April 10th 2007 Day 3....Baton Rouge, 7:30 am, on the bus, parked outside the hotel.
First, let me say that morning is not my most glorious time of the day. I woke up to Laurie's excitement over having slept soundly on a tour bus. I feel like Archie Bunker. She's keeps mentioning how happy she is living on a bus and my fear is growing that when we get home, we will have to park it in her driveway and continue to live on it. I fear for Larry when she talks about learning to play an instrument.
Yesterday was a great day full of highs and medium highs. The medium high would have to have been our live interview with a very adversarial reporter on CNBC. What I am realizing with these people who refuse to believe that global warming is real is that they are clinging to the false comfort brought about by arguments like, "climate has been cyclical throughout time, that this is nothing new" or that "the IPCC report is a political vehicle," or that "there is as much CO2 in the atmosphere as centuries ago," etc. These arguments are irresponsible at this point knowing everything we know about global warming. It is downright unethical to be steering listeners in the wrong direction. I have to wonder if Joe Kernan argued on the side of the Tobacco Industry and did he ever agree that smoking does cause cancer. Or does he feel like that was a political issue, as well.
Anyhoo, I started my day at Texas A&M (College Station) by remarking to a bunch of students, "So, this is what LSU looks like." Day 2 and I am already confused as to where I am, as if I've already been on the road for weeks.
The press conference went well and as I have said, I am constantly amazed by these young, energetic, and well-informed students. We were interviewed by a freshman, college reporter named Travis, who overheard me in the hallway afterward talking to Laurie about how cute he was. Classy!
We were introduced by a kid named Rodrigo (stay tuned, you'll be hearing more about this kid coming up soon) who is the head of the college organization "A&M Clean Energy Now." I am encouraged by the fact that there are little grass fires being started out there on this issue. Hopefully before too long, the fire will be raging.
The show went well but had a completely different tone from the Dallas show. Laurie and I both felt a little like we were off our game because the reactions from the students were so..let's say, different, unexpected. They clapped in places that no one clapped the night before and but were much more lowkey than the Dallas audience. When I asked them if anyone drove a hybrid, only one girl jumped up (literally, as if we called her to "Come on down. You're on The Price is Right"). I think the bottom line is that they were not quite as turned on to the issue as perhaps the Dallas audience was. And how great to not be preaching solely to the converted.
Once again, the questions were very sincere. What about nuclear power? What if you are on a tight budget and can't afford the light bulb? Is what has happened already irreversible?
(Nuclear: While it's clean power, there are still very big problems with it. Storage and waste, security, expense, etc. We have better options to explore, including CLEAN coal power.)
(Lightbulb: Yes, it's more expensive but you'll be buying many less light bulbs because they last years and they will bring down the electricity bill. They last so long, when you graduate, take them with you and use them in your next abode!)
(Effects reversible: Let's face this issue honestly. The answer is what the NRDC has told us. We are seeing the repercussions of what we've already done now but we have an opportunity to avert the larger collision ahead.)
At the end of the Q&A, we asked Rodrigo to stand, but in his enthusiasm, he could not contain himself and he ran down to the front, jumped up on stage, proceeded to present Laurie and me with a "Clean Energy Now" tee, which I immediately put on for the last song as an effort to not go down with the ship, thinking that we had lost their attention. Unbeknownst to Laurie and me, our team out in the audience during the show thought it was a great one...perhaps even greater than the Dallas show.
I guess you never know....