The clock is ticking on climate change

The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to reverse damage to the environment

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Editorials

January 6, 2021 - 9:30 AM

A woman walks her dog as smoke from the Bobcat fire shrouds downtown Los Angeles on Sept. 14, 2020. Photo by (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Not so long ago, the dangers posed by global warming and climate change loomed off in the future, allowing Americans to put off finding solutions. But tomorrow has arrived, and the new reality is impossible to deny.

The years from 2015 through 2020 were the hottest six years on record for the planet. The past year ushered in the country’s worst season ever for wildfires, along with a record number of tropical storms in the Atlantic. 

Yet Donald Trump’s administration didn’t just fail to take the steps needed to slow climate change and mitigate its effects. It implemented policies to make things worse. He withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Paris climate accord, which committed nearly all the world’s nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions. His Environmental Protection Agency mounted an effort to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which was designed to slash carbon emissions from electric power plants.

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