The Biggest Covid Lesson Not Learned

June 15, 2021

The subject of the environment is a bit off-topic for me, since the focus of this blog is to warn of the economic consequences of overpopulation, leaving others to focus on the environment. But with all of the Biden administration’s renewed focus on climate change, I just can’t let this pass.

Trump called climate change a “hoax.” Is it? I don’t think so. The science is clear that certain gases like carbon dioxide and methane, just to name a couple, have a greenhouse effect, trapping heat below the atmosphere. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has soared over the last decades far above its historical norms. And temperatures seem to be rising. But is there a cause and effect relationship between rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures? I’m not quite so sure.

Never mentioned is the heat-island effect of larger and more densely-populated cities. The temperature in cities is always at least a couple of degrees higher than in the surrounding suburban and rural areas as cool, moist ground is replaced by hot asphalt and concrete. As our population grows, so too does the heat-island effect in big cities. Smaller cities grow into bigger cities. Small towns grow into cities, and new towns appear in once-rural areas. Heat-islands are getting bigger and new ones are appearing everywhere. How do you quantify how much of the higher temperature readings are due to the heat-island effect vs. greenhouse gases? You can’t. Nor does it matter. The effect is the same. The planet is getting hotter thanks to our growing population.

Still, I find it logical to conclude that rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are playing a part in rising temperatures. So what’s the solution? To arrive at a solution, you have to first understand the real cause. Emissions of greenhouse gases like CO2 is the result of human activity. The total volume of these emissions is the product of the number of humans multiplied by the average per capita emissions from their activity. Total greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by addressing either the average per capita emissions or by reducing the number of humans, or through a combination of both approaches. If climate change caused by greenhouse gases is an existential threat to our planet as environmentalists, political leaders and business leaders claim, then the latter approach – one that addresses both factors in the equation – the number of humans and the average emissions that they produce – is absolutely critical.

At this point, let’s take a step back and digress because it’s essential, especially for younger readers who didn’t live through it, to understand some history of the environmental movement. In the ’60s and ’70s, people were fed up with pollution. Our lakes and rivers and sky were absolutely filthy. The landscape was strewn with litter along the highways and with unregulated dumps and landfills and junkyards. The environmental movement was born.

Soon, however, perhaps because of the extent of the problem and the opposition by industry to do anything about it, environmentalists became quite radical. Much of their focus turned toward overpopulation to the point where environmentalists were perceived as “anti-human,” looking upon all humans with scorn. Industry and politicians alike hated the focus on overpopulation because economic models are based upon and depend upon growth. Industry’s profit growth goals depended on population growth. People, too, hated being told that their very existence was the problem and began to hate the environmentalists. The environmental movement was in peril. At the same time, people also began to hate industry for its opposition to cleaning up the horrible mess they had created.

In the interest of survival, environmentalists, industry and politicians came together and, in an unholy alliance, came to a mutual understanding. Industry agreed to embrace the environmental movement and pursue technologies that would clean up the environment and, in return, environmentalists agreed to never again focus on the role of overpopulation. The concept of “sustainable development” was born. All sides agreed that we can be clever enough to continue growth and development while, at the same time, protecting the environment from harm. All sides embraced this new concept of “sustainable development.” Never mind that little voice inside your head telling you that “sustainable development” in a finite world is an oxymoron and is nothing more than BS. If and when it proved to be exactly that – a bunch of BS – it would be far enough down the road that it would be some later generation’s problem to deal with. Today, you are that generation.

OK, back to climate change and how to approach it. If climate change is, in fact, an existential threat to our planet, then any approach that doesn’t include some focus on stabilizing our population – worse yet, leads us to believe that, through changes in technology we can eliminate the problem while still growing our population – is clearly doomed to failure. It is, in fact, a hoax, just as Trump proclaimed.

