"Within the brutal machinations of US politics, Joe Manchin has been elevated
to a status of supreme decision-maker, the man who could make or break Joe
Internationally, however, the Democratic senator’s new fame has been received
with puzzlement and growing bitterness, as countries already ravaged by the
climate crisis brace themselves for the US – history’s largest ever emitter of
planet-heating gases – again failing to pass major climate legislation.
For six months, Manchin has refused to support a sweeping bill to lower
emissions, stymieing its progress in an evenly split US Senate where
Republicans uniformly oppose climate action. Failure to pass the Build Back
Better Act risks wounding Biden politically but the ramifications reverberate
far beyond Washington, particularly in developing countries increasingly at the
mercy of disastrous climate change.
“He’s a villain, he’s a threat to the globe,” said Saleemul Huq, director of
the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, based in
Bangladesh. “If you talk to the average citizen in Dhaka, they will know who
Joe Manchin is. The level of knowledge of American politics here is absolutely
amazing, we know about the filibuster and the Senate and so on.
“What the Americans do or don’t do on climate will impact the world and it’s
incredible that this one coal lobbyist is holding things up. It will cause very
bad consequences for us in Bangladesh, unfortunately.”
The often tortuous negotiations between Manchin, the White House and Democratic
leaders appeared doomed on 19 December when the West Virginia senator said he
could not support the $1.75tn bill, citing concerns over inflation and the
national debt. The latest twist caused anguish to those who see their futures
being decided by a previously obscure politician located thousands of miles
Via Robert Sanscartier.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics