President Biden Must Prioritize Climate Change

Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Julia Gomez/Staff Writer

President Joe Biden started his presidency strong by rejoining the Paris Accord and issuing executive orders on climate change. But it won’t be enough. In order to make an impact, he needs to focus his presidency on fighting climate change. 

Scientists are blaming Texas’ winter storm on climate change. Damage from this storm alone caused about $45 to $50 billion dollars. That’s a lot. Someone could own 51 Miami Marlins and 15 Chicago Cubs franchises with $50 billion dollars.

We always hear that if we don’t change our ways as a society, Miami will be underwater within the century and that it’ll be the next Atlantis. But that’s so far in the future that it seems impossible.

Hearing that over and over has desensitized us from the actual consequences of climate change.  It seems like it isn’t our problem, but it is. 

Every year, Floridians feel climate change’s effects when the number of worsening hurricanes that develop increases. They knock out the power for days and blow trees into people’s roofs. Sometimes, even regular thunderstorms can flood Miami’s streets. 

Storms are going to become deadlier and more expensive. The effects are happening now, and we aren’t prepared for how quickly it’s going to be here.

Louisiana is a prime example of the consequences these hurricanes have. The state still hasn’t recovered from the homelessness crisis created by hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020.

To prevent streets from flooding by 2045, we’d need to raise every road in Florida. If our state started today, we’d only have 24 years to do it. Financially, it’s impossible.

Neighborhoods are going to be abandoned because Florida won’t be able to afford the cost of raising every road that exists in the state. Those neighborhoods that are left neglected will become uninhabitable and irreparable from the flooding.

The neighborhoods that will be abandoned are going to be the ones in poorer counties in the South. Climate change is going to widen the marginal gap between low-, middle- and high-income households.

Climate change is going to increase the wealth gap. Continuing to do nothing is a violation of human rights. That’s why it’s crucial for Biden to focus on the effects of climate change. It’s going to dramatically affect marginalized communities.

We can’t talk about climate change without discussing the effects it has on low-income and minority communities. Biden has already taken the first step in combatting those effects by signing an executive order that created a White House interagency council on climate justice. This is a working group that creates policies regarding certain areas across the country. Biden also created an office of health and climate equity for the Health and Human Services Department.

Former President Donald Trump officially withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord in late-2020. So why is it such a big deal that we left? The Paris accord is an international treaty signed to hold countries accountable for fighting against climate change.

“The U.S. was one of the key architects in making the [Paris Climate] agreement back in 2015,” said NPR’s climate specialist Nathan Rott.

Climate change isn’t just a problem in the US. It’s a problem everywhere. The agreement was put in place to make climate change something the world’s governments can handle on a smaller scale. 

“Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels,” says the United Nations’ website.

We’re finally addressing the problems humanity has created for itself. The only way we’ll be able to solve them is if Biden and the presidents who come after him continue to address the apocalyptic repercussions of climate change.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash