Climate Change Call to Action

Climate Change Call to Action

31 October 2016

James Hansen

A very heartening situation is arising in Washington State.  Young people have not only begun to stand up for their rights, their rights to a livable planet with prospects for a bright future, they are showing just how hard they are willing to work for the cause.

An alliance headed by “Big Green” environmental organizations in Washington refused to support a proposed revenue-neutral carbon tax.  More than two-thirds of the revenue from a $25/ton carbon tax would be used to reduce the sales tax, which is a regressive tax.  The remaining portion is divided about equally between (1) a working families tax rebate for low-income households to help assure that they are not disadvantaged by the carbon tax, and (2) a tax cut for Washington manufacturers to help offset the disadvantage they incur from the fact that manufacturers in other states do not face the carbon tax.

It was asserted that the ballot measure (I-732, discussed in my prior Communication), could not get more than 10% of the vote, given the lack of any support from Big Green and their alliance.  That prediction did not count on the effort that a large number of concerned citizens, mostly millennials, would pour into the campaign.  As of a few weeks ago, polls indicated that I-732 had 40% with still a large number of voters undecided.  Most recent polls have it close to 50%.

These young people need your help.  Recently the fossil fuel industry has decided to throw money to the opposition ($250,000 from American Fuels and Petrochemical Manufacturers).

At this point, with the ballots already mailed to voters, the most important need is for people to work the phone banks.  You don’t need to be a Washington resident to volunteer.  Please see my Call to Action.  This could be the most important progress so far in the United States, and we must provide leadership in getting an honest price on carbon emissions.