On the Thoughtless Reaction to Willow
Sometimes We Need to Think, Not React, on Climate
The Biden administration approved Willow and climate activists have gone nuts. It’s a political sell out! It’s contrary to IEA’s statement that no new fossil fuel should be developed! It is a hypocritical contradiction to Biden’s pledges on climate!
All true. You can see it all right here:
Now, before you get all up in arms with me, understand that I am not in favor of Willow. I’d have preferred it be stopped. But there are also some real truths to confront.
The claim that this is a political sell-out is both true and false. It is definitely political, but probably not a sell-out.
President Biden is an old and wise hand at politics, and if there is one thing he knows it is this: You can’t change things if you are not in office. You can be pure. You can be righteous. But office gives you power, and if you are pure and righteous but not in office, you can change nothing.
Biden knows this. In this respect, Willow is a down payment on a second term that, if we are lucky, could yield another Inflation Reduction Act or something even better. Willow nullifies Republican claims that Biden is the cause, and even supports, higher gas prices and inflation. In America today, you may feel very, very strongly about climate change, but those feelings won’t get you or your best candidate elected. You have to get elected to make change, and Biden knows that.
If Biden loses, on the other hand, we get a Republican—probably a pro-drilling, climate-denying, burn-up-the-earth Republican. And during those four years, or eight years, how much progress do you suppose America will make during what many are calling the single most decisive decade in addressing the climate future of Earth? Where will we get another Inflation Reduction Act? How would you expect us to invest in the real climate change addressing issues we need?
Why Politics Matter
The Willow Project most likely would not even be on the radar screen had Trump not won office. The Trump Administration approved the project initially in 2020. Valid land leases were sealed between Conoco-Phillips and the Federal government under Trump. It is likely none of this would have happened under a Biden administration, but these were the cards they were dealt. Courts would have been unlikely to allow a scaling back of the project at this time.
Read what I just wrote again:
None of this would have happened under a Biden administration.
That is why politics matter. The sad reality is that we suffered Trump for four years and it made a huge difference, including this disaster called Willow. We cannot allow that to be the case again. Biden is playing a political card from the nad he was dealt from a hand and a game he’d rather not be playing at all.
But friends, we have a bigger picture. Climate changes urgent and it is long-term. Willow is not everything we want, but let’s not turn against the man who brought us the largest climate investment in world history in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act. Let’s swallow our pride. Let’s give up our purity. Let’s keep working to develop the answers we really need—a pro-climate president and Congress.
Free Newsletters by Anthony
Get my free newsletter Write On here! It is writers, writing, and the business of writing.
Get my free newsletter Intertwine: Living Better in a Worsening World here.
Get my free newsletter Arguments with Book here.
Get my free newsletter Tony on Business here.
Get my free newsletter Soul Food: Poems by Anthony here.
Books by Anthony
To read more of my original work, try my books! All are on Amazon and published by various small presses.
What Is Liberalism?—Toward an American Political Philosophy
Speculations on Postcapitalism: How Digitalization Is Disrupting Everything We Know About Modern Civilization
The Great Mechanism: The Power Behind the Relentless Juggernaut of Western Capitalism
Consent Is Not Enough: What Men Need to Know in a #Metoo World
Call to Liberty: Bridging the Divide Between Liberals and Conservatives
Rooster Crows at Light from the Bombing: Echoes from the Gulf War