News & Politics

Biden Pledges to Cut U.S. Carbon Emissions in Half by 2030

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Joe Biden is hosting a global climate summit at the White House on Thursday. Well, he’s not really hosting anything. Forty world leaders are looking at TV screens, in the countries they live, showing Biden at the White House and there are other TV screens that show other world leaders where they live. But no, no one is physically at the White House.

A “virtual” summit may seem a little silly. After all, the world leaders have all been vaccinated (we think) and Washington, D.C., isn’t under any kind of lockdown. I think the politicians decided the spectacle of pumping all those greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere by using their private planes to get to D.C. for a meeting on climate change was probably an image they wanted to avoid.

The American president didn’t disappoint them. Biden surprised everyone and delighted some by solemnly pledging to cut the emission of carbon dioxide in the United States in half by 2030.

That’s an extremely ambitious goal. It’s an open question where the U.S. could possibly halve carbon emissions in less than a decade while trying to recover from the worst pandemic in 100 years, which wiped out entire industries. A reasonable and logical person might ask how you can possibly grow the economy while drastically cutting CO2 emissions.

“This is a moral imperative, an economic imperative. A moment of peril but also a moment of extraordinary possibilities,” Biden continued. “Time is short, but I believe we can do this and I believe that we will do this.”

“We really have no choice, we have to get this done,” he added.

The answer is we can’t but the situation is so dire, the earth is in such grave danger, the planet is in such great peril that “we have no choice” but to ruin our economies.

The Hill:

Biden argued that countries who followed the lead of his administration in making investments to address climate change would make their economies “more resilient and competitive,” thereby reaping the benefits in the future.

The summit, which is taking place on Earth Day, represents a major test for Biden to convince the global community to get behind a coordinated push to address climate change.

While Biden has held other meetings with global leaders, the summit is by far the most high-profile diplomatic meeting the president has held since taking office in January.

This pants-on-fire approach is certainly pleasing the greens. But what about the American people?

“When people talk about climate, I think jobs. Within our climate response lies an extraordinary engine of job creation and economic opportunity, ready to be fired up,” he said. “That’s why I’ve proposed a huge investment in American infrastructure and American innovation.”

Politicians have used this same dodge for 50 years. We can’t look at the “cost” of green policies. Think of the “opportunities”! Barack Obama promised that five million good-paying green jobs with generous benefits would be created by his $90 billion “investments” in green energy. To say Obama came up a little short would be an understatement. Some green energy sectors even lost jobs.

The wind industry, for example, has shed 10,000 jobs since 2009 even as the energy capacity of wind farms has nearly doubled, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has added 75,000 jobs since Obama took office, according to Labor Department statistics.

Why can’t politicians be honest about the environment? Back in the 1970s, greens assured the American people that cleaning up the air and water wouldn’t cost a single job and would actually be a net plus for the economy. Anyone with any sense knew that was a load of crap. Now we have Joe Biden thinking “jobs” when people talk about “climate.” What he should explain is that the “jobs” he’s thinking about are lost jobs.

It’s a trade-off that many Americans might be willing to make if the case were made for it. But Biden isn’t even trying.