“The Challenge of Our Lifetimes”: Biden’s Climate Address in Glasgow

November 1, 2021

13 Responses to ““The Challenge of Our Lifetimes”: Biden’s Climate Address in Glasgow”

  1. jimbills Says:

    Notably absent from Biden’s speech – no actual new U.S. pledges. Not that he could do that with a Congress unable to pass even renewable tax credits before COP26. While this is going on, Manchin is making noise again that he won’t support the BBB reconciliation bill:

    • jimbills Says:

      Biden did announce a pledge today to cut methane emissions. He’s planning to do that by EPA rules:

      However, the math on it works out to be about the equivalent of one year’s U. S. total emissions cut over a period of roughly 50 years by regulating the methane leaks. That’s assuming, of course the EPA continues that practice over 50 years – with no changes enacted by Republican administrations over that time, for instance.

      Methane emission regulations, which would have been a stronger effort by the U.S., WERE initially a part of BBB, but Manchin sliced them out in the hope of getting him to support the bill.

  2. jimbills Says:

    Manchin is apparently also demanding an immediate vote on the infrastructure bill:

    But doing that would give Manchin even more leverage to pare down (or eventually kill) the BBB bill – and the BBB bill is the only legislation that would even make a slight dent in U.S. emissions.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Casual watchers of US politics don’t understand why the Dems (specifically, the House of Representatives and its leader Nancy Pelosi) are holding the infrastructure bill “hostage” to the BBB bill. The Dems know that the infrastructure bill has support even among the Republicans because it brings popular, Federally-financed money home to their states and districts. They also know that the Republicans want nothing to do with the BBB (now carved down from ~$3.5 trillion over ten years* to only $1.75 trillion) because it includes icky things like improving care for the elderly, social support for the mentally ill and investing in early childhood development. They also don’t want anything that interferes with fossil fuel company campaign donations.

      *A lot of news media, including the BBC, leave that bit out.

  3. J4Zonian Says:

    I’m compelled to again point out that Manchin’s power is a creation of the oligarchic Democrats’ relentless refusal to take the immensely popular positions that would have won them a supermajority in both houses by now. The Squad taking over the house 2 seats every 2 years with an upper limit of those districts that can’t be gerrymandered or suppressed is not going to cut it.

    • jimbills Says:

      J4 – you have a distorted view of American politics, I’m guessing because you’ve spent too much time wrapped inside whatever eco-bubble you live in. The U.S. has a very long history of know-nothingism, mistrust of government, fear of anything vaguely socialist, and over-willingness to place social and religious issues over economic self-interest (for instance, aligning with Republicans because of abortion, effectively voting against minimum wage, free college education, health care, etc.).

      You ‘think’ Americans are these open-minded socially progressive people who are only held back because of corrupt elected officials. I’m guessing that you don’t live two blocks away from a guy with a coal roller as I do, or in an area where it’s best to just shut up about politics with your neighbors because it will only lead to very bad places, or in a state where most local races are between a Republican and a Libertarian.

      MOST of America is like this – or, at least, most of the Southern, rural, Rust Belt, and Midwest areas that have an immense advantage in the Senate and electoral majorities.

      That’s the real America – not this fantasy of a supermajority of liberal and environmentally concerned citizens.

      The Democrat’s DID try to pass something very meaningful with the original BBB. It would have blown away any previous U.S. legislation dating back to the New Deal. Two Senators in majority conservative states blocked it. I know you think most of the Democrats really wanted it to fail all along, but you’re just plain wrong. The U.S. voting public, in the end, prevented it from passing – the legislation you think the Democrats won’t pass because they’re all corrupt actually CAN’T pass because the Democrats can’t get enough voting support to pass it. Chicken and the egg.

      Every two years we hold elections that can switch America away from what we’ve had the past 200+ years. Politicians run in these elections using whatever persuasive positions they think will win the most votes. The voters decide, again and again, what we get, and somehow we never get anywhere close to a supermajority of progressive politicians. Most elected politicians may indeed be corrupt, but they are also a true reflection of what most Americans actually want.

      • J4Zonian Says:

        I see exactly what and where the problem is. I’ve looked at polls and talked to people in every kind of district for decades and see that large percentages of people favor progressive positions on most issues—so large it’s obviously even a majority in a lot of red districts. Violence gets a big yes with guns, death penalty and war always very popular gifts, but:

        Climate: 78%, R 64% in 2018 & still going up
        Solar: D 93% R 84%
        Wind: D 91% R 79%
        Government help for S&W: 80%+
        Getting rid of FFs: 87%

        More likely to support candidate favoring climate action Independents 71%
        Ambitious Green New Deal: 81% D 92%; R 64% Health care, education, housing, unions, taxing the rich, environmental & worker protections, & on & on…
        Most people in the US are progressive.
        The best indicator of attitudes on climate & other progressive issues is race, & demographics are steadily tilting left. That’s why the right is battening down the districts with lying, cheating, & stealing; trying to cling to power.

        It’s not a question of saying 1 thing in polls & doing another. Just 1 example: 52.7% of Californians voted yes on HSR; 48% supported it then in polls. Now 53%.
        “No Co-Sponsor of ‘Medicare for All’ Has Lost Reelection in the Past Decade (Even in GOP-Leaning Districts)”

        Socialism is good. 43%, 76% D, 2010 & going up
        Would vote for a socialist pres. 45%
        Paid maternity leave 85%
        Government $ for childcare 75%
        Boosting minimum wage 60%
        4 year colleges and universities tuition free, 63% R 47%
        Provide Medicare for All, 2019 70% D 90%
        Wealthy people have too much power in Washington 82%
        Economic inequality is a problem. 82% very big 48% moderately big 34% R 69%
        Money in politics is to blame for the dysfunction of US politics 96%
        Money has too much influence in politics 84% R 80%
        We need sweeping new laws to reduce that influence 78%
        Support a wealth tax like Warren’s 74%
        AOC’s 70 percent marginal tax rate: comfortable majority support.

