Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Biden emphasizes climate change during his biggest moment

Joe Biden emphasized climate change in his speech accepting the Democratic nomination Thursday night, as the days leading up to it offered fresh evidence of the problem's scale and tensions within his coalition.

Why it matters: It was a statement of priority in the most important speech of Biden's campaign to unseat President Trump, and the address mentioned the topic repeatedly.


  • It came amid a heat wave and big wildfires in California, reminders of the impact of global warming (though climate is among several forces that boost fire risks and intensity).
  • Earlier in the night, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) gave remarks not far from the site of one of the fires in his state. "The hots are getting hotter, the drys are getting drier. Climate change is real. If you are in denial about climate change, come to California," he said.

What he said: Biden listed climate among the four "historic crises" facing the U.S., alongside the pandemic, the economic crash and the need for racial justice.

  • The U.S. must confront the "undeniable realities and accelerating threats of climate change," the former vice president added.

The big picture: Biden tethered climate to his economic message and plans, calling it an "enormous opportunity."

  • "An opportunity for America to lead the world in clean energy and create millions of new good-paying jobs in the process," he said, a theme echoed by other speakers during the week.
  • That's something to watch because it could signal, if he wins, near-term efforts to push major climate-related spending through Congress as part of the economic response to the pandemic, something we wrote about here.
  • Biden's plan calls for $2 trillion in new investments over four years in clean energy and climate-friendly infrastructure programs.

Yes, but: This week also showed policy divides within the Democratic coalition that would probably surface again if Biden wins, and if Democrats regain the Senate, which would open the door for legislative steps.

  • There was the dust-up over the removal of language opposing fossil fuel subsidies from the party's nonbinding platform, though Biden's team sought to smooth it over by re-upping his anti-subsidy stance.
  • Check out Axios' Dan Primack's chat on the Axios Re:Cap podcast with New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), a Biden surrogate.
  • Grisham opposes Biden's position that fracking should be banned on federal lands, but her stance contrasts with some activists who say Biden's agenda should take an even more aggressive stance on fossil fuels.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories