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Biden vs. Trump is life vs. death for the planet

Both major parties in the United States have now declared “presumptive” presidential candidates for the 2024 election. It has never been more critical to review their positions on major issues and bring awareness to another problem that they have tried to sweep under the rug despite its catastrophic implications for human life. On all fronts, Biden and Trump are more divided than ever. Despite these political charades, the American public must realize the power they should urge either candidate to address climate change effectively. With the right tactics and support, society can move the needle toward long-lasting climate action that doesn’t stop when a new party enters the Oval Office.

American politics have spiraled in recent years. Congress has become hyperpartisan and executive oversight and judicial impartiality have been called into question. For the first time in our history, an American president has been charged with criminal activity. Trump's 34-count felony indictment was a sobering moment for all Americans, particularly those who have been fighting for the government to support urgent causes like climate change, women’s rights, and equality.

What do these inequities have to do with the pressing issue of climate change?

What rights were guaranteed–during specific administrations–often indicates the government’s stance toward climate change. Most Republicans fiercely believe that climate change is a hoax pushed by well-meaning scientists and reputable research entities. Democrats are usually in support of climate investments, but politics are rapidly changing and it’s crucial to be aware of how each candidate feels about climate action.

On a state level, climate investments will most likely remain the same when a new president is elected, but federally, things can shift overnight. This is extremely important to understand because the federal backing of climate action is essential for combatting the climate crisis globally. As the world’s largest economy and the third largest population, the United States could be a key player in mitigating human-induced climate change. If American voters stay committed to keeping climate change within the public consciousness, ballots may reflect differently this November.

As the world’s largest economy and the third largest population, the United States could be a key player in mitigating human-induced climate change. Quote

Biden and Trump’s stances on many hot-button issues are critically important to America’s future and our planet. However, the media never focuses on one issue long enough for the public to understand the depth of their political differences.

Despite this profound obstacle, voters must withstand this emotional and mental manipulation to fight for climate action. The wrong choice in November would cause enormous human and financial loss worldwide that could last for decades if not centuries.

Changes in climate driven by unbridled human-induced climate change would be irreversible for generations. However, I know it’s possible to overcome these obstacles with the right strategy. Why? We’ve leveraged our collective voting power to push for justice and equality before, and we can do it again if we are united.

Climate action activists must be savvy as they work to keep voters constantly aware of climate change and climate risk, but what specifically can they do? They can accept help from a higher power – Mother Nature. New media of all sorts will continue to report newsworthy extreme climate-related events across the country and around the world on a weekly if not daily basis.

These events can be linked to the hottest monthly and annual temperatures on record - records that she has delivered over the past year exceed records by unfathomable amounts. Media outlets of every flavor cover these stories because these events are increasingly frequent, national in scope, and dangerously persistent.

Activists can take advantage of their newsworthiness by insisting, without contradiction from the science, that all outlets end every extreme event story with something like: “This is another in the long and growing list of extreme events that are signatures of human-induced climate change that is being recorded not just where you live; it is happening across all seven continents and all four oceans.”

If more Americans become fluent in the language of science and critical thinking, they can guard themselves against misinformation they encounter every day. More change can be made by brave individuals willing to visit debates and rallies. By refusing to be distracted by political charades, hard-working Americans can learn what their preferred candidate thinks about climate change.

I implore every reader–no matter where they stand politically–to stay informed on Biden’s record-breaking contributions to climate action and remain focused on the facts when Trump and similar candidates try to push conspiracies toward you. Your vote will be the key to creating a brighter and greener American future. Please use it wisely.

Gary Yohe

Gary Wynn Yohe is the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.

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