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Face the Nation transcripts May 26, 2013: Fallin, Coburn, and Schumer

(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on May 26, 2013, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., along with the Washington Post's Michael Gerson and Harvard University's David Gergen. Plus, a weather panel with WFOR's Chief Meteorologist David Bernard, Climate Central's Chief Climatologist Heidi Cullen, TIME Magazine's Jeffrey Kluger and American Meteorological Society President Marshall Shepherd, and finally, author Joseph Persico on his new book about FDR and World War II.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. We're going to start in Oklahoma. The tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, last week we now know damaged as many as thirteen thousand homes, took two dozen lives, among them ten children. President Obama will tour the area today and Governor Mary Fallin is joining us this morning from Moore. Governor, thank you so much for finding time to talk to us this morning. How's it going down there this morning?

GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN (R-Oklahoma): It's going good. You know I can already see people out here early this morning working and what's been remarkable is I-- I've heard so many incredible stories of people helping people. I've heard stories of people who have come to help from either across the state or out of state and they come into these areas and they pick out a family at one of their homes and they actually have pitched some tents in their yard areas, so they could be ready twenty-four hours a day to-- to help the people, be able to go through whatever precious belongings might still be there. There were so many volunteers out here yesterday. The streets were packed. There were a lot of people that had trailers. They were moving things hand by hand. I saw one home where they had a line of people probably ten to fifteen people that had buckets, they were just moving debris and, you know, person to person to person getting it to the curbside and it's just been a really remarkable experience. It's uplifted the spirits of the people that have lost so much.

BOB SCHIEFFER: The President is coming down there later this morning. What will you tell him you need there?

GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN: Well, I'm going to tell him that we appreciate his visit first of all, but that we also need quick action as it relates to FEMA. And, so far FEMA has done a great job. They were here immediately on the spot. They have been throughout the different neighborhoods. I personally have met with them many times, but, you know, there's going to come a time where there's going to be a tremendous amount of need once we begin the debris clearing which we already have, but really get it cleared off to where we need to start rebuilding these homes, rebuilding these businesses and we know at different times in the past, money hasn't always come as quickly as it should, so I'm hoping that FEMA will be very prompt in getting the relief here. I know I have heard of families that have already received money from FEMA because-- as-- as you know, in a disaster like this, lot of people lose their-- their-- their checkbooks. They lose their credit cards. They lose their driver's license, their birth certificates, their insurance papers, they lose everything and they have no cash. And some of the banks were even hit, the ATM machines, so people need cash to get immediate needs. And the Red Cross, The Salvation Army takes care of those immediate-- needs, but then there comes a time, a-- a month from now or whenever it might be that people really start having to crank out the money to get their homes built and get the things they really need to replace things they lost.

BOB SCHIEFFER: We know about these-- these tragic deaths of-- of children in these schools. We know that a lot of these schools did not have a safe place where the children could go. Are you going to-- what are you going to do about that? Are you going to try to rethink how you build schools when you start to put these schools back?

GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN: Well, absolutely. And-- and let me just say that we do have a hundred schools in Oklahoma that do have safe rooms and schools that have been lost in the past, many of them have rebuilt rooms of some sort as a safe room in their school and we're certainly going to encourage that. But I do think it's important to have a very vigorous discussion as to what can we do within budgetary means to be able to provide a safe place and-- and certainly every school has drills. They have a plan. They have things that they are supposed to do. And-- and the teachers did follow those different plans. You know, any death is-- is very unfortunate, but it's truly incredible that we had only twenty-four deaths at this site because if you look at all the debris field and how wide it is, I don't-- I don't know how anybody survived this tornado. But people took the precautions they were supposed to take. But people took the precautions they were supposed to take, get into the inner central room, get into a bathroom, get into a closet or a hallway and there's some remarkable stories of teachers who did follow those procedures, who did get their children in those bathrooms and those hallways and they did survive.


GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN: And, you know, we're going to have that vigorous discussion.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Governor, our hearts go out to all of you down there. Good luck to you and thanks so much for being with us this morning.

GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN: Thank you, Bob. We just can't tell the people of America how much we appreciate their thoughts and prayers, especially their help. Thank you very much.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And joining us now from their home states, Oklahoma's Republican Senator Tom Coburn and New York Democrat Chuck Schumer. Senator Coburn to you first, so far so good according to Governor Fallin in Oklahoma this morning. She seems to think FEMA is doing what's necessary. There seems to be enough financial aid in the pipeline to take care of what's happened down there, as-- as horrific as it is. But I want to ask you about this whole way that this emergency aid is being handled. You had this huge fight over aid to the people that were hurt by Superstorm Sandy. You were one of those who were highly critical. You call the fifty-billion-dollar-aid package, "all you can eat buffet." Do you think we need to take another look at how we get this financial aid to these places that are in trouble?

SENATOR TOM COBURN (R-Oklahoma): I really do, Bob, you know, it disproportionately hurts the more populous states the way we do it. The economic damage indicator, the way it's calculated. So a large state like New Jersey or New York is disadvantaged under the system that we have today. And then we ought to have priorities about how we fund it instead of borrowing the money and that we ought to make sure the money is actually for the emergency at hand not for four or five years later and not allow bills to be actually loaded up with things that have nothing to do with the emergency at hand.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, what is it that needs to change?

SENATOR TOM COBURN: Well, the way we calculate damage. One, under the law it's only supposed to be when the local resources are overwhelmed. Oklahoma, I think, received over twenty-one different disaster declarations last year where, in fact, some of those we were overwhelmed, but the vast majority of them, we were not. So we've kind of translate-- transferred the responsibility for storms and damage to the federal government instead of to the state government. Oklahoma has done a great job. You know we have a rainy day fund. We took money from that for this. We've had a great response both through private money is being donated and then just the public as a whole pitching in, but we've created kind of a predicate that you don't have to be responsible for what goes on in your state and big storms like Sandy, or like this tornado, there're certain things that we can't do, that we need the federal government to do and--

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Senator Schumer, what's your take on that? Because folks, your constituents, are still recovering from Sandy. Are they going to need more help? Are we going about this in the wrong way?

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D-New York): No, I think that Sandy did a very good job for New York. Obviously, it was an overwhelming storm that couldn't be handled by the localities or even by these two large states. And, you know, Bob, we've always had a tradition in America. When the hand of God strikes in a very serious way, the localities can't handle it by themselves and Americans band together and say we're going to help the afflicted area. So for generations New Yorkers have paid out to hurricane victims in Florida, tornado victims in the Oklahoma/Missouri/Alabama region to fire-damaged states in the West. And when Sandy hit it took a little while, some people were against it, but bottom line is America stood by us and we're using that money well and the recovery is well on its way. There is a place where we're disappointed. I'd warn Tom about this, although our scale of damage was greater. It's taking a little too long for the money to flow to the homeowners and to the small businesses. And we like that to be a little quicker. I think we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel, but it's taken a while. But as for the relief to government, as for the emergency repairs, as for building back our beaches, it's been very good.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I want to--while I have you here--shift to the President's speech. The President declared last week that "It's time for the war on terrorism to end." He said like all wars it has to end. Senator Coburn, do you think the war on terrorism is over? I don't think the President said it was over, but he said we have to start bringing it to an end. What was your reaction to his speech?

SENATOR TOM COBURN: Well, I see a big difference between the President saying a war is at an end and whether or not you've won the war. We can claim that it's at an end, but this war is going to continue and we have still tremendous threats out there that are building, not declining, building. And to not recognize that I think is dangerous for us in the long run and dangerous for the world.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Senator Schumer:

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: Yeah, I think no one can dispute how strong the President's been on this war on terror. What he's saying is there's a new phase. We've been largely successful at dealing with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That's not over. There are new types of threats that we have to be vigilant about but he said under the-- under this long-term war on terror where small groups of individuals can hurt us we need some rules. We need some rules, we need some transparency so American citizens and the citizens of the world know we're not just going willy-nilly. I think under scrutiny what they've done will hold up very well but having transparency, having rules and engaging other activities other than military to help curb the war on terror--diplomacy, economic sanctions, and things like that is going to be useful as well. So I think the President did a very, very smart pivot realizing we're not going to let up on terrorists but at the same time we're going to meet the changes in the world.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Senator Coburn, the President also said that he's asked the attorney general to review all these investigations and to leaks of what he says is classified information and whether that's put a chilling effect on journalists trying to report the news. Do you think the attorney general is the right person to head up this review?

SENATOR TOM COBURN: Absolutely, not. You cannot investigate yourself and I think it's a total conflict of interest. First Amendment rights and the freedom of the press in this country and the intimidation that is going forward, it doesn't mean you shouldn't investigate it. And it shouldn't mean we shouldn't be tough on that. But allowing the very person that authorized the two things that we are very aware of today to investigate whether or not he did that appropriately is inappropriate.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask: do you think we need an independent counsel or something of that nature?

