The scoop: American infrastructure is aging and the problem is two-fold. Large cities need federal funding to support ambitious projects, while small cities can't afford any new projects.
Disaster in Miami, Detroit: As the story unfolds, it appears the Surfside condo tower likely collapsed from deteriorating infrastructure. In the Midwest, Detroit suffered from unprecedented rain, but also decades of underinvestment.
Rising cost of construction: US infrastructure rebuilds are extremely expensive, 6th highest in the world. Despite that, we dedicate a lower percentage of our GDP to infrastructure than the EU or China.
One solution: Prioritize domestic infrastructure projects over foreign interventionism to fund new projects. Don't just use deficit money to fund it. In fact, money alone will not be sufficient to ensure new construction is a success.
Successful federal projects require careful planning, strategic management and people-first politics. America needs to rebuild itself bearing both today's economy and future economies in mind. It's important we don't forget either.
Dig deeper → 4 min
Biden re-signed the Paris accord this week. Like I wrote about last week, the next four years will have major implications about the role of federal governance in climate mitigation.
Here at SR, we don’t endorse politicians but we certainly criticize them. Expect us to watch this administration closely and keep you up-to-date on America’s progress on environment-related issues.
Veep nominee Harris Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate this week. She is the first woman of color to sit on a national ticket.
What to know After dropping out before the first primary, Kamala Harris has been working with other prominent Democrats to push several new climate bills with a concentration on matters of justice.
Call it what you want, but most political pundits point to Kamala's identity as a woman of color as the main reason for the Democratic Party's, I mean, Biden's strategic selection.
One big thing One of the more interesting prospects of a Biden-Harris ticket is the reemergence of 2015 Paris Agreement. As it stands today, the US will formally quit the Paris Agreement on 4 November, 2020, the day after the election.
My take on Paris I'm not convinced (and neither are some experts) that an international agreement is the answer to climate action without true compliance. What holds nations accountable for these commitments?
As the US-China economic race continues, the Paris Agreement would become more of a cat-and-mouse due to the associated costs of energy reduction than an actual solution.
A Biden-Harris ticket through the lens of climate:
- New legislation committed to environmental justice
- A series of executive orders designed to build a clean economy; there will be ambitious targets for 2025.
- A proposal to make a $1.7 trillion federal investment into climate resilience over the next 10 years.
- New efforts toward climate diplomacy/increased cooperation with other nations, traditional allies.
- More stringent environmental regulation, increase environmental standards for infrastructure projects.
Bottom line Neither Biden or Harris are climate experts. Their careers were not built on climate activism. However, they are concerned about these critical issues and will hire a team of dedicated experts.
Americans want purpose not perfection. In a candidate, I think everyday voters are looking for public consideration, personal accountability, and the ability to get shit done.
Dig deeper → 5 min
- The GND was founded on the belief that environmental issues are overlooked and underfunded
- The GND gained traction in 2018, when the Democratic Party took control of the house.
- Biden offered support to the GND, but differs on some policies like an immediate ban on all fracking activities.
Between the lines Biden has been urged to beef up his climate policy platform by climate advocacy groups to deal with the challenges global warming presents.
- Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal prioritized conservation of natural resources, control of corporations and consumer protection.
- Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal prioritised relief for poor, economic recovery and financial reform.
- Johnson’s Great Society aimed at alleviating social justice and education reform.
Key talking points
- It helps secure a sustainable future.
- Our society needs a paradigm shift towards the clean energy sector, this legislation could be among the last chances to make that happen.
- The GND is perhaps the encouragement voters need to mitigate the effects of global warming by utilizing the power of voting.
Dig deeper → 4 min