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Can an Advertising Blitz Teach Americans What’s In Biden’s Climate Law?

No one knows what’s in the Inflation Reduction Act — but maybe $80 million can help.

President Biden.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

A climate advocacy group is planning to spend $80 million on advertising in an effort to boost President Biden’s environmental bona fides ahead of next year’s election, The New York Timesreports. Climate Power will use television and digital ads to remind — or, in many cases, educate — voters of Biden’s green credentials. “There is a huge swath of people who just don’t know anything,” Climate Power’s executive director, Lori Lodes, told the Times. “We need to make sure that the Biden coalition, the folks who got him into office in 2020, sees that he’s delivered on his promises. And he has.”

The assertion that many voters “just don’t know anything” on the issue squares with results from Heatmap’s own polling from earlier this year, which reveal that a majority of American adults — including 53% of Democrats and a whopping 73% of self-identified independents — know “not much” or “nothing at all” about the Inflation Reduction Act, the signature legislative and environmental achievement of Biden’s presidency.

Similarly, while 70 percent of respondents to a July Washington Postpoll said that the next president should use the powers of government to combat climate change, 57 percent disapproved of Biden’s handling of the environment.

Some young voters are angry at Biden’s approval of the $8 billion Willow oil drilling project, but Lodes sounds unconcerned. “Climate activists are going to push and push,” she told the Times. “And you know what? The Biden administration need[s] to be pushed to do more and to go further. But at the end of the day, the reality is that he has done more than any other president in American history on climate.” And, of course, no matter how disappointed in Biden those activists might be, when it comes to climate, the likely alternative would be utterly disastrous.

Jacob Lambert

Jacob is Heatmap's founding multimedia editor. Before joining Heatmap, he was The Week's digital art director and an associate editor at MAD magazine. Read More

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Coral Bleaching Is a $9 Trillion Problem

A new report forecasts a future where reefs go over a “tipping point.”

A coral reef in color and black and white.
Heatmap illustration/Getty Images

Coral reefs are a thing of wonder, both organism and underwater infrastructure that houses thousands of species of fish. They are also, as you might already know, in grave danger. Climate change is contributing to massive waves of coral bleaching around the world, from the Great Barrier Reef to the ocean off of Florida, where an extreme oceanic heat wave this year turned mile after mile of reef a ghostly white.

We’ve known about coral bleaching for years, but a new report out Wednesday draws fresh attention to corals’ plight, including reefs — along with ice sheets, rainforests, and ocean currents, among others — on a list of imminent climate “tipping points.” And if they go over the brink, the consequences could reach far beyond the ocean floor.

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