By Helen Sanders
West Springfield, Massachusetts
The impact of climate change has become more visible with each year that passes. As of December 6, more than 4 million acres have been burned by California fires, and they are still tearing through the state. Back in September, skies in cities like San Francisco had an eerie red glow due to the smoke particles in the air from the fires clashing with sunlight.
Climate change is real, and its existence is no longer up for debate. What is also not up for debate is that humanity has a limited number of years left before the effects of climate change are irreversible. We are barreling towards inevitable disaster and the possible complete extinction of mankind. The fate of this planet is in our hands, and it’s up to us to decide what kind of future we want the generations that come after us to have.
Enter the Biden administration, still celebrating its victory.
President-elect Joe Biden promised change, a (slightly) better option to four more years of President Donald Trump.
Biden has made it incredibly clear that he does not support the Green New Deal, though his climate plan is based heavily off the Green New Deal. Biden has also said he will re-enter the Paris Climate agreement.
However, Biden falls severely short in several key places regarding climate change.
Biden makes his position on fracking one of his most known political stances. Both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said in the first and second presidential debates that he is not opposed to and doesn’t intend to ban fracking. Harris said the same in the September vice presidential debate––though she was in favor of completely banning fracking in the past.
Here’s the truth: Fracking is detrimental to the environment.
Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is the process in which liquid is injected at high pressures into rocks under the ground to extract oil and gas. Fracking can cause the contamination of drinking water, air pollution, and the release of methane gas into the atmosphere.
The Biden administration is reportedly considering former Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for Secretary of Agriculture. Heitkamp is a notoriously conservative democrat who has opposed climate action repeatedly over the years. She has spent decades cozying up to the fossil fuel industry and has received thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry in return. She was even considered for a cabinet position in the Trump administration.
To put it simply, big problems require big solutions. We have run out of time to take a moderate approach to solving climate change. If we want to save our planet and future generations, we need radical change, and if we settle with moderate solutions, we will eventually pay with our lives.