Llyd Wells’ “Clima(c)tic Change: Twenty Million Hands and the Living, Wavering Globe”

Last August, I heard an NPR discussion of climate change in relation to the Inflation Reduction Act, a bill designating almost $800 billion to energy security and climate change. The show’s host emphasized that, per the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC), fossil fuel usage must fall dramatically within ten years to keep Earth’s warming by 2100 below 1.5°C. She asked the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning, “Is this process that we’re currently following going to get us there?” To my astonishment, Ms. Stone-Manning replied, “Yes. Yes is the answer.” The unequivocal answer was surprising given the BLM’s equivocal charge: as manager of federal lands, one of its responsibilities is to award oil and gas leases. So, somehow, partly as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act, we will as a nation, albeit a politically divided one, meet requirements to limit warming to 1.5°C while still doling out oil and gas leases and without asking our citizenry to make substantative behavioral changes.