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Friday, December 9, 2022

US faces extreme heat as Biden’s climate crisis plan stalls – live | American politics

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For the past year and a half, it looked like Joe Biden would sign an important piece of legislation to tackle climate change.

The vehicle was initially his major Build Back Better spending plan, which would have earmarked more than a trillion dollars to address a host of Democratic priorities. Then that died, and Democrats quietly began working on a follow-up bill that could pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which controlled the party by razor-thin margins.

Now it looks like Congress won’t act at all to curb America’s carbon emissions. Joe Manchinthe centrist Democrat whose vote is needed to pass legislation that won’t get Republican support through the Senate has said now is not the time to spend money fighting climate change because of the current high inflation, even if the extreme weather continues to beat the United States and the world.

The senator’s statement last week was a big loss for the White House, but Biden can still use his pen to sign yet-to-be-announced executive orders intended to prevent the temperature from rising.

Key events:

Sam Levine

Steve Bannon, a former top adviser to Donald Trump, faces court today for defying a Jan. 6 commission subpoena, as Sam Levine reports:

A federal criminal trial begins Monday to determine whether Steve Bannon, the influential former adviser to Donald Trump, has broken the law by refusing to comply with a subpoena for documents and testimony from the panel investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Last fall, the congressional committee investigating the deadly Capitol riot subpoenaed Bannon to sit down for a statement and to provide a wide variety of documents related to the Jan. 6 events. Bannon refused to comply. The commission charged him with contempt and referred him to the US Department of Justice for prosecution in October last year.

The Justice Department continued the referral, and a federal grand jury indicted Bannon in November on two counts of contempt of Congress, both felonies. It is extremely rare for justice to prosecute such charges – before Bannon, the last contempt charge was in 1983. Bannon faces between 30 days and a year in prison if convicted on each charge.

Maybe we’re doing this whole development thing wrong. In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, Herman Daly, an acclaimed economist who was once a senior figure at the World Bank and now a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, argues that the modern economy’s obsession with growth is misled, in part due to the damage done to the planet.

Economic growth is considered an important indicator of a country’s health, both for rich countries and for developing countries. In the interview, Daly argues that we are looking at growth incorrectly and that it is unlikely that all countries can continue to expand their GDP indefinitely. From the interview, here is a summary of his argument:

It is a wrong assumption to say that growth raises living standards in today’s world because we measure growth as growth in GDP. If it goes up, does that mean we’re raising the standard of living? We’ve said it is, but we’ve left out all the costs of increasing GDP. We really don’t know if the standard is going up. If you subtract for the deaths and injuries caused by car accidents, chemical pollution, wildfires, and many other costs caused by overgrowth, it’s not clear at all. What I just said applies most to richer countries. Certainly for another country struggling to provide a livelihood, GDP growth is boosting prosperity anyway. They need economic growth. That means the rich part of the world has to make ecological space for the poor to catch up to an acceptable standard of living. That means cutting back on per capita consumption, so that we don’t gobble up all the resources for trivial consumption.

The article only briefly discusses what Daly would propose to change the growth paradigm around the world, and indeed his ideas would be a heavy burden on many countries:

Daly’s policies for how this would happen include setting minimum and maximum income limits, setting limits on the use of natural resources and, controversially, stabilizing the population by ensuring that births plus immigration equal deaths. plus emigration.

Many parts of the United States will also experience blistering heat today, especially in the South and Southwest, and the Great Plains.

The New York Times has published a map showing where temperatures will be highest. The good news is that the heat will cool off later this week. The bad news is that much of the country will face heat levels in the coming days that require “extreme caution,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And the worst-affected areas will face temperatures at “dangerous” levels, when heat cramps or exhaustion are “probable” and heat stroke is also a possibility.

Britain is enduring a record-breaking heat wave that has just seen Wales experience the hottest day on record. Follow the Guardian’s live coverage for more:

Sam Levin

Sam Levin

The unhomed are a group that is bearing the brunt of the climate crisis — especially in California. Sam Levin reports:

In a remote stretch of the Southern California desert, at least 200 people live without housing outside, battling the extremes: scorching hot temperatures in summer, snow in winter, rugged terrain inaccessible to many vehicles, a constant wind that kills everything. covered with silt, and no running water for miles.

For Candice Winfrey, the conditions were almost deadly.

The 37-year-old lives in a RV in the Mojave Desert, on the northern edge of Los Angeles County, miles from the nearest store. During a record-breaking heat wave in July 2020, she found herself out of water. The gallon jug she had left had overheated, the water so hot it was barely drinkable. It was over 110F (43C) and no one was around to help. She remembered lying in her tent, trying not to think about the heat, exhaustion, and dehydration overtaking her. ‘I thought I was going to die. I saw the light. I just waited and prayed to God that I would make it.”

Fiona Harvey

Fiona Harvey

“Collective suicide”: That’s what the UN Secretary-General said humanity is facing as a result of rising temperatures, as The Guardian’s Fiona Harvey reports:

Wildfires and heatwaves wreaking havoc across parts of the world show humanity is facing “collective suicide,” the UN Secretary-General has warned, as governments around the world scramble to protect people from the effects of extreme heat.

António Guterres told ministers from 40 countries who met Monday to discuss the climate crisis: “Half of humanity is in the danger zone, due to floods, droughts, extreme storms and forest fires. No nation is immune. Yet we continue to feed our addiction to fossil fuels.”

He added: “We have a choice. Collective action or collective suicide. It’s in our hands.”

For the past year and a half, it looked like Joe Biden would sign an important piece of legislation to tackle climate change.

The vehicle was initially his major Build Back Better spending plan, which would have earmarked more than a trillion dollars to address a host of Democratic priorities. Then that died, and Democrats quietly began working on a follow-up bill that could pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which controlled the party by razor-thin margins.

Now it looks like Congress won’t act at all to curb America’s carbon emissions. Joe Manchinthe centrist Democrat whose vote is needed to pass legislation that won’t get Republican support through the Senate has said now is not the time to spend money fighting climate change because of the current high inflation, even if the extreme weather continues to beat the United States and the world.

The senator’s statement last week was a big loss for the White House, but Biden can still use his pen to sign yet-to-be-announced executive orders intended to prevent the temperature from rising.

America’s plan to fight the climate crisis falters as extreme heat plagues the US and the world

Good morning, American political blog readers. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the real ramifications of American politics, especially last week’s collapse in Democratic efforts to gain Congressional approval for a plan to combat the climate crisis. The United States and the world at large are grappling today with extreme heat and other calamities fueled by rising global temperatures, and experts warn that if Washington and other major carbon emitters don’t change things, things will only get worse.

Here’s more about what’s happening today:

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