Biden’s UN Climate Wish List vs. GOP Science Deniers

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It was nice to see an American president giving a speech at the United Nations who believes that climate change is real. When it seems that the world is on fire, underwater, or melting under record hot temperatures seemingly daily, it’s essential we have a leader who understands that we’re running out of time to save the planet.

That’s quite the contrast from one who believes that windmills cause cancer or that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese. Yes, we’ve come a long way since President Crazypants was running things.

And President Biden certainly has some ambitious goals, such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030, a plan that doubles his then-boss Barack Obama’s pledge under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. He also has pledged to decarbonize the country’s energy sector by 2030 and put the country on a path to net-zero emissions by midcentury.

In addition, Biden also committed to double the funds per year to help developing nations deal with climate change to $11.4 billion. The goal for the wealthiest countries for these funds is $100 billion a year, but it’s expected to fall short even with the additional funding from the U.S. However, the extra funds from America would undoubtedly help to close the gap.

So yes, Biden wants to do a lot on climate change. Surely he’d like to do even more. Unfortunately, in Congress, we’ve got some folks who don’t give a damn. More to the point, we have one political party, the GOP, who continues to deny the science surrounding climate change, and a few others from Biden’s party who seem beholden to fossil fuel companies (Joe Manchin, are you listening?).

It’s this dichotomy that threatens our current president from achieving the goals he’s proposed and, quite frankly, threatens the legacy of his entire presidency. How in the world will we ever turn the tide in our fight against this existential threat with the kind of political headwinds that now exist?

Once again, thanks mainly to many neanderthal Republican elected officials, we find ourselves behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to moving forward on significant climate legislation. Even a conservative like U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a big proponent of urgent action to combat global warming, which tells you much about the state of what conservative means over here, as opposed to over there. Johnson would be clearly out of step and banished to the wilderness were he a Republican politician in America.

Ironically, the GOP’s stance on climate change is not even in lock-step with most of their constituents. A poll released not long before the 2020 election by the Conservation Coalition found that Republicans between the ages of 18 and 54 said that climate change is essential to their vote. In addition, it also found that more than three-quarters of all GOP voters favor the government taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet, Republicans still do not want to do the right thing. The fact their fearless leader, the former 45th president, torched our leadership in the world by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords and signed one executive order after another, reversing most of Obama’s aggressive climate actions, speaks volumes. You didn’t hear a peep from most of them about any of Trump’s blatant disregard for environmental justice.

How wonderful would it be if we had both parties working together in concert, accepting the science and data as fact, and moving legislation through for Biden to sign? Legislation that would make a significant dent in carbon emissions, leading the world as most countries wish we would?

It all seems nothing but a pipe dream, unfortunately. In the current political environment, the GOP has no intention of doing anything to help Joe Biden. If he declared it national puppy dog day, they’d call him a socialist tyrant. The quest for a return to power is what drives them on nearly every issue. Even if some of them believe we need to do more on climate change, denying Biden any success outweighs everything else.

It makes a person feel downright envious of other countries these days. Oh sure, they all have their problems. Nothing is perfect in any nation on earth. But on the one issue that matters most, the one that threatens the planet’s very existence, they get it. The GOP, however, does not.

Maybe the only way it ever changes is when their voters start turning on them in more significant numbers. While polls say they’re worried about the climate, GOP constituents aren’t making it an important enough issue to vote them out. It appears that hatred of all things Democratic overshadows everything.

Yes, the recent Infrastructure bill did pass the Senate with bipartisan support for a change. You have to question why Senator Mitch McConnell and 17 Republicans supported it. I’d love to think it’s because he thought it was good for America. My best guess, though, is that he’s banking on Democrats screwing the whole thing up. We shall see.

But the companion Build Back Better bill, the so-called “human infrastructure” legislation, faces an uncertain future.

According to the White House, that’s the bill that also massively addresses climate change and will create good-paying union jobs, establish an energy efficiency and clean energy standard, expand and extend clean energy and electric vehicle tax credits, and enlist a new Civilian Climate Corps. Unfortunately, Republicans are against all of it, and it appears that Joe Manchin isn’t poised to support it either, at least at the current cost of $3.5 trillion. Senator Kyrsten Sinema is also balking at that figure.

