American Elephants

VOTE NO on Initiative 1631. Here’s Why. by The Elephant's Child
November 3, 2018, 2:23 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: ,

Here in Washington State, we have two initiatives on the ballot. They get identified by number because there is no short snappy name for rather complicated issues.

Initiative 1631, as the voters pamphlet describes it “is a measure that would charge pollution fees on sources of greenhouse gas pollutants and use the revenue to reduce pollution, promote clean energy, and address climate impacts, under oversight of a public board.”
In reality, the measure would charge pollution fees on something that is not a pollutant – carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide or CO² is not only not a pollutant, it is what each of us exhale each time we breathe. It is a natural fertilizer for plants, and the slight increase in CO² in the atmosphere is greening the world, and helping to feed hungry people. Here is celebrated climatologist Richard Lindzen:

Now here is the currently popular narrative concerning this system The climate, a complex multifactor system, can be summarized in just one variable, the globally averaged temperature change, and it is primarily controlled by the 1-2% perturbation in the energy budget due to a single variable – carbon dioxide – among many variables of comparable importance.
This is an extraordinary pair of claims based on reasoning that borders on magical thinking. It is, however, the narrative that has been widely accepted, even among many skeptics.
Many politicians and learned societies go even further. They endorse carbon dioxide as the controlling variable and although mankind’s CO² contributions are small compared to the much larger but uncertain natural exchanges with both the oceans and the biosphere, they are confident that they know precisely what policies to implement in order to control carbon dioxide levels.

“Clean energy sources” refers to wind and solar energy, which does not work to provide the energy a state or community requires. Wind is too intermittent, and creates power only in the rare times that the wind blows at the right speed. It does not blow steadily even in the windiest spots. Solar energy is too diffuse to be depended on, and when there are clouds, there isn’t any, nor is there any at night. Our own governor, Jay Inslee has been trying to get a carbon tax passed, but the legislature has not obliged. The tax would sharply raise the price of energy steadily until 2035 when it would be a 59¢ extra tax per gallon on gasoline, aside from federal taxes. It would cost the average household $440 more per year in 2020, and $990 per year in 2035, and because of the energy tax would raise the cost of everything.  Governors and politicians are always tempted by the potential of new taxes, because having the money to do things that the people might like helps to get reelected. Noble causes like “reducing pollution” also help, but CO² is not a pollutant, however this is a test case for installing a carbon tax across the country.

Iniative 1634 prohibits new or increased local taxes, fees, or assessments on raw or processed foods or beverages (with exceptions) or ingredients thereof, unless effective by January 15, 2018 or generally applicable.

We do not need new taxes on our food. Bad idea.

Governors and Legislators would attract more voters by showing us how they can cut the cost of government while improving governance, but that never seems to occur to them as a possibility.

4 Comments so far
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Washington has a ton of non-CO2-producing power opportunities, besides nuke.

You know, the dams.

Which they keep trying to destroy, and special defined out of “clean” energy.


Comment by Foxfier

If I remember correctly, some years ago the Seattle City Council (or perhaps it was King County) thought it would be wise to take out the dams in the Columbia River to save the salmon or some such other noble environmental effort. They were finally persuaded to cross the mountains, and see the dams they were so eager to tear out. And then they saw the size, and the size of the river, and said “Oh!”


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Ooops! I managed to accidentally delete your comment to which I was going to reply that you seemed to know the tribal situation pretty well. I cannot figure out how to retrieve the comment, sorry.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Oh, and I am familiar with the tribal politics from living in the Methow.


Comment by Foxfier

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