“Together with the Legislature’s leadership, the progress we make on the climate crisis this year will be felt for generations and the impact will spread far beyond our borders”. -G. Newsom
It's no secret that many Republicans still do not believe that climate change exists. That humans can't have an affect, negative or positive, on the climate... What?!
"Climate change is the result of many human activities, from carbon emissions to deforestation, and it will take multiple and varied interventions to mitigate it, including legislation, regulation, and market-based solutions implemented at local, national, and global levels."
Quick summary of Democrat leadership on climate change--this was a watershed year for historic climate investments, just showing what a Democrat majority in Congress can achieve:
Passing the Inflation Reduction Act this year--the Senate's partisan 51-50 vote, with the tiebreaking vote coming from Vice President Kamala Harris:
"With $370 billion in climate-focused spending, it is the most consequential climate change bill ever passed by Congress.
The bill offers businesses and families billions in incentives to encourage purchases of electric vehicles and energy-efficient appliances, as well as to spur new investments in wind and solar power that would double the amount of new, clean electricity-generating capacity coming online in the United States by 2024.
This helps put the United States on course to meet its pledge to slash its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 below 2005 levels, made at last year's Glasgow climate summit.
California, the world's 5th largest economy, passed $54 billion in climate spending and passed sweeping new restrictions on oil and gas drilling as well as a mandate that California stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2045.
California also signed a bill to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, a policy that should accelerate the global transition toward cleaner electric vehicles.
Let's talk about why we should probably not assume the Republican party would ever do anything productive regarding climate change:
With every passing climate change-fueled natural disaster, are Republicans more inclined to adopt a climate-positive stance? Probably not, but who can know? Their primary source of news seems to be right-wing propaganda machines with financial interests in destroying the planet.
Only around 6% of scientists are Republicans. This means that around 94% of what they claim is most likely not coming from a place not based on scientific fact, but instead from misinformation sourced from financial interest groups. Waiting for 100% of Republicans to agree on anything may never happen. So why wait? Lack of political diversity in the scientific community may present a problem (their low interest in science and education is likely no one's fault but their own). So how do we address the immediate climate concerns? If the vast majority of scientists are Democrats, though, environmental stewardship, now, is a responsibility, not an option.
We have to control the narrative. Republican pundits will very clearly always deny science because it is convenient for them politically. Political momentum is likely to convert some Republicans and Independents to a place of concern for the planet's health, anyway, if enough progress is made, and if the politicians decide to drive that narrative.
Republican sources of funding:
Corporations are the largest donor type by far for Republicans. This is a significant factor in creating significant delays in climate funding due to conflicts of interest.
Republicans' top election issues: 1) Economy, 2) immigration, 3) crime, and 4) abortion. Ironically, the first three are exacerbated by climate change worsening. Go figure that climate change is not among their priorities, even though it would help them the most.
The economy has rebound since Trump trashed it with tax cuts and blowing up the deficit in his 4 years (Biden, on the other hand, has reduced the deficit in 2 years).
The borders are more secure under Biden (ie more border arrests under his administration).
Crime is higher per capita in red states, generally.
The existential threat we face is not whether or not Trump's border wall is completed, but whether humans will live through the worsening climate crisis.
The evidence is clear: Democrats have made historic achievements in battling climate change and will continue to do even more given an opportunity.