Climate Change Moves to the Forefront of Biden's Legislation

Mish

Democrats and Republicans reached a Senate power-sharing agreement and Democrats will control the committees. Climate change moves to the front of the agenda.

Power-Sharing Deal Reached 

The Senate is split 50-50 and that means Vice President Kamala Harris will get to cast any tie-breaking votes. 

But first things first. Deals had to be made about committee leadership and about filibuster rules. 

Today two Democrat Senators broke the log jam and a power-sharing deal was reached.

The deal will use the same or similar deal that happened in 2001, the last time there was a Senate tie. 

Each party will have an equal number of committee seats, but the Democrats will control committee chairmanships and thus the agenda. 

In 2001 it was Republicans who controlled the agenda.

Deadlock Broken 

The main dispute holding things up involved the filibuster rule. 

Republicans were fearful that Democrats would change the rules requiring 60% approval to advance legislation rather than simple majority.

When Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona reaffirmed their longstanding support for the filibuster, the deal was reached.

Climate Change to the Forefront

Following the Power-Sharing-Arrangement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (who just replaced Mitch McConnell) set the tone. 

In remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, Mr. Schumer said Democrats are “ready to hit the ground running” on President Biden’s agenda.

“Senate Democrats are not going to waste any time taking on the biggest challenges facing our country and our planet,” Mr. Schumer said, adding that he’s already instructed the incoming Democratic chairs of relevant committees to begin holding hearings on major climate legislation.

“It’s long past time for the Senate to take a leading role in combating the existential threat of our time: climate,” Mr. Schumer said. “As we all know, climate change touches virtually every aspect of our economy and involves virtually every aspect of public policy. So as the Biden administration prepares a whole government approach to combating climate change, the Democratic majority will pursue a whole-of-Senate approach as well.”

Ready to Roll?

Not so fast. Democrat  Senator Joe Manchin is from West Virginia, the second leading coal-producing state. 

He is also a fiscal hawk and from the state that produced the a 68.6% vote for  Trump. 

Wasted Priorities

Climate change will be interesting to watch. President Trump wasted two full years attempting to un-do Obamacare.

He failed. He had a chance to build a wall and failed. Instead he could have made a big difference on bankruptcy reform, right-to-work legislation and many other things. 

Existential Threat?

Will Biden fall into the same trap wasting years on climate change? 

In this case, perhaps the best we can hope for is Biden wasting two years getting nothing done.

It will be interesting to watch.

John Kerry's Straw Man Climate Arguments

John Kerry is Biden's climate czar. 

He blamed 4 hurricanes on climate change as if throwing any amount of money at the alleged problem would have stopped the hurricanes.

For discussion, please see Kerry's Straw Man Argument for Wasting Money on Climate Change

Where is the CO2 coming from? 

Annual CO2 Emissions2

CO2 Stats

  • Please note that the US reduced its carbon footprint from 6.13 billion tons in 2007 to 5.28 billion tons in 2019.
  • Meanwhile, China increased its footprint from 6.86 billion tons in 2019 to 10.17 billion tons in 2019.
  • In the same timeframe, global output rose from 31.29 billion tons to 36.44 billion tons.
  • In 2007, the US accounted for 19.6% of the total global carbon footprint.
  • In 2019, the US accounted for only 14.5% of the total global footprint.

The above stats are from Our World CO2 Emissions.

The US could eliminate its entire carbon footprint tomorrow and it would not even matter (except of course, the entire global economy would crash).

How Much Money is Needed?

Kerry did not say how much money he needed, only that we have to make up for the last four years. Lovely.

The implied assumption is we will quickly stop hurricanes by throwing money at the problem.

We better hurry too, because we lost four years. What a hoot.

AOC's Green New Deal Pricetag

US CO2 emissions are only 14.5% of the total global footprint and that is down from 19.6% in 2007. 

With that in mind, please recall AOC's Green New Deal Pricetag of $51 to $93 Trillion vs. Cost of Doing Nothing

GM to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035, Carbon Neutral by 2040

One day after Kerry's ridiculous rant, I noted GM to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035, Carbon Neutral by 2040.

