Greta Thunberg Punches Back After Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Jabs at Her Youth
Thunberg gave an impassioned speech at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, in which she called for an immediate divestment from fossil fuels. Mnuchin, at a press conference, dismissed her completely, pretending not to know who the TIME Person of the Year is.
"Is she the chief economist? Who is she? I'm confused," he said when asked about her comments, as The New York Times reported.
He then insisted that he was joking, but continued to brush her off as ill-informed and not somebody world leaders should listen to.
"After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us," said Mnuchin at a press briefing, as The New York Times reported.
In her speech on Tuesday, Thunberg, who has a knack for shaming powerful adults for inaction and selfish behavior that will leave future generations in a crisis, said, "I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing the climate chaos you knowingly brought upon them?"
When asked about Mnuchin's comments before a Friday protest in Davos, Thunberg simply said, "We cannot care about those kinds of things," as the New York Post reported. She added that Mnuchin's insults had no effect on her and her fellow activists who are criticized all the time.
She also tweeted a response, "My gap year ends in August, but it doesn't take a college degree in economics to realize that our remaining 1.5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don't add up."
She added, "So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments."
As The Guardian noted, Mnuchin's comments expose the wide chasm between the Trump administration and climate activists. When Mnuchin was pressed on the climate crisis, which has been a focal point of the talks in Davos, the treasury secretary said that environmental issues are "clearly complicated."
The former hedge fund manager and former Goldman Sachs executive then told reporters, "When I was allowed to drive I had a Tesla. I drove in California. I liked it.
"But nobody focuses on how that electricity is made and what happens to the storage and the environmental issues on all these batteries," as The Guardian reported.
He also insisted that the U.S. private sector is showing leadership on environmental issues rather than through government. Despite the fact that the U.S. is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, Mnuchin insisted that much more attention needs to be paid to the environmental damage caused by India and China, as The Guardian reported.
When addressing the issued of divesting from fossil fuels, Mnuchin urged caution, noting that there are "significant economic issues, issues with jobs." As The Guardian reported, he added, "Many economies are transitioning to more efficient and cleaner energy. That doesn't have to be all renewables."
Other world leaders were far more receptive to Thunberg's call for a radical overhaul of the global economy.
"The impatience of our young people is something that we should tap," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In her address to the World Economic Forum, Merkel called for more international cooperation to combat the climate crisis.
Echoing Thunberg, she said, "I am totally convinced that the price of inaction will be far higher than the price of action," as The Guardian reported.
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.