As COP21, the U.N. Climate Talks, was opening in Paris on Monday, November 30th, Transition Lopez Island was hosting its own Paris Party complete with a French dessert potluck, a mock Eiffel Tower, a launch of the Green Ribbon Campaign, and a debut screening of the brand-new documentary, “This Changes Everything.” More than 160 enthusiastic Lopezians filled the Lopez Center to see the film based on Naomi Klein’s bestselling book subtitled “Capitalism vs. the Climate,” an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change by presenting seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better. Over forty people stayed afterwards for a community conversation to discuss what we can all do now to build a carbon-free future for ourselves and our children. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join the Climate Action Workgroup now forming.
And on the subject of climate change, Transition in partnership with the San Juan Chapter of Carbon WA has had a busy few months. In an effort to get I-732, a revenue-neutral carbon tax on the 2016 ballot, the Chapter committed back in April to gather 4,000 signatures and many of you have probably seen members canvassing people at the Saturday Farmer’s Market, on the ferries, and at every Lopez event. We are happy to report that we turned in the final petitions a week ago and this tiny group in the San Juans managed to collect over 5,000 names!
As Carbon WA was preparing to deliver its 350,000 names to the Secretary of State’s office (20,000 over its original goal), there was an eleventh hour approach from other state environmental groups, brokered by the Nature Conservancy, to see if an alternative initiative could be worked out that would be revenue-positive, funding clean energy projects, clean water projects, and forest health. In the end, the Carbon WA Executive Board, bolstered by hundreds of comments from its volunteers and a lack of sufficient time to craft a new initiative, made the decision to retain the original I-732. After it is validated by the State to qualify for the 2016 ballot, Carbon WA will give the state legislature a chance to pass its strong grassroots initiative. If that effort fails, look for I-732 on the ballot in November. Washington could be the first state in the nation to enact a carbon tax!