Birds have a wealth of healthy instincts thanks to millions of years of evolution. Birds have learned to fly, and many species are able to fly thousands of kilometers when the seasons change. They return time and again to distant refuges where the weather remains calm. Birds are smarter than anyone, and they know when to leave their nest. This is an instinct that the President of the United States has yet develop and the entire world may be forced to pay the price.
November’s COP 26 international environmental summit in Glasgow was an unsurprising disappointment on pretty much every level: A bunch of world leaders beholden to the global energy industry came together in the rain to pretend they were making progress on the existential threat hovering over us all, but the act wore thin in a hurry. An environmental summit where participants cannot admit that burning coal is bad news for the air and water should have been kept in bed.
To add insult to injury, the Biden Administration held a huge lease sale for oil-and-gas drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico, just days after the summit concluded. Some 80 million acres of sea floor — which could contain more than a billion barrels of oil and more than 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — were up for grabs. AccordingAn analysis by The Center for American Progress, “[T]he offshore lease sale alone has the potential to emit 723 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere over its lifetime, equivalent to operating more than 70 percent of the United States’ coal-fired power plants for a year.”
As if this weren’t enough, here’s the timeline. The companies that bought leases to drill in the Gulf — Exxon and BP stand tall in the crowd — will need years to install the infrastructure required to get to the oil and gas. This means that the actual extraction and burning fossil fuels won’t begin until 2030, which is the year many climate scientists consider a hard deadline to reverse our ecological decline.
This whole thing felt like a deliberate indifference to the environmental movement by Biden’s administration. But the president and his staff begged for understanding. They claimed that the courts were forcing us to do this. We had stopped all new leasing about a year ago and were forced to go through the auction. It is out our hands.
“We’re required to comply with the injunction,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki saidAs all this was taking place, November saw it all. “It’s a legal case and legal process, but it’s important for advocates and other people out there who are following this to understand that it’s not aligned with our view, the president’s policies, or the executive order that he signed.”
And if my cat had wheels, she’d be a wagon. The Guardian reports:
The Biden administration later admitted that a court ruling did not require it to lease large tracts of Gulf of Mexico for oil & gas drilling. This was just before it claimed that it was legally obliged when it announced the sale-off.
The president’s administration insisted it was obliged to hold the lease sale due to a court ruling in favor of a dozen states that sued to lift a blanket pause placed on new drilling permits by Biden. However, the US Department of Justice filed a memo before the lease sale acknowledging that the judgement does not require the government to auction off the drilling rights to the Gulf.
“The administration has been misleading on this, to put it mildly. It’s very disappointing,” said Thomas Meyer, national organizing manager of Food and Water Watch. “They didn’t have to hold this sale and they didn’t have to hold it on this timeline. We know this will exacerbate the climate crisis, it undermines US credibility abroad and it contradicts a campaign promise by Biden.”
Every day, the urgency of addressing anthropogenic climate disruption is becoming more apparent. According to new data, Thwaites, an enormous Antarctic ice shelf, is only five years away from bursting. “Total collapse of Thwaites could result in several feet of sea level rise, reports The Washington Post, “endangering millions of people in coastal areas.”
As many as 100 heat-related deaths were caused by a scorching summer in the Pacific Northwest. a billion sea creatures. Other species, including humans, have also been affected. These so-called “heat domes” have been followed by long stretches of warm, dry weather that has eviscerated the snow pack in the western mountains. Drought and fire are almost certain to follow if there isn’t enough snowfall.
It was just days ago tornadoes tore through nine statesKentucky was among those affected. The storm caused unimaginable damage and sparked a debate about the relationship between the climate crisis and the monster storm. There are many factors that contribute to the formation of tornadoes. It is difficult to pinpoint the cause. But the sheer size of the storm, combined with the timing — tornadoes of any size in December are extremely rare — make it hard to claim that climate had nothing to do with it.
Biden campaigned hard for climate protection before it was too late. Biden, while he is not Donald Trump, has been exposed in the oil lease fiasco to be yet another lying politician who will eat dirt for fossil fuel industry. Trump would have done these things and then claimed he didn’t, but would’ve said that even if he Had done them, which he didn’t, they were the RightThere are many things to do. Biden does them and moves on.
The First Rule of Birds was broken by the president. This nest belongs to us all, and we are truly screwed without.