In Houston we are witnessing a once in 500-year flood event, again. In the ten years from 2000 to 2010 the US experienced 15 significant flooding events. In this decade we’ve already seen 23. Both major and minor flooding events have increased steadily over the last several decades. Even if we stopped emitting carbon pollution today, the severity of the flooding will continue to increase. So it’s obvious that they way we managed flooding in the past will no longer work.
I believe that I-732 will reduce CO2 emissions in Washington State and in reasonably low-cost fashion. I support it and encourage you to support it as well. But will it do enough? Almost certainly not.
In an earlier post, I said that I-732, the proposal on the Washington State Ballot to create a revenue-neutral carbon tax, is “a very right-wing policy (which doesn’t necessarily make it bad)”. Since I wrote that, I bumped into the author of I-732, economist Yoram Bauman, while taking a walk in Fremont. He said something that I found interesting, that he thinks I-732 is a moderate proposal, halfway between the right and the left. I disagree, and I’ll explain why here.
There’s been a lot of ink spilt about the CarbonWA proposal to introduce a carbon tax in Washington State. Most environmental groups are part of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and are not supporting I-732, which is somewhat surprising. After a short search, the only long-standing organizations I could find that support I-732 were Audubon and Sightline (for those who want a more in depth analysis, I strongly recommend Sightline’s three part series). My goal here is to give a brief description of I-732, describe why some people don’t support it, and give my personal thoughts to its strengths and weaknesses. My conclusion is I think you should vote for it (unless you think that climate change isn’t real, in which case, go jump in a lake that used to be a glacier).