The Democratic National Convention dedicated one segment of its third-day virtual session to climate change, drawing contrast between the approach of President Donald Trump and the policy proposals of Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
In a montage of Biden supporters voicing their views on climate change, one called it an “existential threat to all of us.” Another said that “in a couple of years it will be too late.”
“We know time is running out to save our planet,” said New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in her speech. “We have the chance this November to end two existential crises: the Trump presidency and the environmental annihilation he represents.”
“We have about a decade before it’s too late,” the narrator says.
While many experts agree that gas emissions due to human activity, such as carbon dioxide and methane from agriculture and burning fossil fuels, have a warming effect on the planet, they provide a wide range of predictions of how much warming and what effects the planet can expect.
The vast majority of the climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have repeatedly overestimated global warming. According to an analysis by the Cato Institute, 105 of the 108 models predicted a higher surface temperature for the period between 1998 and 2014 than the temperature actually recorded.
Petteri Taalas, the secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), called for calm in the climate debate last year and complained that some activists and politicians pressure scientists to become more radical on the issue.
“They are doomsters and extremists; they make threats,” Taalas said.
In his view of climate change effects, “it is not going to be the end of the world.”
“The world is just becoming more challenging,” he said. “In parts of the globe, living conditions are becoming worse, but people have survived in harsh conditions.”
The United States has been reducing its carbon emissions in major part due switching from coal to natural gas after the fracking boom in the past decade or so.
While the Trump administration has de-emphasized climate change in environmental policy and U.S. policy in general, Biden promised to go hard the opposite way. His proposal calls for spending $1.7 trillion of federal dollars on “climate and environmental justice” initiatives, including cracking down on the oil and fracking industries for methane emissions, retrofitting millions of buildings to lower carbon emissions, investing in energy research, and making climate change a national security priority.