I'm taking a break from rage-Tweeting at Elon Musk to share this news: Washington State will be joining a pact with New York and California to move ahead on implementing the Paris Climate Agreement, with or without the federal government.
Together, the states represent 10 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. The governors of Washington, California, and New York say they're committed to reducing greenhouse gas levels 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels and complying with Obama's Clean Power Plan.
Tell it, Governor Jay Inslee:
I am proud to stand with other governors as we make sure that the inaction in D.C. is met by an equal force of action from the states. Today’s announcement by the president leaves the full responsibility of climate action on states and cities throughout our nation. While the president’s actions are a shameful rebuke to the work needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, states have been and will continue to step up.
Last month, Inslee and 11 other governors implored Trump to remain part of the Paris climate accord, and Washington State has frequently collaborated with other states on climate policy. It's not a huge surprise that Inslee would take this step with climate hawk governors from other states, but it's one more reason not to (totally) despair.
Here's another: Serious climate mitigation and prevention can and must take place locally. Yes, the Paris agreement was good in the sense that it demonstrated a collective, international will to finally fucking do something about the greatest threat facing our generation and future generations of life on Earth, but it also would not have accomplished much of the work we need to do. That work has a lot to do with progressive policies we already want: transit everywhere, affordable housing, investment in the communities that will most be affected by the changes to come, and environmental strategies that take these factors into account.
Many of these changes happen first and foremost at the local level. We can do it.