Times are dark. The world is on fire amidst a global pandemic as our administration continues heading the wrong way. Sir Isaac Newton said that an object in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by an external force.
Well, we are that force, and we can change directions, but we must act now.
Joe Biden has announced his plan to turn the tables on our climate crisis. As this year’s election nears, we’re reviewing why Biden’s plan paints a brighter future for us all.
For starters, Biden plans to get America to net-zero emissions by 2050 with a 100% clean energy economy. The former vice president is calling on the executive branch to impose pollution limits on new and existing oil and gas operations, as well as revisiting the Clean Air Act to develop new fuel economy standards. But lowering emissions doesn't end with roads. It extends to air and sea. Biden’s plan also addresses the need to focus on developing plant-based biofuels to reduce emissions from planes and watercraft.
Holding Big Oil accountable for pollution is especially important if we want environmental justice for communities of color and indigenous peoples. These groups are more likely to live near sacrifice zones that are vulnerable to air pollution, exposure to hazardous contamination, and with less access to healthcare, insurance, and aid. Despite negatively affecting the health of these communities, corporations are enabled by elected officials and policymakers to pollute their homes. Biden's plan intends to change that.
Another disparity is the lack of clean water for many Americans. Water infrastructure is high on the list in the Biden Plan. The plan promises to enforce system upgrades to prevent waste and implement checks for lead and other water contaminants. Low-income communities have suffered undrinkable tap water for far too long, and Biden is determined to punish those responsible to the fullest extent by law. (Finally!)
Additionally, his plan calls to put a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies. The presidential candidate says that there is no room for rewarding the oil and gas industry with financial relief. (We agree!) Within the first year of his presidency, Biden hopes to set an example for the rest of the world by banning these subsidies in the U.S. and reinvesting these resources into building clean energy infrastructure.
By curbing polluters, the Biden Climate Plan also stands to protect our ecosystems. By conserving more of America’s land and water by 2030, we’ll preserve the biodiversity that is essential to our planet's recovery. Recently, the Trump administration opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to polluters by allowing leases for drilling oil and gas. This poses a threat to 1.5 million acres of our coastal plain, home to wildlife and indigenous communities that are at risk.
Wildlands are not the only lands that need better governance. The plan addresses many different contributors to the global climate crisis, including the agricultural and food industries. The challenge is to innovate new technologies that help us reduce emissions caused by growing food. One of these methods is to take carbon dioxide from the air and store it underground. This method is known as carbon capture and storage, or CSS and this technology is something Biden plans to develop, scale, and deploy across the U.S.
It's expected that $1.7 trillion will be invested over the next 10 years to radically change the face of the climate crisis. Where will this money come from? According to Biden, from reversing tax cuts given to corporations by Trump and pushing tax evaders to do their part like the rest of us.
The Biden Climate Plan takes a hard look at the state of our country and its priorities under the current administration. Until we act, the forces that be will remain in motion with devastating effects.
If we are to be good stewards of the Earth, we need to support those who make it their mission to solve the issues of climate change and oppose its perpetrators.
If the Biden Plan succeeds, it will lift the metaphorical (and literal) haze from the proverbial picture of our future. What would we see instead? A world where the equity, beauty, and vitality of all living things are shared. A sight to behold.