Thus, Joe Biden has a tough time ahead of him to achieve the goals he proposed at the United Nations. He’s got a science-denying party to deal with and a few recalcitrant Democrats as well. He’ll need all of his 50 plus years in public life in politics to get it done.

I wish I were more optimistic.

28 comments

    1. Yep, true David. And their going to do the same when it comes to the debt ceiling. They raised it 3 times during Trump-with Dems voting to do it every time. Why when Dems in charge, they say nope? Complete hypocrisy and shameless power grab. That’s who they are

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jeff, what amazes me is the lengths that have been taken to mask actually progress even in so-called red states. It is like the states do not want to share the progress as it runs counter to the narrative. Texas gets 1/5 of its electricity from renewables, primarily wind. By itself, Texas is the 5th largest entity in the world in wind energy. Iowa gets over 40% of its electricity from wind energy. California, by itself, is the 4th largest solar energy entity in the world.

    Good things are happening, but too few seem to know that it is. Fossil fuel rich Texas had to make a conscious decision to lay electric cabling to harness the wind energy from new sources. Yet, it is not discussed.

    For the last several years, the World Economic Forum has cited the global water crisis and climate change as the two greatest risks to our planet over the next ten years. And, the latter makes the former worse. Duke Energy even included in one of its own reports that evaporation from its water reservoirs to run its generators would increase by 11% due to climate change. An energy utility said in a report that climate change would cause more evaporation. Now, why would they do that?

    Climate change is no longer a future issue. It is hurting us now. I read a report sponsored by think tanks, universities, and the largest pension trustees in the world ten years ago. They worried about the financial impact of climate change due to more wildfires, more droughts, heavier hurricanes, stalled weather patterns, etc. That was ten years ago.

    We no longer have time for those who are denying the truth, especially when energy companies are taking actions. And, their shareholders are ordering them to report on their progress. It is ironic that on June 1, 2017 when the former president said the US was leaving the Paris Climate Change accord, I was reading an article that Exxon Mobil shareholders had voted the day before to make management report annually on actions to prevent climate change.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Keith, it’s beyond comprehension when you think about it. It’s probably a combination of two things: money from fossil fuel companies going into politicians pockets-even though those companies absolutely know climate change is real, and the hesitancy to do anything that would amount to such a massive change in how we get our energy. Like you said, it’s happening, despite what they say publicly. We need them to start taking it with the seriousness that it deserves. The former president was the worst president at the worst possible time in our history. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeff, so true. What should be noted there are about 700 peer reviewed science websites on climate change and about 30,000 websites funded by the fossil fuel industries to sow seeds of doubt or water down the message. It shows where the money is.

