Jon Stewart Says U.N. Climate Summit Should Have Shown ‘Deep Impact’ to Get Leaders to Act

'If you really want to capture the full gravity of climate change, I think you should have chosen a different Morgan Freeman monologue.'
Sep 30, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife.


Climate change was a hot topic once again this week on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, as Monday’s episode lambasted world leaders for the apparent lack of progress made during the United Nations Climate Summit on Sept. 23.

“Just this past week, global leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations…annual motorcade competition,” Stewart said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the summit in the hope of ending decades of gridlock on climate change negotiations to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

While formal negotiations won’t happen until the next big round of climate change talks begin in Paris in December 2015, Stewart pointed to signs of trouble ahead.

The leaders of China and India skipped the summit, even though they are the first-and third-biggest producers of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, respectively. (The United States is the second-largest carbon polluter.)

While the U.S. participated in all portions of the summit, it has in the past rejected the notion of a carbon tax, something Ban has called for.

Brazilian leaders, meanwhile, have already said they wouldn’t agree to a plan that would call for halting deforestation by 2030.

The lack of consensus prompted Stewart to wonder if the whole summit was hopeless, but he found one agency that still believes the planet could be saved—the United Nations’ audiovisual department.

Stewart showed a clip of What’s Possible, the video narrated by Morgan Freeman that kicked off the climate summit. In the short film, Freeman talks of a future powered by energy sources that “won’t scar the land or poison the seas.”

But Stewart had a better idea.

“If you really want to capture the full gravity of climate change, I think you should have chosen a different Morgan Freeman monologue,” Stewart said, showing clips from the 1998 thriller Deep Impact, in which Freeman plays the president of the United States and an asteroid the size of Texas heads for Earth.

“This is it,” Freeman says in the clip. “If the world does go on, it will not go on for everyone; New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, all will be destroyed. So that’s it; good luck to us all.”

Stewart, of course, didn’t have a chance to see the sequel to the climate summit opening film, A World of Solutions, which was released Tuesday.