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Inconsistency Politics and the contradictory manifestos regarding the Climate Crisis.

When Biden was first elected, he made waves about being the first ‘Climate President’ in the US. Originally, Biden’s administration emphasised the importance of green policies amidst our current, unfamiliar climate. Regarding climate policies, Biden’s administration orchestrated the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ (August 2022) which established clean energy incentives. As well as this, Biden’s administration vowed to cut total greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50% by 2030, which was later formalised as a new national goal in April 2021, exerting a very challenging goal of reducing emissions by 50-52% by 2030.


So what is the problem?


Inconsistency politics are now becoming mainstream, with politicians supporting enormous climate policy in manifestos, or to left-wing media, with minimal action following through on their aims. Biden’s ambitious plan to reduce emissions by 50% within 7 years wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t for the ‘Willow Project’. Despite his promises to reduce drilling on federal land, or to create 100% “carbon pollution-free power” by 2035, or to enforce 40% of renewable energy profits to funnel into disadvantaged communities; the reality is quite different.


The Willow Project encompasses oil-development on the Alaskan National Petroleum Reserve, an area with approximately 600 million barrels of oil. Now, this wouldn’t be controversial if it weren’t for Biden’s prior aims regarding the climate catastrophe; especially as the Willow project directly contradicts his aim to reduce drilling on federal land. Notably, ConocoPhillips has been drilling in Alaska for years, and the news of drilling on the National Reserve is nothing new. Plans for this project were approved by Trump in 2020, with the construction of five drill pads; although in 2023, the Biden Administration has agreed to the construction of three drill pads. Although this is a positive reduction from five to three, it still presents a worrying issue within the domain of Inconsistency Politics. By the Administration’s own estimations, this project could produce 9.2 million metric tonnes of carbon pollution on a yearly basis… yet Biden’s administration has yet to offer positive, combative measures to reduce the overall effect on the world’s pollution. This project exemplifies the problems within our modern political sphere, wherein the electorate’s trust of our law-makers and politicians is constantly dwindling, due to environmental aims being contradicted as soon as a business tycoon charms a ‘representative’.


Further, according to the US Department of Land Management, within the first 25 months of the two President’s terms, Biden has granted more drilling leases (6797) than Trump had (6695). This reiterates the problem of Inconsistency Politics and exemplifies why the electorate can no longer vote based on climate protection policy. Trump has notoriously been unengaged within climate change, and even publicly doubted its existence altogether, yet caused less damage within his first two years in office than Biden.


 


It wouldn’t be fair to not mention the apparent advantages of the Willow Project, with the most notable being the prospect of new jobs and employment types. Previously, Biden considered climate policies being synonymous with the creation of new employment, and claimed that policies responding to the climate crisis can be positive on the economy, welfare, and employability of the electorate. For instance, on 27th January 2021 Biden claimed that “Today is “Climate Day” at the White House and — which means that today is “Jobs Day””. Which causes the question: if engaging in climate conservation is so beneficial, why isn’t Biden acting on his various climate protection policies? Biden has repeatedly discussed the fault of governmental systems within tackling the climate crisis, claiming that “we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis and we can’t wait any longer”. Therefore, Biden is clearly conscious of the importance of climate sensitivity and protection, and is subsequently aware of the destructive effect that Project Willow will have on our climate.


The problem is that this dwindles the electoral power even further, now begging the question, what can we do as the electorate?


Tactical voting is nothing new, but the emergence of Inconsistency Politics takes this to an entirely new level. Based upon Biden’s political record over his past few years in office, it has become increasingly difficult to trust a politician’s word on the climate crisis. Biden has already transformed from a politician who used the climate emergency as a key tenet in his campaign, to the President who will reiterate the importance of conservation, whilst engaging in damaging environmental activity. Climate changes’ irreversible effects on the planet have been recognised since the 18th century, yet we are still awaiting politicians who follow through with climate policy, after entering office.


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Tags: #politics #news #government #US #UK #environment #climatechange #policy #sustainability #climate #conservation



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