The Seattle Times
OLYMPIA — There was a telling moment just before Gov. Jay Inslee raised his right hand and took the oath of office.
He was introduced as a politician who sees climate change as “an existential threat that transcends politics.”
“More than any other president or governor before him, Jay has an electoral mandate on this issue,” Denis Hayes, organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, told a packed audience in the rotunda two months ago.
If lawmakers did not grasp the significance of those remarks then, they do now.
"I can tell you with a high degree of assurance that unless you and I and other people in our state embrace a commitment that we’re going to see to it that our grandkids have that experience, they’re not going to have it. And the simple reason is the water will be too acidic to support those life-forms,” he said.
Richard Feely, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle and an acidification expert, said the governor was probably accurate when it comes to the Pacific oyster, but the science isn’t clear yet on other species such as crabs.