Take the Paris Climate Accord, for instance. If you read it’s mission, you’ll find that it’s goal is not to stop climate change but to reduce it to a manageable level – a level at which “sustainable development” can continue. There you have it. “Sustainable development” has been practiced now for at least fifty years and all of our environmental problems – especially climate change – are the end results. Does the Paris Climate Accord want to end it? No. It’s main goal is to keep “sustainable development” going. And what is required of the U.S. as a member of this accord? The U.S. is required to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to the effort. And what is that money ear-marked for? Green energy projects? No. In fact, it’s earmarked for exactly the opposite. It would be spent to develop underdeveloped countries like India using fossil fuel technology, with the rationalization that they must first be developed cheaply so that they can then afford to make the switch-over to green energy technology. Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you, but it’s true. Read the Paris Climate Accord for yourself.

Along comes the recent G7 meeting where Biden agreed to donate another $100 billion to the cause. To advance green technology? No, it’s earmarked to help poor countries cope with the effect of climate change.

Then there’s the promise that green energy will create jobs right here in the U.S. But, at every opportunity to demonstrate that that’s true, what happens? Wind turbines are imported from Denmark. Solar panels are imported from China. The new electric Ford Mustang is built in Mexico. The Chevy Bolt EV is primarily made in South Korea.

Frankly, the entire environmental movement has devolved into a hoax, one that is designed to create the illusion that our problems are under control so that unbridled population growth – fueling sales and profit and tax base growth – can continue without opposition.

Back to the title of this post. Despite all the death and hardship it has caused, the Covid pandemic has provided us with one benefit. It gave us an opportunity to see what would happen if human activity was dramatically curtailed. Some amazing things happened. The air quickly cleared. The people of Beijing, China actually saw blue sky – probably many for the first time in their lives. The sky turned bluer everywhere and plants and trees thrived in a way that hadn’t been seen in at least half a century. Greenhouse gas emissions were slashed far more than any scientists thought could possibly be achieved through green energy projects. The roads were cleared of traffic. People took to the outdoors once again – walking and biking. And people began leaving their high-rise apartments in big cities in droves, realizing for the first time just how stifling and risky living in densely-populated conditions can be. The work force was pared down to essential workers and, with federal assistance, we all got along fine. We didn’t really need to eat out so much, or need many of the trappings of modern living that make life such a rat race.

Those of us who have been around a while – long enough to remember a time when our population was half of what it is today – have seen it all before. It brought back a lot of fond memories of what life was like in those more simple, uncrowded times. Frankly – and I’ve heard others make the same observation – it was a breath of fresh air. It was a glimpse of what is possible in a less crowded world.

That lesson is clearly lost, however. No one – not environmentalists, economists, politicians or industrial leaders have dared to utter a peep to suggest a new approach – one guaranteed to resolve climate change with far less effort and expense – an approach that includes steps to stabilize our population. In fact, Biden has thrown the immigration doors wide open in an effort to grow our population even faster. China, in an effort to avoid any decline in its enormously bloated population, is encouraging families to have more children. So is Japan. None of them really care about climate change or any of the other overpopulation-induced maladies that threaten the planet. All they care about is putting on a show to fool you into thinking that there’s actually a plan.

I have warned for a long time that unbridled population growth, through declining per capita consumption and worsening unemployment, will push us into poverty and be our undoing. If we don’t learn to moderate our population, mother nature will do it for us and it won’t be pretty. We’ve seen Covid hit poorer, overpopuated countries the hardest and there take the biggest toll. As grim as the Covid toll has been, something else will come along and it’ll be much worse. What will it take before we finally learn this lesson? I dread to find out.


Mr. President, how can we take you seriously on climate change?

September 2, 2015

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/obama-climate-change-act-now-or-condemn-world-nightmare-n419071

President Obama yesterday opened the “GLACIER” climate change conference in Anchorage, Alaska, chastising world leaders to do more.  He said that the U.S. “recognizes our role in creating this problem and embraces our role in solving it.”

Really?  How can we take you seriously, Mr. President, when you encourage rampant illegal immigration, adding millions of carbon emitters to our population?  Do you seriously believe that there is any solution to the climate change problem that doesn’t begin with stabilizing our population?

How can an environmentalist not be dismayed by what’s going on?  In spite of all of our efforts – recycling, improving the efficiency of our homes, cars and every product we use – the environment has never been more threatened.  There is only one logical conclusion:  all of our environmental efforts are not intended to protect the environment.  Rather, they are meant to simply make more room for more people, fattening corporate bottom lines with more consumers.

