Debate surrounds Governor Inslee’s direct attribution of dwindling snowpack, ocean acidification and forest fires solely to carbon emissions and climate change. While opponents of the bill don’t discount the importance of environmental stewardship, they argue that the bill misrepresents and oversimplifies scientific findings. It largely ignores the complexity of contributing factors leading to some of these environmental conditions, focusing solely on carbon emissions.
As explained by the Washington Policy Center, while Inslee claims that Washington snowpack is dwindling, snowpack levels have been above average for eight out of the last 10 years. The state Department of Ecology has identified several potential causes, other than greenhouse gases, leading ocean acidification and dwindling oyster populations. While it’s tempting to blame climate change and heat waves for the rash of recent wildfires in our region, historical data doesn’t back this up. In addition, several other factors, including poor public forestland management and human negligence, were significant contributors to horrific fire seasons of late. This isn’t to say that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have no effect. But, they are just one piece of a very complex puzzle.
Imposing a state-wide carbon tax as a solution to climate change ignores the complexity of environmental science and does so without measurable return.
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