To the editor:
Grateful for the chance to talk directly to presidential candidate Joe Biden in Berlin on Tuesday, I told him that, if he were to win the nomination, I and other members of the local Democratic committee would be organizing volunteers, canvassing door-to-door and making calls for him. However, I confided that, at this point in the campaign season, I was greatly disturbed by his D-minus rating from Greenpeace on the issue of Climate Action. He assured me that the plan he had just unveiled was an A-plus and that I would love it if I checked it out. I told him I would go home to pull it up and let him and everyone know what I thought of it. He promised I would be pleased.
Disturbingly, however, Joe's climate action plan reads like something straight out of the fossil fuel industry, skirting substantial detail on how to end fossil fuel reliance and instead focusing almost entirely on “carbon capture” technology, which envisions the continued burning of fossil fuels while trying to reduce CO2 emissions by “capturing” some amount of them. Existing technology for this is only marginally effective. Plenty of carbon will still be emitted under such a scheme. In all, his strategy is clearly designed to continue carbon emissions, not end them soon. The plan’s timeline for transitioning to total clean energy is 2050, too late to save humanity according to the consensus of global climate scientists.
The fact that most of the plan was simply lifted verbatim from materials produced by an industry-funded non-profit, without much in-depth detail, along with lip service to buzzwords like “Green New Deal” and “existential threat” without much context to demonstrate that these phrases were conceptually understood, and the fact that Joe referred me to “go look at the plan,” without even a word from him as to what its goals were, makes me a little weak in the knees thinking about having to sell his candidacy to voters should he be the nominee.
If he expects to win the nomination and become president, while the voting public, beset by ever-increasing mega-storms, floods, droughts, wildfires and temperature swings, becomes increasingly convinced of the need for immediate action, Joe needs to take a much harder look at the highly-rated climate action plans of Bernie Sanders, Liz Warren, Jay Inslee and Cory Booker, who call for a quick end to fossil fuels and total reliance on renewables by 2030. That's what it will take to put some spring in my step should he be our nominee.
The time is now for Joe to “get woke” to the fact that people need more of a choice in 2020 than whether we hurtle headlong into oblivion led by a Trump scowl or a Biden smile. They need a president who truly grasps the urgency at hand and who will lead the world to save it. It’s a tall order for an FDR-style leader, not an industry panderer. We are out of time to waste, Joe. Our children’s children are depending on the next president for their existence.