Environmental leaders share as much blame as our political leaders.  They know very well that worsening overpopulation is ruining the environment, but have chosen to remain silent to avoid alienating donors.  They should all be ashamed.

Mr. President, do you want us to take you seriously on climate change?  Then prove it by taking action to stem illegal immigration and move toward stabilizing our population.


Obama Administration Issues Dire Warning about Climate Change

May 8, 2014

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/06/us-usa-climatechange-idUSBREA4503Q20140506

I just couldn’t let this story pass without a brief comment.  The Obama administration yesterday issued an 800 page report that contains dire warnings about the effects of climate change that are happening right now.  (A link to the story is provided above.)  President Obama urges action to prevent the worst of the effects.

This begs the question:  if the Obama administration is sincere about this, wouldn’t it make sense to take the one action (which it could do immediately with the stroke of the executive pen)  that would do more to slow U.S. carbon emissions than anything else – stop importing a million new carbon emitters each year?  It’s hard to take the president seriously if he isn’t willing to curtail immigration and stop supporting global population growth by using the United States as a relief valve.

Of course, his response (and economists would support him) would be that we can do both – grow our population and stop greenhouse gas emissions if only we do this, that and a bunch of other things that will never get done.  It’s kind of like economists’ position that population growth increases the chances that a genius will be born who can solve our problems.


Holdren to be Nominated as Obama’s Science Advisor

December 20, 2008

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2008/12/sources-john-ho.html?cid=143172030#comments

As of the time of this writing, it’s not official yet, but it’s being reported that John Holdren will be named Obama’s Science Advisor.  From what I can gather about Holdren, this is a terrific pick.  Holdren has been an outspoken advocate of strong action to address climate change and, earlier in his career, co-wrote papers with Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb.  (Here’s a sample:  http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/pdf_extract/171/3977/1212)

As I’ve said before, although Obama has never directly addressed the problem of population growth, nor has he given any indication at all that he sees it as a problem, you have to believe that someone as intelligent as Obama who is truly concerned about climate change and our dependence on foreign oil will eventually come to the realization that fueling population growth with high rates of immigration will be counter-productive to his environmental and energy objectives.  An advisor like Holdren can surely expedite that day of reckoning.


Obama’s Opportunity to Kill Three Birds with One Stone

December 19, 2008

The inextricably linked issues of global warming and energy (eliminating our dependence on oil from the Middle East and Venezuela) have been elevated to national security issues by the Obama administration.  So, while consumers have welcomed the plunge in gas prices, they couldn’t have come at a worse time for this administration, for there is nothing that drives down the consumption of fossil fuels (the burning of which contributes directly to global warming) like high prices.  Without high prices, there is no profit potential to provide the motivation for a switch to more expensive alternative energy sources. 

So what is the Obama administration to do?  I see a unique opportunity for Obama to actually kill three birds with one stone here.  “Wait,” you’re thinking.  “You’ve only identified two birds – global warming and energy.”  Stick with me.  We’ll get to the third. 

The key is to drive fuel prices higher, restoring the impetus for improving energy efficiency and for converting to alternative energy sources, without hurting the consumer.  Here’s how that can be done.  It begins with imposing a large federal tax on fuels – oil, natural gas and coal.  Now I can just see your eyes rolling already, so hear me out.  Every penny of this tax should then be rebated to consumers in the form of a tax reduction of some kind – either a reduction in the tax rates or through a tax deduction or tax credit.  This tax reduction should be applied evenly to all individual taxpayers, but not to businesses.  (More on that later.) 

For example, let’s suppose that this tax drives the cost of gasoline back to $4 or $5 per gallon, and that a total of $600 billion is collected from this tax.  And let’s say that there are 150 million taxpayers.  Doing the math, each taxpayer would get back $4,000 at the end of the year.  If, on average, each taxpayer burns 2,000 gallons during  the year, and the tax added $2 per gallon to the price of gas, then that taxpayer comes out even. 

