Better News on the Climate

Image by Alto Crew.

The good news is the president takes the climate crisis seriously. The bad news is it’s worse than ever. The climate catastrophe didn’t stop because Trump ignored it. Forests didn’t stop burning because he said it was a raking problem. The polar ice caps didn’t stop melting because the U.S. acted as if that didn’t matter. All that just got worse. For four years the earth continued to do what it was on track to do for some time: it got hotter. It did so because of the millions of tons of carbon that the human race pumps into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. And it will keep getting hotter until (and even after) we stop doing that. It’s that simple.

Within days of taking office, the Washington Post reported, Biden stopped the Keystone XL pipeline, returned to the Paris climate agreement, closed the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling, made climate action a priority for every federal agency, imposed a moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing and more. He also “initiated a process to invest in minority and low-income communities that historically have borne the brunt of pollution.” Biden overturned 10 Trump rollbacks of environmental policy “and is targeting more than 60 others.” He has promised to review more than 100.

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Eve Ottenberg is a novelist and journalist. Her latest book is Busybody. She can be reached at her website.

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