat us to 100 percent
No, I mean, that`s only 20 percent, but for us it would be 100
HAYES: Right, that`s a great point...
FOX: Which, you know what I`m saying?
So this is like one of those things that says, yes, renewable energy
is here. It can be ramped up. It can moved quickly.
And by the way, this isn`t about governments, this is about movements.
I mean, you have seen the climate movement hammering away at Barack Obama
whether it`s Keystone XL or 400,000 people marching in the streets of New
York City just last month. And we`re seeing people crying out for
renewable energy at the ground level.
HAYES: And we`re seeing an amazing thing we`re seeing it in China,
right. Where China, they have this tangible visual evidence. Air quality
has become possibly the single biggest domestic issue in China. It`s a
massive embarrassment, huge source of protests. And the thing that makes
the sky look like that is all the coal-fired power plants they built to
power the new China.
FOX: Well, very, very importantly, though -- I mean, the fracking
movement can`t back down, because right now what we`re talking about is not
just carbon dioxide, but methane, methane which is the hugely more potent
greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is. And we have to monitor this very
clearly and we have to say, now fracking makes no sense. Now Keystone XL
makes absolutely no sense. Stop those right now if we want to hit these
targets and make sure we`re not leaking methane into the atmosphere.
What it means is if China can do a whole United States in renewable
energy, so can we and we should be.
HAYES: I like that. The U.S. and China entering reality together.
And also I think just saying to the rest of the world, which is so
key, is come on in, we can do this. You are doing some organizing at the
grassroots level on renewable energy.
FOX: I am. Thanks for asking about it.
We have a new program called Solutions Grassroots, which is a
grassroots deployment of renewable energy throughout the United States.
IT`s at solutiongrassroots.com. You can go there and you can get renewable
energy in many states, or you can start organizing on the ground level,
town by town, person by
person to get renewable energy.
HAYES: It has never been easy. It`s right there.
Some days in this issue some days I feel really optimistic. And today
is one of them. And Josh Fox, great to have you here.
FOX: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: All right, that is "All In" for this evening. The Rachel
Maddow show starts right now.
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