“Joe Biden’s win ratifies what’s been clear all along: despite Trump’s best efforts, the American people have remained committed to the Paris agreement. Business, investors, cities, and states redoubled their efforts to solve the climate crisis, proving that the path to a sustainable economy is inevitable,” said former vice president Al Gore in a statement Saturday.
On Monday the The Washington Post notified us that Trump officials rush to auction off rights to Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before Biden can block it.
President-elect Joe Biden has indicated that he will be undoing the Trump Executive Orders that reversed many U.S. Climate Change policies, such as withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.
Of course, Climate Action Tracker, a research project, projects that current Paris Agreement policies and pledges will leave the planet “well above” the Paris accord’s “long-term temperature goal.” Even with the U.S. involved, academics were concerned that the world was headed for “extensive” species extinctions, serious crop damage and irreversible increases in sea levels.
Trump called the Paris Agreement “a total disaster for our country” that would hurt American competitiveness by enabling “a giant transfer of American wealth to foreign nations that are responsible for most of the word’s pollution.” He says rules and directives put in place by his predecessor, Barack Obama, to meet the U.S. targets for emissions hurt the U.S. economy by killing jobs related to fossil fuels, especially coal mining. And he’s dismantled Obama-era regulations meant to stifle greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, automobiles and oil wells.
During the Trump Administration coal company executives have successfully advocated for rollbacks of more than 15 different environmental rules and protections. These wide-ranging rollbacks include actions repealing and replacing the Clean Power Plan and slashing the EPA’s budget and staff numbers.
In case someone didn't notice, nearly half of Americans voted for Trump. And, unless by some miracle the Democrats win both Georgia Senate seats in January, current U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will continue to control the Senate as he was reelected for six years with 57.8% of the vote.
He's from Kentucky, a coal state.
Also from coal states are Republicans John Barrasso (Wyo.) and Shelley Moore Capito (WVa.) who probably will Chair the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works respectively.
Barrasso was not up for reelection but is acutely aware that conservative Republican Cynthia Marie Lummis Wiederspahn won Wyoming's other Senate seat with 73.1% of the vote.
Capito was up for reelection and won with 70.4% of the vote.
The two committees they probably will chair have say over whom Biden puts in top-level positions at the EPA and other agencies plus can make Biden's life difficult on achieving his goals to “transition” away from using oil and reduce or eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
But we all know he will have strong support from a super-majority of Americans, right? I've seen headlines saying that. Of course even that isn't quite so simple. Consider this chart:
Half of Americans do recognize that moderating human induced Climate Change (Global Warming) will do good things. But do they recognize that it would require behavior modification, a fact not included in the survey? This "favorable" half of respondents includes:
- those who have already made strides in modifying their behavior to benefit the future climate - we all know of at least one such person, though it may be the same such person;
- those who are thinking about modifying their behavior to benefit the future climate, but have not yet accepted the truth that they must alter their standard of living; and
- those who think it is the responsibility of only governments, corporations, non-profit organizations, etc., to change their organizational behaviors while continuing to meet the public's market demands, which will solve all the climate problems.
The other half appears to includes:
- those who don't believe in the Climate Change concept;
- those who believe that Climate Change either is the inevitable will of, or will be resolved by, a god;
- those who see a potential profit to be derived from resulting economic shifts caused by continuing Climate Change;
- those who see that any solutions needed must come from creative individual Americans acting on their own, not constrained by organizational prejudices and boundaries nor institutional rules nor finances.
As noted in a post here in June 2019 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explains the conservative "old deal" to address Climate Change:
[U.S. Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo explained that we Americans will...
...instead of developing governmental policy as suggested in House Resolution 109 - Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal and creating the bureaucracy needed to implement it.
- responsively reorganize our society,
- relocate as needed, and
- rely on future technological innovation
Is Pompeo correct in his assumptions?
About 68% of adults and 85% of Democrats surveyed in 2019, as indicated in the survey above, believe that policies designed to reduce the impacts of Climate Change would help or make no difference to the economy. But when you view the answers in another way, 65% of adults including 51% of democrats believe the policies would hurt or make no difference.
Make no difference. Really? When you dig down, you can't help but note that 38% of Democrats think the policies would make no difference. That's pretty much saying "I haven't given it any thought."
