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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The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Kiyoshi Kurokawa and Najmedin Meshkati
Ten years ago, on March 11, 2011, the biggest recorded earthquake in Japanese history hit the country's northeast coast. It was followed by a tsunami that traveled up to 6 miles inland, reaching heights of over 140 feet in some areas and sweeping entire towns away in seconds.
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Nuclear power generates about 10% of the world's electricity (TWh = terawatt-hours). About 50 new plants are under construction, but many operating plants are aging. World Nuclear Association / CC BY-ND
<div id="07c42" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ac2be7bdc1a748c089d24d27f01992a2"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1366694917045690369" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🇸🇪 Nuclear Safety statement in IAEA BoG: Important safety upgrades introduced at 6 remaining nuclear power stations… https://t.co/FrgHv4N4UL</div> — SwedenUN Vienna 🇸🇪 (@SwedenUN Vienna 🇸🇪)<a href="https://twitter.com/SwedenUN_Vienna/statuses/1366694917045690369">1614680434.0</a></blockquote></div>
Author Najmedin Meshkati holding an earthquake railing in a Fukushima Daiichi control room during a 2012 site visit. Najmedin Meshkati / CC BY-ND
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"Watch. Connect. Take Action."
These words are the invitation and mandate of the WaterBear Network, a free film-streaming platform that launched in November of 2020. Its goal is to turn inspirational images of the natural world into actions to save it.
WaterBear CEO Ellen Windemuth uses films to inspire planet-positive actions. WaterBear
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By Kenny Stancil
Amid the ongoing climate emergency and the devastating coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. alone as well as an economic meltdown that has left millions of people unemployed, the Sunrise Movement on Thursday launched its "Good Jobs for All" campaign to demand that lawmakers pursue a robust recovery that guarantees a good job to anyone who wants one and puts the country on a path toward a Green New Deal.
<div id="c7fe3" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5664692fdfd187db01eff5ac2787c564"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1367650177436311562" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">We’re coming together to fight for each other and guarantee #GoodJobsForAll Join us: https://t.co/MoJhmlzoaS https://t.co/IAPa8DeeLR</div> — Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@Sunrise Movement 🌅)<a href="https://twitter.com/sunrisemvmt/statuses/1367650177436311562">1614908186.0</a></blockquote></div>
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bpperry / Getty Images
By Tara Lohan
Each year the amount of plastic swirling in ocean gyres and surfing the tide toward coastal beaches seems to increase. So too does the amount of plastic particles being consumed by fish — including species that help feed billions of people around the world.
Blue shark at Cape Point, South Africa, 2016. Steve Woods / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0