We often feel frustrated that we aren’t making enough of a difference on climate change.  This year, Washington voters can make a significant difference by voting Yes on Initiative 1631.

Audubon has been a leader in fighting climate change, recognizing the devastating impact that it has on bird populations, both internationally and at home.  The Tahoma Audubon Board voted unanimously to support I-1631.  Many of our volunteers collected signatures to place it on the ballot.

I-1631 imposes fees on the major sources of greenhouse gases in our state, helping to create the price incentives we need to reduce our dependence on carbon.  It also uses funds generated to promote alternative energy sources, care for our forests and waters threatened by climate change, and assist low-income consumers most impacted by the change. 

We all know that greenhouse gases are poisoning our environment.  Part of the problem is how easy the oil industry has made it to burn fossil fuels, even though we know they’re bad for us in the long run.  I-1631 makes pricing incentives work for us instead of against us.  It provides incentives to turn away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

The impacts of climate change are getting worse.  Just this month, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a new report detailing the effects of climate change on extreme weather, sea-level rise, and the loss of both Arctic ice and tropical coral reefs, even at lower levels of warming than expected.  We have literally seen the impact locally through the smoke of increasing wildfires.

President Trump may have unilaterally rejected the Paris Agreement, but he can’t reject our actions if we approve I-1631.  Washington can be in the forefront of responding to climate change by showing that our voters want to take action and are willing to pay for it.  We can show that we reject the record spending of $25+ million, funded almost solely by the oil and gas industry, in opposing this citizen initiative.

In addition to Tahoma Audubon and Audubon Washington, other groups supporting I-1631 include the Nature Conservancy, League of Women Voters, American Lung Association, REI, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and many more.  I-1631 was put together by a coalition including environmental groups, organized labor, minorities, and tribes.

Please share with your friends and neighbors that you (and Tahoma Audubon) enthusiastically are voting Yes on Initiative 1631.  We owe it to those who will inherit the world we leave behind.