US Modernizing transportation can help tackle the climate crisis

01:30  11 june  2021
01:30  11 june  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Biden pitched a bold climate vision. He may be watching it die in Congress.

  Biden pitched a bold climate vision. He may be watching it die in Congress. Climate hawks are starting to worry that their issue is getting thrown under a fossil-fueled bus. For all of Biden’s green goals, green team and green executive orders, the centerpiece of his green agenda is his proposal to throw hundreds of billions of dollars at the climate crisis through his American Jobs Plan, and it’s hard to see a path where a Republican-supported infrastructure bill would spend that freely to slash greenhouse gas emissions. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sounded the alarm in a Twitter thread Tuesday, declaring himself “officially very anxious” about the fate of climate legislation.

“At a time when the climate crisis is more urgent than ever, the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states are rising to the challenge. If the states proceed with these policies, they’ll significantly reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector, the largest source of carbon emissions in the region We will continue to engage with state leaders to make sure the policies that emerge, and the investments that result, are ambitious, equitable and responsive to community needs. We can and must build a clean, modern transportation system in the region, and now we know the path that will take us there.”

Crisis helps streamline our approaches and we no longer think about whether a car 'is mine' but how that car help the community. It's not just during pandemics that we can think creatively about using all the parked cars or buses on fixed empty routes, we can do this all the time. An integrated movement of goods and people. Who would have ever thought that a bus would be the best option to deliver food supply in a city in distress? Who ever said that an e-bike is designed for fast food? During the coronavirus crisis we’ve seen doctors electrifying their one-person rides to reach hospitals.

It's no surprise that wildfire season is already upon us in California, with experts projecting that this year's season will be among the worst - an unwelcome trend in the West. Drought and dry weather have once again put California, along with other states, at risk for extreme and dangerous fires. Despite increased safety planning, community awareness, and countless mitigation efforts, we have witnessed each wildfire season becoming progressively worse year over year.

a group of people riding on the back of a truck: Modernizing transportation can help tackle the climate crisis © Getty Images Modernizing transportation can help tackle the climate crisis

The need for climate action is blazing before our eyes, and we must seize every chance we get to make an impact. And this year, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take on the threat of extreme weather and climate change by modernizing the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country: transportation.

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Climate change and nature loss are interlinked and must be tackled together. That's the finding of a key report by 50 leading scientists searching for combined solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises . "Quick fixes" for climate change risk harming nature, say the experts. Potential " climate and biodiversity fails" include misguided tree planting and large-scale bioenergy crops. The report is the first collaboration between two groups of influential scientists advising international governments on tackling climate change and extinction. Prof Camille Parmesan of Plymouth University, a co-author

Top 10 Priorities for President Biden to Tackle the Climate Crisis . WRI outlined a series of high-leverage priorities to modernize our electricity grid, electrify school and Given the magnitude of the climate crisis and the speed with which we need to transform major My hope is that the 10-point plan outlined here can help focus his attention on the measures that will make the biggest difference.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris laid out a plan that would move our country's crumbling infrastructure into the 21st century and toward a clean energy future, all while creating family-sustaining union jobs and advancing justice and equity through improved access to services like transit and safe roads. As we rebuild from COVID-19, it's become abundantly clear that when faced with competing crises, the answer is creating solutions to tackle them together - and to do so boldly.

California has often served as a leader for the rest of the country - but when it comes to infrastructure, we are falling short. The American Society of Civil Engineers have identified California's roads, bridges, water, and energy infrastructure - among other types of infrastructure - as areas needing attention, giving the state an overall C- grade, the same grade given to the country as a whole. And there is a particularly notable disparity for rural communities, that more often than not have limited access to safe roads, public transit, and stable bridges. One-third of all rural roads are in poor to mediocre conditions with nearly one-in-twelve of the nation's rural bridges needing rehabilitation, repair or replacement. The poor quality of rural roads also contributes to half of all roadway fatalities in the country, compared to urban areas.

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Climate change is one of the most devastating problems humanity has ever faced—and the clock is running out. Farmland consolidation is harming US rural communities—and better policies can help . Give farmers the tools they need to adapt to the climate crisis . A regional program to modernize our transportation system will bring the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions into the 21st

We know that climate change is happening – but there are plenty of things individuals can do to help mitigate it. Of course, it’s true that climate change won’t be solved by your buying or driving habits alone – although many experts agree these are important, and can influence others to make changes too (more on that later). Other changes are needed that can only be made on a bigger, system-wide basis – like revamping our subsidy system for the energy and food industries, which continue to reward fossil fuels, or setting new rules and incentives for sectors like farming, deforestation and waste

Although they are literally crumbling beneath us, rural roads are vital for our economic stability, playing a critical role in moving food and goods across the country and the world. California receives the most income from agricultural production in the country, but it's also one of the top states with the highest percentage of rural roads in poor conditions. Not to mention the trucks and vehicles that move across these roads release dangerous pollutants - which, in turn, exacerbate climate disasters that tear apart our existing infrastructure and threaten public safety.

The imbalances we see with neglected rural transportation are also a matter of equity. Toxic air pollution disproportionately impacts low-income and communities of color. But there are solutions right in front of us, if we choose to take them. A full transition to electric buses and rail will help reduce air pollution enough to prevent 4,200 deaths and save about $100 billion in health damages each year. Investing $2.4 trillion in transportation investments over a decade, as proposed by the THRIVE Act, would support over 4 million jobs per year. These benefits are just a snapshot of the kind of America we could be living in by committing to invest in our communities.

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Reforestation is seen as a way to help cool the climate , sucking excess warming carbon out of the atmosphere. But it’s not always that simple, writes Michael Marshall. Also, planting trees is not just about stopping climate change. “As well as the climate emergency, we’re facing a biodiversity crisis ,” says Spracklen. Planting trees can help with both, he says, “but only if we do it right”. At the moment a lot of the trees being planted are monocultures of fast-growing commercial species like acacia or eucalyptus.

Is it climate change, global warming, or global climate crisis ? Each of these terms refers to the same thing -- the fact that the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere is rising. As the temperature rises, various impacts are changing aspects of our climate -- hotter summers, rising ocean temperatures, melting polar ice, increased storm activity. The Nature Conservancy is committed to tackling climate change, both to limit the worst impacts of climate change, and to help vulnerable people and places deal with its already-tangible impacts like increasingly extreme weather conditions.

The path forward for California, and the rest of the country, is to take advantage of the interest from our leaders and constituents in updating infrastructure and making this plan bigger and bolder. Investments in infrastructure can be made in a way that tackles our problems, instead of perpetuating them. We can invest in electric vehicles, sustainable local-made manufacturing for infrastructure, accessible public transit, and so much more. The potential impacts of a visionary infrastructure plan can create millions of jobs, protect our public health, provide support to communities that are often neglected, and tackle the climate crisis.

As my state grapples with another year of extreme drought and devastating wildfires, I will be holding my constituents' fear of loss of homes and lives at the top of my mind to make the best decisions as a leader whose job it is to not only protect but also improve the lives of the people I represent. Addressing climate change is the greatest imperative of our time; and we can meet this crisis head-on by updating our transportation and infrastructure so that we are mitigating the problem rather than maintaining the dangerous status-quo.

Jared Huffman represents the 2nd District of California.

The G7 Want to Save the World from Climate Change. But Are They Willing to Pay for It? .
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usr: 1
This is interesting!