…in culture and politics today, the most prominent uses of “woke” are as a pejorative…
It’s Earth Day 2021, and I hope the world’s leaders will boldly go where none have gone before. I am optimistic.
Timed to coincide with Earth Day 2021, 300 businesses, including Nike, Coca-Cola, Lyft, Google, McDonald’s, and Walmart, are asking President Biden to adopt the ambitious and attainable target of cutting GHG emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. Corporate Americans are not the only ones showing a willingness to go green.
This week, leaders of the United Mine Workers of America’s (UMWA) announced their support for the President’s efforts to speed the decarbonization of the US economy—starting with the rapid expansion of clean power sources like solar and wind, as well as the electrification of the transportation sector. Togetherthe power and transportation sectors account for 57 percent of US GHG emissions. (See Figure 1)
Americans are experiencing these disasters firsthand, and these personal experiences are informing their views on climate change regardless of their age or party affiliation.
Representative Frank Moody (R-FL)
In a more perfect union, the federal government would be a better partner with state and local governments in the effort to slow, forestall, and adapt to Earth’s changing climate. As it has for most of the 21st century, the burden of response to the climate crisis rests heavily on the shoulders of state and local governments. It does so by the decades’ protracted default of Washington to enact meaningful climate legislation.
Politics are not the only things that are local. The consequences of climate change are being felt most acutely at the state and local levels. It’s at least part of the reason that state legislatures considered more than 2,500 energy-related measures in 2020 covering a wide range of policies—from transportation electrification and other efforts to reduce emissions economy-wide, to support for clean energy and new energy storage technologies. (See Figure 1)
The environmental problems we face are deep-rooted and widespread. They can be solved only by a na-tional effort embracing sound, coordinated planning and effective follow-through that reaches into every community in the land. Improving our surroundings is necessarily the business of us all.
- Richard Nixon
In an act reminiscent of Luther and the church door, Joe Manchin (D-WV) wrote in the Washington Post that he would not vote to change the Senate filibuster rule nor was he keen on using the budget reconciliation process as the vehicle for enacting President Biden’s $2.4 trillion infrastructure plan—much of which is about decarbonizing the economy.
Manchin, like Biden, is an old school politician—where back-in-the-day loyalties were more to the nation than the party. In his marmish manner, Manchin believes refusing to eliminate the filibuster and voting against budget reconciliation will force Republicans and Democrats to work through their differences in a collegially combative sort of way—"just like it used to be.”
Joel B. Stronberg
Joel Stronberg, MA, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.