President Joe Biden Acknowledges Climate Change as “An Existential Threat”

Sanaya Gupta

President Joe Biden has decided to visit two states that were majorly affected by Hurricane Ida, a category four hurricane. He visited New Jersey on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 and Louisiana last Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Biden approved federal aid for New Jersey and New York, and FEMA will be helping thousands in Louisiana. 

Ida first hit Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2021 and slowly went up the coast reaching the northeast around Sept. 1, 2021. 

In Louisiana, over 1 million people are left without power, and 14,000 have lost their homes. Hurricane Ida hit New Jersey so hard that the damage could be seen from satellites in space. The state currently has a flash flood warning in place. In New York City, Central Park recorded more than three inches of rain in just a few hours, meaning a record amount of rainfall for Central Park. In comparison, Tropical Storm Henri brought almost two inches of rainfall in one hour in Central Park which, at the time, was considered to be a record, but Ida broke it. Throughout the rest of the city, over six to 106-10 inches of rainfall was recorded.

Biden gave a speech where he mentioned that this disaster is the product of climate change. “The evidence is clear. Climate change poses an existential threat to our lives, to our economy, and the threat is here,” Climate change is also responsible for the wildfires from just a few weeks ago. “For decades, scientists have warned of extreme weather, it would be more extreme and climate change was here and we’re living through it now,”

It’s important to look at what Biden is truly doing to fix climate change though.

Within the first month of his presidency, The Biden Administration rejoined the Paris Agreement which aims for countries to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. “The agreement aims to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels” writes the NRDC.

In addition, after a tedious approval process, the 1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill was passed. This infrastructure package will bring improvements to bridges, roads, highways, ports, etc., and create millions of jobs. It also includes plans for cutting carbon emissions. For example, the ambitious plan aims to cut carbon emissions by electrifying things like schools and transit buses.

The White House describes this plan as, “a critical step in implementing President Biden’s Build Back Better vision.”