Code Red: executive action, extreme heat, and the global climate crisis

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A volunteer uses a tree branch trying to prevent a forest fire from reaching houses in the village of Casal da Quinta, outside Leiria, central Portugal, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Joao Henriques)

A volunteer uses a tree branch trying to prevent a forest fire from reaching houses in the village of Casal da Quinta, outside Leiria, central Portugal, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Joao Henriques)

Record-breaking heat waves across the United States and Europe are bringing the reality of the climate crisis home with temperatures above 110 in parts of the U.S. and Britain. Extreme heat is threatening public health, melting roads and buckling rails, and causing wildfires to spread out West and in Europe.

On Wednesday, with Congressional climate legislation derailed by Senator Joe Manchin after over a year of negotiations, President Biden announced two executive actions to address the climate crisis: heat-related funding for Americans and more investment in wind farms. But he disappointed climate activists by stopping short of declaring a national climate emergency.

Experts say without major legislative action, the United States will likely miss its climate goals, a 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030. What else can Biden do to combat climate change? And, what global action is needed to cool down a world that’s getting hotter and drier?

We start our hour off with Time Magazine’s climate change reporter JUSTIN WORLAND on Biden’s executive actions and why his climate plans failed in Congress. Then, Penn State climate scientist MICHAEL MANN joins us to talk about the extreme weather, the warming world and what we should be doing about it.

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