At my doctor's the other day we somehow, got into a conversation about climate change. He's a self-professed old-school conservative Republican. I'm not, which probably accounts for our usually staying away from talking politics.
It is not to say we don't agree on some things in the political realm. For example, we both fret for the loss of civility and the nation's future should Donald Trump be re-elected.
Like a lot of people these days, we both voted early. I know it hurt him to vote for Biden. How-ever, sometimes you gotta take one for the team.
I like my doctor. So as a gesture of goodwill, I promised to vote for a Republican sometime in the future. The truth is, it''s not much of a sacrifice. I've voted and worked for Republicans in the past. I suspect I will again in the future—assuming the Party of Trump goes back to being the Party of Lincoln.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
… burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Anyone who thinks the climate community will not have Donald J. Trump to kick around anymore after the votes are tallied in November is sure to be disappointed. His works and what he's wrought will linger long after the man has left the building.
Transitions can be hard for out-going members of a defeated administration. The power of the presidency is a heady business. For those close to it, going back to "civilian life" can be a real downer. No more limousines, no more being given the best table at restaurants, no more "yes sir, yes ma'am" what a great idea, just because you're seated close to power.
Under these circumstances, a certain amount of pranking and pilfering is to be expected. The out-going Clinton administration was reported to have left its mark as the George W. Bush administration moved in. For example, the letter "W" on computer keyboards was said to have been vandalized. In some cases, the letter went missing, while in other instances, it was glued down.
The debate between climate defenders and climate deniers has continued front and center through-out the 2020 election cycle. It con-trasts with the pattern of previous years in which voter surveys sug-gested that climate change was near the top of voter concerns only to fade as election days drew near.
Should Joe Biden become president and the Democrats take both the House and Senate, the climate debate will dramatically change. No longer will federal policymakers spend much time debating and defending climate-science. They will instead exert their energies on answering the problem of what to do about it.
President Trump is right to accuse Biden of listening to scientists and not only when it comes to the novel coronavirus now plaguing the nation. The same charge may be leveled in the way Biden is likely to proceed on climate-related matters. The former vice president has time and again sought the help of scientists.
There is, however, another group of experts who Congress and the White House will need to work with as they draft and enact federal climate legislation to meet the goal of making the US a net-zero emitter of greenhouse gases by 2050. A leading member of that group has written what will undoubtedly become required reading for energy and environment policy makers and activists everywhere.
If, as it appears now, the environment will become a major issue in the 1972 race for the White House, there will be action all right as both Democrats and Republicans play to outdo each other at pollution politics, which in this case is the advantage of a two-party system.
– Bill Downs, war correspondent ABC News
The scraping sound you may be hearing where you are is the sound of Republican candidates for Congress practicing a version of distancing in a time of contagion. Only in this case, it's political distancing from President Trump, and the contagion they're hoping to avoid is a Blue Wave.
The adage that never seems to grow old in Capital City is--if you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog. It's as true for Republicans as it is for Democrats. Be that as it may, there will never be a better time in this election cycle to contact Republicans running for Congress and get them to commit to supporting aggressive policies to combat Earth's rising temperatures.
Come to think of it; there may never be a better time to get commitments from Democratic candidates. What makes this a good time to gain candidate buy-ins to combat climate change is desperation--their's—not yours.
If Democrats take control of the government in 2021, a big question is how much the party should partner with Republicans and the private sector to put a climate plan in place.
These days American politics are a little like Russian nesting dolls—there are stories, within stories, within stories. With just 22 days, 07 hours, and 30 minutes left until the November elections and Biden's rising poll numbers, I've begun thinking in earnest about the chances of getting his $2 trillion[i] climate plan—or a reasonable facsimile— through Congress and back on the presidential desk for his signature.
How Biden and progressive climate activists deal with fracking in the coming months could largely determine the possibility of putting the nation squarely on the path to long-term sus-tainability. I fear that too great a focus on fracking bans outside of federal lands—which is the current Biden position—could cancel the possibility of putting in place the government policies needed to decarbonize the economy in a timely fashion.
As I will explain in a moment, the way forward need not force a binary vote on fracking. How is this possible? By doing what governments have always done best—kicking the can down the road—at least on this one issue. It may not be optimum, but it is likely to happen in a much shorter time than waiting for political forces finally to resolve.
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.