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CNN10 2022-12-14

CNN 10

Nationwide Winter Storm; Nuclear Energy Breakthrough; Concerns About Bee Colonies. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired December 14, 2022 - 04:00:00 ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. It's your boy Coy. Wonderful Wednesday to you.

Last week, so many of you accepted my challenge. You are giving me a unique word of your choice to work into the show. We had a lot of fun responses so we're doing it again. It's your word Wednesday. Follow me @CoyWire on Insta, Snapchat and TikTok, and put your challenge words in the comment section of my most recent post, and we're going to choose one fun word to work into Friday's show.

All right. It's time for the best minutes in news because it's with you right here on CNN 10.

We start with news on a winter storm. This week all across the country, winter storm warnings, winter storm watches and winter weather advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service. The strong start to the snow season is in place for an area that extends as far east as the upper Midwest, northern Great Lakes and interior parts of the Northeast. In fact, 25 million people from Texas to Mississippi are under threat of severe storms.

In the south, two tornado watches are in effect. One in the Dallas area, the other in southern Oklahoma and about 15 million people largely in the north central U.S. are under winter weather warnings or advisories including fears of intense snow, ice, hail and freezing rain.

These storms are leaving a trail of damage especially in parts of Oklahoma and Texas where buildings were wiped off of their foundation and homes and businesses were seriously damaged. In addition, roads were closed in traffic was delayed. This remains a developing story we're going to keep you updated right here on CNN throughout the rest of this week.


WIRE: Ten-second trivia: in science, what is occurring when two atoms slam together to form a heavier atom?

Combustion, fusion, fission or oxidation?

Answer here is fusion. When two or more atoms are joined together to make a larger atom.


WIRE: This week, scientists with the U.S. Department of energy have reached a breakthrough in nuclear fusion for the first time ever in a lab setting, researchers say they generated more energy from a fusion reaction than they use to start the process. We're talking two or more atoms being fused together to form a larger one, and if scientists figure this out, fine tune it and harness this capability, we could potentially power our entire house from essentially a glass of water forever. This could help end dependence on fossil fuels. Talk about a game changer in the future of clean energy.

We'll go now to CNN national correspondent Rene Marsh for more of the science behind the story.


RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, scientists at a Department of Energy lab in California have figured out how to successfully produce a nuclear fusion reaction with a net energy gain. That means they've succeeded in taking two hydrogen atoms and using 192 powerful lasers to force those atoms to fuse together, unleashing the same kind of energy that powers the sun and stars.

Until now, that has been incredibly difficult to replicate here on earth. The key is though that they've been able to release more energy from the reaction than they use in the fusion process itself and that's critically important. For anything to be a viable source it needs to have a higher energy output than the energy input used to generate the power.

So this is a huge moment mostly because the discovery could eventually unlock an unlimited cheap, clean power source for the world. Now, this discovery has also proved this is a viable energy source and no longer a hypothetical scenario. But as major as this is in the quest to pivot away from dirty energy sources like fossil fuels, we're still a far away off from powering our homes by way of nuclear fusion it's estimated it could take two even three decades before this energy source is widely used.

Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.


WIRE: When hurricane Ian pummeled Florida in late September, it brought over $50 billion in damage to the state and tragically took lives of 148 people. It also had an unexpected consequence. It destroyed Florida's bee colonies. The colonies are used to pollinate the nation's agriculture.

CNN chief climate correspondent Bill Weir spoke to Florida beekeepers about what this could mean.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you going to get a handful of bees.




(voice-over): I'm not usually in the habit of accepting a handful of stinging insects. But Keith Councell has a 40-year professional relationship with honeybees.

And you never really wear a veil or gloves or anything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't really need to.

WEIR (voice over): And these days, they need all the love they can get.

Hurricane Ian arrived at the worst possible time for this business. Just as beekeepers from around the country were set up to catch the autumn bloom of the Brazilian peppertree.

The storm drowned and crushed hundreds of thousands of hives, killing countless millions of bees.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's gone. You have to come back, right, nothing left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could actually see a water line where it came up to here.

WEIR: And because Ian blew away so much vegetation, those that survived are starving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of these bees have going to get three shots of feed and that's a gallon. So you're talking about 36 pounds of feed already and you can still go back after they suck the feed down and it looks like they never were fed at all.

WEIR: They're just starving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're just starving. Yes, it's nonstop. So it's just an added cost and you're just trying to do the best you have to make that tough decision of really is it worth the money. The financial costs to try to save it or do you just have to walk away and take your medicine.

WEIR: This is all bee food.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be used for liquid bee food. Yeah.

WEIR: At Mann Lake Bee and Ag Supply, they're mixing sugar water as fast as they can. And while some bee farmers filed for federal relief, the Greater Good Charity is giving away a quarter ton of pollen substitute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have donated meals to food pantries for humans. We've donated animal supplies to animal shelters. And now, we're donating this bee pollen substitute to these farmers here.

WEIR: Can't forget the bottom of the food chain, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, can't forget what helps get all the other food to the table as well.

WEIR: But even if their bees recover, the whole business depends on the health of the almond crop in California now shrinking under mega drought.

If the drought takes out the almond crop in California that --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole beekeeping industry is going to be in trouble and there's no feral bees. There's no -- wild bees can't survive on their own.

WEIR: He explains the pesticides development and invasive pests have made it impossible for bees to survive without deliberate human care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if all the beekeepers released all of their bees, every beekeeper in the country, if they just released all their bees into the wild, we estimated about two to three years; the poor bees would just collapse. These are the most important farmer. They're the most forgotten as well.

And that's why we just need the entire public to really continue to get involved in bees and a little -- two bee hives makes a big impact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They went totally underwater, somehow made it.

WEIR: In the meantime, all Keith can do is pick up the pieces and focus on the survivors. Like the hive, he found drowned inside a water meter box near Fort Myers Beach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a different feeling and you have bees walking all over you.

WEIR: It really is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And nobody's getting stung. Yes, they're doing their thing.

WEIR: Maybe they can sense we're rooting for him, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, and that's part of the thing you have to treat him with respect. When you get down to it, the bees are the pillars to all agriculture. They're the pillars to our whole civilization.


WIRE: And up next, an adorable story for our 10 out of 10.

The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control has strict rules about what types of animals people can have in their yards but they were hit with cuteness overload when they got a letter from a six-year-old Madeline asking if they'd let her keep a unicorn in their backyard if she's able to catch one someday.

Well, knowing that unicorns are notoriously difficult to find in Los Angeles the department went ahead and gave her a stuffed unicorn in the meantime along with a permanent unicorn license. Good luck, Madeline.

All right special shout out to Valley View Junior High in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Go Blazers. We hope you and everyone watching around the world have a wonderful one.

Can you believe that we're fewer than three weeks until 2022 is over? Well, I can't wait to celebrate the New Year with you.

I'm Coy Wire and this is CNN 10.