12 Tweets Worth Noting on GOP Debate on Climate and Renewables
The GOP presidential debate last night took place at the University of Colorado Boulder. The theme of the debate was the economy, and it was moderated by CNBC. Just as with the previous debates, this one was criticized by environmentalists for not focusing enough on climate issues. Specifically, many on Twitter criticized the candidates for not discussing the huge economic impacts of climate change.
So far, this economic #GOPdebate has no mention of the climate crisis that is costing the US $150 billion annually https://t.co/71YanoUsnA— Sierra Club (@Sierra Club)1446082815.0
#TakeItToTheBank Citigroup estimats inaction on climate change would cost global GDP $44 trillion by 2060 #GOPDebate https://t.co/T6qn20OLcN— NextGen America (@NextGen America)1446078499.0
I missed the #GOPDebate , who had the best plans for fighting climate change, protecting endangered species, and ending overfishing?— Dr. David Shiffman (@Dr. David Shiffman)1446083916.0
“Unchecked climate change will devastate our economy. Full stop," said Tom Steyer of NextGen Climate. "The Republican candidates haven’t presented a plan to address climate change—and so those candidates still aren't ready to be president. The next president simply cannot stand by as climate change hurts our economy, kills jobs and increases costs for American families.”
Did the #GOPDebate just talk more about fantasy football than #climate change?— Greenpeace USA (@Greenpeace USA)1446084391.0
In the main debate, Chris Christie at least mentioned climate change and "broke the Republican field’s silence on clean energy by talking about the jobs wind and solar create in Iowa and across the nation," as the Sierra Club put it. Christie said he wants to see more investments in renewables from the private sector.
Hot tip for talking about job creation at #GOPDebate: #CleanEnergy investments create 3x as many jobs as fossil fuel https://t.co/s48dwweehN— Sierra Club (@Sierra Club)1446080459.0
THE GOP IS TALKING POSITIVELY ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY!!!!! #GOPDebate— Cathaholic (@Cathaholic)1446083905.0
"We worked with the private sector to make solar affordable and available to businesses and individuals in our state," he said. "That's the way we deal with global warming—not through government intervention, not through government taxes, and for God's sake, don't send Washington another dime until they stop wasting the money they are already sending now." Christie also said he was interested in other energy sources, like oil, natural gas and wind.
Did @ChrisChristie just say we need to burn more fossil fuels to solve the climate crisis? #GOPDebate https://t.co/dk0forxZ6o— Sierra Club (@Sierra Club)1446083999.0
In the earlier debate, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former New York Gov. George Pataki both criticized their party for denying the science on climate change. Graham was asked by moderator Carl Quintanilla if he is "in the wrong party's debate" because of his views on climate change.
See what the senator has to say (question begins 50 seconds in):
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Pataki also fielded a question about his views on climate change. He started off by saying, "One of the things that troubles me about the Republican party is too often we challenge science that everyone accepts."
FactCheck did take issue with one of Pataki's claims, though. Pataki said, "There’s one country in the world that has fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the rest of the world. You know what that is? The United States. Our emissions are lower than they were in 1995."
Pataki said that the U.S. is the only country to have reduced its CO2 emissions since 1995. That’s not true—other countries, particularly in Europe, have reduced their emissions over the same time period, some by a greater margin than the U.S.
A spokesman for Pataki clarified in an email that he meant that “the U.S. is the only country in the world that actually emits less carbon than it did in 1995.”
The U.S. has reduced its CO2 emissions since 1995; according to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. emissions were about 5.32 billion metric tons in 1995, and 5.27 billion metric tons in 2012, the latest year with available data. But other countries have also seen CO2 emissions drop over that period.
For example, France’s emissions were about 373 million metric tons in 1995, and that fell to 365 million in 2012. Germany’s emissions fell from 891 million metric tons in 1995 to 788 million in 2012, a greater drop than the 50 million seen in the U.S. Italy, the United Kingdom, Nigeria and several other countries also saw emissions drop.
Because Huckabee is a minister who often speaks about the economy, and most other issues, as a moral issue, many on Twitter took digs at the former governor for not seeing climate change as a moral issue:
Huckabee, if this country ran on morality #ClimateChange would not be an issue. Where's your moral compass on abusing our planet? #GOPDebate— Asma Mahdi (@Asma Mahdi)1446080061.0
@GovMikeHuckabee climate change is a matter of math AND morality #ActOnClimate #GOPDebate— NextGen America (@NextGen America)1446080258.0
Strange to see Mike Huckabee railing against a "bag of gas" when that's the key element of all the #GOPdebate field's energy plans.— Sierra Club (@Sierra Club)1446082615.0
Bernie Sanders had this to say last night about the GOP rejecting climate science.
It is an embarrassment that we have a major political party that rejects the overwhelming science on climate change.— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders)1446078246.0
Many conservatives are making a strong case for climate action. Last month, 11 Republican members of Congress, led by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY), introduced a resolution that put the climate challenge in a broader context of conservation, stewardship, innovation and conservatism. And recent polling from three prominent Republican pollsters shows that a majority of Republicans want climate action and support renewable energy.
There is a strong conservative case for climate action: @bobinglis ahead of the #GOPDebate https://t.co/mzzfZ9E2FX https://t.co/GL9pZPTIaK— The Climate Group (@The Climate Group)1446048524.0
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Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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