Assuming one believes CO2 is a problem, this is the way problems are solved.

GM is not doing this to save the world, it is doing this because market forces mandate a change.

Similarly, solar power will come into play as storage technology improves.

The free market, not populist ideas will solve real world problems.

Meanwhile, I am sick of this populist nonsense that climate change is the "existential threat of our time."

Such language is always wrong.

Government to the Rescue Sarcasm

Mish

Comments (100)
No. 1-26
goldguy
goldguy

Meanwhile, I am sick of this populist nonsense that climate change is the "existential threat of our time."
Boy, that statement says it all, I totally agree. Read somewhere that building electric cars produces more co2 than cars running on petrol...
Yes, there is climate change, but who knows what the cause is? The earth has been around a long time, longer than humans, I am thinking climate change is a normal for planet earth...

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

Fuck climate change. I mean, it is still critical and important, but too politically loaded a term.

Focus on: clean air, clean water, clean land. You solve the climate change problem with the language baggage. You also force the G卐Pers into the position of favoring dirty air.

ChadK
ChadK

Shouldn't we only have to make up for 3 of the last 4 years? CO2 emissions surely were reduced significantly everywhere in the world in 2020. So 25% off already!

RonJ
RonJ

"He blamed 4 hurricanes on climate change..."

But no mention of a new record 12 straight years without a major hurricane hitting the U.S. during "climate change." Inconvenient facts get ignored in favor of alarmist propaganda.

Frilton Miedman
Frilton Miedman

Switching to alts/renewables, to me, means money going to U.S. installers and services for solar panels, wind turbines, fracking, electric grid & infrastructure instead of OPEC countries.

ColoradoAccountant
ColoradoAccountant

The sun is 30 percent hotter now than when the dinosaurs ruled. This is the way of all nuclear furnaces as they get hotter and hotter as they age, due to burning heavier elements. The dinos had a cooler sun but a lot of CO2 to keep them warm.

TexasTim65
TexasTim65

Expect this to be called a 'War on Climate Change' just like the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. That means it will never end because it can never be won (that's by design) because the goalposts will always be moving and we'll have to constantly be vigilant - LOL.

It reminds me of the scam that 'rainmakers' would do in the old West. When a town was in a drought, a rainmaker would appear and tell the people he could make it rain if they gave him money to pray to the gods/perform a dance etc. After they gave him money, if it rained, he'd claim it was due to the money and his prayers/dance and would move on to the next town. If it didn't rain, he'd tell them the gods were more displeased than he realized and they needed to double down on the money and belief and prayers. That would get repeated until it rained or the townspeople realized he was a charlatan.

It's the perfect Gov't boondoggle of cash.

Greggg
Greggg

There's a few things that need to be in their discussion on climate change. The Dryas period from a few thousand years ago which has gone away via natural forces, and snowball earth when the entire globe was covered in ice which also dissipated on its own. Something you will never hear Gore or Kerry bring up.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Another scam for the politicians and their benefactors to enrich themselves. Let me know when any of these bi-coastal hoodlums is so scared of their seaside mansions getting swept into the ocean that they move to flyover.

shamrock
shamrock

No need to waste time trying to pass a climate change agenda. If it doesn't happen immediately just declare an emergency and take all the money you need for windmills from the dod or ice.

Realist
Realist

“The free market, not populist ideas will solve real world problems.”

Nope. The free market will NOT solve the real-world problem of climate change. Though the free market will need to be PART of the solution. Along with all governments and people around the world. Global problems require global solutions, which require global cooperation. It’s an all-in effort. There is no way the free market can do this on it’s own. To think it can, is naïve.

Meanwhile, I am sick of this populist nonsense that climate change is the "existential threat of our time."

Now you are confusing me. Wasn’t Trump a populist? He said global warming was a hoax, invented by China. Is Biden also a populist? How many populists are out there?

Global Warming and Climate change ARE certainly a threat. Is it the most important thing to tackle this instant? Probably not. The pandemic is more important right now. Though global warming certainly is a long-term threat which will continue to get worse for many decades, and likely many centuries (particularly if we ignore it).

