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Gloria Ruben exclusive interview at the Heart of Green Awards

  • Broadcast in Environment



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2009 awardee of the Heart of Green Awards emceed the night. Prior to the ceremonies, I was able to interview her. We talked about the false campaign of coal as a reliable safe energy source. Coal has not helped our economy and we need real green jobs. Not clean coal, but solar, wind, geothermal, tidal.


0:01 Seth Leitman

Green Living Guy here at the Heart of Green Awards, a beautiful __00:05__ looking at a view. My goodness! Well, you'll see it on Green Living Guy. I took a couple of pictures from the park and from the water and staying here with the MC, Gloria Ruben, from oh my goodness, how many times -- I was just saying how am I used to watch her all the time with my wife on TV at 10 o'clock every Thursday and she just rocked it out and now she is here rocking it out in a totally different green way. So, tell me what is it to be back at the Heart of Green Awards?

0:34 Gloria Ruben

It feels great, especially in this gorgeous night. Incredible health quickly in one year can go by though.

0:42 Seth Leitman

I hear you. I hear you.

0:44 Gloria Ruben

Last year and then it was such -- it was really such a __00:46__ to be at the Heart of Green Awards ceremony. It's wonderful. It's always encouraging, especially during this time when there can be so much time that we battle our falsehood __1:00__ what have you in regards to the reality of power plants ____ changing environmentally. It's always great to get inspired in a __1:09__ from night like tonight.

1:10 Seth Leitman

That's what it will be.

1:11 Gloria Ruben

And recognized for the leadership on the issue.

1:13 Seth Leitman

And there's a lot of great people and that it's awesome what you're doing here tonight and I'll be doing video view and just enjoying what's here. And so, people that might not know out there, you won last year. So, tell us what you won for because I mean I know you from TV, but the green thing for millions of people out there probably like, "Well, what's green?" So, tell everybody.

1:41 Gloria Ruben

Well, last year's award was primarily for the work that I've been doing on the issue of the coal industry.

1:48 Seth Leitman

Oh yeah.

1:49 Gloria Ruben

Yeah. So,...

1:50 Seth Leitman

Clean coal.

1:50 Gloria Ruben

No such thing.

1:51 Seth Leitman

I know.

1:52 Gloria Ruben

Exactly. That's exactly the point, right?

1:57 Seth Leitman

Exactly, right, yeah.

1:59 Gloria Ruben

The coal has got a lot of money spreading that falsehood. So, over the last couple of years, actually I've really made it a mission. I've of course expanded that mission to the broader issue of climate change, but started out with this issue of coal, getting specific about the mountaintop removal, coalmining disasters that continued to happen in __02:21__ stepping up to the play to help kind of sort these barbaric acts.

2:26 Seth Leitman

They're now stepping up, thank goodness.

2:28 Gloria Ruben

Yeah. And then we have a new administration.

2:29 Seth Leitman


2:30 Seth Leitman


2:30 Gloria Ruben

It helps a great deal.

2:31 Gloria Ruben

But also the other factors that are outlining the whole issue of gathering coal and using that, the 50% of our electricity resource __2:39__ the United States, mercury poisoning in our waterways and in our fish, coal ash lagoons that are unlined, sipping toxic chemicals into the groundwater. The air that is -- people that are living in these areas, where there are coal-fired power plants, are clearly dealing with a number of serious and lifelong health issues. So --and I guess people, they took notice and so I've got...

3:08 Seth Leitman

Yeah. And that's fantastic -- I mean that the whole concept of clean coals is a constant rhetorical question I say to myself and then I just decided one day, I said, "You know what, no."

3:20 Gloria Ruben


3:21 Seth Leitman

No such thing. I'm sorry. We could try. It all ends up. One thing I tell the story to some people is that I remember when I was doing my master's program and I was studying coal-burning power plants that were being built by the world bank in China and I was fortunate enough to be able to go to -- inside the world bank and meet the project manager, who was actually the money transfer guy between the world bank and China, to do this coal-burning power plant and I as a New Yorker was able to look him in the eye and say, "What are you thinking? Do you realize what you're doing?" And the answers were like, "We're just so smelling of methane that you just decided that it was like -- this is wrong."

4:09 Gloria Ruben

Right. Well, it's clearly a big business for him __04:11__ at the expense of _____ for our lives, for our health, for our air, for our water. Now, the good is that there is a lot more awareness going on clearly in this country and around the world on the issue of coal-fired power plants. So, eventually, the more people that know about it -- that know the truth about it and know the actual facts about it are more apt either communicate or start having a dialogue, which is of course the first thing, and eventually, the more that people kind of learn about the disasters that are happening, look, we all know about the tragedy that just happened in West Virginia.

4:43 Seth Leitman

Oh yeah, I was just thinking that while you were talking about that.

4:45 Gloria Ruben

Within a few days, there was also a coalmining disaster that happened in China.

4:50 Seth Leitman

And then we talked about that.

4:51 Gloria Ruben

And there was that huge supertanker going -- leaving Australia filled with coal on the way to China that ran a ground of the Great Barrier Reef. So, now, in succession, these three things happened in about five or six days of each other, it's almost like we're getting messages from the divine.

5:10 Seth Leitman

I believe that. I really do believe that.

5:12 Gloria Ruben

We need to stop. So, anyway, back to tonight.

5:15 Seth Leitman

Back tonight, it's great to be here, but it's what we're here about. That's the heart. That's our heart and that's why we're so passionate about why people are worrying such great things. And Gloria, thank you so much for your time. I know it's a busy night, but thank you for -- and rock it out as the MC. All right. Green Living Guy saying one step at a time guys, it's all it takes. One little thing every day, and when you do that, you'll get greener and greener and you'll realize things, and just one little thing you're learning today, how coal is not a way to go, bye-bye.