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Hello, CarbonWA friends: May the 4th be with you! We hope you channel the energy from Star Wars (or your favorite movie) to help make climate action happen!

Making change beyond Earth Day 

Another Earth Day has come and gone with many familiar pledges and suggestions circulating to hike more, get a reusable shopping bag, or start recycling. That’s all well and good, but, with climate change growing ever more urgent, we wanted to share some ideas for how you might seriously step up your climate-action game. We often think about climate and environmental actions as fitting into two categories: “me” actions and “we” actions. A “me” action is personal action you can take (like giving up beef or changing how you commute), without the help of others, that can help to reduce your personal impact. “Me” actions are important because they help you to live your values, and because they can encourage others in your personal network to follow suit. But no amount of bicycling and light bulb changing will stop global warming if we don’t also take “we” actions. “We” actions are political actions you can take, with the help of others, to get our entire economy shifted to be more sustainable and earth-friendly. A strong climate pledge would be to take one bold “me” action and one bold “we” action this year.

We’d recommend this excellent list of potential “me” actions. But we struggled to find a great “we” list, so we’ve compiled our own list of local political actions:

  • Gather signatures for I-1631.
  • Vote, remind your friends to vote, and help to get new voters registered.
  • Meet with your Legislator(s) and urge them to start leading on climate. (We can help with this. Email Kyle@carbonwa.org for support.)
  • Join or start a local climate action group (here is a partial list of Washington groups and Citizens Climate Lobby has groups all over WA).
  • Attend a local climate event to get educated and engaged (check out this great list from Cascadia Climate Action).
  • Make a donation to your favorite political action group that fights for environmental values.
  • Write a pro-climate letter to the editor (see letters from Mary and Ed below as good examples).

We’d love to hear about the “we” and “me” actions you are taking this year so please write us via email or let us know via Facebook or Twitter!

New voices weigh in on I-1631

A few weeks ago we announced our support for Initiative 1631, the latest iteration in Washington’s carbon pricing saga. While we have some concerns about I-1631, we’ve found it to be worthy of support on balance. You can review our analysis of the policy and our official statement here. But, we think there is room for reasonable debate about the strengths and weaknesses of the initiative and we aren’t the only ones who’ve weighed in recently.

Two of CarbonWA’s most influential past leaders, I-732 co-chairs Yoram Bauman and Joe Ryan, recently shared their take in an op-ed in The Seattle Times,”Will Washington Voters Warm to New Carbon Tax Initiative?” (Full disclosure: while Yoram and Joe still serve as friends and close advisors of Carbon Washington, they no longer serve in official leadership roles and their perspective is their own.) Yoram has also shared some expanded thoughts on his blog.

Cliff Mass, (another friend of CarbonWA) recently published a blog outlining a number of concerns with I-1631. And, finally, CarbonWA volunteer Mary Stevens had a letter to the editor in the Seattle Times’ published calling for unity and support for I-1631. We’ll keep sharing updates and thoughtful viewpoints on the initiative as the initiative moves forward.

Happy Hour on May 6th

Join CarbonWA friends (including special guest Yoram Bauman!) on Sunday, May 6, at Fremont Brewing in Seattle from 4-5 p.m. for a social hour and a chance to connect with other climate activists. We won’t be putting on an elaborate program but a number of us are getting together so please consider yourself invited!

Other climate news!

Want to get caught up on recent climate news? We suggest checking out the following stories:

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May the 4th be with you!

The CarbonWA Team