Climate change isn’t the only environmental crisis Biden wants to confront

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) isn’t running for a third term but is talked about as a contender for interior secretary in a potential Joe Biden administration. (Susan Walsh/AP)

One of the biggest parts of Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s green platform — and one that’s gotten little attention so far — is his commitment to protect nearly a third of the nation’s land and water by 2030.

“We need to hit the ground running undoing the damage of the Trump administration,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a Biden surrogate and one of the leading advocates in Congress for a national “30 by 30” goal, said in an interview this month. “But we can’t stop there because that would be like putting a Band-Aid on a life-threatening wound.”

Udall and his Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) introduced a resolution laying out the objective last year. But the idea of protecting a certain percentage of the planet was planted by the biologist and writer E.O. Wilson in his 2016 book “Half Earth.”

Restricting human intrusion into nature is necessary, conservation proponents say, not only to curtail climate change, but also to stave off the loss of even more plants and animals to extinction as urban sprawl, agriculture, and oil drilling and other extractive activities continue to encroach on it. 10-22-20

Read more at The Washington Post