SENATOR TOM COBURN: Well, I certainly think we need to separate it from the authority of the attorney general since the decisions were made either by him or under him. And I don't think he can investigate himself and so, you know, I don't know what we're going to get back but the point is is there's an inherent conflict of interest in me judging whether or not I did something than reporting to the President.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Senator Schumer, what-- what do you think about that?

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: Well, the system is clearly broken. Look, we have two very serious interests here. We have the right of the government to protect certain information from becoming public. Often that's classified national security information; sometimes it falls into other ambits. At the same time we want a robust and full freedom of the press. And the only people who make the rules in this case are the government side. So what I've proposed along with Lindsey Graham and we'll be announcing that we have four Democrats and four Republicans and another Gang of Eight, I love these gangs of eight, I guess, is legislation that sets up rules where you have to go with-- if the government wants to go to a member of the press and say you have to divulge your sources in certain information, they first have to go to a judge. And that judge will impose a balancing test, which is more important, the government's desire to keep the information to find out who leaked the information or the robust freedom of the press. And if we can set up these rules, I think we'll avoid the morass. You always need set rules and an independent arbiter. We have neither now and I think our legislation which leader Reid has said he would put on the floor rather quickly could help break the problem that we've seen erupt from time to time in the past several years.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Senator Schumer, before I let you go I want to ask you about this New York mayor's race. Anthony Weiner who left the Congress in disgrace after he published some rather suggestive pictures of himself has announced that he is now running for mayor of New York City. Are you going to support him?

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: I'm not commenting on the mayor's race or on Anthony Wiener's race at this point, no.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think he ought not to run?

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: I'm not commenting, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well I guess that's that. Thank you all very much for being with us this morning. We'll be back in a minute.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And we're back now for some analysis. David Gergen worked in both the Reagan White House and Bill Clinton's White House. He's now at Harvard. Michael Gerson is the former George W. Bush speechwriter, now a columnist for the Washington Post.

David, you've seen a lot of controversies in your time in Washington. We had this IRS thing. We got the leaks investigation, all of the stuff going on. How do you think the White House has been handling it?

DAVID GERGEN (Harvard University): Not well, but I-- I do think it has to be put in context, Bob. Give them credit on one point and that is overall when you look back over the five years, this has been-- administration has been remarkably clean and-- and free of scandals and I think they do deserve credit for that. Having said that now that these events have come up, I-- I must say it's been a real surprise. We all think that the-- the Obama people do a superb job running a campaign but when it comes to running the government they can be so ham-fisted. It really sort of boggles the mind sometime. On these-- on these recent controversies, as you call them--and you know I have seen a lot of them--and they don't amount-- amount to Watergate, they don't amount to Iran-Contra. But they are important. They-- the government I think mishandled it in allowing these things to take place on the IRS front and allowing the things to take place with going after reporters. Then we came to the White House and how you communicate about this, I think-- you know, it's-- it's been a little stunning. I mean there's no-- they had to paraphrase in our world of journalism, what you need to do in the government when you got a bad set of facts on your hands you need to get them out-- you need to get the story out fast. But first you need to get it straight. And that's exactly what they haven't done. You know, they've had all these different conflicting stories and now we're into a third phase of this where we're not getting the answers. We don't know. I think right now the biggest thing they have to do: come clean. Tell us complete facts.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Michael Gerson:

MICHAEL GERSON (Washington Post): Well, I'd start by-- by reminding people that these are not second-term scandals, they're actually first-term scandals where the information on them was delayed until after the election for variety of reasons. So I don't know if that's successful or not successful in that-- in that political context. Clearly, they missed some classes in crisis management one-o-one. You're supposed to get information out before people even ask for it. You should have consistent explanations. But we need to remember two things: one of them is the Obama agenda was pretty much in trouble before the three scandals, if you look at what was going on at the time in budget negotiations, failure to pass gun control, or really overplaying their hand on-- on, you know, some other issues. So that's one thing. You know, this didn't create the problems. The second one is that messaging has limits here. You know communication-- sometimes you don't have a communications problem, sometimes you have a reality problem, okay. And we have an IRS that engaged in abuses and is stonewalling right now. And we have an attorney general that's deeply compromised and may have misled a congressional committee. I mean that's a serious set of accusations. These things are not going to be determined by what the White House--how it explains it. The facts are going to determine how this moves forward.

