Letter: Science says we must act on carbon now

I have been very impressed, recently, with the coverage The Daily Herald has given the climate crisis. It is rare that many days to go by without one or more articles about climate science, rising temperatures or political action aimed at transitioning to a renewable energy future.

Given that coverage, I was extremely disappointed to see that The Herald Editorial Board did not heed its own reporting and endorse I-732, which would create a tax on carbon. If one truly understands the science, they know that we have little time to waste to get a price on carbon and begin the work of making different energy choices. The longer we wait, the more draconian the efforts will be to avert the worst impacts of carbon poisoning. I-732 may not please all groups, or provide funds for renewable projects, but it does launch Washington state in the right direction. Other groups want a bill that is not revenue neutral. While it would be great to have a new source of revenue to build a renewable infrastructure, it would be difficult to pass such a law in a tax-averse state like ours. Once passed, I-732 can be amended to address minor flaws.

The Herald’s reasoning that revenue forecasting for the state would be less certain, is such a minor issue. It is less than the amount that the Department of Revenue’s forecasts fluctuate from one month to the next. Compared to the enormity and urgency of the climate crisis this detail is insignificant. If your readers would like a good overview of the carbon crisis, I would suggest Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Before the Flood” at channel.nationalgeographic.com.

Let us begin, right now, to put a tax on carbon. Vote yes on I-732 and establish Washington as a leader in making the correct moral choice for a sustainable future.

Gayle Leberg

Interfaith Climate Action

Mill Creek

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