In its recently published The World in 2020, the editors of The Economist observe that the U.S. presidential race will “hog headlines” globally for the next year. One of the implications of this is that citizens everywhere — not just in America — will be inundated with debate and disagreement over large-scale national issues and policies. Immigration, Medicare-for-all, trade, climate change, and so on.
This is understandable of course: the president is elected by the whole country and will concern himself or herself with matters that are national in scope.
Yet many of the challenges that Americans and their communities struggle to address can best be solved locally. In many cases, they can only be solved locally. Take climate change, for example. On one hand, it doesn’t get any more national and transnational than this. On the other, national solutions, at least in the United States, are not in the offing anytime soon. States, cities, counties, and regions are best placed to adapt to climate change — even Republicans agree.
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