Trump Falsely Claims Noise From Wind Turbines Causes Cancer
"If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 per cent in value," Trump said, as The Independent reported. "And they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, okay? Rerrrr rerrrr!"
Watch the clip below:
The cancer claim, as Jonathan Chait pointed out in New York Magazine, is not true. There has been opposition to wind turbines on the basis of long-standing beliefs that low-frequency sound can disturb sleep, trigger anxiety and cause nausea and other health problems, The Atlantic explained. but no scientific experiments have verified these claims.
"Cancer is not caused by noises of any kind," Chait wrote.
Social media was quick to counter Trump's remarks, The Huffington Post reported. Wired columnist Maryn McKenna took the opportunity to link to a study published in March that found no connection between wind turbine noise and heart attack or stroke. Researchers had conducted the study because of claims that wind turbine noise was more annoying than noise from traffic.
I am definitely not getting into the cancer thing (what?) but it was just 2 weeks ago that Danish researchers found… https://t.co/DTuj63EbCx— Maryn McKenna (@Maryn McKenna)1554255605.0
During his remarks Tuesday, Trump repeated claims he has made about wind turbines before, that they reduce property values and harm birds.
"And of course, it's like a graveyard for birds," he said Tuesday, as The Washington Post reported. "If you love birds, you'd never want to walk under a windmill."
Wind turbines do kill birds, but at a much lesser rate than other forms of power. A 2009 study cited by Chait found that fossil-fuel plants killed nearly 15 times the number of birds as wind turbines. So why does Trump hate wind turbines so much?
The Washington Post's Philip Bump wrote that it dated back to Trump's fight against a wind farm that had been scheduled to go up off the coast of Aberdeenshire in Scotland, where he had bought land to start a gulf course in 2006. Trump sued to stop the farm, but was not successful. He also initiated a public relations campaign against Scottish politicians backing the project and against wind power itself, tweeting any negative coverage he could find. As part of that blitz, he did retweet a story in 2012 claiming that wind power had negative health impacts, though no such impacts have been confirmed by scientists. Tuesday likely marks the first time he has claimed wind power causes cancer, Bump said.
.@AlexSalmond See attached article. Very frightening to people living around these monstrosities http://t.co/ZzeV8SfK— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1359569191.0
Chait observed that Trump is selective in his health concerns when it comes to energy.
A power source that does cause many health problems, including cancer, is coal, an extremely dirty fuel Trump loves and has attempted to bolster, with almost no success. Aside from costing more to produce than other sources of power, and in addition to enormous air pollution side effects, coal also emits greenhouse gases in large amounts. Though this, of course, is another aspect of science Trump rejects.
Bump also noted that Trump's anti-wind stance dovetailed neatly with Republican policy.
"As climate change became a sharply polarized issue, Trump was prepared for the fight thanks to his battle over that wind farm near his golf course in Scotland," Bump wrote.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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