Perhaps we need to recognize context in which the Pew Survey was conducted. Americans have diddled around with electric cars while increasing manufacturing of gas guzzling vehicles. Californians have substantially increased solar and wind energy production while increasing consumption of electricity way beyond that production.
Interestingly, the Covid pandemic has reduced some consumption and a lot of driving. One could offer the idea that we could build on those gains as the pandemic effects decline. But that is a supposition offered in a severely stressed economy.
Perhaps we need to restate what Pompeo asserted. In response to Climate
Change in the future individual Americans and their families will out of
- responsively reorganize our society,
- relocate as needed, and
- rely on future technological innovation
...without significantly modifying U.S. government policy or bureaucracy.
Will American families rely on future technological innovation to deal with the impacts of Climate Change? Most assuredly. They already are, though much of what is available is expensive forcing many to divert their income to keep their homes livable.
Will American families relocate to deal with the impacts of Climate Change? Many won't have any choice and indeed they already are, though not enthusiastically. After all they will be relocating from the coastlines. And because of increasing desert heat they will be relocating from where they just relocated to, the Southwest.
Will individual Americans responsively reorganize our society to deal with Climate Change impacts? Hmmm....
Al Gore tells us that business, investors, cities, and states have redoubled their efforts to solve
the climate crisis. What he also tells us is that the path to a sustainable economy will be an
inevitable outcome of the changes required to solve
the climate crisis. So I guess he still believes that Americans will responsively reorganize our society to deal with Climate Change impacts, even though he has been advocating for significant changes since the mid-1970's.
In fact, except for excluding any significant change in governmental policy and bureaucracy, Gore and Pompeo agree.
I'm not sure what we can learn from the Saturday story Garbage, duck feces and continued water woes for flooded South Florida in which is the quote from a resident: “I’ve never seen anything like this before. My home got flooded with water, poop — it’s just horrible.”
The warnings have been made. In September 2019 Bloomberg reported:
The Great Climate Retreat is beginning with tiny steps, like taxpayer buyouts for homeowners in flood-prone areas from Staten Island, New York, to Houston and New Orleans — and now Rittel’s Marathon Key. Florida, the state with the most people and real estate at risk, is just starting to buy homes, wrecked or not, and bulldoze them to clear a path for swelling seas before whole neighborhoods get wiped off the map.
By the end of the century, 13 million Americans will need to move just because of rising sea levels, at a cost of $1 million each, according to Florida State University demographer Mathew Haeur, who studies climate migration.
If you read the article, you will learn that some government funding has been focused on homeowner relocation costs. But this does not address issues such as extreme heat in the Southwest or burning forests across the U.S.
The problem for Biden is that when you look at the election results and Climate Change surveys honestly, Americans are not ready for the inevitable Climate Change impacts. We're still struggling with the economic impacts of technology - no, not the presence of Alexa in many homes, rather the fact that a large number of Americans can't afford Alexa. Or even a high speed internet connection in many cases.
To put it another way, there are two Americas, as we learned in the last two Presidential elections. And they don't follow the same web sites. Nor do they hold the same opinions about Climate Change.
This post is a reflection of concerns that began in 2007 when it appeared the Gray Whale migration route was being explored for wind generation by "environmentalists".