DAVID GERGEN: I agree with that. You know-- and my sense is-- Michael, I'll be curious about yours. My sense is that this White House is so politicized that when it comes to sort of a controversy like this what they want to do is to get out a good story instead of getting out the real story. And that that causes them problems. But if they just come with-- if they'd told us all the facts in the beginning on the IRS thing, I think they'd be in a lot less trouble right now.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think the President has hurt himself? Have these things hurt the President?

MICHAEL GERSON: Well, we're going to see how much they hurt politically. We can't really judge right now. We-- we don't know. I think that they've hurt the President philosophically. He has a certain view of the role of government. It's a benevolent government to help the middle-class and to help people rise in-- on the ladder of opportunity. Right now-- you know I'll point out two figures. One of them, according to Pew, the reputation or trust in government is at historically low levels and the scandals contribute to that. The second one is by a recent number more than twenty-two percent-- twenty-two percent of people more than that want to keep the law want to repeal Obamacare. That's a huge gap.

DAVID GERGEN: Summing up, it's widened.

MICHAEL GERSON: Right. It has widened in-- in recent months. Now-- so I think the President-- that's a tough message to bring into a midterm election when your philosophy of government is really under question and it's just a tough thing for American liberalism. At-- at the same time the President has expanded the role and reach of government that-- that we've had a declining reputation of government in America. I think those things are at odds.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You heard Senator Coburn say he thinks that the attorney general should not be in charge of this review of the leaks and so forth. I-- I actually agree with him on that. What-- what do you think?

DAVID GERGEN: I-- I think an outside group I'm not-- I'm not sure why a special counsel is needed on-- on the question of-- of the leaks. I'm not sure that there are any criminal laws that have been violated here. It's simply been a failure to observe the guidelines that were already in place and some-- and I think an outside group to do that. Question of special counsel arises more in the IRS situation and who is actually going to get to the bottom of this? Because right now we don't-- I think-- I think Michael's right. There is this-- it's in effect a crude form of stonewalling is going on.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you quickly. The President made a big speech on the war on terror and he says we have to bring this war to an end. But that's easier said than done. What did you take away from the fact that--

MICHAEL GERSON: I'm not even sure he said that, by the way. You know, I'm not sure there was a whole lot of new news in this speech. The President has a way of rhetorically distancing himself from the war on terror while conducting it. He has a way of criticizing the policies of his predecessor while implementing them almost exactly. What we learned from this speech is that he wants to reduce the pace of drone operations from the Obama level to the Bush level, okay? We learned that he wants to close Guantanamo, which he's wanted to do all along but hasn't given the Congress really a viable plan. We learned that he was going to have a special envoy to do this. Well, you had one, actually a very effective one. I think the reality here is that the President, you know, knows that we are going to conduct this war. He doesn't like to talk about it for ideological reasons and so you end up with a significant amount of moral preening and not much policy changing.

DAVID GERGEN: You know, Bob, I thought it was a big league speech so I welcome in that sense. I hope he does more on foreign policy. And I think it was also salutary that he's trying to demilitarize U.S. foreign policy and put it more back at the State Department. I think that's very, very welcome. But the speech at the end of the day did not address what the really hard our issues are: Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, especially Iran, weapons of mass destruction coming out of Iran could throw all of this out. We could be right back in a war on terror.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And we have to come back in a moment. I'll have some personal thoughts. Thank you both.

DAVID GERGEN: Thank you.


