The Washington State Dept. of Ecology Climate Change website offers fantastic information:
Washington is especially vulnerable to climate change because of our dependence on snow pack for summer stream flows and because the expected rise in sea levels threatens our coastal communities
Extreme weather, a warming Pacific Northwest, reduced snow pack and sea level rise are four major ways climate change is disrupting Washington’s economy, environment and communities.
Washington is unlike other states. Because of our extensive hydropower resources, power generation is not as significant of a source of greenhouse gas emissions as in other states. In Washington, more than 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are associated with transportation (cars, trucks, planes, and ships). This means individuals can make a big difference in reducing our contribution to global warming.
The State of Washington is taking climate change seriously. In February 2007, Governor Gregoire signed an executive order establishing goals for reductions in climate pollution, increases in jobs, and reductions in expenditures on imported fuel.
Washington state has already taken action to cut emissions by 20% by 2050 and those actions include:
* Reducing CO2 emissions in newer cars and light trucks by more than 30% and in SUVs by 25%,
* Adopting renewable fuels standards for transportation by requiring 2% of fuel sold is biodiesel or ethanol,
* Instituting high-performance green building standards and having one of the most energy-efficient building codes in the nation,
* Passing a clean renewable energy initiative, and
* Implementing electric utility conservation programs.
But you can help too. Everyone can make a vital difference. Little things add up, and we each can do many “little things” to prepare for and slow climate change, such as:
* Ride a bus; carpool more; walk or use a bicycle for local trips
* Reduce energy use at home by adding insulation or purchasing energy efficient appliances
* Purchase compact fluorescent lights and adjust your thermostat
* Plant trees and vegetation
Water Resources Program
Department of Ecology
Air Quality Program
Department of Ecology