        Most Americans Are Liberal, Even If They Don’t Know It
        70-80%+ concerned or very concerned about climate, think inequality is a serious problem, rich people & corporations should be taxed more, approve of unions, higher min. wages, parental & medical leave, gun background checks, US openness to immigration is and should be who we are, support DACA.
        2017 prospect[DOT]org/article/most-americans-are-liberal-even-if-they-don%E2%80%99t-know-it

        The liberal faction of the Democratic party is growing, new polling shows
        2019 brookings[DOT]edu/blog/fixgov/2019/01/11/the-liberal-faction-of-the-democratic-party-is-growing-new-polling-shows/

        Each of these issues have been labeled as “extreme” or “fringe” by the mainstream media and the neoliberals in charge of the Democratic party. Most of the press, and the leadership of the Democratic Party routinely mischaracterize them as outside the mainstream, and Republican officials essentially call them everything from demonic to communistic.  Imagine how popular they would be with an impartial press and a supportive Democratic Party. commondreams[DOT]org/views/2019/10/03/when-fringe-mainstream-and-mainstream-fringe-orwell-and-us-oligarchy

        • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

          Sorry, but even I don’t buy a poll from something called “Green Energy Barometer” without knowing exactly how the pollees were selected and how the questions were framed.

          Ask Americans if they want cute kittens, pretty sunsets and cherry pie, and they’ll say yes. Ask them if they’d be willing to pay 10% more for gasoline or pay to convert large parts of downtown to pedestrian-only and you get different answers.

      • J4Zonian Says:

        As Right-Wing Dems Balk at Price Tag, Poll Shows 66% of US Voters Support $3.5 Trillion Package
        The new survey shows Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation proposal is slightly more popular than the far smaller $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
        August 5, 2021 commondreams[DOT]org/news/2021/08/05/right-wing-dems-balk-price-tag-poll-shows-66-us-voters-support-35-trillion-package?utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

        ‘Politicians always use what they could win with?’ Simplistic. With even a moderate amount of money (ie, a party) behind them, good progressive candidates could win in lots of districts. Democrats continue to run on neoliberal positions because
        1. the party won’t support progressives (a HUGE understatement; the party attacks & sabotages progressives relentlessly, openly, & underhandedly.)
        2. neoliberalism is profitable for the candidates, not just campaigning and in office but after, when they’re paid as lobbyists, consultants, & speakers for being oligarchy’s loyal tools. Or fools.

        Joe Crowley was a neoliberal politician who had been in the house 20 years and would have stayed indefinitely, but was challenged from the left—by—AOC. Other Squad members have similar stories and there would be more except for lack of money, and opposition from the right-of-center party.

        The twin legislation is failing because the Democrats’ have refused to embrace progressive positions for decades, leaving them with far fewer seats than they would have, and in a self-perpetuating nosedive—fewer seats, more reliance on corporate $, move to the right, message feeds Republican takeover, etc.

        Democrats’ collaboration in the sick psychological system of the US empire and its mechanisms like the Lesser Evil Gambit, has left them with little support except through the locked-in desperation of everyone to the left of the Koch-created tea party, and after being betrayed by both parties too many times (every time, in fact) millions have given up and stopped voting. The legislation is obviously hated by the right for being what it’s not, because they’ve been convinced by liars. But it’s also hated by the left because it’s actually a crappy and near-useless set o’ bills, not nearly enough to save anything, and it’s a fading shadow of the pitiful thing it started as. (Nevertheless, supported in its $3.5T form by 66%, though it needs to be $10-20T.) Sinemancha, elevated to power by the faithless right wingness of the Democrats, have gone back on the deal because the 2 of them are also faithless right wingers—ambitious, selfish, egotistical, and callous. They fit right in.


        A Message to Democrats Ahead of 2022: Make Corporations Your Enemies
        “America is in a populist moment. If Democrats won’t harness that then the right-wing will, substituting their bigoted fantasies for the actual forces which make life worse for Americans.”

        • jimbills Says:

          ALL of those polls are absolutely 100% meaningless if people don’t vote like them – and they’re not, and they haven’t done so the last 50+ years. We’re two days away from the Virginia gubernatorial race going to a Republican who ran on critical race theory fears and anger about Covid restrictions. They weighed those things far more important to them than all other considerations including climate change.

          That’s the bottom line. Polls are just polls. They mean nothing substantive. Only voting counts.

          I don’t know, man. Live in a place like Texas most of your life and you would see things differently than you do. I’m currently listening to someone grumbling about the Republican losing the NJ governor race. This is a daily experience for me.

          • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

            I sympathize with you, though in my case my Austin neighborhood is blue and we’re just gerrymandered into a red district.

  4. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    I do wish the political pundits wouldn’t frame the opposition to good emissions-reduction legislation as “Manchin” but as “Manchin and every single bloody Republican” to remind viewers that we wouldn’t have to rely on that WVa senator if more politicians appreciated the situation we’re in.

    • jimbills Says:


      But if those same Republicans were getting hounded by their constituents to support climate change legislation and social programs, we’d see at least one or two of them break ranks with the Republicans to support those things. That isn’t happening.

      The fekking dumdum voters are too wrapped up in the latest confabulated moral panic:

      These people aren’t rational thinkers, let alone being a majority of social and environmental progressives only held back because the politicians are corrupt.

      Manchin wouldn’t have won in WV without being a conservative. Sinema wouldn’t have won without a lot of Republican support in Arizona. And all the 50 other Republican Senators wouldn’t have won if they didn’t do what their voters wanted them to do or say.

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