BOB SCHIEFFER: People often ask me of all the administrations you've covered which was the most secretive and manipulative? The Nixon administration retired the trophy, of course. Since then my answer is whichever administration is currently in power. Information management has become so sophisticated, every administration learns from the previous one. Each finds new ways to control the flow of information. It's reached the point that if I want to interview anyone in the administration on camera--from the lowest-level worker to a White House official--I have to go through the White House Press Office. If their chosen spokesman turns out to have no direct connection to the story of the moment, as was the case when U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was sent out to explain the Benghazi episode, then that's what we and you the taxpayer get. And it usually isn't much. So I am glad the President has asked the attorney general to review whether his investigations into leaks, is having a chilling effect on journalists, but it shouldn't stop there. The President needs to rethink his entire communications policy, top to bottom. It is hurting his credibility and shortchanging the public. And to head the review, how about someone other than the attorney general whose department is so deeply involved? That makes no sense to me. Back in a minute.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Some of our stations are leaving us now, but for most of you we'll be right back with a lot more on FACE THE NATION. Stay with us.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And welcome back to FACE THE NATION Part Two. For Page Two today we thought we'd explore a subject that affects everyone--the weather. So we have convened a panel of experts to tell us how bad things are going to get this summer and beyond. Heidi Cullen is the chief climatologist for Climate Central which is an independent organization of scientists and journalists who study the climate, now it's changing; Jeffrey Kluger is an editor-at-large for TIME Magazine. He co-wrote this week's cover story on the Oklahoma Tornado; David Bernard is with us in person today. He usually joins us from his weather watching post at WFOR TV, our CBS affiliate in Miami; and Marshall Shepherd is the president of the American Meteorological Society. He is in Atlanta this morning. Doctor Shepherd, I want to start with you because we've had floods. We've had droughts. We've had tornadoes. We've had superstorms. It's cold when it ought to be warm and it's warm when it is supposed to be cold. I guess, you know, if it starts raining frogs that's probably the only thing we haven't had so far. What is happening? Is this something different? Is this just a cycle? What's going on here?

J. MARSHALL SHEPHERD (American Meteorological Society/University of Georgia): Yeah, well, it really-- and-- and I'm a professor at the University of Georgia and here in-- in Georgia, we've actually had almost all of those examples that you just gave-- tornadoes in Atlanta. We flooded in 2009, a really bad drought. I-- I think it depends on which-- which phenomenon you talk about. Certainly, as I often say, weather is your mood and climate is your personality, so on any given day you can have really cold weather or really violent weather, but the scientific literature, including our recent AMS Climate Change statement, does suggest that our climate is changing and I think we can say some things about certain weather phenomenon and climate phenomenon that are more linked to this climate change and we are in a different climate system now. Almost every weather phenomenon happens in a warmer and more moist climate. And so I-- I think we do see some changes in our climate and some responses in our weather. I-- I-- I think it's a bit premature to say that there is a definitive link between that Moore tornado last week and-- and-- and climate change. But I think more research is needed there.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well-- well, Jeff, is there any consensus about what is causing this?

JEFFREY KLUGER (TIME): Well, in the case of the tornadoes, as Doctor Shepherd says, we're reasonably sure that there is no link. And-- and in fact, to the extent that climate change plays a role, the variables kind of neutralize one another, you get an increase in warm moist air, which feeds tornadoes, but you also get a decrease in the updraft, the vertical shear, so they sort of cancel each other out. I think what we see though the fact that we crossed four hundred parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere just last week. This is the highest it's been since the Pleistocene era when there were forests in Greenland and sea levels were sixty feet higher than they are now. As recently as 1958, it was only three hundred and fifteen. So, we have supercharged, super accelerated CO2 input into the atmosphere and this I think is what's driving so much of the mood or the-- the personality, the climate change variables we see.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Doctor Cullen, there's no question that it's getting warmer. We have a graphic here that just shows 2012 was the hottest year on record. It shows how much hotter it was. The entire country was affected. Is this going to get any better or is it going to get worse?

HEIDI CULLEN (Climate Central): It's not going to get any better if we don't do anything about it. I mean right now we've added about a degree and a half of extra warming to our atmosphere, the planet is that much warmer. And so what we are talking about is how does that extra degree and a half affect our day-to-day weather? And so right now I'd say that, you know, the jury is still out as to how global warming will affect tornadoes, which of those two variables will win out. But when it comes to things like heat waves, when it comes to things like heavy rainstorms, drought, wildfires, we know that, you know, the-- the atmosphere is on steroids, if you will. So basically, you know, we know that we'd have to deal with weather-related risks. We live in a country that has always seen extreme weather. We're basically moving in a direction where we're going to see more and more of certain of these extremes and-- and as we heard before that-- that stuff is really expensive.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, but what is causing this?

HEIDI CULLEN: So, basically, add additional heat to the atmosphere, suddenly, you're now adding more moisture to the atmosphere, so we know that certain kinds of extreme events are going to happen more frequently. So the heat wave that would only happen, say, one in a hundred years is now going to happen say once every fifty years. The statistics, if you will, the likelihood of seeing a certain kind of extreme increases just by the virtue of the fact that the planet is warmer, and then also when it comes to storms there is more moisture in the atmosphere. Those storms can now rain down more heavily and basically at the same time we've got more people in harm's way. We saw that with-- with Moore, Oklahoma, as well. So, you know, this combination of-- of amplifying risks, more people in harm's way, a warmer planet with more moisture to-- to bring more storms into-- into play, it basically just increases our vulnerability across the boards.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Dave Bernard, you're our man on the hurricane watch. We talked to you many times during hurricane season and the bad news is NOAA has come out with hurricane season predictions that say it could be worse this year than it-- than it was last year. They're predicting a likelihood of, I think, thirteen to twenty name storms of which seven to eleven could become hurricanes.