        My son shared that China will be importing less foreign coal, which will hasten further the demise of the US coal industry which has retrenched for years. Whether people like him or not, but the only politician to stand up in front of coal miners and tell them the truth is Bernie Sanders. In 2016, he told them your jobs are going away. And, here is what I propose we do to help you in transition. Senators who have known this is occurring for years have done a disservice to coal miners. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did see that about China and was really happy to see it. Slowly but surely, Keith, things are turning in the right direction. We just need it to accelerate much more. I wish GOP felt the same way. Also, you’re right about Bernie. He was spot on. But you know what? So was Hillary. She kind of said the same thing and they ripped her to shreds. The conman Trump came along and lied to them about bringing those jobs back. Those poor folks in WV believed him. So sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Jeff, Hillary is right as well. In the fall of 2017, an energy consultant said two interesting things on NPR. He said Donald Trump represents coal mine owners not coal miners. He also said Trump’s energy plan would actually hasten the demise of coal. So he did not represent them too well either. One of his big donors was a coal mine owner that went bankrupt and was highly perturbed Trump did not help him more. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      4. IMO, this is just another example that tRump doesn’t know diddly-squat about stuff that he CLAIMS to be an expert in. (And of course, the overwhelming problem is … people believe him!)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It was the same thing over and over with Trump. He did the same kind of thing at the Ford plant in Lorain, Ohio-my old stomping ground state. He promised them the jobs were going to come back. They didn’t. He still wins Ohio by 8 points. I just don’t get it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was a climate change denier for many years. The one thing I’m grateful for about Trump’s election is that it opened my eyes to what the Republican Party–including me–had become. We’d become the crazy party. Sadly, I couldn’t see that craziness before Trump’s ascendance. Trump’s election was my “Damascus Road” experience. My eyes were opened; I was, one might say, “born again–again.”
    Now I can look back and see how bonkers many of my stances were. And, notably, many of those views that I presumed were biblical were not. Yes, many evangelicals are convinced that climate change is just part of a plot to bring anti-God socialism to America. But that goofy notion has no basis in the Bible. Instead it’s tied to the ungodly marriage of evangelical Christianity and the Republican Party. As you and your readers know, the climate change resistance starts with the wealthy Republican donors who don’t want any legislation that might put a dent in their massive profits. And then, they have their goons–who disguise themselves as evangelical leaders–who convince their naïve followers that fighting climate change is an ungodly act. I know it sounds crazy, but as a former insider I can attest to this nonsense as the sad truth.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The key thing Jerry is that you had the wherewithal to finally see the light-to have the intellectual curiosity to see things for what they really are. Unfortunately there are too many in this country who will never see the light. It’s the old confirmation bias thing. They do not want to hear any other facts, not when it’s baked into their mindset. Same thing with Covid, is it not. Like your last anti-vaxx post. These people, up to the moment they lie in bed, ready to meet their maker, are still in denial. Some of them even rip the healthcare workers for telling them they have Covid. It’s almost comical, if it weren’t so tragic.
      And the red state vs blue state has never been more apparent as far as Covid goes. California, right now, has roughly 95 out of 100k of the population getting Covid. Texas is like 345 and Florida is close to 300. But even in Cali, the red counties are much like the red states around the rest of the country. Like you so adeptly refer to him, “The Messiah” Trump was even worse than we thought. His legacy of being the master con and purveyor of misinformation and lies will go down in history as one of the most despicable acts of any powerful leader around the world. Something for him to be proud of eh?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, Jeff, the COVID-infection disparity you refer to is also evident here in Colorado. Denver and Boulder Counties–deep blue–have high vaccination rates and low infection rates. The more rural–red–counties have low vaccination rates and high infection rates. And El Paso County–while anchored by Colorado Springs, the second most populous city in the state–is beyond red; it’s crimson. And, of course, the reason this county is so red is that it’s home to so many evangelical ministries. Not surprisingly, we–El Paso County–have one of the highest infection rates in the state. Also not surprising is the prevalence of Trump banners and flags still blighting the landscape around here. The upside of all this madness is that it will reduce the number of votes for goofball tyrants like Trump. The downside is that that reduction will cost thousands–or more likely hundreds of thousands–of lives.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, it appears Republicans are either knowingly, or unknowingly killing off their own voters. I’d like to think it’s the latter. Unfortunately, I think it’s the former.

        Like

  3. how anyone can still support the “current guy” pretending to be in charge, is completely beyond me. His poll numbers are horrible, he doesn’t answer questions and even the media has had it with this cognitively impaired fraud.

    Like

    1. I cannot believe you would demean this blog by sending anything from Newsmax Scott. I will be deleting this comment into oblivion. It tells me everything I need to know about you. You’ve become a far-right conspiracy theorist. I welcome honest descent. Not far-right lunacy. Do better

      Like

      1. okay, what do you want to know about me?

        it seems that this is common for the left to demonize anyone who is even slightly or marginally right of center as being a conspiracy theorist.

        Even people in your own democrat party are disappointed and disillusioned with Biden, just look at current polls for confirmation of this reality.

        Here’s some information about me if you’d like to know.

        1. I believe the government should be fiscally responsible.

        2. I believe that the people who create the laws should live under their one edicts just as the rest of us have to.

        3. We should not be engaged in nation building in other countries, particularly those where the culture is drastically different from ours, such as the middle east for example.

        As much as I believe capitalism has done much to raise the standard of living for people, it is foolish for us to assume that every nation on the planet would want to live as we do.

        4. Our healthcare system is horribly broken, even people in the medical profession will attest to this fact. The drug companies have way too much influence and the politicians who allow themselves to be purchased by special interests have really demonstrated where their servitude is, which is not with the people they claim to represent

        5. related to point 4, I believe that both political parties are hopelessly corrupt and that the people who have been voted into office allow their self-interest to override whatever desire they may have had to serve the people.