- No, this election did not reaffirm Climate Change policy - it emphasized how far apart Americans are Monday, November 16, 2020
- A depressing climate crisis update to all: When we fixed the ozone problem we made the greenhouse gas problem worse. Can humans solve the problem? Tuesday, January 21, 2020
- A depressing climate crisis update to all: Rising ocean temperatures will increase violent deaths! Monday, January 13, 2020
- A depressing climate crisis update to all. Victoria Police Facebook post: "You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive. It is too late to leave." Tuesday, January 7, 2020
- Climate Change Black Death is inevitable: It is officially too late to prevent the release of a gigaton of methane and 37 gigatons of carbon dioxide from an Arctic permafrost thaw by 2100 Wednesday, December 11, 2019
- Thunberg is right. Americans are more focused on "money and fairytales of eternal economic growth" despite the efforts of some to bring about change. Monday, September 30, 2019
- The American "greed is good" cabal begin its assault on Greta Thunberg and Mahatma Gandhi Wednesday, September 25, 2019
- "Climate Change Black Death Surrounds Us" means impacts of Climate Change are killing people now! Will we even try to reduce 21st Century impacts? Thursday, September 19, 2019
- On behalf of the kids - climate scientests quit being conservative as the adults aren't fearful enough Monday, September 16, 2019
- Climate Change: When we collectively don't know what we are doing, we should fear for our future! Sunday, September 15, 2019
- Why are Presidential Primary candidates pushing Climate Change policy? Is it because the foundation of our American culture is ignorance of history? Wednesday, June 26, 2019
- As Climate Change Black Death surrounds us the Democratic Debates were depressingly irrelevant Friday, August 2, 2019
- Can California and China lead a war on Climate Change Black Death to save wine production? Tuesday, June 18, 2019
- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explains the conservative "old deal" to address Climate Change Monday, June 10, 2019
- No, we're not Australia, but Democrats need to pay heed to what just happened in the Aussie election Friday, June 7, 2019
- Britain's "civilized debate" via lithium powered "devices" over solutions to the Climate Change crisis is fiddling while Rome (and the World) burns Thursday, May 9, 2019
- "The Truth Is Out There" but it needs to be dramatized Tuesday, April 23, 2019
- It is not true that as new EPA Administrator asserts "most of the threats from climate change are 50 to 75 years out" for millions of vulnerable Americans Wednesday, April 17, 2019
- From America's Midwest to Africa the water is deep while ocean waters are warming faster than thought - while the need to adapt become more obvious Monday, March 25, 2019
- The Deplorables to advance Climate Change Black Death by trading The California Green and Gold Deal for "more affordable" new cars for older voters Friday, February 22, 2019
- Has Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cost us decades of progress on the Green New Deal? Wednesday, February 13, 2019
- The personally disturbing population collapse of Monarch Butterflies and nearly all other insects Monday, February 11, 2019
- No, The Green New Deal is not new. But two generations of Democrats - Ocasio-Cortez and Pelosi - begin the push toward implementation Thursday, February 7, 2019
- The coming Climate Change Black Death. If only humanity knew in advance what was coming and that something could be done about it! Oh, wait.... Thursday, February 7, 2019
- "They talk about the end of the world and we are talking about the end of the month!" How Climate Change policy has become the 21st Century symbol of economic division in Western democracies Wednesday, December 19, 2018
- As the midterm election approaches we should be in great fear of Climate Change. Why aren't we? Saturday, October 27, 2018
- The lack of comprehensive political economy goals will create concurrent pecuniary and environmental disasters for U.S. Gen X and all future generations. Friday, October 4, 2018
- While The Deplorables roll back environmental regulation tropical cyclones (aka hurricanes and typhoons) wreak havoc on Atlantic and Pacific coastlines Saturday, September 15, 2018
- What was wrong with managed timber harvesting??? When your air is clogged with congestive climate change, who should be blamed? Monday, August 20, 2018
- Three redwoods, clear waters, and mountains of silver and gold: "Ignorance is bliss" was a warning to provide for the next generation, economic advice from a poem America has forgotten but China has embraced Saturday, May 5, 2018
- The Anthropocene is not real: How arrogance of human-importance has allowed climate scientists to trample chronostratigraphic science creating fake news for political purposes Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- Foolish planning and the inevitable wildfires: What could have been learned from John Steinbeck about California's true climate Saturday, December 9, 2017
- Gray Whales threatened, again! Wind and wave electrical generation structures planned for Pacific Gray Whale migration route Friday, June 30, 2017
- In California we are overcoming words that blind and bind since we want our descendants to survive (5 posts) Tuesday, January 17, 2017
- Climate Change: The shiny old object catching the eye of some lesser wrong-headed politicians Sunday, December 4, 2016
- The Cloud versus the Gray Whale Saturday, February 25, 2012
- Obama's Administration & the wave energy technocrats: What whales? Sunday, January 22, 2012
- FERC Ponders Allowing Public Input, Environmental Review of Proposal for Electrical Generators in Whale Route Wednesday, July 23, 2008
- Limited Time Only - Act now to own your piece of the Pacific Ocean off the Mendocino Coast Wednesday, August 1, 2007