Climate change threatens every aspect of our lives. Because climate change is heating our atmosphere, diseases carried by mosquitoes, such as the Zika virus, malaria and West Nile, are now infecting people in the U.S.
Fresh water is already becoming a scarce commodity in Washington as Cascade glaciers retreat and disappear. Changes in snowmelt and in the timing of stream flow is reducing water supplies, creating deficits for human consumption, irrigation, hydropower and aquatic species.
Many high-altitude animals, such as the pika, have nowhere to go as the climate warms. Forests are dying due to increased fires and insects which no longer die over the winter due to warmer temperatures. Heat waves are threatening yields for major crops, tree fruits and grapes.
As citizens of Washington, we have the opportunity to vote for a solution to mitigate climate change. Vote for Initiative 732, a revenue-neutral carbon tax that will help move us away from climate-change-causing fossil fuels to the clean energy economy.
The revenue goes to reduce the state sales tax by a full point, reduce business taxes on manufacturers to address competitiveness concerns, and fund a working families rebate that will provide up to $1,500 a year to 460,000 low-income households.
Laura Connolly, Richland