Several weeks ago, I had commented during a Zero Net Fifty podcast that I thought there was a coming together—under the Biden banner—of progressive and establishment Democrats on climate matters. It was naïve of me to believe the wings of the Democratic Party would begin to flap in unison so far ahead of the convention.
Diversity has always been both the strength and weakness of the Democratic Party. In the past, compromise—or at least some accommodation for long enough to get presidents elected—has been possible. Today differences of opinion on issues like climate change and racial justice may defy traditional negotiation. In part, the differences of opinion are complicated by demands for a generational shift in party and congressional leadership.
Youth movement groups often see matters like climate and racism as more moral than political, which causes them to be viewed as binary. They accuse older generations of having compromised their futures away. I think the coming together of generations in the streets call-ing for racial justice and systemic change is evidence that morality is hardly unique to any one generation. Older generations have learned through experience that you often need to give in order to get and that failing to compromise can mean gridlock. The differences between the generations is more a matter of where each is willing to draw the line.
The COVID-19 contagion shows once again the disdain President Trump and his administration have for science-based policies and actions. Over these past months Trump has suggested that the coronavirus would just go away with the heat of the summer, touted his natural genius for the practice of medicine, and implied that a Clorox cocktail might make the sick well again.
His statements about the contagion closely parallel those he's made about the scientific basis of climate change--its origins and solutions. Just recently the President has signed a new executive order using the pandemic as an excuse to waive the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) as they apply to energy infrastructure projects like oil and gas pipelines. The Order is based on what legal experts believe is an intentional misreading of the emergency provisions of various environmental laws like the Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts.
The podcast addresses how climate will be treated by both Trump and former Vice President Biden in the run-up to the November elections--including how the President has compromised the nation's leadership in the world on energy and climate matters.
To hear the podcast click here. The link will take you directly to the Zero Net Fifty site where you click on the episode.
Lead image courtesy of David Clode on Unsplash
As the nation struggles to free itself from the grip of the coronavirus contagion and a disease of a different sort—racial, economic, and environmental injustice—our president continues to lay waste to the country’s environmental protections.
The COVID-19 contagion shows once again the disdain President Trump and his administration have for science-based policies and actions. Over the past several months, Trump has suggest-ed that the coronavirus would just go away in the heat of the summer, touted his natural genius for the practice of medicine, and implied that a Clorox cocktail might make the sick well again. His outlandish statements about the contagion closely parallel those he’s made about the scientific basis of climate change--its origins and solutions.
Joel B. Stronberg
Joel Stronberg, MA, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.