Home / General / The fascist threat obscures the fact that a second Trump presidency would be a policy catastrophe

The fascist threat obscures the fact that a second Trump presidency would be a policy catastrophe

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This (gift link) is a really good essay hammering home two points:

(1) The Biden administration has been on the whole excellent on climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act, which probably 99 out of 100 voters have never even heard of, is a massively important achievement.

(2) A second Trump administration would be an absolute catastrophe in regard to climate change in particular.

I fully admit, Mr. Biden was not my first, nor even my seventh, choice in the 2020 Democratic primary. Yet when it came to the immense challenge of confronting this crisis, I am forever grateful that he proved me wrong, delivering a game-changing victory with the narrowest of congressional margins. Even as much of the rest of Mr. Biden’s ambitious policy agenda got hacked away in Congress, one thing remained: re-industrialization through clean energy investment.

This led to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the most significant climate legislation the country has ever seen and a more important achievement than the Paris climate accord. In just two years, that bill has galvanized clean energy investment in the United States and set a pace for the rest of the world to compete in the growing clean energy economy. These investments are expected to create more than nine million jobs over the next decade. That growth in clean energy is not only breaking records by the year but also by the quarter, with the end of 2023 seeing a 40 percent increase in investments in clean energy and transportation over the last quarter of 2022.

As those industries of decarbonization spread to every state and to many congressional districts, people’s lives and livelihoods increasingly will become intertwined and invested in clean energy. When a Texas congressman can’t survive an election in a solidly Republican district without the backing of the wind and solar industries, when a battery factory in Hardin County, Ky., is employing 5,000 people, when the fossil fuel economy is falling to the zero-carbon infrastructure we demand, that will change a politician’s calculations. The increasing political and economic clout of those clean energy industries will challenge the fossil fuel status quo. We are at the beginning of an absolute revolution of the American economy that will send manufacturing soaring and pollution plummeting.

Given the authoritarian threat Trump poses, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that, from a purely policy perspective, another Trump administration would be almost indescribably worse than a continued Biden presidency. Climate change, which is the most important issue of this generation and the next several after that, is the single best illustration of that.

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