Governor Inslee and Climate Policy: Measuring Success and Failure

January 16, 2013

In his inaugural address today, Governor Inslee highlighted the need to reduce the risk of climate change from carbon emissions. He specifically emphasized the need to "replace rhetoric with quantifiable results." This is critical. Washington politicians have been heavy on rhetoric the past several years and the results have been poor.

From 2001-2009, the most recent data available, the United States saw a 15 percent reduction in carbon emissions. Washington state, by way of contrast, saw emissions decline 2.7 percent. California had a similarly poor record, seeing emissions decline only 3 percent. Oregon, called the top state in the nation for "green jobs" by Pew, actually saw emissions increase by 1.5 percent.

One simple metric would help change that poor record. Comparing strategies based on the amount of CO2 reduced for each dollar would allow taxpayers to receive the maximum amount of environmental benefit for every dollar. Continuing to fund strategies that waste time and money will simply make addressing carbon emissions more difficult and expensive in the future.

Comments

Climate Change

Can we really believe what is said by the main media? The recent claim that July was the warmest on record turns out to be a rush to report a number before all data was in. Final tally shows July 1936 was hotter and by a significant amount. Everyone agrees we are in a rising temperature trend since that last ice age. We should expect to hit records as we move up. Temperature rise has been very slow if any since 1998.
To feed the growing population we need a warmer earth with more carbon dioxide and moisture. Science is showing this to be happening.