Decades of climate activism have gotten millions of people into the streets but they haven’t turned the tide on emissions, or even investments. It’s true that there is a discordance between the pitch of the rhetoric on climate and the normalcy of the lives many of us live. This is not a revelation of political misdirection so much as a constant failure of human nature. The bipartisan infrastructure bill cuts most of the climate investments from President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, leaving them for a future reconciliation package that may or may not pass. The wreckage of the coronavirus is a reminder that even the deaths of family members, friends and neighbors will not inevitably transform our politics. Humanity has spent thousands of years building the social organizations and technological mastery to insulate itself from the whims of nature. We are spending down that inheritance, turning back the clock.
By Ezra Klein. New York Times. July 15, 2021.
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