As temperatures continue to rise across the globe, breaking records from Phoenix, Arizona to southern Europe, Washington’s Democratic Governor Jay Inslee didn’t mince words. He made it abundantly clear on Sunday’s episode of “This Week” that we already have a solution to this climate catastrophe: it’s high time we ditched the fossil fuels responsible for heating up our planet.
As we weather these unprecedented heat alerts impacting millions across the U.S., Inslee, who in the past had been outspoken about the climate crisis during his 2020 presidential bid, confronted the climate change debacle with co-anchor Martha Raddatz.
The metaphor he used was hauntingly stark, “The fuse of the climate change bomb has been burning for decades, and now the bomb has gone off,” Inslee warned. He continued to paint a dire picture, stating that this is a new era where climate change isn’t a distant possibility but a terrifying present-day reality. “This beast of climate change was always coming for us, but now, it’s pounding on our doors,” he lamented.
Inslee relayed a chilling message from the scientific community: “The Earth is screaming at us.” This is even more alarming considering an international scientist’s revelation that these events are happening about two decades ahead of what was once thought plausible. The time for dramatic action, Inslee emphasized, is now.
And dramatic action is indeed necessary, as persistent global warming threatens to exacerbate heat waves, disrupt our food system, and upend life as we know it. The last month was the hottest June ever recorded, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. Malta locals have even coined a chilling moniker for it: “the summer of hell.”
With the so-called “Climate Clock” ticking below six years, we’re racing against time. The clock represents how close we are to exhausting our carbon budget, potentially derailing the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C this century.
On a brighter note, Inslee was quick to point out that there is good news: this problem is solvable. The electrification of our transportation and homes is happening, but we must act swiftly to halt fossil fuel usage. He argued for U.S. leadership on a global scale and emphasized that both federal and state-level actions are crucial. Inslee proudly highlighted Washington’s progressive stance and the collective effort of the 23 states in the U.S. Climate Alliance.
Amidst the climate crisis, President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act has been a beacon of hope. Still, Inslee expressed concern over Republican efforts to repeal it. He urged for more aggressive and accelerated actions against climate change, maintaining that states can and should be more proactive in this fight.
Despite his bold climate pledges, Biden has faced backlash for supporting some fossil fuel initiatives. Meanwhile, the climate-hostile policies advocated by Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates pose an even greater threat. This includes notorious climate-change skeptics like Donald Trump and Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis.
When asked how to sway public opinion, especially considering influential figures like Trump who mock climate change and a significant number of Americans who either dismiss or don’t believe in it, Inslee was clear: “We don’t have time to mess around waiting for this knucklehead to figure this out.”
His advice was simple and direct: vote against climate deniers. Let those who disregard this global crisis pursue other interests (perhaps more golf?), while those committed to combating climate change work together to solve this issue. Inslee believes the public is waking up to the harsh reality, as the effects of climate change become increasingly personal, from homes being consumed by wildfires to swimming in heated waters.
Our planet is on the clock. We must keep climate deniers out of the office and work collaboratively to defuse the ticking climate time bomb.