What's on Our Mind 4-23-2021

What's On Our Mind

President Joe Biden arrived in the White House ready to work on reversing the damaging environmental policy of the last administration. Biden immediately created a U.S. Coordinator and an International Envoy devoted to climate change. Scientists have been welcomed into the Biden Administration and their expertise is respected.

We have lost valuable time over these last four years as Donald Trump rolled back sustainable and effective climate protections. Now, we are in a race to try and fix the damage.

This week, as we celebrate Earth Day, there is a general feeling that our planet finally has a friend in the White House. But we are not in this alone. The world can once again look to the U.S. for leadership on this critical issue as we have rejoined the Paris Climate Accords.

Biden used the occasion of Earth Day to commit the U.S. to cutting emissions by half by the end of this decade.

He has taken a comprehensive approach to protecting the planet, recognizing that climate change is not just about clean air and water. His Director of National Intelligence said climate policy must be “fully integrated” with national security.

Climate change also has a deep societal impact on women. Worldwide, women have less access than men to resources and services that would enhance their capacity to adapt to climate change, according the UN.

A recent Oxfam report shows that climate-fueled disasters are forcing an estimated 20 million people a year from their homes. For women and girls of reproductive age, this displacement very often means disruption or elimination of access to abortion and contraceptive services.

A study from The International Union for Conservation of Nature showed high levels of gender-based violence such as sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation in areas where natural resources are becoming scarce due to climate change.

A rise in temperatures is also seen as a contributing factor to gun violence. Outdoor gun violence increases in cities as the temperature rises. There was a “significant” relationship between high temperatures and terrorist attacks and fatalities around the world. A hotter world is destined to become a more violent one.

In 2020, there were 22 extreme weather events [1] causing damage in the U.S. that exceeded $1 billion each. These weather events are undisputedly linked to global warming. Yet there are still 139 elected officials in the 117th Congress who are climate deniers.

Many JAC candidates see the threat of climate change and are working in the House and Senate to enact measures to halt these dangers. especially as it applies to national security.

JAC-endorsed Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), a former Navy commander, represents a district that includes the naval yards at Norfolk, VA. She is keenly aware of the widespread dangers of climate change with frequent flooding and rising sea levels, which are getting significantly worse. “To create a more sustainable future and to better bolster our national security interests, we must treat the challenge of climate change with the seriousness it deserves,” she said.

Elections have consequences. Support JAC candidates like Luria (donate here) and join a special Zoom call with her for JAC members on May 13th (RSVP here). Everything is at risk if we don’t act on climate change.