After years on the sidelines, climate change appears to be a growing political issue. In Washington state a number of efforts by the governor, the legislature, and at least one ballot initiative are or soon will be on stage. These proposals claim climate change action as their top priority. But they all have financial and social aspects as well so disagreement is ensured.
Although climate change related to human activity is no longer in question, folks favoring little or no action exist. Hidden agendas masked by deceptively appealing facades are not unknown. Also our current political landscape is tilted in favor of minimal action on any issue. And criticism — justified or not — about the details of any proposal exist. These realities reduce chances for successful climate change action.
All proposals, however, should get careful consideration, none dismissed solely by ideological thinking or a detail one may disagree with or be inconvenienced by. Unfortunately, efforts promoting doubts where few exist, encouraging unnecessary conflicts, or calling for further studies may emerge. It would be unfortunate, however, if good legislation were derailed by short-term personal, political or economic interests. This is an issue worth paying attention to. Hopefully the long-term common good will prevail this year.
John Whitmer, Bellingham
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