Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends: With the fall equinox behind us, inspiration comes from Thomas Paine: “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Perhaps a bit over the top for our situation—especially since the fall forecast is for warm, dry weather—but it’s a good reminder that we’re in crunch time, that we need to avoid distractions and focus on getting the signatures we need to get on the ballot, and that “we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” (Yeah!!) Read on for details on our end-of-September push and for some important open letters, but first let’s take a deep breath…

A moment to reminisce

Now that we’re past 200,000 signatures and have a convincing path to the ballot if we continue to work hard in the next two months, let me pause for just one moment to reminisce. Carbon Washington has been around for over six years (I registered the domain name on Sept 20, 2009) and for a lot of that time we had almost no money and were very grassroots-y, surviving mostly on the energy and carbon-tax enthusiasm of college students: I distinctly remember hearing the criticism that “Yoram Bauman is the only grown-up at Carbon Washington.” And now look at us!! (For the record that’s campaign co-directors Duncan and Kyle, plus super intern Oscar Johansson with Duncan’s dog Bjorn.) PS. Good luck back at Middlebury, Oscar, and thanks for all your help! (And welcome to our new interns Jennifer, Cody, and Emily, plus more intern news below!)

An open letter to Greg in eastern Washington

Dear Greg: It was great to meet you earlier this week during my swing through Wenatchee, Yakima, Pullman, and Spokane, and it was fabulous to hear that you’ve actually read our ballot language (!), that you’ve been working hard to support the campaign, and that you’ve collected 80 signatures (!!) and are aiming for more. But look, Greg: Every month we ask our supporters to turn in all the signature pages they have with 10 or more signatures on them, and every month those 80 signatures have been sitting on your kitchen counter, gathering dust. For God’s sake, send them in, Greg! (Here’s our address, please make sure to use sufficient postage and to include your return address on the envelope.) Here’s why this is important: We’re in crunch time, and if we need to spend thousands of dollars to hire a signature firm to collect a few more signatures for us then that’s what we’ll do. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Greg: you’re a student, so you probably can’t give us thousands of dollars—if I’m wrong please consider making a donation!—but Greg you can save us thousands of dollars by sending in your signatures now. Thank you Greg! Sincerely, with gratitude and love, Yoram and the Executive Committee.

An open letter to everybody else

Dear everybody else: I’m confident that Greg is going to send in his signatures by the end of this month, so I can say without reservation that I hope you will go be like Greg: Learn about the policy, get excited about the campaign, collect a mess of signatures, and then mail them in by the end of each month so we can count them towards our monthly total and plan effectively and efficiently for the final stage of this signature-gathering campaign. That’s all there is to say, other than that this is the last weekend for September signatures and you know the drill: check the signature-gathering calendars (in particular here’s Seattle RSVP and Bellevue RSVP forms), share our signature-gathering job postings with students and others who need a bit of cash, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, volunteer to make phone calls from your home or help out around the campaign office or do data entry from home, help with your local chapter, etc.


Cliff Mass has great things to say about CarbonWA in “Time For Bipartisan Action on Northwest Environmental and Climate Change Issues”. As for the other Washington, Dave Reichert is featured in “House Republicans Plan to Call for Action on Climate Change”. Richard Revesz writes in the WSJ: “Let’s Cut All Energy Subsidies and Start Taxing Pollution”. Bloomberg has a nice graph in Scorching Year Continues With the Hottest Summer on Record”. And most importantly read the Bloomberg View editorial board’s There’s a Simpler Way to Fight Climate Change, California: “There is a simpler, better way to reduce planet-warming emissions, of course: Impose a price on every ton of carbon released into the atmosphere, and let the market handle the rest.”

Upcoming events

I’ll be in Bellingham on W Sept 30 for a talk at 6pm at WWU (Artzen 100), plus a drink afterwards at a local brewery. (Email me for details!) Come hear about comedy and carbon taxes, plus say Thank You to summer intern Galen who is back at Western!

As always comments are welcome on the blog, or via Facebook or Twitter, and please send your Tales from the Trails, good or bad, to me at (please cc: if you can).

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