Hold up, climate warriors! It seems we’re in a murky zone when it comes to President Joe Biden’s commitment to combating the climate crisis. Remember when we were hopeful that the new administration would be a fresh change for our planet? Well, Biden recently made waves by hinting that he’s “practically” declared a climate emergency, but the facts on the ground tell a different story.
In a recent Weather Channel interview, Biden seemed to be in his own world when he said he’s “already done that” in response to calls for a climate emergency declaration. While he touted initiatives like the Paris Accords, the Inflation Reduction Act, and land conservation efforts as his climate creds, a quick fact-check revealed he hasn’t officially made the critical climate emergency declaration. And, as many advocates have stressed, such a move could be the key to unlocking vital resources and authority to genuinely fight climate change.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, pointed to Biden’s use of the Defense Production Act for clean energy. But let’s be real: this is still not equivalent to a full-blown declaration.
Imagine if Biden did declare a climate emergency. We could see powerful actions like bans on crude oil exports and a stop to offshore drilling. That’s the kind of bold, forward-thinking action our planet urgently needs. But instead, there’s a sense of disillusionment among climate advocates.
NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus (who clarified he wasn’t speaking on behalf of NASA) was on point when he stressed the gravity of our current situation: “More fossil fuels means more heat, more disasters, more food shortages…” He begged Biden to be the “visionary leader humanity needs.” I couldn’t agree more.
It’s not just talk, either. While the U.S. has made emission reduction pledges as part of the Paris Climate Accords, we’re lagging behind those promises. And here’s the real kicker: Biden’s administration has been green-lighting oil and gas drilling at a pace even faster than Trump’s tenure. More drilling, more problems, am I right?
The promise of “no new drilling on federal lands, period, period, period” now seems like a distant echo. And as Kassie Siegel from the Center for Biological Diversity pointed out, the Biden administration’s endorsement of carbon-heavy projects from Alaska to Appalachia is having a devastating impact on both communities and wildlife.
Jim Walsh from Food and Water Watch didn’t mince words either, stating that while Biden acknowledges the climate crisis, his actions contradict his words. Expanding fossil fuel drilling and pushing carbon capture schemes? That’s not the progress we were hoping for.
This isn’t the first time Biden’s made such claims. He previously labeled the climate crisis as an “emergency” while addressing heat-related issues in workplaces, but stopped short of a formal declaration.
The ball’s in your court, Mr. President. Will you step up and make the bold moves our planet so desperately needs? Only time will tell, but we’re watching.