Today I was happy to see Biden continue his effort to prioritize combating climate change. A quick refresher on climate change and global warming. While climate change and global warming are not the same things, global warming causes climate change. Global warming results from excess greenhouse gases (CO2, nitrous oxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, and water vapor) released into the earth’s atmosphere; this is a problem because these gases trap heat. The next question you might have is what causes the build-up of greenhouse gases; the answer is us. NASA has found that human activities not limited to fossil fuel usage, farming, clearing of land, and more have significantly impacted the planet. While global warming focuses on the increasing trend in temperatures from greenhouse gases, climate change focuses on everything else resulting from that, rising sea levels, reductions in glaciers or snow, plant seasons, and even plant or pollen seasons.
1) What has President Biden done so far?
He announced 2.3 billion in funding for FEMA’s BRIC program, which focused on developing a more resilient infrastructure.
Direction for the DHS to help low-income Americans afford efficient cooling systems.
Expanding offshore wind opportunities by having the Department of Interior open up the Gulf of Mexico for private wind development.
President Biden has been one of the more green-friendly presidents in my lifetime, but I still worry it won’t be enough and won’t be fast enough. While we no longer debate whether climate change is happening, we get bogged down in conversations around mitigation or adaptation or how serious it is (it is dire), which is why we need to adapt and mitigate impacts. These measures push in the right direction but lack urgency. We need broader adoption of a policy that will prevent the worst impacts of climate change which will disproportionally hurt the most vulnerable communities. Not just mitigation, we need real incentivization from a carbon capture plan to cap and trade. We still can course correct, but it will take time, effort, and diligence. Don’t forget to do what you can to be informed, reduce your environmental impact and vote because voting is the only way we can act as a collective.