Here is another question from my Ballotpedia survey I am still working on. The survey is really long so it will take me a bit more time to get it done. Below, I argue that the greatest challenge facing the United States over the next decade is the climate crisis.
What do you perceive to be the United States’ greatest challenges as a nation over the next decade?
The same as the whole world’s greatest challenge: The climate crisis. We still have a major political party (Republicans) misleading and pretending it’s a false “bogeyman.” Read The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells. Climate deniers engage in misdirection—yes, it’s hypocritical for those who know the facts to fly, drive a car, or live in a concrete house, but what’s happening at a systematic, institutional level is worse. When will we end the massive subsidies to coal, oil, gas/diesel, natural gas, cement, flying, and more? Congress as well as state legislatures can change this. The TRUE costs are not priced into the markets (Thripp, 2019).
We are having more radical weather; extreme fires; hurricanes rapidly intensifying over hotter ocean waters and forming further east, further north, and later than ever; coral reefs dying; glaciers melting; species dying; people dying from heat. South Florida in particular is suffering from ocean level rise and even Daytona Beach is narrower than in decades past. Mexico Beach is still devastated from Hurricane Michael. Many Puerto Ricans left after Hurricane Maria and are now climate refugees living in Florida, including in the 6th district.
A great acceleration of human development, population growth, and industrialization has occurred in the past few decades, with more greenhouse gases being emitted in the past several decades than in all prior human history combined. Going from 0.03% to 0.04% concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere sounds small, but it’s hugely detrimental, and we may even see 0.05% in our lifetimes. Outdoor concentrations are a baseline for indoor environments which can be double or higher, which literally makes us dumber (Satish et al., 2012).
I support the Green New Deal. We need to cut back on travel, militarism, tourism, concrete, and so forth. We need to stop subsidizing emissions and focus on CO2 removal and green technologies. The future will be tough, but if we don’t, it will be hellish.