So how does this accomplish anything?  The tax rebate isn’t based upon how much you consume.  It’s based on total consumption by the American public.  So, if you do a better job than average of cutting your consumption, you’re going to come out ahead.  If you cut your consumption to 1,000 gallons for the year while the average remains 2,000 gallons, you’re going to come out ahead by $2,000 at tax time.  In other words, you have an incentive to slash your spending on gas.  At $4 per gallon, we’ve already seen how quickly people begin to use it more efficiently.  The tax rebate at the end of the year is just gravy.  Everyone is going to be highly motivated to cut their spending on gas, just as they were this past summer.  And now the profit potential is still there to motivate a switch to alternative energy sources. 

Why not extend the tax rebate to businesses?  Because, unlike consumers, businesses use vastly different quantities of fuel, depending on the nature of the business.  It’d be an accounting nightmare to try to keep them “whole” in terms of fuel cost vs. tax rebate.  Besides, their products are all consumed by individual taxpayers, so if the fuel tax collected from businesses is also rebated to individual taxpayers, then the latter are kept “whole” in terms of the tax rebate off-setting the higher cost of products.  In addition, with higher fuel costs and no tax rebate, businesses will be super-motivated to improve their energy efficiency. 

But, since businesses will have to add this fuel tax to the cost of their products, won’t this make American-made products uncompetitive with imports?  Ah, this is where the “third bird” comes in!  Imports would also be taxed at a rate that would eliminate this cost discrepancy.  But isn’t that a tariff that violates WTO (World Trade Organization) rules?  Yup!  And this is where it gets really good!  The global community, led by the UN, has been beating us over the head to come up with a plan to address global warming.  So, UN, here’s the plan.  Do you have a better one?  If not, then the global community, led by the UN, needs to sit down with the WTO and demand changes to trade rules that accommodate nations’ efforts to address global warming.  After all, everyone acknowledges that one of the keys to cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions is to produce more products locally.  And no one can argue that trade policy takes precedent over the need to fight global warming. 

In fact, that brings up another issue.  Billions of gallons of fuel are burned every year in ships delivering products all over the world.  That’s a lot of oil consumption and a lot of CO2 emissions.  It has to be factored into the equation by someone, in some way, because the cost of dealing with global warming is going to be astonomical.  A good way to account for this is to require each nation to include in its emissions the fuel burned by ships delivering imports, beginning with their point of origin.  What I’m saying is that imports should be taxed based upon the fuel that was burned to deliver them. 

For example, let’s suppose that a ship delivering cars from Japan burns about five million gallons of fuel and delivers 5,000 cars (fairly typical figures).  That fuel should be taxed at the same rate as fuel burned in the U.S.  Again, assuming that the tax adds $2 per gallon to the cost of fuel, then that delivery of cars should be assessed a tax of $10 million.  That would add $2,000 to the cost of each imported vehicle.  In fact, even the delivery of oil in tankers should be taxed in the same way, to mitigate the cost of dealing with the emissions from the oil burned in the ship’s engines.   

This means that imports would have to be taxed twice, or in two ways:  one tax to offset the higher cost of domestically produced products (unless the exporting nation has implemented a similar system of fuel taxes, making the imports equal in cost to domestic products), and a second to offset the cost of mitigating the carbon emissions that came from the ship delivering them.  Of course, all of these taxes or tariffs, whatever you choose to call them, would also be rebated to American taxpayers.  The goal is not to collect revenue, although some additional revenue could go a long way toward balancing the federal budget, but that’s a whole can of worms I won’t open here.  Rather, the goal is to provide incentive for cutting the use of fossil fuels and switching to alternative energy sources. 

The beauty of this is that the higher cost of imports would also go a long way toward restoring a balance of trade, an issue that many experts now agree is at the heart of the global economic melt-down. 

So, with one stone – a tax on fuels – the Obama administration could kill three birds:  reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and even restore a balance of trade, all with minimal impact on American consumers.  He can use the climate change issue to drive a wedge between the UN and the WTO and effect a badly-needed overhaul in WTO rules that would restore some balance to global trade.


UN Climate Conference Notes Role of Population Growth

December 17, 2008

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jRgRMGKjgcFxzBGdgvXbKKBul8TgD9515EV01

This linked article offers one more glimmer of hope that the subject of overpopulation is getting more attention.  Although the article reports that the UN is unwilling to take on the issue of population growth as it grapples with global warming, experts in attendance at the UN climate conference in Poland recognize the role of population growth in worsening the problem and see a need to address it on a national level.

