His latest climate defeat has affirmed what we’ve long feared: that he just isn’t the man for the moment
On Friday, 15 July, Joe Biden acknowledged the death of his signature climate bill, conceding defeat in a war he never truly seemed willing to wage. He did it from a hastily prepared briefing room in Jeddah, where he had spent the previous day shilling for increased Saudi oil production.
It was painful to watch. The fossil fuel oligarchs had him right where they wanted him: his climate ambitions foiled, his rhetoric defanged, his hat in his hand. For their part, they had never been under any illusions that they were waging a war. Over the course of his presidency, they had deployed every weapon at their disposal to protect their profit margins from the public’s desire for a dignified life on a habitable planet.
Daniel Sherrell is the author of Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World (Penguin Books) and a climate activist