Can't Hardly Wait: Lefty Climate Denialism

In his admirable quest to be the better socialist City Council Member, District 4 candidate Shaun Scott is extolling his vision for a Seattle Green New deal. Good on him. This post IS NOT AN INDICTMENT OF SCOTT. His tweet is just a news peg.

However, Scott’s messaging is ironic through no express fault of his own. He tweets, “A #SeattleGreenNewDeal is about not having to wait.” But waiting for good climate policy is exactly what Seattleites, if not Washingtonians, do and have done. You can blame Republicans, conservatives, and climate deniers for this delay. But you must also blame the environmental left in this state, especially the climate change presidential candidate: Governor Jay Inslee.

In 2016, Washington had a chance to pass the single best piece of climate policy known to humans: A revenue carbon tax A.K.A the referendum known as I-732. It failed 41% to 59%.

That initiative didn’t burden working families. It would have reduced carbon emissions and nudged climate innovation in a simple, easy to execute plan. It was a win-win law that falls in line with arguably the single biggest consensus in the field of Economics. I-732 is the exact concept endorsed by more than 3,500 US economists.

But the left didn’t like it. Gov. Inslee didn’t back it. The Washington State Democratic Party,  The Washington Environmental Council, Washington Conservation Voters, Climate Solutions, Children’s Alliance, OneAmerica, 350Seattle.org (which rescinded its endorsement of I-732),  Puget Sound Sage,  Seattle Audubon, Progreso Latino, Front and Centered, The Washington State Labor Council, the AFL-CIO, and The Sierra Club Washington State all opposed or did not support I-732.

Scientists, the experts, told us climate change is a threat. Economists are the experts on how to change human behavior as part of a complex system—you know, like society. I-732 is what the experts say would work best. Yet three years later Washington State still waits for the best climate policy there is. The left’s opposition to revenue-neutral carbon taxes is a form of climate denialism.

So while much of Scott’s vision for a #SeattleGreenNewDeal is actually good climate policy advocated for in good faith, it just doesn’t seem to include the single best climate policy. For that, a revenue-neutral carbon tax, we do have to wait apparently because of some lefty environmentalists.

Nathan Chaffetz