You are suggesting we ignore global warming completely because the free market will fix it. Is that what happened with water pollution, air pollution, ozone, etc? The free market fixed all those problems? That's not how I remember it.

Are you saying that global warming is a populist hoax, or maybe a Chinese hoax?

Are you saying that the CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere is not a problem?

The US military is spending tens of billions each year to fix climate change damage. And their strategic planning takes climate change into account. Is that imaginary?

Insurance companies are factoring climate change into their data, which affects their premiums. Are they wrong?

Most major “free market” corporations are factoring “climate change” into their planning. Are they falling for a hoax?

Climate change is a very real problem. I’m not sure why you wish to ignore it?

Finally, just for fun. In 10 years, which cult will have more members: Flat Earthers, or Climate Change Deniers?

bradw2k
bradw2k

$93 trillion, is that all? That will be the Fed Reserve balance sheet in about <checks watch> two years. We can do this.

chimpun
chimpun

The best way to avoid hurricane & flooding damage is better land use. Stop building in flood zones with federally subsidized homeowners insurance! Stop paving over swamps!

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

Our overpopulated planet has been irreversibly fcked up, climate change will only speed up this unenviable situation with even more pandemics and/or plagues as a consequence ....ALL we can do is wearing masks, having useless jabs ....and playing the stock markets, creating financial delusion for suckers within the context of a global, totalitarian, technocratic socialist regime ....

Steelcurtain67
Steelcurtain67

The best solution to global warming is converting to regenerative farming this wll not only will solve the global warming problem but will also provide much healthier food and increase farm income. Please watch the videos, you could help save the earth. If you don't watch the videos please don't bother to comment as you really won't have any idea what your commenting on.

Thanks.

The first link below is to one of Gabe Browns talks, he is a speaker at many soil health conferences. He has developed the/a regenerative approach to farming his 5000 acres in Bismark North Dakota. He uses no fertilizer, pesticides or fungicides and gets above average yields.
The second video is by Dr. David C Johnson of the New Mexico State University. He presents the scientific basis for much of what Gabe Brown has done.
This is a real solution to global warming that would increase from income, increase crop yields and provide much more nutritional food. However, as it would eliminate the chemical fertilizer and pesticide agro-industrial complex, don’t expect it to happen any time soon.

Gabe Brown: Keys To Building a Healthy Soil

Static Pile Fungal Compost Presentation

Maybe you could look into this Mish and do a post on it. Would eliminate the need for Kerry to spend all those billions!

Sechel
Sechel

The John Kerry huricane comment is a straw man. He's not saying that an individual hurricane is tied to climate change but that climate change makes more hurricanes likely with increased frequency. This is not heresy.

As far as coal an west verginia those jobs are gone. the economics in favor of coal are gone. The answer is producing alternate jobs for those employed in the coal industry such as capping wells, installing solar and wind as well as getting involved in methane recapture. Those involved in mining coal have serious health risks. Of course they' rather do something else. But they can't feel like they are being phased out of a prouctive livlihood either.

And this ide that China is a worse offender than the U.S. is just whataboutism. Saying the U.S. shouldn't do better because China is worse is a rather bad argument. We both need to do better and has been noticed by your other readers on a per capita basis the U.S. is a far worse offender. On a per capita basis U.S. is 4th behind Saudi Arabia , Kazikstan and Australia. I suspect that Saudi Arabia's emissions are indirectly the result of energy sold to the U.S.

Doug78
Doug78

Kerry doesn't matter because he is just the grandpa version of Greta. His role is to shake hands and have his picture taken. I am waiting to see which specific policies will be put into place by Congress before deciding whether they are good or not.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

The story of coal fired power plants in China is very complicated....but the plants themselves are state the art as far as emissions. When the PRC loosened the purse strings, lots of local and regional authorities rushed to build the plants while they still could.....so now they have more than they need...typical Chinese malinvestment.

In general, China seems committed to reducing emissions....it’s perceived as a major problem by the public there because air quality has been so low for so long.

Sechel
Sechel

A reminder that one can support climate change regulations and still be a Republican

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nerosmith9090

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