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At an event in Aiken, South Carolina Saturday, Donald Trump spoke about how he has been personally impacted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations. “I’ll give you one regulation,” Trump told TIME in response to a question about the EPA's regulation on U.S. waterways.
Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com
“So I build, and I build a lot of stuff. And I go into areas where they have tremendous water … And you have sinks where the water doesn’t come out ... You have showers where I can’t wash my hair properly, it’s a disaster!” he said, to laughter from the crowd.
“It’s true,” Trump continued. “They [the showerheads] have restrictors put in. The problem is you stay under the shower for five times as long.”
Trump is referring to low-flow showerheads, which along with low-flow faucets and toilets, save significant amounts of water while still providing adequate flow, according to the EPA, which developed the WaterSense label for shower heads, faucets and toilets.
The EPA wrote on its website:
Water-saving showerheads that earn the WaterSense label must demonstrate that they use no more than two [gallons per minute. Standard showerheads use 2.5]. The WaterSense label also ensures that these products provide a satisfactory shower that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads on the market. EPA worked with a variety of stakeholders—including consumers who tested various showerheads—to develop criteria for water coverage and spray intensity. All products bearing the WaterSense label—including water-efficient showerheads—must be independently certified to ensure they meet EPA water efficiency and performance criteria.
The EPA enumerated the economic and environmental savings of low flow devices:
The average family could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads. Since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, they will also save energy. In fact, the average family could save more than 370 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power a house for 13 days.
On a national scale, if every home in the United States installed WaterSense labeled showerheads, we could save more than $2.2 billion in water utility bills and more than 260 billion gallons of water annually. In addition, we could avoid about $2.6 billion in energy costs for heating water.
Trump's entire presidential campaign has been peppered with outrageous claims on environmental issues. On multiple occasions, he's called global warming "a hoax," going so far as to claim it's a concept “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Among other comments, Trump has said the Keystone XL pipeline would have “no impact on the environment,” and has cited unusually cold days in fall as evidence that climate change doesn't exist.
He's repeatedly bashed President Obama for his call to action on climate change, particularly during the COP21 Paris talks. President Obama called the UN talks "an act of defiance" in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. In response, Trump said Obama's speech was “one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen, or perhaps most naive.”
“I think one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard in politics, in the history of politics as I know it, which is pretty good, was Obama’s statement that our number one problem is global warming,” said Trump.
He told The Hill, if he were president, he would have skipped the talks altogether. The talks have been generally hailed in the environmental community. Former CEO and Chairman of the Sierra Club Carl Pope called the Paris Agreement, which was finalized this weekend, the "greatest single victory since the emergence of the modern environmental movement."
Check out this hilarious segment on his hair from when The Donald hosted Saturday Night Live:
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"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."
The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.
The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.
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"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."
Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.
"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."
Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.
"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."
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