The Water, Wind and Fire Tour will be coming to the Tri-Cities on Friday as one of 12 stops around the region to discuss climate change with the economy in mind.
The tour is planned by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Audubon Washington, to build the political will needed to find and support practical solutions to climate change.
Speakers are promoting the need for federal legislation to reduce carbon dioxide that threatens birds and the livelihood of the nation’s residents, said Steve Ghan, a Richland climate scientist.
The former editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research — Atmospheres, is one of three speakers on the tour across Washington state and Northern Idaho.
Speakers will address the impact of climate change on Washington residents and how to move past partisanship to address the challenges of plentiful and affordable energy, a growing economy with good jobs and managing risk as a result of climate change.
Warming weather poses a risk to a wide range of natural resources and the jobs they support, according to organizers, who will discuss “Saving our Farms, Forests and Fish While Strengthening the Economy.”
The Tri-Cities will be the second stop on the Water, Wind & Fire climate change tour. A presentation is planned at 7 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Benton PUD, 2721 @. 10th Ave., Kennewick.
Farms rely on snow pack for irrigation, forests are more prone to fires if a lack of snow leads to dry soil and fish are sensitive to temperature, Ghan said.
Ghan supports a national revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend.
The proposal would put a price on fossil fuels at the source — whether mines, wells or imports — with the revenue collected returned as an equal dividend to every resident.
An analysis of the economic impact shows that the revenue returned to the economy would stimulate many types of new jobs and grow the economy by 2 million jobs, Ghan said.
The proposed solution is designed to appeal to Republicans and Democrats, he said. It would be market based, revenue neutral, releases the need for onerous regulations because there would be no carbon cap, gives consumers freedom and promotes energy independence.
“It should be a politically durable solution,” Ghan said.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nationwide grassroots advocacy group with a Tri-City chapter that generates political will to manage climate change risk. It is nonpartisan, working with Republican and Democrat members of Congress to find and promote policy solutions to allow the market to find the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions without growing government.
The other organizer of the tour, Audubon Washington, says that the National Audubon Society’s science shows climate change is the number one threat to birds.
The tour will be in Kennewick at 7 p.m. Friday at the Benton PUD, 2721 W. 10th Ave., Kennewick. The tour also will stop in Walla Walla at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at Foundry Vineyards, 111 Abadie St.