Now that Biden is elected president we get to sit back and watch the man, who says that climate change is the biggest issue facing the country, take all the necessary measures to stop the climate crisis and preserve the existence of our civilization. Right?
The Paris agreement kinda sucks
After all, Biden kept his promise that on day one in office he would rejoin the Paris Agreement! Biden’s executive orders are great first steps, but that’s all they are, the road ahead is difficult and unclear. He is being praised and applauded for putting us on track to remain under the 1.5 degrees warning by the end of the century and avoid the catastrophic consequences associated with higher degrees of warming. Well, the actual target of the Paris agreement is to keep us under 2 degrees by the end of the century, and many scientists don’t consider this as a safe level of warming. But the situation is probably even worse.
Most likely by getting the US back in the Climate Agreement Biden will be putting us back on track to a climate catastrophe. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that even if the pledges under the agreement are fully met, the world still faces what he described as a catastrophic three-degree temperature rise by the end of the century. That’s because the pledges of most countries are insufficient. A report by the nonprofit Universal Ecological Fund, ranked nearly 75%, or 136, of the pledges as insufficient, including ones by major carbon emitters China, the United States, and India. While the goal of keeping us under 2°C is ambitious, the plan to get us there is pretty much nonexistent.
The Green New Deal is a long shot
But let’s not get all doom and gloom. Biden’s plan to invest 1.7$ trillion in the green economy could actually be really helpful. The problem is that we all know that his campaign promises won’t simply translate into a reality because of his electoral victory. Get ready to hear over and over how even the most modest efforts to create green jobs, strict environmental regulations or end subsidies for the oil and gas industry will be labeled as a communist plot to end human freedom, send everybody into a working camp where they will be forced to eat beans while digging out lithium ore with their bare hands. Criticism from right-wing politicians, pundits and buffoons will be relentless and as idiotic as usual. This way they will take over the whole public conversion where the left will be forced to endlessly argue that Biden is not a Chinese spy or the reincarnation of Stalin. Imagine the type of rhetoric we will be hearing if he would try to push for progressive policies. The ambitious Green New Deal will be delayed and watered-down to something palpable for the corporate elites, who are, let’s face it, largely in charge of the US political process. In the end we’ll have to applaud even the smallest victories, even though they will be completely insufficient in the face of the radical transformations our societies need to go to through in order to avoid an ecological, economic and political nightmare during this century.
History is in our hands
The only way to avoid this catastrophic and easily predictable outcome is to take control over the narrative by actively criticizing Biden’s administration from the left. Is this going to prevent the right wingers from characterizing Biden as a post-modern-neo-marxist-anarcho-primitivist? No, but they would do that anyway, no matter what he does or says. We need to learn from our past mistakes and organize tirelessly during Biden’s stay in office.
Our criticisms must be loud, concrete and unapologetic. Because you know, this stuff really matters. We are talking about the world that you and I are going to be living in. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely prefer to be alive and live in a relatively stable environment 30 years from now, when I’ll be 63 years old. And I would definitely want to leave behind a livable planet for the younger generations.
We have to create radical change in our lives and in our societies otherwise the change will eventually be forced on us as a result of our inaction. For example, I’d rather choose to replace the steak I could have for dinner with beans, so that I’m not forced to replace it with a rat or leather shoes thirty years from. Because if we fail to halt deforestation and global warming this would be the case for hundreds of millions of people around the world.
We have to keep on building the wave of change that is already sweeping through us as individuals and through our society as a whole. Our actions have already helped us avoid some of the worst case scenarios for the end of the century. We have to keep on expanding our collective ecological awareness. Implementing rapid individual and political shifts in our societies is going to be vital going forward in this decade. Try to communicate to your elected officials, organize with your fellow citizens, protest, boycott, plant, create, love.
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