The daughter of the outgoing president has clashed online with veteran CNN journalist Jake Tapper after getting into a spat about US emissions in the era of her father’s administration, who routinely denied the science of global warming as president.
The online exchange kicked off after Ivanka posted a recent finding from the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“FACT: Greenhouse gases generated by the US will slide 9.2 per cent this year, tumbling to the lowest level in at least three decades,” she told her 10 million Twitter followers.
Tapper sought to qualify the declaration, pointing out that the global pandemic may have had something to do with it, quoting from a Washington Post article.
“This is largely because of the pandemic and the economic catastrophe it wrought. 'The biggest drop in emissions this year came from the transportation sector, where emissions fell 14 percent, dragged down by a steep drop in air travel and automobile trips’,” he replied.
This is largely because of the pandemic and the economic catastrophe it wrought. “The biggest drop in emissions this year came from the transportation sector, where emissions fell 14 percent, dragged down by a steep drop in air travel and automobile trips.” https://t.co/FTgyAliz2M
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 24, 2020
Trump removed the US from a global climate change accord aimed at reducing emissions, scrubbed EPA websites of climate science information and removed environmental protections that had been in place for decades.
As a result, some online took umbrage with his daughter’s apparent boast.
“You're so right, we often forget the silver lining to the inept bungling of the coronavirus response – that along with a quarter million dead and an economy ground to a halt, the reduction in travel was actually good for the environment. So, yay?” tweeted historian Kevin Kruse.
American climate scientist Michael Mann was a little more blunt in his response.
“The Trump climate plan: drop dead,” he wrote.
The Trump climate plan: drop dead https://t.co/6C0TaxxVOo
— Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann) November 24, 2020
Awesome! Let’s have an uncontrolled pandemic every year! https://t.co/aREkvUQDSq
— Michael Grunwald (@MikeGrunwald) November 24, 2020
Thousands of Twitter users responded to the series of tweets with many praising Tapper for schooling Ms Trump.
“Nailed it, Jake,” one man wrote.
“Ivanka once again doing the Trump thing: taking credit for something someone else did,” another person wrote.
Others used the feud as an opportunity to speculate on Ms Trump’s political future.
“I still say someone has an eye to 2024,” one person said.
Ivanka Trump fires back as debate rages
As people piled on, Ivanka fired back at Tapper claiming US carbon dioxide emissions in 2019 “were the lowest they have been since 1992” and that per capita emissions were lower “than they’ve been at any time since at least 1950.”
In response, the CNN anchor shared an Inside Climate News story explaining how the downward trend has been largely down to market forces, rather than any meaningful government policy.
“Ah so now we’re talking about last year? Ok cool yes that’s true. So why was that?” he responded.
“The story of the emissions decline has largely been one of market forces — rather than policies — that have made utilities close coal plants in favour of cheaper natural gas and renewable energy,” he said.
According to Oxford University’s Our World in Data, the USA’s per capita emissions from industry peaked in the early 1970s, around the time Nixon brought in sweeping environmental protections – which Trump has since rolled back.
Emission have been steadily declining in the US for the past decade.
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