Trump’s Misleading Speech on His Environmental Record Is a ‘True “1984” Moment’
President Donald Trump delivered a speech Monday on "America's environmental leadership" that failed to even once mention climate change, The New York Times reported. The speech was also riddled with inaccuracies, as the president took credit for environmental achievements enacted by previous administrations and downplayed the impacts of his deregulatory agenda.
"This speech is a true '1984' moment," said David G. Victor, director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California, San Diego, to The New York Times.
At one point, the doublespeak prompted Fox News host Shepard Smith to interrupt the broadcast to point out that many of Trump's policies had been "widely criticized by environmentalists and academics," HuffPost reported.
Smith then went on to list some of the more than 80 regulatory rollbacks the Trump administration has initiated, including the recent repeal of the Clean Power Plan that would have limited emissions from coal plants.
While Trump did not mention the climate crisis outright, he did make a misleading claim about U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, stating that, in the past decade, the U.S. had seen an emissions decrease "more than any other country on earth," The New York Times reported. In fact, more than 12 other countries, including much of the EU, have seen declines that double the U.S. decrease of more than 10 percent.
In addition to lying about greenhouse gas emissions, Trump also criticized one of the leading proposals for reducing them: the Green New Deal.
"While we're focused on practical solutions, more than 100 Democrats in Congress support the so-called Green New Deal," the president said, as CBS News reported. "Their plan is estimated to cost our economy nearly $100 trillion. A number unthinkable. A number not affordable even in the best of times. If you go 150 years from now, and we've had great success, that's not a number that's even thought to be affordable. Kill millions of jobs, it'll crush the dreams of the poorest Americans and disproportionately harm minority communities. I will not stand for it. We will defend the environment but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs."
In fact, the Green New Deal resolution proposes to create millions of high-wage jobs and to specifically protect and uplift vulnerable communities.
"Here are the facts: The Green New Deal puts justice and equity at its center," Washington Governor and climate-focused presidential candidate Jay Inslee tweeted in response to Trump's remarks. "If we don't act on climate, people of color and low-income communities will continue to be hit the hardest."
What will hurt communities on the frontline of the climate crisis is the Trump administration’s continued inaction on climate. https://t.co/hluV9rC73r— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) July 8, 2019
Trump was also misleading when he shifted away from carbon pollution.
"From day one my administration has made it a top priority to ensure that America is among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet," Trump said, as CNN reported. "We want the cleanest air. We want crystal clean water and that's what we're doing and that's what we're working on so hard."
But Trump's rollbacks attack air and water as well as climate. The Clean Power Plan replacement could cause up to 1,400 extra air pollution deaths a year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's own estimates, and his EPA is also working to weaken the Obama-era Clean Water Rule that would protect streams and wetlands from pollution.
Environmental groups roundly criticized Trump's speech.
"Donald Trump's speech today was full of more hot air than his dangerous policies and rollbacks are pumping into our atmosphere," Sierra Club executive director MIchael Brune said in a statement. "Attempting to greenhouse gaslight the American people with a single speech — one that fails to even acknowledge the climate crisis — won't help the families and communities suffering from the toxic pollution caused by Trump's dangerous agenda. No amount of speeches, lies, or stunts will ever change the fact that Donald Trump has the worst record on the environment and climate of any president in American history."
"No amount of speeches, lies, or stunts will ever change the fact that Donald Trump has the worst record on the environment and climate of any president in US history."— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) July 8, 2019
Environmental Defense Fund Action President Joe Bonfiglio agreed.
"President Trump has obviously seen the polls showing that Americans care about clean air, clean water, and solving climate change — so today he's reportedly going to try to do the impossible: talk his way out of the most damaging and backward environmental record in American history," he said in a statement. "The fact is that the Trump administration has worked to undermine environmental protections established by both Republican and Democratic presidents, compiling what can charitably be called a disastrous environmental record."
5 Ways Trump Is 'Gaslighting' Us on U.S. Air Pollution Levels #TrumpWatch #TrumpTweets #CleanAir #TuesdayThoughts #WeWillNeverBeTheSame @lakotalaw @youthvgov— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) October 23, 2018
Heard about the latest false tweet? No. We are NOT the nation with the cleanest air. https://t.co/Gg5DEBRDTc
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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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