Activists from climate groups across the state announced will descend on the State Capitol on Monday to demand rapid and meaningful progress on climate change. Citing the great urgency of the situation—scientists have indicated that we have only three years to forestall devastating changes to the climate system—they are launching a "Climate Countdown" campaign, dedicated to pushing for immediate and bold legislative changes. Groups from Spokane, Wenatchee, Hoquiam, Everett, Tacoma, the Olympic Peninsula, and Seattle will be represented.
The activists have two primary demands: a halt to all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects in Washington State, and the passage of a bill requiring the State to implement changes that result in it being 100% powered by renewable energy within 10 years (by 2028).
"On the Peninsula, we're already seeing signs of a future we won’t be able to live with—winter floods, summer droughts, wildfires, coastal devastation, acidifying seas, poisonous algal blooms,” says Ed Chadd, a member of Olympic Climate Action. “If we don’t act now, our orcas and salmon are goners...and then we will be. Climate change is not going to wait for us to get our act together.”
"Every day of this 60-day session is a chance to do the right thing." adds Emily Johnston of 350 Seattle. "With a climate-focused governor, a solidly Democratic legislature, and a population proud of our natural environment, Washington state should be leading on climate....but we aren't, and we're flat out of time. We're showing up in Olympia next week to demand that the legislature acknowledge not just the reality but the unthinkable urgency of climate change. Nothing they ever do will be as consequential as what they do now."
The premise of the campaign is that with the Federal government in paralysis and denial, states have an even greater responsibility to act on their own. Because Washington State is already way ahead of most states—largely due to hydropower—it can and therefore must help define the path forward for other states.
"I'm a Wenatchee grandmother," says Susan Evans of Climate Conversations North Central Washington. "With age one realizes that life is very fragile. I'm here to ask Representatives Mike Steele and Cary Condotta and Senator Brad Hawkins to do everything in their power for a quick and just transition to 100% renewables. Time is running out."