You are probably accustomed to hearing a lot of gloomy talk about the climate—and with good reason. Climate change threatens human lives and livelihoods at a scale perhaps unmatched by any other issue short of global thermonuclear war, and governments haven’t come anywhere close to adequately addressing it despite decades of efforts.
The climate investment deal announced by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this week may change that. If it passes, the so-called Inflation Reduction Act will be the most significant U.S. climate legislation of all time with $385 billion in spending aimed at changing the way America powers itself. It would foster the rapid deployment of renewable energy, invest in future technologies, and support consumers who embrace a clean energy future. “This is the package that we have been waiting for,” says Leah Stokes, a professor of environmental politics at the University of California Santa Barbara who has been a key advocate for robust climate policy. “This is a transformative bill.”
The effects of those measures could spread beyond the U.S. By helping put President Joe Biden’s emissions-reductions goals within reach, the bill could send a signal around the globe that the U.S., the world’s largest economy, remains committed to tackling climate change. At a time when crisis after crisis has pushed climate change off the agenda in many capitals, the legislation could shift the world to a different climate course.
To understand why this legislation matters, it’s important to understand the urgency of climate change. Scientists have said that when the planet warms somewhere between 1.5°C and 2°C over pre-industrial levels the world is likely to experience a series of catastrophic effects, including irreversible tipping points—think of the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet or the thawing of permafrost that stores greenhouse …read more
Source:: Time – Politics