DAVID BERNARD (WFOR Miami): Well, you know, the key here is we have been in a climate pattern for the last twenty years of excessive storms in the Atlantic Basin. That climate pattern, Bob, is still in place, so that's the reason why we're looking at an elevated number of storms. Now, of course, the key everywhere year is, where do these storms go? That's one thing that we really can't tell ahead of time. Last year, there were nineteen storms and basically we had Isaac hit Louisiana and, of course, Superstorm Sandy. But the majority of the storms, they stayed out to sea. But with a forecast like that and the potential for more land falling storms, I-- I think there could be even a-- a greater impact and what we learned from Sandy and even going back to Hurricane Katrina and basically what Doctor Cullen was saying, we have more people now living on the coast than ever before. So the impact potential really is that much greater and we have to learn how to mitigate against these storms. Clearly, that was not done in the Northeast. We'd gone so long without a significant hurricane there. We've seen that in other areas. We have to learn to live with these storms and going forward since we don't know exactly where this climate pattern may take us. With a warming world we have to learn to adapt to these storms as well.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Doctor Shepherd, let me just cut to the chase here. Are we doing something here on Earth that is causing the weather to change or is this just one of the cycles that-- that what we go through?

J. MARSHALL SHEPHERD (American Meteorological Society): Yeah, this is a question I often get, Bob. Of course, I mean, it's amazing to me when someone comes up to me and says "Doctor Shepherd, the climate change is natural." I say, of course, it does. I should send my degree back to Florida State University, if I didn't know that. But what's most important about that is that on top of this natural variability, as-- as Heidi mentioned, we now have a steroid. Think of a basketball player. I mean I'm a big basketball fan. We were in the middle of the playoffs right now. A basketball ten feet high think of it this way: Climate change is actually adding about a foot to the basketball floor so that more people can dunk the basketball. There's just more amplification. That warmer and more moist climate is amplifying, as-- as Heidi mentioned, some of the weather systems that we see. And one quick point I want to make. I often get the question: well, what is the big deal? One and a half degree? Well, if our child gets a one-and-a-half or a two-degree fever that may not sound like a lot, but our body responds to that and our climate system as well. But the scary news is we're talking about an additional three- to ten-to-fourteen degrees perhaps in some models in the next one hundred years.


JEFFREY KLUGER (TIME): And one of the problems is the problem is getting worse, as Doctor Shepherd says. We have now baked in another fifty parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere. Even if we turned everything around now, what's in the pipeline already is going to increase up to four fifty and at a rate of 5.4 billion tons of CO2, the U.S. puts into the atmosphere every year and 2.4 million pounds per second that the world pumps in. We're getting a level of consensus on thousands of peer-reviewed studies over decades that have established the-- the connection between human activity and this kind of climate change and we have to face the reality that the problem exists and now we have to address it.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, what is the human activity then?

JEFFREY KLUGER: Well, the human activity principally is fossil fuels. Now finally, everybody attribute this is to cars principally. Actually forty percent of all of the contribution is our homes, our office buildings and things of that nature. Fossil fuels do make a difference. And we are actually making progress, the slow transition to renewables, the increase in-- in mileage standards for cars. All of this is bringing these numbers down, but all that's doing is sort of putting out the fringes of the wildfire that's blazing. We have to get to the heart of it and began to shut it down.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And this is not just something that the United States that's happening in the United States this is happening worldwide.

HEIDI CULLEN: That's what's so tricky about this problem, right? It's-- it's kind of the ultimate tragedy of the commons in the sense that we all contribute to the problem and so it-- it really, you know, someone once said that climate change is really about a million little fixes and it's also the biggest procrastination problem in the sense that the longer you wait to fix it, the tougher it gets to fix so the sooner we start the better off we are.

