Los Angeles Times
Joe Manchin’s place in history
Re “After Manchin says no, a pivot to healthcare,” July 16
“Chuck, can we just wait until the inflation figures come out ... and then make a decision [on] what we can do?” This, according to Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.), is what he asked Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) before announcing he would not support reforms on climate change or taxes.
No, Sen. Manchin, we can’t wait. We have put off heeding the warnings from scientists about climate change for too long.
We need to address inflation, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of addressing extreme heat, both flooding and drought, energy instability and so much more.
We must stop listening to politicians who only tell us what you want to hear. If we want a stable economy and environment, we must demand that our leaders tackle both the climate crisis and the economy.
And Manchin instead supporting a slimmeddown healthcare bill? Don’t even get me started on the ties between climate change and health.
It’s somewhat ironic that Manchin and others are against including any climate reforms in the reconciliation bill but will consider a modified healthcare bill. Reducing greenhouse gases on our shared Earth is healthcare in a most substantial form.
Inhalation of harmful substances from fossil fuels such as their byproducts poses serious risk to human health. This is documented in the health of West Virginians and many others. Rising temperatures are creating dramatic changes in climate, resulting in harm to agriculture, the fishing industry and much more.
Children, whom so many senators care to protect, often suffer the most, and will most certainly continue to do so.
Kathleen Brown Santa Clarita
Reliance on fossil fuels has helped bring us to the precipice of irreversible harm from climate change. With so much riding on the U.S. Senate and the reconciliation package, the false narratives about how we got here need to be corrected.
Does the public believe that President Biden begging Saudi Arabia to increase oil production will deflate gas prices? Will the oil industry then stop profiteering and pressuring Biden to scale back his climate agenda?
We’re here because the industrialized world failed to plan its move away from fossil fuel dependence. Manchin has now destroyed a deal that promised economic stimuli and clean energy, ostensibly out of concern about inflation.
In truth, fossil fuel money and power are greater than ever.
Manchin will have been long gone when our greatgrandchildren ask, “Why is the world in a catastrophic state of flood, fire and famine? Where was everyone?” But he will have left his legacy: a significant one of the many answers to those questions.
With the climate clock loudly ticking and, in our
government, enough responsible people ready to begin serious action, Manchin was there. But along with his usual pretense of thoughtful consideration came his predictable sundown position posited, as always, as being in the best and necessary interest of his base.
Predictably, he opposed climate action. As always, his final position seemed there from the start.
And as always, Manchin’s short-term game of self-interest in money and power leaves his base, along with the rest of us, long-term losers.