Although possibly a sad comment on his predecessors, incoming U.S. president, Joe Biden, is offering the most progressive climate policy so far of any who have previously held his position.
As Paul Gipe points out in his recent blog, the Biden-Harris climate plan uses the word “revolution” right in the headline — a bit of a departure from the usual cautious rhetoric of the centrist-controlled Democratic Party.
But ‘revolution’ is proceeded by two words which let us know we are still lingering in conservative ‘safe’ territory. They call it a “clean energy revolution”, which Gipe rightly refers to as “focus-group shopped terminology.” He goes on:
”Clean energy is a term forged by Madison Avenue advertising mavens in the crucible of focus groups. It ‘polls well,’ as they say. It means one thing to one interest group, something else to another. So it’s perfect for politics in America.
“To environmentalists, it means wind and solar energy, often only those two forms of renewable energy, and sometimes only solar. It also means good times to the coal and nuclear industry. (Ever hear of ‘clean coal’?)
“So clean energy is one of those misleading words that party leaders and, importantly, fundraisers can use to elicit money from donors of all stripes. Why say renewable energy, when you want to raise money from the coal and nuclear industries?”
The Biden-Harris energy plan hits all the right notes in its opening paragraphs, focusing on a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and emphasizing infrastructure, international collaboration and the protection of poor communities of color, who suffer the most harm from unfettered polluters.
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