Samantha Bee on climate crisis: ‘Every sewage worker should be paid $3bn a year’

Late-night hosts joined forced for an initiative to educate viewers on the damage being wrought by the climate crisis, something that the Full Frontal host Samantha Bee said was “slowly making the planet uninhabitable”.

She focused on sewage, prefacing it by saying: “I really don’t wanna do this segment” and that she “actually bit the writer who pitched this idea”.

Bee explained that some sewer systems are more than a century old, which leads to a number of structural issues, including storm water runoff not being separate from waste from bathrooms. It leads to 900bn gallons of untreated sewage feeding into US waterways every year.

People are still flushing other forms of waste down their toilets, which leads to more fatbergs, which then leads to raw sewage backing up into basements or lakes. “That is why every sewage worker should be paid $3bn a year,” she said.

The current infrastructure is no match for the onslaught of storms that we have been experiencing. It’s affecting the quality of water, which contains more harmful bacteria, and, as Bee explained, “racism plays an unfortunate role” with communities of colour often having less effective septic systems.

Bee joked that for white people, “the worst water horror story is when the waiter says ‘we’re out of sparkling’”.

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert said that it was climate week in New York, all part of the UN general assembly where hundreds of world leaders are meeting with climate activists “to attempt the one thing to fight climate change that no industrialised nation has done before: anything”.

He joked about the multi-show initiative, saying that by joining together for one night, “crisis solved, you’re welcome”.

Colbert spoke of the younger generation’s fears, saying that 56% of 16- to 25-year-olds think that humanity is doomed. “Nice try kids but you’re not getting out of your student loans,” he said.

A large percentage of Americans simply don’t think it will affect them. He compared it to “soccer” saying that “we know it’s out there and it matters to the rest of the world but no one can make us care.”

It’s affecting crops across the world which could lead to less durum wheat which could then lead to less pasta. “What good is boiling the oceans if you can’t throw some noodles in there for dinner?” he joked. “The water’s already pre-salted.”

There is also an effort to create the world’s whitest paint which would reflect 98% of solar radiation while also emitting infrared heat and could eliminate the need for air conditioning.

“This paint is so white it drives a Mini Cooper to an Ed Sheeran concert,” Colbert said before saying it probably has a “daughter named Hailey”.

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah focused on the “weird little” things that “are changing the world in all sorts of ways”.

He showed footage from a worrying story about turtles who lay their eggs on the beach but with the temperature of sand rising, it could affect the sex of their babies, Heat tends to produce female turtles. “It’s also gonna make for some really lame gender reveal parties,” he said.

The climate crisis is also set to affect the quality of coffee beans as well as the natural ingredients of beer and wine. “The Real Housewives are already fighting each other at current wine levels,” he said. “You raise that any higher and that show’s gonna have to move to UFC.”

Increased heat also dampens sex drive which leads to maybe 100,000 fewer births a year. It also means we are getting angrier and more violent which could result in 20-50,000 more violent crimes a year. “A future of no sex and tons of violence so basically Drake’s album cover but no one is pregnant and everyone is punching each other,” Noah quipped.

He added: “If anything is going to motivate people, it would be the end of sex.”

Noah mentioned that Afghanistan is the sixth most affected country when it comes to how food can be transformed by climate change, which helped the Taliban take over recently. “This really shows how desperate climate change can make people,” he said.

Finally, it also affects objects in space. Everything above us will stick around longer, like debris, leading to a higher chance that they will collide with Earth.

“We could be facing a future where your sex-starved husband gets killed by space junk while he’s on the way to join the Taliban,” he said.

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