Ted Danson Joins Jane Fonda at Climate Crisis Protest. Both Are Arrested
First, Jane Fonda's Gracie and Frankie co-star Sam Waterson joined her. Then, Ted Danson accompanied her on the step of Capitol Hill for her weekly Fire Drill Fridays protest. The duo was arrested Friday demanding congressional action to address the climate crisis, as CBS News reported.
This is the third week in a row that Fonda, an 81-year-old, has been arrested in a red coat outside the capitol. The actress and political activist said she moved to DC "to be near the epicenter of the fight for our climate," on her website. "Every Friday through January, I will be leading weekly demonstrations on Capitol Hill to demand that action by our political leaders be taken to address the climate emergency we are in. We can't afford to wait."
So far, she has been true to her word. She and Danson were arrested with 30 other people for "unlawfully demonstrating in the intersection of East Capitol and First Streets" and were charged with crowding, obstructing or incommoding, according to US Capitol Police, as CNN reported.
Each week's protest has a theme. This week's was "Ocean's Can't Wait." But, in a cruel twist, the police confirmed to a Washington Post journalist, that the zip ties used to cuff protestors are single-use plastics, as Variety reported.
Danson and Fonda chanted alongside demonstrators, "The oceans are rising and so are we!"
Danson smiled as he was arrested. The 71-year-old actor said he had planned to take it easy when he turned 70, but "then I met Jane Fonda, who had her foot on the gas pedal and was not only 80, but was going 80 miles per hour at all times," he said, as the Los Angeles Times reported.
"She's astounding, she became my mentor, and here I am about to get arrested ... It focuses your brain a little bit," he added.
Fire Drill Fridays tweeted ".@TedDanson was just arrested for the first time. This is an inconvenient crisis so we must get uncomfortable and put our bodies on the line to demand action on climate and protection of our oceans. #firedrillfriday."
. @TedDanson was just arrested for the first time. This is an inconvenient crisis so we must get uncomfortable and put our bodies on the line to demand action on climate and protection of our oceans. #firedrillfriday pic.twitter.com/5R3QOyGYEb— Fire Drill Fridays (@FireDrillFriday) October 25, 2019
This upcoming Friday's protest is themed, "Women Can't Wait," according to CNN. It is geared toward "increasing women and girls' education, advancing reproductive justice and centering women and girls in climate solutions works," according to the Fire Drill Friday website, as CBS News reported.
The following week will focus war and the military, according to the Fire Drill Friday website. "Just one percent of the 2019 military budget of $716 billion would be enough to fund 128,879 green infrastructure jobs instead, and it would take just 11 percent — or $80 billion — to produce enough wind and solar energy to power every household in the United States," the site reads.
The Friday protests, which are inspired by Greta Thunberg's Fridays For Climate school strikes, will continue through January.
"I can no longer stand by and let our elected officials ignore — and even worse — empower — the industries that are destroying our planet for profit. We can not continue to stand for this," Fonda wrote on Firedrillfridays.com.
Fire Drill Friday does say which other celebrities will lend their star power to the cause and join her in DC.
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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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