November 02, 2016

If you are undecided about I-732, read this before you vote.

Initiative I-732, the revenue neutral carbon tax swap, is perhaps the most important Washington ballot measure of the decade.

It offers a powerful tool for taking on global warming by reducing carbon emissions in Washington State and could well serve as a model for the rest of the nation.

It offers the chance of a lifetime to improve Washington's highly regressive tax structure, thus aiding low-income families.

The national media has been headlining the importance of I-732 in the battle to stop global warming (see below)

So if you are a Washington State resident, let me give you some reasons to vote for I-732:

1.   Leading climate scientists support I-732.    These are the folks that understand the threat better than anyone.   Example include over 50 University of Washington climate scientists and James Hansen, perhaps the most well known climate scientists in the nation.

2.  Leading economists support I-732.  These are individuals with a deep knowledge of the most effective economic tools for reducing CO2 emissions.  A sample of several dozen economists on all sides of the political spectrum can be found here.

3.  Political leaders on both sides of the political aisle support I-732.   Such as Slade Gorton,  Jim McDermott, Rob McKenna, Mike McGinn,  Gerry Pollett, Bill Finkbeiner, Brady Walkinshaw, Ron Sims, Steve Litzow, and many more.

4.  Major environmental and green organizations support I-732.  Such as the WA Audubon Society, Cascadia Climate Action, Green Party of Seattle, Green Party of SW Washington, Citizens Climate Lobby, Olympic Climate Action, New Progressive Alliance, Climate Action Ministry, and many more.

5.  Washington has the most regressive tax base in the country.  I-732 will radically improve this by reducing the sales tax a full one-percent and providing a tax credit for up to 400,000 low-income families in the state.

6.  Political organizations around the State support I-732.  Examples include:  2nd Legislative District Democrats, 5th Legislative District Democrats, 10th Legislative District, 18th Legislstive District Democrats, 20th Legislative District Democrats, 26th Legislative District Democrats, 32nd Legislative District Democrats, 36th Legislative District Democrats, 38th Legislative District Democrats, 40th Legislative District Democrats, 42nd Legislative District Democrats... and many more.

7.  The arguments against I-732 are false and easily disproved.  For example, some have claimed that I-732 is not revenue neutral and would pull money from state coffers.  Absolutely false.  The state estimate was based on basic errors, as documented by the Sightline Institute and I-732 website.  Others claim it will reduce jobs (just the opposite is the case).

8. The opposition to I-732 to include coal-burning utilities and petroleum lobbyists, who care more about their profits than global warming, and special interest groups that want carbon-tax money directed to their members.

9.  A similar revenue-neutral carbon tax has been a great success in British Columbia. 

10.  The opposition has no plan for moving forward.  

This is such an important vote and one with international significance.  For I-732 to lose would be a tragedy for the State and the nation.  I strong support I-732, I hope you will too.

Need more information, go to the Yes on I-732 website.


  1. Bravo, Cliff.

    The embarrassing reason that some environmental organizations have opposed 732 is that the initiative's authors came from outside those organizations. Not Invented Here, therefore Bad.

    Thanks for your consistent support of 732.

    Abe Jacobson

  2. Thanks, but I already voted against this "progressive" tax scheme. The global warming crusade is entirely a matter of Democrats wanting to raise taxes, and nothing else. Having studied the issue thoroughly, I am convinced there is no material scentific content to the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

  3. I'm willing to take Cliff's recommendation, but one statement in the progressive voters guide disturbs me- that it would "blow a huge hole in the state budget." Still looking for a response to that, and more info.

  4. This link hasn't been posted on this blog as far as I can tell.

    It's a long but not uninteresting explanation of why 732 doesn't have the support you might expect. 15 min read.

    An over-simplified casual summary:
    Green economists are 732's primary proponents.
    The folks against 732 are a loose coalition of green and/or liberal groups that want to craft a more perfect (or at least more inclusive) carbon legislation.
    They feel 732 doesn't address many of their concerns. They are correct, it doesn't.

    732 is flawed, and the numbers seem optimistic.
    If it becomes law, adjustments will need to be made, perhaps quickly, in the courts.

    732’s opponents agree that you need to start somewhere.
    Doing "nothing" until the ballot contains more perfect carbon legislation is folly.
    "Nothing" never becomes law.

    How long are we going to wait?


  5. From I-732's piece on carbon storage in forests which you linked to:

    "Far and away the single biggest contributor to climate change is CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion."

    And so your UW compadres waste no time losing all credibility. You might mention to them that there's a Nobel prize in store if they can convincingly demonstrate that claim.

  6. Make and informed choice, read both sides first, then vote.

  7. Make an informed choice, read both sides, then vote.

  8. Dear Unknown,
    I hope you are young enough to live another 30 years then you might realize that AGW is more a "Democratic issue" than the relationship between smoking, heart attack and cancer. Mr. John Wayne was a devoted Republican. He smoked. He died of lung cancer. Cancer and AGW do not recognize political boundaries.

  9. Thank you, Cliff, for your steadfast and fact-based support of I-732. The opposition has resorted to some of the worst sorts of misinformation and mischaracterization possible, but so many credible and persuasive voices are now loud and clear in support of the measure. Today Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. of the global Waterkeeper Alliance published his support. Let's hope Washington State voters will make history with this next Tuesday!

  10. Nobel Prize already went to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There's enough "material scientific content" in the IPCC reports to reform the opinion of any open-minded thinker, and still there's more. What most impresses me, after engaging with this research for almost 40 years, is how some of the predicted impacts have unfolded along a timeline more accelerated than previously expected.

  11. I do not understand how any serious person who is curious in the scientific basis of global warming could reach Unknown's conclusions about it. As someone who studies physics, and astrophysics in particular, I think the basis of global warming is remarkably simple compared to some other things we might be interested in. And the fundamental physics behind it has been understood for well over a century.

  12. Thanks so much, Cliff, for the clear explanations on I-732. I am beside myself at some of the groups that have not supported it, and will be changing the groups that I'm donating to going forward.

  13. For anyone looking for information about the budget question. Sightline Institute did an independent analysis and found the "budget hole" claim against 732 to be a "red herring". Further, the state Department of Ecology estimates that "if no action is taken, potential costs to Washington from climate change impacts are projected to reach nearly $10 billion per year by 2020 from increased health costs, storm damage, coastal destruction, rising energy costs, increased wildfires, drought, and other impacts" We should act now, or it will cost us later.


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

The Weather Regimes of Summer

 Weather patterns tend to get "stuck" for extended periods and we have certainly seen such persistent conditions this summer.    W...