24 May 2015

Still ARFing

Two of the things I remember from my childhood are loving animals and rooting for the Oakland Athletics baseball team. The two might not appear related, but they are.

At the time, the manager of the A's was Tony La Russa, an animal advocate I previously blogged about when he retired from managing in 2011. Two weeks ago, La Russa and his Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) celebrated the 25th anniversary of the event that sparked this baseball man to action on behalf of animals.

During a game on May 7, 1990, a stray cat found its way onto the field at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. La Russa helped secure it, and after the game, he worked to find it a home. In searching out a home for the cat, which was named Evie, he discovered the lack of no-kill shelters in the Oakland area. As a result, he and his wife went to work starting ARF.

La Russa left Oakland to manage the St. Louis Cardinals following the 1995 season, but his organization and his work for animals continue today. Since 1991, ARF has found homes for more than 30,000 dogs and cats. For more information about ARF, click here.

La Russa managed a lot of successful teams, but rooting for them was even more fun because I knew he loved animals.

22 May 2015

Taking the Initiative on Carbon

Sometimes, you just have to take the planet into your own hands.

With conservatives in the state legislature repaying their energy-industry supporters by blocking Governor Jay Inslee's bold cap-and-trade plan, residents of Washington have launched an initiative to institute a state carbon tax. Carbon Washington, the group that created the initiative, is currently collecting signatures to put their plan on the ballot.

The proposed carbon initiative, which would place a $25-per-ton tax on carbon pollution while lowering existing state taxes (including a one-percent drop in the sales tax), isn't as elaborate as Inslee's cap-and-trade system. However, the results from British Columbia, which has a nearly identical carbon tax, show that carbon taxes are still very effective at reducing carbon pollution and help maintain a strong economy.

Washingtonians know it's time to put a price on carbon. Carbon Washington's plan does this and places pressure on legislators currently obstructing the proposed cap-and-trade system. When the initiative has enough signatures, it asks the legislature to pass the carbon tax. If the legislature fails to do that by the end of the 2016 legislative session, the initiative goes to the ballot for a public vote in November 2016. For more information about the carbon tax, click here.

Be on the lookout for Carbon Washington's signature gatherers, and let's put the planet in good hands.