“Population is the unmentioned elephant in the living room when it comes to climate change,” said Bill Ryerson, president and founder of the Vermont-based Population Media Center.

“A lot of people say population pressure is a major driving force behind the increase in emissions, and that’s absolutely true,” the U.N.’s top climate official Yvo de Boer said.

“If we don’t address the population issue and population continues to grow the way it is, … we will fail to solve the climate crisis,” Ryerson said.

Brian O’Neill, a population expert with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said there is substantial evidence showing a strong correlation between a country’s economic growth and its emissions.

Even if it doesn’t come up in Poznan, the Worldwatch Institute’s Robert Engelman said policies to slow population growth will eventually find their way into the climate toolbox for many countries.

“Population doesn’t need to be part (of) international negotiations on mitigation. You don’t have (to) say country X will cap its emissions and population,” he said.

“But countries will begin to see that a more rapidly rising population will make it hard for them to curb emissions,” said Engelman, the author of “More: Population, Nature and What Women Want.”

With the heavy emphasis that Obama has placed upon the issue of climate change, elevating it to a national security issue, how could it possibly escape his attention that it is exacerbated by population growth?  To hope for some kind of national policy aimed at stabilizing our population may be a stretch but, at the very least, one would hope that it will make Obama reluctant to liberalize immigration policy.


Obama Confirms Climate Change a National Security Issue

December 10, 2008

http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE4B86R920081209

Eight days ago, following Obama’s roll-out of his national security team, I wrote a post about the seemingly strange mention of climate change on a couple of occasions, and speculated that this meant the issue of climate change was being elevated to a national security issue.  (See “Hints of Hopeful Signs in Obama’s Press Conference.”)  As much as I scan the web for commentary on these kinds of things, I don’t think anyone else picked up on this nuance in that press conference. 

Does this mean that climate change, energy and food have been elevated to national security issues in this upcoming administration? And doesn’t talk of energy and food in terms of “shortage” and “scarcity” imply an understanding of the supply / demand relationship for these resources – an understanding that demand is at least part of the problem?

Now, in this linked Reuters article, we get confirmation from Obama himself that, in fact, this is exactly the case – he considers climate change a matter of national security.

“This is a matter of urgency and of national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way. That’s what I intend my administration to do,” Obama said.

This is very good news!  No intelligent person (and Obama is very intelligent) who accepts that climate change exists and is caused by human activity – that is, by the burning of fossil fuels and the resultant CO2 emissions – can believe that the problem can be solved while allowing our population to grow unchecked.  I’m not saying that Obama has yet reached this realization but, once his staff gets down to the nuts and bolts of how to accomplish their objective, they will quickly run into the population growth wall.  It’ll be very interesting to see how Obama then reacts to this new reality.  Will he rein in immigration?  Will he begin to ponder the need for incentives for people to choose smaller families? 

The article goes on to mention that Obama sees tackling climate change as another opportunity for creating jobs.  No doubt, there will be a tremendous amount of work involved in converting our electrical generation to new technologies and in transitioning our home heating from oil and gas to more climate change-friendly technologies.  This is an example of the kind of thing I hope Obama has “up his sleeve” when he spoke recently of his economic stimulus plan, but seemed to come up short on jobs.  (See “Obama Jobs Plan: Please Tell Us There’s More.”)

It’s going to be exciting to see how all of this unfolds, as it appears that enormous changes for the better are finally in store for America!


Hints of Hopeful Signs in Obama’s Press Conference

December 2, 2008
As I watched President-Elect Obama’s roll-out of his national security team yesterday, I picked up on a couple of things that may offer a glimmer of hope that, intentionally or unintentionally, the issue of overpopulation may get some attention from this president or that at least he may not implement policies (like immigration policy) that will make matters worse.

On at least a couple of occasions he, or one of his newly unveiled team members, as they spoke, made mention of climate change. And there was also mention of “shortages and scarcity of energy and food.” I thought this seemed a little odd to make mention of these issues during the unveiling of a national security team. But, judging by what I’ve seen of Obama so far, he chooses his words very carefully and, I suspect, so too did his new team members. I doubt that these words and phrases were just tossed together into a word salad. They were uttered for a reason.