DAVID BERNARD: And I really think adaptation is going to be the key. We've already baked in this CO2. We can't get rid of that. So we have to learn to live with the way the climate is going and that means responsible development. We can't keep building in the same places that maybe more prone to floods. I live in Miami Beach. We're dealing with sea level rise. That's something we're going to have to think about going forward in this new reality.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Doctor Shepherd, what-- what I find kind of interesting is kind of like-- it's kind of like the country is divided in half. The western half of the country going through these droughts, which bring on the fires and all of that. Yet, on the eastern side of the country we have all these floods that are-- that are going on right now. Is there any reason, scientific reason, that it's kind of divided the country in half like this?

J. MARSHALL SHEPHERD: Well, it-- it is. One of the things that we've always known in the literature is that places that are drier likely will get more dry and places that are wetter will become more wet. If-- you have to really look at how weather patterns occur weather patterns occur as big waves in the atmosphere. We call them scientifically raspy waves. And so if you look at a weather map, for example, on any given day in terms of weather you'll have one part of the country that is cool and wet there and a big sort of dip in the wave pattern, a trough, as we call it. Meanwhile, you have-- you'll have a ridge of high pressure and nice weather in another part of the country. We're-- we're it's gorgeous here in Atlanta right now and I was watching the Braves and Mets last night in New York, pouring down rain and cool the last couple of days. That kind of take that sort of wave pattern and think about that from the perspective of climate. So you're not going to have the same type of response everywhere. That's why it's important to keep that in mind when we hear "Well, gee, it's really cold this last couple of weeks, what are you guys talking about, global warming?" You cannot say anything about the overall climate system by looking at the last couple of days or where you live. Boy, I wish I could actually predict my stock portfolio based on the stocks the last two weeks, the last two months. We can't do that. We cannot do that with our climate.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You know-- and as is always the case around my house, we say when everything else goes wrong and top of it the toilet breaks. I mean, the least the-- the thing you would least expect. In the middle of all this, Jeff, NOAA recently had one of its weather satellites go off line. What is the status of our technology?

JEFFREY KLUGER: The status of our technology is precarious and funnily it's easy to fix it. We have two major weather satellites hovering over the eastern half-- half-- East and West Coast, the GOES East and GOES West, they're called. They're in geosynchronous orbit. They just hover there. We have five polar satellites. These are all set to go down at one form or another, to wink out between 2015 and 2016. The earliest we can replace them will be those very years, which means that if there's any lag at all in launching construction schedules we're going to be struck blind. This we saw the wages of back during Sandy when the GOES East satellite did go down for a few weeks just as this storm was brewing and we did not predict the sharp left hook Sandy took into the Eastern Seaboard that is exactly what did the sixty-five billion dollars worth of damage. It took the European system to weigh in and inform us that this was about to happen. Now we had just enough assets in place, a spare satellite in orbit to swing into position and take care of this. But if we don't take care of this now and allocate the necessary money we are going to be vulnerable to whatever is out there.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I take you, you would endorse that?

HEIDI CULLEN: I-- you know, I couldn't have said it better. Right now ninety percent of the data that goes into our weather models comes from satellites and this infrastructure it's critical, it's our eyes in the sky and if we lose it we're flying blind. And we desperately, I mean, as a country that sees a lot of extreme weather across the board we need strong forward-looking forecasts.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I'll let you close it out here, Dave. What do we look for?

DAVID BERNARD: Well, I think as we go through the next few months everybody needs to keep in mind that regardless of where our climate is heading in the next fifty, one hundred years, the hurricane season it's here now and that's hurricane preparedness week and as we saw it last year, everybody from Maine to Texas, you need to be ready, you need to have a plan.

BOB SCHIEFFER: I guess we can't say have a nice day to close out this segment, but thank you all for being here. We'll be back in just a minute.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And we're back now on this Memorial Day weekend with best-selling author, Joseph Persico, whose latest book is Roosevelt's Centurions. It chronicles FDR's leadership as commander-in-chief during World War II. And I've been reading a lot about World War II lately, I just finished the Manchester third volume, which he, of course, started but died before he finished on Churchill and also Lynne Olson's book on those years leading up to World War II. So now-- now I'm weld into your book, Joe. And it's a fine book because it really does take a look at Roosevelt in a way that we probably haven't before. We remember him as the great World War II leader and all of that. But he was different. I mean he was commander-in-chief, but he took it to another level, didn't he?

