An existential threat runs into political realities of US democracy

The existential threat of our lifetime is running, again, into the political realities of our democracy. That the clock is ticking to address climate change has been broadcast on repeat, with increasing intensity. But as those alarm bells ring, so do warnings about continued threats to the republic, nearly a year after rioters stormed the US Capitol, as well as threats to American pocketbooks in the thick of the holiday season, thanks to the ongoing pandemic that continues to disrupt so much of the global system and threaten public health. Every day is a dizzying onslaught of headlines drowning out the perpetual threat of climate change until a severe weather event like this weekend’s resurfaces the discussion.
“This is going to be the new normal,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday, talking about extreme weather in general. “The effects that we’re seeing from climate change are the crisis of our generation.”

To be clear, we…

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