President Biden’s environmentalism: real or performative?

GETTING INTO ACTION: Biden signed 17 executive orders on his first day. Photo by Jim Watson

Brooklyn Staab | Student Life Editor  

February 7, 2021

The United Nations vowed to tackle and manage climate change when signing the Paris Agreement in 2016. Former president Obama signed this agreement during his presidency, while former President Trump withdrew from it in November, 2020. 

During his campaign, President Biden promised the American people to rejoin this vital agreement. The Paris Agreement, by law, ensures that the countries involved are held accountable for their actions contributing to destabilizing the planet. On his first day in office, President Biden signed off on an executive order to rejoin the Paris Agreement. 

“I think that it is a good thing that the country has rejoined the Paris agreement,” Junior Charlotte Fuertes said. “Especially a more economically developed country like the US where we have more means to dedicate to finding and implementing new solutions to decrease our impact on the environment.” 

The United States is the second largest contributor to carbon emissions, so rejoining this agreement is vital to our environment. Biden has had a great start to tackling climate change, but could he be doing more?  

The Clean Water Act was modified by the Bush Administration in 2002, allowing mining companies to dump overburden and pollutants into water streams. This is more than alarming to hear, but even more alarming to know that after three different presidents, it has not been changed. 

So even if the Biden Administration publicizes all the positive steps they have made for the environment, it is important not to overlook other issues. In a time where our earth needs us most, we must ask, “what more can we do?” We need someone to attack the “little” issues destroying our earth. These small actions could have such a large impact on our ecosystems. 

“I want to see more sustainable energy rather than the dependency on fossil fuels,” senior Macie Schniepp said.   

Many would agree that sustainable energy is needed more than ever, especially after watching so many ecosystems be destroyed from oil mining alone. There are countless man-created issues facing our ecosystem, but nothing being done about them (if they even receive any attention). President Biden seems to have a well-written plan for attacking the climate crisis, however. Hopefully, he continues to keep his word and is able to shift our country to a sustainable future. 

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