The Ongoing Fight to Recognize Climate Change


Climate Protesters from the Nov. 2019 Climate Strike, NYC

Colleen McMenamin, Staff Writer

This is an opinion article piece. Colleen McMenamin is a senior at Mendham who writes for Global and Domestic News. All opinions expressed in the following editorial are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Patriot.

Almost any president’s environmental plans would look incredible when compared to former President Trump’s, especially current President Joe Biden’s. Biden, a self-proclaimed “climate change pioneer”, has had intense and inspiring plans for his next four years.

Trump’s presidency included almost zero attention to the growing concern over climate change and most dramatically even included withdrawing the United States from the Paris agreement. The Paris Agreement was the first act to legally bound countries to a climate change deal in hopes to return the average global temperature to two degrees celsius. Along with this, the Trump Administration also created a new energy plan (which supported unsustainable forms of energy), caused major changes to the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency), and the implementation of pipelines through once-protected lands such as the infamous Dakota Access pipeline and Keystone XL pipeline. Not to mention some arguably very humorous tweets from former president Trump himself in which he denies climate change even exists! My favorites include “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,”, “Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee – I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!”, and “Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record-setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax!”, however, there are countless others to sift through on Trump’s Twitter. 

Biden’s Campaign video on Climate Change – Linked here

As an environmentalist myself, I was very excited for this new wave of attention brought to the growing climate crisis that would come along with Biden’s presidency. The Biden administration has put together a climate plan consisting of five parts, which he preached about throughout his successful campaign trail. These parts are all listed on Joe Biden’s website, however, some of them are, “ l. ENSURE THE U.S. ACHIEVES A 100% CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY AND NET-ZERO EMISSIONS NO LATER THAN 2050…”, “III. RALLY THE REST OF THE WORLD TO ADDRESS THE GRAVE CLIMATE THREAT”, and “V. FULFILL OUR OBLIGATION TO WORKERS AND COMMUNITIES WHO POWERED OUR INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND DECADES OF ECONOMIC GROWTH”. Most recently, on March 31, 2021, President Biden revealed a 2.25 trillion dollar plan to fulfill his jobs and infrastructure blueprint to “supercharge our administration’s ambitious plan to confront the existential threat of climate change.”



AOC speaking on Biden’s $2.25 trillion plan, March 31, 2021

However, all politicians have a knack for promising bigger and better things that are nearly impossible, and President Biden is of course no exception to this. His flashy and emotion-hitting propaganda videos for climate change made him seem like a hero. Ironically enough, his new plan isn’t nearly enough. Almost double the amount of spending would be required to realistically accomplish his plans in time. According to climate progressive, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “ I’m concerned that the numbers that they’ve allocated won’t get us to that vision that they themselves have agreed to.” Biden didn’t even fully support “The Green New Deal” throughout his campaign nearly to the extent of other nominees. 

Although compared to the former president, this is a major win for the climate, it still isn’t enough of a fight. Irreversible damage is being done to our planet and large actions, much larger than begun, must come soon; luckily as residents of the US, we have immense power to push government officials and businesses to act more on this grave issue.