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Process of rapprochement

The two major political parties in the U.S. have been irreconcilably opposed to each other, especially since Donald Trump's presidency. The issue of climate change in particular has caused heated debates in the recent past, with many Republicans simply denying it - in line with Trump's stance. However, this position seems to be slowly crumbling.

The donkey is the mascot of the Democrats, while the Republicans keep it with the elephant (Image: Pixabay)The donkey is the mascot of the Democrats, while the Republicans keep it with the elephant (Image: Pixabay)

There is now no doubt that climate change is man-made. This was emphasized, among others, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose dramatic warning shook the world just two weeks ago. The report makes it clear that some of the effects of the climate crisis are already irreversible, at least for many centuries to come, and that without a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, even more catastrophic consequences threaten to befall the world than they already do.

Even in the U.S. itself, the effects of climate change can no longer be denied: scorching heat waves, wildfires, droughts, floods, crop losses and other impacts are now costing the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars a year, analyzes Washington medium The Hill. And new impacts continue to emerge: A recent Harvard study shows that fine particle pollution and smoke from wildfires exacerbated by climate change appear to have led to thousands of additional Covid infections in the United States.

Additionally, as of last week, it is now official that July 2021 is the hottest month ever recorded in the world, according to the U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said, "July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded. This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe."

With reports of increasingly high economic and human costs, it appears that more and more Republicans are now changing their minds on climate change. When the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act had to pass the Senate last week, a total of 19 Republican senators voted for it, joining Democrats in providing an overwhelming majority.

The U.S. infrastructure is outdated and dilapidated and in urgent need of renovation (Image: Pixabay)

Many Republicans increasingly, if grudgingly, recognize that clean energy technologies, not further CO2 emissions from fossil fuel generation, are the future, according to an analysis by Paul Bledsoe, strategic advisor at the Progressive Policy Institute and adjunct professor at American University's Center for Environmental Policy, in The Hill.

However, Republican resistance to overly ambitious Democratic plans remains. In Congress, Republican lawmakers are currently still united in not approving the Democratic clean energy plans they are pursuing as part of a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. However, there is still hope here, as House and Senate committees flesh out the details in the coming weeks.

And so the infrastructure package that was passed is just an important first step in building a more equitable, productive and sustainable American society. But passage of a full budget plan is essential to ensure a much-needed recovery and a growing economy for all U.S. workers.

Katrin Radtke
USA, Democrats, Republicans, climate change, Congress, Senate, bill, government, inrastructure, struggle, july, heat, smoke, alarm

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