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Published on May 18th, 2020 | by Winter Wilson


Pandemic Management: Biden vs. Trump — CleanTech Talk

May 18th, 2020 by  

In the first half of this episode of our CleanTech Talk podcast interview series, Michael Barnard, Chief Strategist of TFIE Strategy Inc. and CleanTechnica contributor, and Zachary Shahan, Director and CEO of CleanTechnica, sit down to talk about physical isolation, COVID-19, and politics. You can listen to the full conversation in the embedded player below. Below that embedded SoundCloud player is a brief summary of the topics covered, but tune into the podcast to follow the full discussion.

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Mike and Zach launch this two-part episode with a discussion on social distancing and the coronavirus. Mike is currently involved in two projects related to pandemic management. One project, as Mike describes, aims to design an “objective agent-based simulation score for social isolation.” The idea is to simulate traffic within a certain building layout and come up with a score that would allow someone to understand how well that building supports social interaction even with social distancing.

The second project Mike is working on is a startup that applies similar technology to create a score for physical distancing. As Mike explains, being able to see these two objective scores could help determine how many people could be supported in a space during times of physical distancing, and what the best space would be for allowing high levels of social interaction. As Zach points out, as the world faces challenges with COVID-19, the conversation should not be around social distancing, but around how to maintain social connection with physical distancing.

Continuing the discussion on COVID-19, Mike and Zach talk about specific communities within the United States that are explicitly not practicing physical distancing. As the conversation turns toward how Republican voters are more susceptible to die of coronavirus when they are protesting and putting themselves in harms way, the topic of conversation turns to public perception of President Trump.

With the 2020 presidential election approaching, Mike and Zach evaluate the positions of both Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden relative to COVID-19 and their presidential campaigns. With public trust in Trump at an all-time low, the two co-hosts note that Biden seems to be in a strong position with a good track record of dealing with challenges not too dissimilar from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Mike and Zach dive into everything from what life looks like after COVID-19, the ways in which the oil and gas industry are heavily impacted by the pandemic, and what it all means for renewable energy in the future. It is Mike’s hope that this time can become a transition phase where the world leans into renewable energy and the green economy.

To hear more on these topics, as well as Mike and Zach’s opinions on Biden’s climate action plan, listen to the show! 


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About the Author

Winter Wilson is a Cutler Scholar and undergraduate student double majoring in Environmental Studies and Journalism at Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College, with a minor in French. Her academic interests include environmental communication, technology and social innovation, especially as they relate to international climate change mitigation and adaptation. Though Winter attends school in her hometown of Athens, Ohio, she takes advantage of her breaks to explore the world beyond. She spent her most recent break undertaking self-driven research on climate change and environmental justice in Southeast Asia. This year, she will be completing her dual thesis and supplementary documentary series on climate change communication. Winter is excited to contribute to and work with the team at CleanTechnica as a Summer Editorial Intern.

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