Kate Aronoff with one of the most important pieces you will read this year.
This past Friday government released the 4th National Climate Assessment, clearly they were hoping people would be too busy with post Thanksgiving madness to notice. It is a stark report of how climate change is already impacting life in the US and how it will continue to get worse, and much much more expensive, if we don’t implement bold solutions. Included was a chapter by chapter breakdown of how each region of the country will be impacted. Below is a synopsis of the chapter on the Northwest tweeted by Vlad Guttman-Britten who is the Washington Director of Climate Solutions.
Now that most of the dust has cleared on the 2018 election, OCA members should be acknowledged for having their say about climate in the public sphere. In these fractured times, there’s a need for citizens to state plain truths out loud, and OCA members are to be congratulated for stepping up to the democratic (small-d) plate.
Yes on I-1631:
Clallam County Commissioner:
Clallam County Public Utility District:
…with inaction at the federal level, maybe a single state paving the way is our best hope for catalyzing broader action. Someone needs to lead. With lessons learned from this most recent failure, and more Democratic seats picked up in the state legislature — offering a firmer legislative route to passing a carbon tax — Inslee may yet be proved right in casting that leader as the state of Washington.
Column by Catherine Rampell, who covers the intersection between politics and economics for the Washington Post:
Where will we find the political will to do what we know needs to be done in the time we have? Here’s an essay in the Sequim Gazette by OCA board member Ann Soule, who also serves as Resource Manager for the City of Sequim:
In our small corner of the globe, the biggest threats are drought, wildfire, and severe storms. . . . Like all wicked problems, solutions to climate change won’t be pretty, fun, or quick. But it will be much easier if it is recognized as a “quality of life” and a “community health” issue, and not strictly an “environmental” issue.
“Opponents argued a better proposal was needed. They must now stand by their word in calling for a better proposal.”
Note from the chart below that Jefferson and Clallam Counties generated some of the highest percentages of Yes votes on 1631! Kudos to all who helped spread the word about the need for substantive, immediate climate action.
From CarbonWA: Initiative 1631 Falls Short
We applaud the immense effort made by 1631 campaign volunteers and staff. However, the initiative has fallen short of passing. Here is our statement on the result:
There is mounting evidence that a growing majority of Americans are concerned about climate change and support climate action. While Initiative 1631 failed to attract majority support, that does not change the fact that Yale University’s extensive research shows 70 percent of Washington voters believe global warming is happening and would support regulations on carbon emissions. Voters are demanding a solution, even if they didn’t accept this one. I-1631 deserves praise for attracting a broad coalition of support, including from Carbon Washington. Yet the policy failed to attract bipartisan support and contained elements that caused concern, as we highlighted in our analysis of the proposal. Opponents argued a better proposal was needed. They must now stand by their word in calling for a better proposal.
Carbon Washington will continue to advocate for solutions that bridge our deep partisan divides, not enlarge them, and that are effective, equitable and economically sound. But, we cannot do this work alone. We urge everyone, Republicans and Democrats, energy companies and community activists, opponents and proponents of 1631, to join us in the spirit of compromise to find solutions that fulfill our duty to protect our common home. Read our full statement here.
We’ll continue to analyze the results and look for insights. However, one supporter created this chart comparing I-732 to the first round of results from I-1631.
The Future of Climate Action
The climate movement needs solutions that can bring people together across regional, political, and economic divides. Strategies that hinge on ‘overwhelming’ the other side cannot be counted on to succeed. At CarbonWA, we will continue to advocate for a price on carbon because it is the most efficient tool we have to reduce carbon emissions. A campaign outcome doesn’t change that reality. We will invite the traditional opponents of climate action to join the discussion to shape the path forward. We will pursue other climate policies in the upcoming legislative session as well. Our work on land-use climate solutions, like carbon sequestration and biochar, will continue. We support efforts for a low carbon fuel standard regionally and in the legislature. Some of our partners are pushing for 100% clean energy, and we will look for cost-effective ways we can decarbonize our electricity system toward that goal. Stay tuned and expect to hear about opportunities to support our ambitious legislative campaigns.
If you want to be a part of this work, please let us know. We need talented, engaged volunteers to join our legislative committee, communications team, and fundraising committee.
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-The CarbonWA Team