Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.73 minutes to read.

Not long ago, climate change for many Americans was like a distant bell. News of starving polar bears or melting glaciers was tragic and disturbing, but other worldly.

Not any more.

Hundreds died in unprecedented triple-digit heat in Oregon, Washington and western Canada late last month when a “heat dome” of enormous proportions settled over the region for days… Scientists say the event was almost certainly made worse and more intransigent by human-caused climate change…

The consequences of what mankind has done to the atmosphere are now inescapable. Periods of extreme heat are projected to double in the lower 48 states by 2100. Heat deaths are far outpacing every other form of weather killer in a 30-year average. A persistent megadrought in America’s West continues to create tinder-dry conditions that augur another devastating wildfire season. And scientists say warming oceans are fueling ever more powerful storms, evidenced by Elsa and the early arrival of hurricane season this year.

Increasingly severe weather is causing an estimated $100 billion in damage to the United States every year…

Joe Biden won the presidency promising broad new policies to cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions. But Congress needs to act on those ideas this year. Democrats cannot risk losing narrow control of one or both chambers of Congress in the 2022 elections to a Republican Party too long resistant to meaningful action on the climate.

Editorial Board, USA Today

In California, many are now considering what only a few years ago was unthinkable: In a time of accelerating fossil-fueled climate impacts, how much longer will we stay? And… how do we also maintain a focus on stopping the planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions that are causing this catastrophe in the first place, and keep it from getting worse?
First, if you are considering uprooting your life because of climate change, let that sink in. Let that reality, a scenario that was likely inconceivable to you just a few years ago, radicalize you to the all-encompassing scope, scale and urgency of this existential, all-encompassing crisis.

Take this moment to align your life with this new reality. Become an activist. Get political. Educate yourself and others on the solutions that already exist to address this crisis. If you buy a house, electrify it — meaning replacing technologies that depend on fossil fuels with ones that use renewable energy…

Ultimately, we’ll all realize that there is no such thing as a climate-safe place, only places with different climate-related impacts, unfolding on different timescales, to differently-equipped people, interconnected in ways we can’t begin to fathom…

At this pivotal moment in human and planetary history, the question for us cannot only be, “Where might I be safe?” but also, “Where might I be of most use?”… This is a time to open our arms wide, contributing and engaging in every way we can to the global effort to reimagine everything about the way we inhabit this planet.

Jamie Beck Alexander is director of Drawdown Labs at Project Drawdown, a nonprofit dedicated to using existing solutions to stop global warming (Published in CNN)

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.81 minutes to read.

Within days of his inauguration, President Biden announced a slew of climate-related executive orders, including plans to rejoin the Paris Agreement, cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and suspend new oil and gas leasing on public lands. Some of these actions will have a tangible impact. But much of what Mr. Biden announced was performative, offering succor to his environmental supporters but not much else. In truth, his ability to move the needle on U.S. emissions through executive action is extremely limited…

Mr. Biden’s options are limited for other reasons on Capitol Hill. Notwithstanding the bold talk from Democrats and environmentalists, neither Congress nor the public appear to have much stomach for costly regulatory actions. Democrats simply do not have the votes to pass carbon caps, carbon taxes or a Green New Deal. And even were they able to do so, the history of such policies is not promising…

If we are serious about cutting emissions as quickly and deeply as Democrats say we must, Congress will need to enact major reforms of the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal policies dear to environmentalists. Democrats will need to acknowledge that reforms can’t be limited to simply carving out exceptions for a few pet infrastructure categories like wind, solar and transmission lines. For their part, Republicans will have to accept that national infrastructure priorities should trump state and local control at times.

All of these measures are controversial among environmentalists but broadly popular in Congress, even as the issue of climate change is deeply divisive.

Ted Nordhaus, founder and executive director of the Breakthrough Institute and a co-author of “An Ecomodernist Manifesto.” (Published in the WSJ)

Headlines from around the world tell us of hundreds of deaths caused by recent heat waves. The stories invariably blame climate change and admonish us to tackle it urgently. But they mostly reveal how one-sided climate-alarmist reporting leaves us badly informed.

The stories contain a kernel of truth: Global warming is a real, manmade problem that needs addressing. As temperatures increase, so will the frequency and severity of heat waves. But the media fail to report the full story and thus lose focus on the most effective ways to help.
Heat deaths are beguilingly click-worthy, and studies show that heat kills about 2,500 people every year in the United States and Canada. However, rising temperatures also reduce cold waves and cold deaths…

Those deaths are rarely reported, because they don’t fit the current climate narrative. Of course, if they were just a curiosity, the indifference might be justified, but they are anything but. Each year, more than 100,000 people die from cold in the United States, and 13,000 in Canada — more than 40 cold deaths for every heat death…

For now, rising temperatures likely save lives. A landmark study in the medical journal Lancet found that climate change over the past decades has across every region averted more cold deaths than it has caused additional heat deaths. On average, it saves upwards of 100,000 lives each year…

Again: Climate change is still a real problem that affects many other areas than heat and cold. We need to tackle it effectively through innovation to make green energy so cheap everyone will want to switch.

Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus. (Published in NY Post)