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Biden looked at the storm in California and promised to help

U.S. President Joe Biden commented while touring the storm-damaged area of California Seacliffs State Park, accompanied by California Governor Newsom. (19 January 2023)
U.S. President Joe Biden commented while touring the storm-damaged area of California Seacliffs State Park, accompanied by California Governor Newsom. (19 January 2023)

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden again warned about climate change during a visit to California on Thursday (Jan. 19). He looked at the damage the recent storm had done to California.

President Biden pledged more federal aid and touted his plan to mitigate the effects of extreme weather. Biden said these extreme weather events are caused by climate change.

“We have to invest in stronger infrastructure to reduce the impact of these disasters, because they, in a sense, are having a cumulative effect,” he said. “We have allocated money from the infrastructure law that I signed a year ago.”

Biden flew across the United States to witness the disaster firsthand with California Governor Gavin Newsom, whose chief emergency officer gave him a sobering assessment of the situation.

“California has experienced some unprecedented storms — just before the New Year, there were already nine atmospheric rivers crossing it,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “When I talk to people on the ground, they tell me that when these storms hit, the wind is equivalent to a hurricane, creating an incredible storm surge-like situation with shore waves. As a result, they felt as if they had been hit by one hurricane after another.

Biden said he has taken a big step forward in managing the effects of climate change by signing the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill allocates nearly $400 billion in federal funds for clean energy. The move is aimed at meeting U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius.

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He also pushed for enhanced U.S. innovation in clean energy through electric vehicles and other measures.

Sherri Goodman, who served as deputy to the first deputy secretary for environmental security during the Clinton administration, told the media that the U.S. government has long viewed climate change as a threat.

“We have to understand how complex and cascading these risks are because one risk — wildfire-fueled storms — is then impacting the next round of climate events, these extreme events, these atmospheric events.” They all interact with each other,” she said via Zoom. “So it’s very important. Unfortunately, as societies around the world, we are not prepared. Goodman

said the burden should be shared between the government and the private sector. At the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the world’s most powerful people are also hearing this message. Biden sent his chief climate envoy to the forum.

Goodman says change takes time.

“With fossil fuels, we can’t suddenly quit addiction completely,” she said. “We’re going to be using oil and gas for quite some time.”

But Biden’s critics say leaders should be more proactive, especially when it comes to polluting industries.

Kassie Siegel, head of the Climate Law Institute at the Centre for Biological Diversity, said: “We cannot solve this problem without strong government action. She told the media. That starts with confronting fossil fuel companies, which are at the heart of the problem, and for too long have been trying to distract, deny the status quo, and delay change.

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Siegel and other environmental activists urged Biden to declare a climate emergency.

“How many more lives will be lost?” Caroline Henderson, the senior climate campaigner at Greenpeace USA, said. “How many more homes will be hit hard before President Biden and Governor Newsom come to visit? …… Last year, President Biden said he would address the climate emergency, but we didn’t see much action. It is time for him to deliver on those words by declaring a climate emergency. Some

of Biden’s political opponents, and even some fellow Democrats, such as Senator Joe Manchin, have blocked broader legislation. These industries, they argue, create precious jobs.

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