In January, our nation witnessed history. We watched as Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first Black, South Asian, and woman vice president of the United States. We listened as the first National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, recited an inspirational poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
At Parks California, we feel hopeful that the historic moments have only just begun. Now, we’re witnessing a series of federal climate initiatives that will expand protections for some of our country’s most cherished natural spaces and people, including:
- Signing of an executive order to protect public health, the environment and to tackle the climate crisis, including the revoking of a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline
- Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement
- Committing to strengthening sovereignty and self-governance for Native American and Alaska Native Tribal Nations
- Signing executive orders to create a whole of government approach to addressing climate risks and conserving 30% of the nation’s land and waters by 2030, which aligns with California’s comprehensive approach climate change including Governor Newsom’s executive order that pledged to conserve 30% of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030
These recent actions of the Biden-Harris administration are closely aligned with California’s own climate initiatives, and will have ripple effects for generations to come – down to the very last drop of water or grain of sand.
So here we are, living by Amanda’s words and feeling hopeful and brave enough to see the light. As we look around, we can see this same feeling of hope spreading across our communities and partners as a direct result of these momentous steps.