Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on President Biden’s Plan to Fight Climate Change

“Our children and grandchildren are counting on us,” said President Biden during a speech where he also unveiled a $2.3 billion plan to fight climate change. “If we don’t keep [climate change] below 1.5 degrees Celsius, we lose it all. We don’t get to turn it around.” 

It is absolutely true that future generations’ health and security depend on our ability to save the climate and that we are close to a point of no return. It is also true that our current health and welfare are at stake, evidenced by the devastating impacts that extreme weather and heat are already having on us and our surroundings.

Fortunately, the plan that President Biden outlined allocates money for both short-term and long-term solutions to the climate crisis. Short-term solutions included in the bill are flood-control measures, strengthening utilities, retrofitting buildings and providing funding to families to help with heating and cooling costs. A key long-term solution in the bill is supporting offshore wind and energy development in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to this plan, President Biden also stated that there would be additional executive actions announced soon. 

For anyone who’s concerned about the climate crisis, the news of this plan and future executive action was a huge relief since talks of climate legislation in Congress have been stalled. There is no denying that this plan is a huge step forward and should be celebrated. 

Executive action by the president, however, cannot be the only answer. We need lasting legislation that can survive presidential turnover. We need our representatives in Congress to see that climate legislation benefits both their current constituents and future generations. There is still time, and therefore hope, but we must act quickly. 

As election season approaches, I urge everyone to vote with the climate in mind and let your representatives know that climate legislation is critical to our survival. 

Anna Schuh 

Seymour, Wisconsin