SPONSORED:

Every day should be Earth Day

Every day should be Earth Day
© Getty Images

Today, April 22 is Earth Day, and now is the time for urgent action to save the planet. The Doomsday Clock is ticking, and Mother Earth is taking a licking.

Americans have just started to relax after battling the deadly pandemic and the ailing economy for more than a year. But the preoccupation with COVID-19 has diverted attention from another threat facing the nation. The pandemic is receding and the economy is recovering, but the threat to our survival from the climate crisis races towards us at breakneck speed.

Why is climate change such a serious threat? The crisis brings fire and ice in the form of forest fires, floods and famine. Just about every climate scientist believes that fatal weather patterns from increases in global warming is caused by human activity

ADVERTISEMENT

Most Americans feel the same way but concern about the climate crisis has run into a brick wall until now because of the power and money of oil and coal companies and their congressional lobbyists. A national survey conducted last year by the Pew Research Center found that six out of 10 Americans felt that climate change is a serious threat. Less than half of the public felt the same way 10 years ago. 

Abnormal seasonal weather likely caused by climate change brings death and destruction with increasing regularity. 

Two months ago, a freak winter storm in Texas was so intense that the demand for heat brought down the power grid. Even Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzYang: Those who thought tweet in support of Israel was 'overly simplistic' are correct CNN asks Carol Baskin to comment on loose Texas tiger Republicans have dumped Reagan for Trump MORE (R-Texas) decided to retreat from the storm by taking a trip with his family to the warm and sunny shores of Mexico. Meanwhile, his many Texans dealt with the loss of heat due to power outages. Outmoded energy systems and extreme weather were a toxic brew that brought big trouble to Texans already battered by the deadly pandemic and a shaky economy. 

Last summer, abnormal weather patterns ravaged the Western United States with devastating forest fires, the South with deadly tornadoes and the Southeast with dangerous hurricanes and tornadoes. We can expect another summer of death and destruction.

This week is Earth Week and Thursday is Earth Day.

ADVERTISEMENT

The occasion is an opportunity for the United States and the rest of the world to aggressively confront the serious threat that climate change poses before the climate carnage gets completely out of hand.

The highlight of this important week for the future of the planet is the world climate summit hosted by President BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE. This is an opportunity for the new president to step onto the world stage on the eve of his 100th day in office to put an exclamation mark on the strong environmental activism that has marked his early days in office.

As part of his environmental agenda, he acted quickly to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement and has issued executive orders to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline project and to scale back oil drilling on federal land in Alaska.

A big part of the 46th president’s environmental activism is his Build Back Better proposal, which incorporates many of the goals from the Green New Deal originally introduced as congressional legislation by Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenators ask airlines to offer cash refunds for unused flight credits Civilian Climate Corps can help stem rural-urban divide Senate votes to nix Trump rule limiting methane regulation MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez hits Biden for taking 'the side of occupation' in Mideast violence Yang: Those who thought tweet in support of Israel was 'overly simplistic' are correct McConnell hits Democratic critics of Israel MORE (D-N.Y.).

The president’s plan would upgrade America’s infrastructure to meet the challenges that climate change poses to our national health, wealth and wellbeing. The legislation would authorize hundreds of billions of dollars in investments to reduce carbon emissions, to develop a clean energy infrastructure and to create new green jobs. 

Biden’s opening bid for the Earth Day summit was a proposal for the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Before the summit, John KerryJohn KerryWatch live: John Kerry testifies on climate change China's emissions now eclipse the developed world — preventing climate protection China emitted more greenhouse gasses than US, developed world combined in 2019: analysis MORE, the special presidential envoy for climate, reached an agreement in principle with the People’s Republic of China on a climate plan. The agreement between the two largest economies in the world is an important step in the worldwide campaign against climate change.  

The president’s initiative is an attempt to convince world leaders that the U.S. is serious about fighting the climate crisis. Biden’s proposal is much more aggressive than the commitment that President Obama made as part of the Paris Accords. 

Early Earth Day celebrations were festive and full of praise for the beauty and bounty of the planet. In recent years, the occasion has become a time for somber reflection about the fragile state of the environment. It is important to plant trees but the severity of the climate crisis requires systematic and sustained action by all of the world’s governments to meet the climate threat.

Americans can’t afford to wait for the arrival of Earth Day on April 22 every year. The earth is in danger and everyday should be Earth Day. If not, the anniversary that was once a celebration will become a wake.

Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. He is also the host of a radio podcast “Deadline D.C. With Brad Bannon” that airs on the Progressive Voices Network. Follow him on Twitter @BradBannon.