        6. I believe we need term limits in congress akin to those of the president.

        I could continue but that should give you an idea.

        Does any of that sound like unhinged ramblings from the mind of a a conspiracy theorist?

        Like

      2. Personally, I TOTALLY agree with your #6. Perhaps a bit more than 4 years … maybe like 6-8 years since it gives the individual experience in what’s really going on … but definitely not like the “forever” that’s in practice now.

        Like

      3. Ok Scott, those beliefs aren’t out in la la land so I’ll give you that. As for health care. Please tell me what the Republican Party has done in the last 60 years as it pertains to health care. I can think of one thing from George W Bush and that’s when he signed into law a prescription drug benefit for seniors. But even that was riddled with giveaways to the pharmaceutical companies. Yes, some Dems are clearly on the take with some of these industries. But nowhere near what the Republicans are. You can look that up, I believe, in Opensecrets.org. They list all of the donations to politicians.
        Right now, with the new Build Back Better proposal, R’s are 100% against it. There’s a prescription part to it where Medicare would negotiate in bulk for cheaper drugs. This would be awesome if it were to stay in the bill. However, Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are against it. This is a travesty. I’m calling out Dems Scott. Aren’t you proud of me?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Scott, I encourage you to write more like you did with your six points of view and less like you do when you name call or label as part of your argument. The way you wrote above lends itself to better debate and I can find areas to agree on, in full or in part. To be brutally frank, when you resort to name calling or labelling, I stop reading as I do with most people who do the same. You are too intelligent to resort to such argument. I am far from perfect, know there is more I don’t know than I do, and will make mistakes, but do my best not to name call or label.

        Please take this in the spirit it is offered. If I have offended you, that is not my intent. We need more of good debate in our country, otherwise we are just shouting at the wind. Your opinion matters, so offer it in a way it can be heard.

        Keith

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Hi Keith.

        You raise a credible and excellent point that I need to take to heart more often. I should be a much better person and not allow my opinions to be laced with unnecessary language that is only designed to create and fuel further division. Being human, we all fall into these traps but we can also rise to the occasion and do what is necessary to escape from such folly.

        I hope you’re doing well.

        Liked by 3 people

      6. Hi Jeff. I know it’s not related to this post but I ran across a book that I think you might be interested in.

        check out a new book by Craig Witlock called The Afghanistan Papers – A Secret History of the War. It’s pretty telling from what I’ve been reading so far.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I know about that book Scott. Thanks for sharing. I saw the guy on some of the news programs in recent weeks. It’s very compelling and shows that our leaders failed us from the top down for many years. They knew we were doomed to failure, yet, we kept it going. Very similar to what went on in Vietnam-on a much smaller scale of course.

        Like

  4. also, these countries should pay to fix their own problems, we don’t need to be giving them money for anything. we don’t have the money to fix our own issues because of irresponsible financial decisions for decades by both parties and you support our president giving billions to foreign countries who continue to take advantage of our good will? Are you stupid or just in a fantasy land where money just magically appears like in the game of monopoly?

    Like

    1. irresponsible financial decisions … they’re only irresponsible to us citizens. To the ones making them, they’re well and good — so long as they carry out the wishes of their wealthy supporters. tRump was especially good at this, if you hadn’t noticed.

      Like

      1. oh yes, I noticed and I never gave him a pass on his parts in irresponsible and reckless spending. The politicians in Washington are addicted to spending our money and it’s got to stop. They need to be taken off the money Fossett, cold turkey, full stop, no questions asked.

        Like

    2. It’s called doing what’s right Scott. It’s called addressing the most pressing issue of our time, which is the existential threat of global warming/climate change. We over here in good ole U.S, remain one of the biggest polluters on the planet, just after China and India I think. And, we’re the richest. We should contribute what we can to help the developing countries.

      But what do you know about that? I’m sure you think it’s all a bunch of malarky, right Scott? Your boy, the disgraced 45th thinks windmills cause cancer. Really? This is the kind of crap you believe in? But, you watch Newsmax. Probably Fox news and OAN too. You’re becoming unrecognizable Scott. Do better please, and read or watch something from credible people.

      Like

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