For Rolling Stone‘s latest cover story, contributing editor Jeff Goodell traveled to Alaska to interview President Obama about the world’s looming climate catastrophe — a catastrophe that’s already reshaping the Arctic state. Goodell spoke to Obama for more than an hour about the president’s efforts to address climate change, the upcoming Paris climate talks and what’s at stake for future generations.
This exclusive video takes you behind the scenes of Goodell’s interview and Obama’s tour of Alaska.
“President Obama’s trip to Alaska marked the last big push of his presidency; the last big thing he wants to accomplish, I think, is to get something done on climate,” says Goodell. “The world is really looking towards him for leadership on this. I think that he understands that. I think that climate is the one big thing where he hasn’t done what he wanted to do.”
He goes on, “It’s not often that the president devotes as much time as he gave to us…. It was an actual conversation. I really got to drill down with him into a single issue, and his own personal feelings about the loss that climate change is bringing to the natural world.”
As part of that conversation, Goodell asks the president, “Doesn’t it scare the shit out of you sometimes?”
“Part of my job is to read stuff that terrifies me all the time,” Obama responds.
“My job up here — the whole point of this trip — is to sound the alarm.”