Climate Change in Biden’s America

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Kate Hovanec, Writer

This past summer, have you heard of the extreme heat and drought the west has experienced? Have you been aware of Hurricane Ida that hit southern states, or the quick-moving Bootleg Fire that spread across western states? These are all examples of climate change, and the United States has recently been hit hard by it. While running for the 2020 election, President Joe Biden made it known to Americans that he feels strongly about the Earth’s changes and already has some goals that will be released in the near future.

Climate change is simply the shift in weather. While natural causes like the amount of energy the sun gives off or a volcano erupting can affect climate, humans contribute  immensely. We heat and cool our homes, we drive cars and planes, and we burn coal and oil . The energy needed for these everyday activities causes the earth to heat up, which changes the conditions of different areas. While the entire Earth is feeling the effects of climate change in one way or another, the United States has been impacted greatly, but Biden has proposed some ideas in an attempt to improve our situation including funding green job initiatives and having climate change take part in the nation’s 3.5 trillion dollar budget.

In the summer months of 2021, western states experienced extreme heat and drought. Climate change is causing temperatures to spike, producing bad water and air quality, reduced crop yield, and an increase in fire hazards . A lightning strike from a storm in late July produced a fire which then became large and deadly. The dry air fed the fire, causing it to grow and spread rapidly across a large area of western United States. Named after a local creek, the Bootleg Fire originated in Oregon and spread to Washington, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, and Minnesota. 

As if droughts and fires were not bad enough, southern states were visited by Hurricane Ida in late August. Just before hitting the southern coast, abnormally hot water in the Gulf of Mexico gave Ida the strength to turn into a category 4 tropical storm . The heat, or energy, supplied Ida to have powerful and fast wind speeds and made her even more destructive. Climate change helped the storm and its effects travel from Louisiana all the way up the East coast.

After our country has experienced multiple disastrous effects of climate, how is the President going to help address them? Biden made it clear that his “climate agenda” and his “economic agenda” will be closely intertwined meaning he plans to put money into the climate change cause. He has also announced that he has a 2 trillion dollar climate change plan which involves “ordering federal agencies to purchase electricity that is pollution-free, as well as zero emission vehicles and directing the US department of Interior to pause entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore.” These ideas are set to take off in the near future, along with another goal to get “100 percent clean electricity by 2035” which is to be released next month. The President’s plan is not something that will happen overnight and has goals that will hopefully be reached within the next 30 years. While climate change is a difficult problem the United States is experiencing at this time, the small steps Biden has begun to take will help in the long run and continue needed progress. 

Between the unforgiving weather and natural disasters our country has been recently hit with, it’s not a secret that the US is feeling the harsh effects of climate change. However, it is comforting to know that with all of Biden’s responsibilities as president, he is still working to better our country’s climate.