04 November 2016

It's for the Birds, for Our State, for Ourselves

I'm not sure where this blog entry will put me on the spectrum of environmentalism, but I know where I stand on global warming.

On this year's ballot in Washington state, voters have the opportunity to decide whether to pass Initiative 732, which calls for instituting a carbon tax in the state. I previously blogged about the effort to put the initiative on the ballot in this post. I even collected signatures in support of the initiative during summer 2015, a time when Washington blew away heat records on a daily basis.

Mount Rainier and some of its receding glaciers.
When I-732 earned enough signatures to reach this year's ballot, I felt happy. That happiness faded when I saw several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, line up against the initiative because they felt it didn't go far enough in addressing global warming. I wondered where that put me as an environmentalist.

As I considered the points of those opposing the initiative, I thought of the reasons I had supported it in the first place. I concluded that my environmental perspective required me to vote for I-732, and last week, I sent in my yes vote. Below are a few reasons why I voted yes.

I voted for I-732 because I saw the corpses of starved seabirds wash up on the Washington coast in August 2015.

I voted for I-732 because I saw the Nisqually Glacier on Mount Rainier melting away in the July 2015 heat.

I voted for I-732 because I saw Washington state, the place I love more than any other on the planet, dry up, bake, and burn last year.

I voted for I-732 because the Pacific Northwest is part of me, a part I couldn't bear losing.

In the end, I didn't vote as an environmentalist. I voted for birds, my state, and myself. I hope those are good enough reasons, and I hope other Washingtonians will find their own reasons to vote yes on I-732.

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