Biden’s $2 trillion, specific clean energy plan isn’t called the Green New Deal. It’s called the “Biden Plan” on his website, and it’s the most ambitious climate action plan to ever be floated by a major US party platform. Biden’s plan emerged from negotiations with Bernie Sanders’ camp after Biden won the primaries, and involved such Democrats as Jay Inslee, Ocasio-Cortez, and John Kerry in its planning.
Biden’s plan says it will decarbonize the US’s electricity sector by 2035. It also states that 40% of federal climate spending will go to lower-income communities and persons of color. Green job creation is a central focus of Biden’s plan. It also includes the following, which is briefly summarized here and laid out on his website in great, quantifiable detail:
- Infrastructure. Millions of union jobs to rebuild infrastructure sustainably.
- Automotive. 1 million new jobs, electric vehicles, and 500,000 charging stations.
- Transit. Provide every American city with 100,000 or more residents with high-quality, zero-emissions public transportation options through flexible federal investments.
- Buildings. Upgrade 4 million buildings and weatherize 2 million homes over 4 years, creating at least 1 million good-paying jobs with a choice to join a union.
- Housing. Spur the construction of 1.5 million sustainable homes and housing units.
- Agriculture and Conservation. Create jobs in climate-smart agriculture, resilience, and conservation, including 250,000 jobs plugging abandoned oil and natural gas wells and reclaiming abandoned coal, hardrock, and uranium mines.
- Innovation. Drive dramatic cost reductions in critical clean energy technologies, including battery storage, negative emissions technologies, the next generation of building materials, renewable hydrogen, and advanced nuclear and rapidly commercialize them.
- Environmental Justice. Ensure that it’s is a key consideration in where, how, and with whom the US builds.
Biden is considering creating a special White House office led by a climate “czar” to coordinate efforts to fight climate change if he wins the election.
The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) has released a new study on Americans’ attitudes toward the climate crisis. They’ve categorized Americans into what they call “six Americas”:
The Alarmed are the most engaged, are very worried about climate change, and strongly support actions to address it. The Concerned think global warming is a significant threat, but prioritize it less and are less motivated to take action. The Cautious are aware of the warming but are uncertain about its causes and are not worried about it. The Disengaged are largely unaware of global warming, while the Doubtful doubt it is happening or human-caused and perceive it as a low risk. The Dismissive do not believe the planet is warming or that it is human-caused. They oppose most climate policies.
The bottom line is that today, the Alarmed (26%) outnumber the Dismissive (7%) nearly 4 to 1. More than half (54%) of Americans are either Alarmed or Concerned, while the Doubtful and Dismissive are only 18% of the population.
Over the past five years, the Alarmed segment has more than doubled in size (from 11% to 26% of the US adult population), while the Dismissive segment has decreased by nearly half (from 12% to 7%).
Anthony Leiserowitz, a senior research scientist and the director of the YPCCC, told Grist:
It indicates a massive shift in our political, social, and cultural understanding of climate change.
In other words, Americans are beginning to wake up.
What is it about Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg that inspires millions of young people and adults to follow her example, as we portray week in and week out on this weekly roundup of #FridaysForFuture tweets? How did a teenager gain a platform to speak at the United Nations? And why does she inspire hatred in grown men — it’s almost always grown men — who spew vitriol about her on social media?
The documentary I am Greta takes a look at Thunberg’s journey and motivations, and the action the world has taken — or not taken — in response to her laser-focused demand for action on climate change. The trailer is below:
On Thursday, Thunberg posted a very pointed Twitter response to US supreme court candidate Amy Coney Barrett’s response during US Senate hearings on whether Coney Barrett believes that humans cause climate change. Coney Barrett said she doesn’t feel “confident to opine on what causes global warming.” She also said she didn’t know that she “has seen the president’s expressions on climate change.”