Today at the Makati Shangri-La in Manila, Philippines, President Barack Obama interviewed Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. A main topic of the discussion: climate change.
Obama asked Ma about how and why he's combating climate change. Watch here:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Okay. I know you've been passionate about the need to fight could. I want to get a sense from you of why you think it’s so important. I also want to get a sense of why you think it’s so important that business has a role in this process. And I know that in addition to the work that you've been doing with nonprofits recently, you've also been in conversations with Bill Gates about the potential of really turbocharging investment and research and development around clean energy. And we may be able to make some announcements about sort of this mission innovation in Paris. Give me a sense of how it looks to you from the vantage point of one of the most successful and largest organizations in history.
MR. MA: Thank you, President. Well, it’s not the passion, is the concern, the worry. When I was 12 years old, I went to swim in a lake, and I almost died in that lake because the water was too deep -- much deeper than I thought. About five years ago, I went to that lake again; the total lake was dry.
A lot of people have disease. The second concern, I have young colleagues died of cancer. Twenty years ago, very few people have heard about cancer, the word. But now almost -- most of the families, my friends, they have people have cancers. So we’ve been working so hard. If we work so hard and put all the money in the hospital, to buy medicine -- it will be a disaster. Why we should work? So without a healthy environment of this Earth, no matter how much money you make, no matter how wonderful you are, you have a bad disaster. So it’s the concern that we have.
So we started six years ago, and put 0.3 percent of the money -- of the total Alibaba revenue -- of encouraging, enable all the young people to find creative ways to solve the problem. And I think the money is always not enough, but the money we use to try to wake up the people’s consciences. They should know that the climate change problem; they should agree that the water is a problem, the food is a problem. So that is what we think.
And after we're doing that, all we believe is where is the opportunity. The opportunity always lies in the place where people worry. If you solve the worry problem, that's the greatest opportunity you have. So after five years, we -- this is a huge chance to, as you said two weeks ago, about inviting to join the force together, investing in clean technology. I think it's a fantastic idea, and I think to me and the company believe this is something we can do to contribute.
As you say, we are not the company -- compared to 50 years ago, we are big. But compared to 50 years later, we are small. But if we do not care about this Earth, we do not care about the water, food, environment, I think nobody can survive whether you're big or small. So this is the concern. This is the worry I have.
Here's the White House transcript of the event:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you! (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you. Everybody, please have a seat. Well, good morning.
AUDIENCE: Good morning.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I understand that Jack set the place on fire this morning already with his remarks -- (laughter) -- so he’s a hard act to follow. And I’m going to keep my remarks brief because, unlike some previous APEC CEO summits where I’ve just made a speech, we’ve got an opportunity I think to hear from a couple of outstanding individuals. I want to thank Jack, as well as Aisa Mijeno for joining us. And you’ll find out more about Aisa -- you probably know about Jack -- but she’s outstanding, and I think an example of why I feel extraordinarily optimistic about our future.
It is wonderful to be back in the Philippines. We appreciate President Aquino and the Filipino people for their warm welcome and for their leadership in hosting this year’s APEC Summit. So, to our Filipino hosts -- salamat po. (Applause.)
President Obama's former top political adviser, David Axelrod, says that "It would be a terrible mistake" for Hillary Clinton not to take questions from the press. Axelrod also once worked for the Clintons.
President Obama gave a pre-Super Bowl interview in the White House kitchen to NBC's Savannah Guthrie, where the two talked about (and drank) beer:
Obama "agreed to spend a few moments with us live," said Guthrie, explaining that the rest of the interview will be taped and aired for tomorrow's Today Show. "We're in the White House kitchen, where, among other things, you brew beer."
The green-lipstick wearing interviewer of President Barack Obama expressed her concern that the "po-po" (meaning: police officer) might shoot and kill her husband. The interviewer, GloZell Green, made the remarks to the president in an "interview" held today at the White House:
According to a local CBS Arizona affiliate, President Obama and his team have 3 tactics to make sure reporters stick to the 4 minutes the White House has allotted them to interview the leader of the world: a countdown clock, a looming aide, and they have to conduct the interview with the president while standing up.
One CBS anchor called the measures "a little ridiculous."
On the eve of the Netanyahu visit to Washington, President Obama gave a lengthy interview to Jeffrey Goldberg that shows a chief executive who has learned next to nothing about the world in his five years in office.