While “president” Trump continues his rampage against humanity, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is closing in on the White House by doing what he does best: Listening. Even as others complained that Joe Biden’s plan for climate action was inadequate, he surprised everyone by unveiling some of the most ambitious plans to date. Washington Post reported that Biden’s plan to fight climate change and environmental racism comes in at $2 trillion, slightly above the proposal he unveiled during the primary race.
Biden’s initial plan projects that our country will “carbon neutral” by the year 2050, which did not impress young climate activists. One of the important youth groups, Sunrise Movement, gave Biden an “F,” as Biden’s original plan failed to even touch on the aggressive plans of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both of which were closer to the Green New Deal. Biden is no fool. He knows that without the support of young and left-leaning Democrats, his chance at securing the White House shrinks.
Biden invited young climate activists, union officials, environmental justice leaders, and former Democratic rivals to help him fashion a climate change plan that is both feasible and satisfactory to those who felt Biden was not doing enough. The resulting plan eliminates carbons by 2035 (just five years longer than Sanders’ plan), rejoins the Paris climate accord, boosts renewables, and creates incentives to build more energy-efficient cars, homes, and commercial buildings. The founder of Sunrise Movement, Varshini Prakash, said that the group will now campaign for Biden. This agreement is part and parcel of Biden’s “big tent” strategy discussed by the New Yorker.
Biden has ramped up his public appearances to support his “Build Back Better” economic agenda, as well as to continue the discussions about racial inequality and climate initiatives. Biden’s tent shows that he is focused on bringing fractured pieces of the Democratic party together, and this effort is not that different from who Biden has always been. He was always willing to work with conservatives to find a compromise that gives both sides a “win” while continuing to negotiate on other issues. That is exactly what we need after Trump’s disastrous presidency mercifully comes to an end. We need to be real and face facts. Not everyone is going to get what they want every time. The goal is to find middle ground and to work together to ultimately achieve more ambitious goals. Taking a “one step at a time” approach allows everyone to have a say, and that is the most fair and democratic way to handle domestic policy.
We have had to learn to live together, and it is even more important that we do that now. Biden’s plan seems to be working as he encroaches on Trump in the polls in the unlikeliest places like Georgia and Texas. Obviously, there is still more work to do, but things are heading in the right direction.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years