JOSEPH PERSICO (Roosevelt's Centurions): Well, it's-- it's interesting, Bob, in that Franklin Roosevelt never spent a day in uniform in his entire life. But as our entrance into World War II approached, he sees the levers of military control like no President since Abe Lincoln. And he is, indeed, a war-time commander-in-chief and what was my goal was to examine what kind of commander-in-chief he was and the three roles that he performed, one of which was recruiter in chief and how good were the people that he chose to run the war? George Marshall for the Army, Ernie King for the Navy, Hap Arnold for the Air Force, Dwight Eisenhower to be the supreme commander. And then I wanted to examine how good a strategist he was because, even though, Roosevelt left the day-to-day conduct of the war to his generals, he made the major strategic decisions. And, finally, I wanted to examine him as morale officer. You're leading a country that's entering a war, the price is going to be exorbitant, and riches in life. How do you keep people loyal and committed to that crusade?

BOB SCHIEFFER: It-- it was interesting to me among those top commanders that he chose that he did choose Hap Arnold to head the Air Force. That turned out well, but the fact was Arnold was very much a part of the isolationist wing and-- and people that-- that thought we ought not to get involved in this before-- before the war broke out. How did he choose him?

JOSEPH PERSICO: Well, first of all, it's not surprising that a lot of people who were in the military in that era didn't vote for Roosevelt


JOSEPH PERSICO: But-- but Hap Arnold was impressed because Roosevelt believed in air power. And by the end of the war, Arnold described FDR as the father of the U.S. Air Force. Not himself, although he--


JOSEPH PERSICO: --he built the Air Force. But he described Roosevelt as the father of our Air Force.

BOB SCHIEFFER: How did he deal with his commanders?

JOSEPH PERSICO: He was very personal with them. For example, Pat was in all kinds of trouble for slapping GIs in Sicily. But Roosevelt brought him in into his office, heaped praise on him. He was the same with-- with Eisenhower. He's had an interesting relationship with George Marshall. George Marshall was his stout oak. George Marshall is the man he leaned on not just as his command of the-- the Army but in almost every decision. He tried to first name George Marshall because FDR had that very warm, inviting personality and Marshall chilled him on that. So he-- he remained till the end of the war General Marshall whereas Ike was Ike, George was Patton.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well-- and Marshall always called Eisenhower, Eisenhower. He never called him--


BOB SCHIEFFER: --by his first name. He was a very formal man. What about the relationship between Churchill and FDR?

JOSEPH PERSICO: Well, it starts out with the United States as the junior partner because by the time we get in the war, the-- the Brits have been in since 1939 we're going in 1941. And-- and (INDISTINCT) I think that Roosevelt deferred to Churchill on military matters because Churchill was a graduate of their equivalent of West Point. Sanders, he was a veteran of the Boer War. He had been first order of the admiralty twice and he was the head of a nation that had been in war two years before we were. So I think Roosevelt deferred him to this extent. It came time to decide where is America going to commit its troops first, all of FDR's generals are saying, "We cross the channel. We go into Western Europe, we drive on to Berlin." Churchill wants Roosevelt to commit U.S. forces in the first place in North Africa. Why? Because he conceives of this as the lifeline of the British empire and if he can get the northern coast of Africa secured, help secure the lifeline.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think that we-- that Roosevelt would have taken us into the war militarily had the Japanese not attacked Pearl Harbor? Because up until that point he saw us as the arsenal of democracy, we give the equipment and so forth to the people fighting that war.

JOSEPH PERSICO: Well, that's an interesting question. Part of the answer is that we-- he was at war and an undeclared war on the high seas on the Atlantic.


JOSEPH PERSICO: I mean and we shoot on site. We were-- we would be going after-- after German warships. The country was not eager for war. The polls showed prior to Pearl Harbor that most Americans didn't want to get involved in the European conflict. So my-- my guess is that he would have done everything he could. He originated Lend-Lease which was--


JOSEPH PERSICO: --billions of war material to the Brits. I don't think that he could have pulled it off without the strange, ironic events at Pearl Harbor, which was left-handed war for him.


JOSEPH PERSICO: Brought us into the war that he wanted to fight most which was against Nazi Germany.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, it's a wonderful book and, certainly, one I would recommend on this Memorial Day. Thank you very much.

JOSEPH PERSICO: Well, thank you, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Back in a minute.

BOB SCHIEFFER: For our FACE THE NATION Flashback on this Memorial Day weekend, we want to take you on a tour of what those of us who live here see every day--the Washington memorials and monuments honoring those who serve their country.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And that's it for us. We'll be right here next week on FACE THE NATION.

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