Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends: Let me be honest in saying that working on carbon pricing over the past two decades has often felt like banging my head against the wall. But lately it’s been feeling more like riding a wave, and that’s an amazing feeling. I’ve actually had one surfing lesson in my life, and I remember it involving an exhausting amount of paddling to get out to the right spot, and then an adrenaline rush of being swept into shore (and of course being toppled into the water rather sooner than I would have liked!). In any case, if you want to help with the paddling then there are lots of ways to get involved (including events coming up in Spokane, Olympia, and Vancouver, plus terrific signature-gathering options everywhere) and if you want to just ride the wave then check out the terrific readings and developments below!

Events and opportunities

On T June 16 Spokane has a June kickoff event with campaign co-director Kyle Murphy from 6:00-7:30 PM at Spokane Unitarian Church (4340 W Fort George Wright Dr). Contact Kyle at kyle@carbonwa.org.

On W June 17 in Olympia, the UUC is hosting a comedy-and-carbon-tax event with yours truly (plus the Artesian Rumble Arkestra!) at 6pm at the UU Church (2315 Division St NW). Contact Olympia staffer Michelle Morris at michelle@carbonwa.org.

On Sat June 20, Vancouver has a June kickoff event with Vancouver chapter leader Heidi Cody from 10:00-11:30 AM at Torque Coffee (501 Columbia St). Contact Heidi at vancouver@carbonwa.org.

Beyond that, there are tremendous signature-gathering opportunities this weekend and beyond, so please connect with one of our 20+ chapters around the state, check the calendars for signature-gathering opportunities (and here’s an RSVP form for Seattle events and a brand-new RSVP form for Bellevue events), and pass our job posting around to high school or college students looking for a summer job working on carbon taxes!

Ride the wave (including a great NYT editorial on “The case for a carbon tax”)

CarbonWA steering committee member Alex Lenferna was named by The Guardian as one of “The young climate campaigners to watch before Paris COP 21 [climate talks in December]”. And CarbonWA intern Savannah Kinzer was featured in Crosscut: “Getting teens to care about climate change”.

Meanwhile, Politico reports: “Republican pledges $175 million to push party on climate”. His campaign is called the Clear Path Foundation and we think it’s yet another piece of evidence that now is the time to pursue a bipartisan approach to climate action. On the left, Robert Reich has a  new video about carbon taxes: “a simple tax on carbon would change the economics of polluting, forcing the market to make smarter choices, giving polluters a financial incentive to stop putting carbon into the atmosphere and boosting non-carbon sources of energy.” And the Sunday New York Times has a terrific editorial on “The Case for a Carbon Tax”, with a full paragraph on British Columbia’s terrific policy.

For an international perspective there’s “Climate Deal Badly Needs a Big Stick” in the NYT. Bringing it back down to earth, Bloomberg View writes about “Fighting Climate Change One State at a Time”: “There’s no question that even the best-designed cap-and-trade system will have trouble beating a straightforward carbon tax. That approach is more efficient, easier to administer, easier to scale and entirely transparent — not to mention better at reducing emissions.” (They also write that “It’s becoming increasingly clear that voters and companies alike are ready for a carbon tax. Nobody wins by waiting. ” Elsewhere, economist Jared Bernstein explains his preference for carbon taxes.)

On the polling front, a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that “41% of Likely U.S. Voters say they are willing to pay nothing more in higher taxes and utility costs annually to to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming. But that’s down from 48% last August and the lowest level measured in regular tracking since January 2013. Another 24% are willing to spend only $100 more per year, unchanged from earlier surveys. Twenty-six percent (26%) are ready to spend $300 or more a year to combat global warming, with six percent (6%) who are ready to spend at least $1,000 more annually.”

In climate and weather news, NOAA reports that “There is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere fall 2015, and around an 85% chance it will last through the 2015-16 winter.”  And in Washington State political news, Danny Westneat writes “How a more moderate GOP dominated the legislative session”. (He also has an interesting column about ballot measures, claiming that “If you don’t have a million [dollars]… usually it won’t make the ballot” and that volunteer signature-gathering “is so difficult to do… that few try anymore.”) Danny has written about Carbon Washington before and I get the sense that he’s daring us to prove him wrong so that he can write about us again. So let me repeat that you can help by getting involved: connect with one of our 20+ chapters around the state, check the calendars for signature-gathering opportunities (and here’s an RSVP form for Seattle events and a brand-new RSVP form for Bellevue events), and pass our job posting around to high school or college students looking for a summer job working on carbon taxes!

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 yoram@carbonwa.org (please cc: communications@carbonwa.org if you can).

 

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