Last night the results came in on the US mid-term elections, called by both sides “the most important election in a generation.”
Just to be clear – this blog doesn’t favour one party over another, just human survival. Trump and the republicans have pulled the USA out of the Paris Accord, which Obama and the democrats signed. But one can easily argue that the democrats did not do nearly enough when they had the chance.
The election yesterday was not a democratic-party “blue wave,” but there were some significant changes. The democrats took the House of Representatives (the “House”), but not the Senate. There is a good post by Mike Hosey on the impacts of the mid-terms, re climate change, here (https://medium.com/@thinksustainabilityblog/what-the-usa-midterms-mean-for-climate-change-fb6becf55647).
To sum up, the “House” cannot drive legislation through a hostile Senate and Presidential office, but they can block legislation from those bodies. Hosey boils it down as “… a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives only means that Trump’s ability to dismantle climate and environmental policy is held in check. Damage has already been done, and with a Republican-controlled Senate and President, nothing will be restored.”
But there’s more to it than that. On the down-side, if 2030 is a critical deadline to significantly roll back emissions in order to stop runaway climate change, this spells another two years where essentially nothing will happen from the world’s second-largest emitter. At least on a federal level.
On the upside, it opens the door to impeachment, or at the very least more “facts” (real facts) coming out regarding the Trump administration. For what that’s worth.
Another upside, for American politics and the world climate, is that there were also many small and local democratic victories, which will hopefully protect the democratic process, and the rule of law, leading into near future elections and crises.