Almost Missed

I have missed plenty of good articles, books and other sources of news and analysis that relate to our goals with this platform. When I am late to see something important, like the book to the right, no regrets. Especially when it comes to my attention through an essay like this one by Daniel Sherrell:

The Democrats’ climate bill is a historic victory. But we can’t stop here

Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act filled me with joy and rage, relief and apprehension, exhaustion and vigilance. We must celebrate, but also mourn, rage and organize

I was at a Mets game when news broke that the climate bill had enough votes to pass in the Senate. It was the bottom of the eighth, and Edwin Díaz had just struck out the heart of the Braves’ lineup. The crowd at Citi Field was feeling good. Everyone could sense a win was at hand.

I read the push notification then sat there stunned for several minutes, watching the Mets clinch the game, waiting for the world-shaping news to register. Then suddenly I was tearing up, rising from my seat in a daze, the man down the row giving me a look somewhere between embarrassment and admiration (Jesus, he probably thought. This guy really loves the Mets).

Up in the nosebleeds, moths were circling in the glare of the floodlights. The players looked like figurines, tiny and detailed, far below in their bright diamond. From where we were sitting, we could see tens of thousands of people, every one of whom would be affected – in some way, at some point – by the news that had just buzzed in my pocket. Over the whole scene loomed the logo of Citibank corporation. In the coming days, Citi – along with its peers in the Business Roundtable and US Chamber of Commerce – would abet an all-out blitz to kill the bill.

In the week since the Senate voted 51-50 in favor of the Inflation Reduction Act, I’ve felt a rush of emotion unlike any I’ve experienced in my time as a climate organizer. Joy and rage, relief and apprehension, exhaustion and vigilance – a knot too tight to unravel.

Joy because there is much in the bill that warrants it. According to multiple independent analyses, the bill’s $370bn worth of climate investments will reduce US emissions somewhere in the ballpark of 40% by 2030, equivalent to 4bn metric tons of CO2. According to one recent study, this level of carbon abatement will prevent millions of avoidable deaths, most of them in the global south. The investments are also predicted to generate about 9m domestic jobs, many of them in purple states, potentially creating new and lasting constituencies in support of climate action. And the bill invests $60bn to aid the low-income and communities of color who for decades have served as dumping grounds of our nation’s dirtiest and most dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure. This is an unprecedented increase in federal environmental justice funding – and a far cry from the climate reparations that are actually owed…

Read the whole op-ed here.

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