Trump to Tout America as Environmental Leader in a Speech on Monday
Despite cutting more than 80 environmental regulations, appointing a climate change denier to the National Security Council and giving senior administration roles to people who worked for the fossil fuel industry, President Donald Trump will deliver a speech Monday that a White House spokesman said will "recognize his administration's environmental leadership and America's role in leading the world," as the Guardian was the first to report.
Trump intends to tout the country's clean air and water. Although, he often boasts that the U.S. has the cleanest air in the world, statistics show otherwise. The nonprofit Health Effects Institute's State of Global Air 2019 report ranked the United States 37th dirtiest out of 195 countries for ozone, also known as smog.
Furthermore, a report published last month showed that the U.S. had more days with unhealthy air during the first two years of Trump's term than in the previous four years, as the Associated Press reported.
Many of his policies and rollbacks will threaten the air, land and water in the U.S. for years to come, experts say. In boasting about his environmental record, Trump could discuss marine debris cleanup efforts or he could discuss funds earmarked to restore the Florida Everglades, but he has little else to go on, according to the Guardian.
Yet, in an off-the-record conference call on Wednesday, the White House asked key supporting groups to spread the message that the U.S. under Trump continues to be an environmental leader.
Trump's environment officials, including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, interior Sec. David Bernhardt and council on environmental quality Chief Mary Neumayr will be at the White House on Monday for the event titled Presidential Remarks on America's Environmental Leadership, according to the Guardian.
Jonathan Watts, who did not report the story but is the global environment editor for the Guardian, wrote on Twitter that Trump's speech is "straight out of Orwell."
While the president has denied that the climate crisis exists and even wrote on Twitter that the concept was created by the Chinese to make American manufacturing non-competitive, some Republicans want him to acknowledge the problem while others want him to continue to deny its reality.
The Guardian reported on how several conservative groups would like Tump to address the environment. Sarah Hunt, of the cross-partisan Rainey Center, said Trump should use the opportunity to endorse America's emissions cuts so far.
"American energy innovation allows our nation to lead the world in greenhouse gas emissions reductions – we've cut our emissions over 10 percent since 2005," Hunt said to the Guardian. "The president should be proud that American natural gas, wind and solar energy are creating jobs and fighting climate change. I would love to see him announce an initiative that will help our great American clean energy companies export their zero-carbon energy technology to the rest of the world."
Trump could also make the case that cheap energy will lift up the poor, even if that energy is fueled by coal, oil and gas.
Myron Ebell, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, to the Guardian he wants to hear the president say, "the alternative to the Green New Deal is not carbon taxes and making people poorer. It's the Trump energy agenda, which makes people wealthier. Wealthier is healthier, the wealthier we are, the higher our environmental quality."
Analysis from academics, medical experts like the American Lung Association, and environmental experts suggests otherwise. Trump's policies, delivered at the behest of the fossil fuel industry will threaten the health of Americans, could significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions, and lead to thousands of deaths from hazardous air quality, according to the New York Times.
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Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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