Does this mean that climate change, energy and food have been elevated to national security issues in this upcoming administration? And doesn’t talk of energy and food in terms of “shortage” and “scarcity” imply an understanding of the supply / demand relationship for these resources – an understanding that demand is at least part of the problem? If so, it would seem unlikely that a president who is concerned about these issues would implement policies that would flood the nation with more carbon emitters and more oil consumers at the same time that we are struggling against almost insurmountable odds to make progress on these issues. In addition, Obama made prominent mention of border security as one of Homeland Security Secretary-nominee Janet Napolitano’s key responsibilities.

Sure, Obama is likely to be pressured by the left and by Hispanic groups to liberalize immigration, and by business interests to increase the admission of foreign workers, but he has good reasons to resist such pressure and perhaps even cut immigration quotas, and a powerful new argument to blunt any criticism of such action. He can simply respond that we first have to get our house in order in terms of transitioning to sustainable energy, cutting our dependence on foreign oil and meeting carbon emission reduction goals (not to mention stabilizing our rapidly growing unemployment problem) before we can even consider further increasing our population with high rates of immigration. What reasonable person could argue with that?

Am I reading too much into this? Probably. I realize I’m desperate for any hopeful signs that progress may finally be made on the overpopulation issue. But, whether or not you like Obama or voted for him, I think most people who listen to him objectively can’t help but believe that he is sincere when he says that he will meet these issues head on, and you can’t help but believe that he’s smart enough to understand these issues in depth. If that’s the case, then as he listens to advice from experts on these critical environmental issues, doesn’t it seem likely that he will come to appreciate the role of overpopulation?

I’ll keep plugging away and preaching to anyone who’ll listen the role of overpopulation in driving up unemployment and poverty. But if it’s the environmental issues that carry the day, I’ll be just as happy.

 


McCain’s Climate Change Plan Falls Short

May 12, 2008

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN0841830720080512?sp=true

I give John McCain credit for acknowledging the climate change problem, but his solution falls far short of what’s needed.  (Not that Obama’s solution is any better.)  McCain’s solution is:

If elected president, McCain said he would push for “meaningful environmental protocols” that included developing industrial powers India and China, to seek to cut worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

He planned to present a so-called cap and trade system to Congress that sets clear limits on all greenhouse gas emissions for U.S. businesses, while also allowing the sale of rights to excess emissions, so as to “change the dynamic” of the U.S. energy economy.

“Those who want clean coal technology, more wind and solar, nuclear power, biomass and bio-fuels will have their opportunity through a new market that rewards those and other innovations in clean energy,” he said.

McCain said the plan would set out specific goals on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, including a return by 2012 to 2005 levels of emission, and by 2020 to 1990s levels.

There are several problems here:

  1. Returning to 1990s levels (meaning 1999?) isn’t nearly enough.
  2. I’m very suspicious of the “cap and trade” system.  Allowing polluters to emit more CO2 in return for investment in “green projects” that may or may not have much merit, is nothing more than a license to maintain the pollution status quo.
  3. There is no mention of the role of overpopulation or a plan to stabilize or reduce our population.  I don’t understand how someone who acknowledges the climate change problem can ignore this most critical component.  Does he not understand that his goals are impossible to achieve without cutting off the fuel that’s feeding the flames? 

We can’t afford a decade or two of failure in addressing this problem before coming to the realization that population management was a missing, critical element.  The time to act is now.  We need a population management plan (the one recommended in Five Short Blasts) that includes the following:

  1. Halting all illegal immigration.
  2. Reducing legal immigration by 95% to match the rate of emigration.
  3. Implementing an economic incentive program (consisting mostly of tax incentives) to reduce the fertility rate from 2.1 births per female to 1.79 or less.

How will cutting immigration help climate change, since it’s a global problem and not just a matter of emissions from the U.S.?  It will help America achieve its reduction goals, thus doing our part toward the overall global goal, and, by no longer serving as a relief valve for global overpopulation, the U.S. will be encouraging other nations to tackle their own overpopulation problem. 

It’s time to stop pandering to voters and get serious about addressing climate change.