We need Republicans to get serious about climate change.
Earlier this month as Republicans organized for the coming mid-term election, which they hope will give them control of the House, they announced a climate plan. No doubt its purpose is to appeal to young Republicans and independents who are more concerned about climate change and want governments to act.
Basically, the plan calls for increasing the production and promoting the use of oil and gas, the very fuels that are over-heating our planet, disrupting our climate, and causing widespread human suffering. Climate activist, Bill McKibben, compares it to announcing a health plan that “involves mailing every American a carton of cigarettes and a Wendy’s coupon.”
The new plan includes no emissions targets, puts no limits on fossil fuels, doesn’t even approve of clean energy tax credits that could encourage the transition to renewable alternatives like solar and wind. We can dismiss them, even ridicule them, but the reality is we need Republicans to take this seriously. Even if Democrats could rally their 50 Senators to pass Build Back Better legislation, it could be thrown out in the next election. Climate legislation will only be effective and enduring if it is bipartisan.
The most recent IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report concludes that climate action is being delayed not because of some deficiency in scientific understanding; not because we are waiting for some yet undiscovered technology; not even for lack of money. The barriers are entirely political, driven by fossil fuel interests and their political lackeys, who appear to overpopulate the GOP today.
Affordable, clean energy is available. A few simple policies could jump-start the transition to a clean energy future: tax carbon pollution, electrify everything, put solar panels on as many buildings as possibl,; stop burning coal. The only thing missing — the political will to do it.