Jan 08, 2018
Demanding "bold action" from lawmakers in Washington state on Monday, activists and indigenous leaders rang in the start of the 2018 legislative session Monday with the launch of an initiative to urgently tackle the climate crisis.
"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," said 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."
"We're showing up in Olympia today to demand that the legislature acknowledge not just the reality but the unthinkable urgency of climate change."
--Emily Johnston, 350 SeattleThe aims of the "Climate Countdown" initiative are two-fold, climate groups said in a statement: to prevent any new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state and to pass legislation ensuring the state's energy is 100 percent powered by renewables by 2028.
Given the White House's active assault on climate protections, it's incumbent on states to be leaders on the issue--and with both of the state houses under Democratic control, the lawmakers have absolutely no excuse not to pass meaningful legislation, the groups say.
The day's event, which saw hundreds gathered at the capitol in Olympia, marks just the first of what the activists say will be "60 days for bold climate action" to coincide with the full legislative session. Each day over the next two months are set to include actions aimed at holding lawmakers' feet to the fire.
\u201cTODAY in Olympia! We will make ourselves heard\u2014no compromises, no delays, no BS: we need ambitious action on climate in THIS legislative session. \n\n@washdems @GovInslee @WaHouseDems @WaHouseGOP\n@WaSenateGOP @WASenateDems\n\n#ClimateCountdown \n#LookYourKidsInTheEye\u201d— 350 Seattle (@350 Seattle) 1515418474
"The climate clock is running down: there can be no excuses from the Washington Democrats. We need bold climate action now," the coalition's call to action states.
Groups and individuals taking part in the action posted photos and videos to Twitter showing crowds chanting on the Capitol steps, tarpees on the Capitol lawn, a brief disruption during the Senate's opening ceremonies, and banners with messages including "Protect our children's water," "Keep in it the ground not the in the water," and "A healthy planet is the best investment."
\u201cDay 1 of the #waleg session, we\u2019re here in force & our voices will be heard over the next 2 months! @AudubonWA @350_Seattle #actnow\u201d— Indigo Nowhere (@Indigo Nowhere) 1515434874
\u201cSome folks here think the fate of the planet is worth standing up for. #ClimateCountdown https://t.co/1p4jtuAYxw\u201d— 350 Seattle (@350 Seattle) 1515444514
\u201cI\u2019m here at the #WAleg opening day with @350_Seattle to demand strong climate action this session from my reps Macri, Chopp, and Pedersen. We can\u2019t wait any longer to save a livable #climate @WAHouseDems @WASenDemocrats #ClimateCountdown\u201d— Rebecca Deutsch (@Rebecca Deutsch) 1515435658
\u201cPowerful images coming from today\u2019s bold & beautiful action on Nisqually & Squaxin lands. \u201cI\u2019m here for the future generations, for my nieces and nephews.\u201d \u2014 Mick Enzie, Jamestown S\u2019klallam \n#HonorTheTreaties #DefendTheSacred #ClimateCountdown #NOLNG253 #waleg\u201d— @email@example.com (@@firstname.lastname@example.org) 1515440052
\u201cHard to capture in a photo, but probably 300+ people here to demand ambitious action on climate THIS SESSION: no new fossil fuel infrastructure, and 100% renewables within ten years. A clean energy future is our only future. #ClimateCountdown\u201d— Emily Johnston (@Emily Johnston) 1515436783
\u201cFunny how early people are gathering for the start of the legislative session... Think maybe something's going on? #ClimateCountdown\u201d— 350 Seattle (@350 Seattle) 1515427197
"Washington state should be leading on climate," added Emily Johnston of 350 Seattle. "But we aren't, and we're flat out of time. We're showing up in Olympia today 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."
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