The U.S. takes a central role in hastening climate change, and it has cost the world trillions

The U.S. takes a central role in hastening climate change, and it has cost the world trillions

July 14, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

Figure from Dartmouth College
The U.S. has already done substantial damage to the planet. Why continue?

The study is yet another damning illustration of the inequality climate change causes on a global scale, too. “Irrespective of the accounting, warm countries have warmed and lost income because of it, while colder countries have warmed but enjoyed economic gains,” Mankin concluded. “The responsibility for the warming rests primarily with a handful of major emitters, and this warming has resulted in the enrichment of a few wealthy countries at the expense of the poorest people in the world.” The White House seems content to continue down this failed path, however—even if the majority of voters are wanting to see more climate leadership from Joe Biden and Democrats. There is no better example of this than a recent Washington Post story on the Biden administration’s willingness to compromise its climate goals in order to court Sen. Joe Manchin.

According to The Washington Post, the Biden administration has been more willing to potentially approve projects like ConocoPhillips’ Willow oil extraction plan in Alaska or the Manchin favorite Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia, because staffers think they can somehow get Manchin onboard with a climate spending package that’s stalled because of him. University of California, Santa Cruz energy policy expert David Victor claimed adding those emissions-heavy projects were totally worth it if it means getting a climate package through Congress. “It’s going to send a much clearer signal to low-carbon industries about where and how they can build,” Victor explained.

I know we’re in desperate times but I just don’t see how they call for going backward in order to see even a smidge of progress. If Manchin, considered one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, really cares about what’s hurting his constituents, shouldn’t he look immediately toward economic relief? Going backward with added emissions—and unneeded GDP loss from fossil fuels—is no way to lead with the future of this country in mind.