by Johnna Crider
If we look back over the past 12 years, we can see two different Americas. It’s almost as if we are looking at the same country but in a parallel universe. In the first America, we have a nation that is prospering and embracing the idea of doing its part to solve problems related to climate change. In the second America, we have a nation that is suicidal. Seriously. This second version has stabbed itself multiple times in order to make the first America look like the bad guy and many brainwashed Americans believe that the second version is “freedom.”
From the moment he took office, President Trump sought to undo everything President Obama did, ranging from health insurance to climate change. On the climate change front, he has turned the Environmental Protection Agency into an anti-environmental and anti-science organization that is ripping its skin off and its heart out. If anyone has ever had a loved one with drug addiction issues (I’ve had several friends who have struggled with this), then the similarities are there. America went from being a prosperous nation that was a leader and key player in solving issues that pertained to climate change to being a complete stranger filled with so much self-hatred mislabeled as “freedom.” One way America can save its reputation is by giving the EPA an exorcism and ridding the agency of the demons that literally destroyed it from the inside out.
Biden Offers Hope
A Biden presidency would give us hope again. Yes, there will be a lot of work to be done — it’s going to take decades to undo all the damage Trump has caused to this country. There is an entire list of things Trump has done to damage our environment and our reputation in that particular area.
The GreenBiz article focused on how Biden’s presidency would impact investing in climate change (solutions, obviously — not creating more pollution.) Biden has detailed plans for net-zero emissions. The goal is for the U.S. to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, which is in sync with the EU’s deadline in its own Green Deal. His energy policy is focused on renewables along with some near-term objectives. One of these includes the installation of 500 million solar panels and 60,000 wind turbines within the next 5 years.
The Paris Agreement
With Biden as President, the U.S. would rejoin the Paris Agreement signed in 2015. The nations that signed this agreement — all 195 countries of the world — promised to commit to doing their part to keep global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Last year, a study conducted by Climate Action Tracker (CAT) showed the effects of America’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. The study noted that the U.S. and its rollbacks of domestic climate policy will leave our greenhouse gas emissions at least 3% higher in 2030 than with the policies that are still in place. It also noted that Trump’s decision to leave “significantly affect greenhouse gas emissions outside of the U.S. through boosted gas exports.”
In another assessment by CAT, it showed that despite the pandemic’s effect on lowering U.S. emissions in 2020, the Trump Administration’s continuous rollback of climate policy along with Trump’s response (that’s a polite way of saying his lack of response!) will counteract some of the drops in emissions. Trump used the pandemic, which at first he called a Democratic hoax, as an excuse to cancel out some of those environmental regulations. CAT’s rating on the U.S. is “critical insufficient.”
Investments In Climate
A Biden presidency has the “potential to turbo-charge climate change investments,” noted the article. EVs were given as a great example. Globally, EV sales have numbered in the millions — 2.1 million in 2019. However, car and light vehicle sales are over 17 million a year. The article pointed out that within the next 15 years, those would all need to be fully electric if the 2035 deadline is to be realized. This would be possible if we look at just how far EVs have come in the past 15 years: from 0% to 2.6% penetration.
Some of Biden’s policies would focus on areas that can reduce future emissions — such as a target of 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030.
Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies
The Trump administration loves the fossil fuel industry and often touts it as the only source of jobs in the energy industry. They seem to pretend that renewables don’t exist despite the demand for clean energy and the fact that renewable energy creates more jobs than fossil fuels.
“Joe Biden would destroy our fossil fuel industry, return to the war on coal, prevent the development of America’s immense energy reserves, and impose a regime of climate change regulations on literally every new building in the United States — every home, every business — that would drastically increase the cost of living for families — and the cost of business, at the cost of jobs.” —Vice President Mike Pence.