Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends: There is legislative gridlock and a special session on the way in Olympia, but we have two ways to make lemonade from the lemons. First, our Olympia team—led by indefatigable Executive Committee member Greg Rock—will continue to have in-depth conversations about carbon taxes and I-732B options with legislators and lobbyists and citizens from across the political spectrum. (Those in-depth conversations will pay dividends for years to come and would not have happened without I-732!) Second, we are launching our campaign for the November ballot: instead of once again having to put climate action off for another year, we have a campaign to put a price on carbon, so read on for the road ahead, plus upcoming events, news articles… and a campaign moneybomb! 

The road ahead: four pillars to winning at the ballot!

The staff, board, and volunteers who built Carbon Washington were motivated by a simple conviction: that 2016 is a can’t-miss opportunity for climate action. We worked tirelessly in 2015 to get this opportunity and now we’re going to take it!

What this means is that our campaign for the general election begins now. We are setting up kickoff events across the state to dig deeper into the campaign strategy (see Events section below) and we are also setting up a calendar of outreach events to sign up for. It’s time to get to work (!) and here are the four pillars that will put us in a position to win:

  1. Win the Climate Voters and “ride the presidential wave”. Over 75% of Washington voters are concerned about climate change, and young people, people of color, and voters in King County are concerned at even higher levels. These “climate voters” will be receptive to I-732 if we just reach them. And the presidential election is going to mean a surge in turnout from these same climate voters. (Youth voter turnout doubles in presidential years.) So our job is simple: make sure they know about I-732 and remember to mail in their ballots with a “Yes on 732”!
  2. Compete statewide with a bipartisan strategy. Like a “50 state” presidential campaign, our “39 county” effort will organize volunteers and turn out climate voters in every single county so that we can overperform in parts of the state often ignored by campaigns. From Asotin County to Whatcom County to King County, our volunteers will find climate voters and engage communities in both Democratic and Republican districts. The electorate is eager for authentic solutions like I-732… and it doesn’t hurt that 2016 is proving to be the year of citizen movements that are gaining traction across traditional party lines ?
  3. Define I-732 and our moral obligation to act on climate. We will put climate change and our moral obligation to future generations squarely before voters, propelling the broader issue of climate change forward and increasing the urgency to act on climate in November and beyond.
  4. Fundraise. We will raise enough money from small and medium sized donors (starting with the Moneybomb described below!) to run a lean, scrappy campaign. We may not be able to buy expensive TV ads, and the evidence suggests that may be just as well. Instead, we’ll get our message out in a personal, authentic way that will resonate with voters and can withstand whatever the opposition spends against us.

Moneybomb for $15k to launch our 2016 campaign!

It’s time for Moneybomb 2016! (In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a moneybomb is a collection of mostly small donations that add up to a substantial fundraising haul over a short period of time.) We need to raise additional funds to purchase campaign software tools, bring back full-time leadership staff, and launch this campaign right. We need an additional $15,000 by midnight on Monday March 21st.

You can donate here, and we hope you will if you can…so donate here if you can be one of 100 people to give $100, or one of 10 people to give $1000. And if you can make a recurring donation at any level, we’ll count it as 10x towards the moneybomb (i.e., we’ll count a $20 per month recurring donation as $200). Even giving $5 a month is helpful! (And please forward this email to your family and friends.)

To quote campaign co-directors Kyle and Duncan: “The legislature is showing us yet again that we cannot wait any longer for someone else to address climate change; we are the ones we’ve been waiting for all along, and 2016 is a can’t miss opportunity. This is our shot. Our funding, like everything else, has been grassroots. It’s come from more than 1,000 ordinary citizens who wanted to put climate change in front of voters in 2016.”

Now, will you help us win at the ballot? And will you share this email with others who might do the same?

PS: Don’t forget, donations of $200 or more get you a free signed copy of my Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change. I’d be happy to sign it to you or to somebody on your gift list, and if you’d rather have one of my Cartoon Econ books or one of Ramez Naam’s Nexus sci-fi trilogy that’s fine too. Just make a donation of $200 or more (or a recurring donations of $20 per month or more) and we’ll be in touch to iron out the details!


In Olympia on Sat March 19, the Olympia Climate Activists Convention (please register here) will be at the Olympia Center (222 Columbia St NW in downtown); the agenda includes CarbonWA campaign co-director Kyle Murphy.

All around the state, the Presidential Primary Caucuses are on Thursday March 24 for Republicans and Saturday March 26 for Democrats. *Please* email [email protected] if you plan to attend either one as they will be great opportunities to spread the word about I-732 and encourage the parties to adopt good climate policy as a core principle!

In Seattle on Sat April 9, Kyle and Ben we will be hosting a kickoff event and campaign plan session. (More details and an RSVP form coming next week!)

In Vancouver on T April 12, Yoram and Laurel will be putting on an educational event at WSU Vancouver. (More details next week, RSVP via email to [email protected].)

On Bainbridge Island on Th April 14, Kyle will be joining a Climate Action Bainbridge meeting. (Email [email protected] to attend if you are new to CAB.)

More events across the state coming soon… and if you want to set one up in your neck of the woods just email Kyle at [email protected].

In the news

The Columbian (of Vancouver WA) has a good editorial: “In Our View: Examine Carbon Tax”, writing that “I-732 is worthy of consideration. While critics reflexively claim that taxing carbon emissions would harm the economy and prove costly to businesses, a similar tax instituted in 2008 in British Columbia has met with mostly positive reviews”. As if to emphasize that point, there’s an excellent news video on carbon pricing in Canada from The National, and also “Christy Clark says British Columbia should be a model for carbon tax” in the Globe and Mail. The Longview Daily News has a long story about I-732 (and also an anti-732 editorial that is a perfect example of what The Columbian says about what “critics reflexively claim”). In national news, in The Atlantic there’s “Can a GOP Donor Get Conservatives to Fight Climate Change?” (Unfortunately he doesn’t seem all that keen on a revenue-neutral carbon tax, but hopefully he’ll be inspired by Larry Linden.)

Regards, and onward… to the road ahead!