Green Group Flew 50 Kids To D.C. To Brainstorm How To Reduce CO2 Emissions

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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The sponsors of an environmental conference flew roughly 50 college students to Washington, D.C., Tuesday to discuss ways to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to prevent global warming.

Several students who spoke to The Daily Caller News Foundation said conference sponsors paid to fly them to D.C. from across the country, including Maine, Texas, Arizona, Missouri and Ohio. Bloomberg Government and the environmental group Defend Our Future hosted “The Next Generation of Climate Conversations: A Town Hall Discussion” conference Tuesday.

Most of the college students at the conference flew in and the rest arrived by train. Bringing the students to D.C. was the equivalent of cutting down about 620 trees in terms of CO2 emissions, base on TheDCNF’s calculations.

A round-trip flight from Houston to D.C., for example, generates 0.66 tonnes of CO2 emissions, according to a flight CO2 calculator. Flying a single college kid to the conference is the equivalent of chopping down 15.5 trees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) official calculator. Roughly 80 percent of the students TheDCNF talked to flew to the conference.

Students who spoke to the DCNF talked seemed to agree it was hypocritical to fly them in to a conference about cutting fossil fuel use.

“It does seem that way,” a student from Arizona State University told The Daily Caller News Foundation.”We do need to reduce the use of carbon, and only use if for really important things.”

A text-messaging based poll conducted during conference concluded that roughly 64 percent of the millennials in the audience had a positive view of America’s energy future, while only 20 percent had a negative outlook. Another poll clarified that this was mostly due to President Donald Trump, as 88 percent of the audience “opposed both Donald Trump and his position on environmental issues.”

Those millennials with positive views about the future stated that they suspected environmentalism would survive Donald Trump because other countries would take the lead on solving global warming or speculated that the cultural movement towards environmentalism would survive Trump.

Others with negative views about the future assumed that Trump’s election made them pessimistic about the future.

“A lot of my friends are looking at losing their EPA or [U.S. Geological Survey] USGS grants,” a  student studying environmental sciences and geology at Temple University, said to the conference. “It is hard for me to think we’re gonna make much progress in the future when my friends are being denied to do what they want to do because there is no money for it.”

When asked by a poll why political leaders hadn’t taken action on global warming, the largest group of students blamed lobbying by the fossil fuel industry.

Students at the conference repeatedly stated that stopping global warming should be done by using the public education system to instill environmental consciousness into pupils at an earlier age. There was universal agreement that teaching older adults about global warming was far less effective than getting to younger kids to embrace the concept early, because “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” the participants concluded.

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