Climate protection: Vote ‘no’ on 2117

Map courtesy Clean and Prosperous Institute.

This fall, when you get your ballot in October, you will get to vote on who will be the President of the United States. You will also get to vote on Initiative 2117. Vote “no” on 2117.

Initiative 2117 would stop current laws that require cleaner air. Currently, we have laws that put limits on how much global warming pollution Washington state can release. With our current laws, Washington state will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90% over the next 26 years.  That is what 2117 wants to mess up. It wants us to go right on polluting and adding to global warming.

I-2117 would stop a lot of projects that make it easier and cheaper for us to stop greenhouse gas pollution. To see a list of the projects it would kill, check out the Risk of Repeal map. The Risk of Repeal map lists the projects that depend on the laws that 2117 is trying to destroy.

The map above is an image from the Risk of Repeal website. It shows the locations of 1,187 projects that would be ruined if I-2117 passed. Many of the projects are charging stations for people who live in apartments to easily charge electric cars. The electrification of our ferries would be killed by I-2117, along with programs to restore and protect rivers, lakes and streams, and programs to reduce wildfire danger. The list of over 1,000 projects goes on. You can see the full list at the Risk of Repeal website.

As you might imagine, lots of organizations are calling you to “Vote No on 2117”, just like I am. They are listed on the No-on-2117 website.

So far, the 260 organizations asking you to vote “No” include the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, the Washington State Medical Association, Washington State Catholic Conference, AAA Washington State, St. Mark Lutheran Church, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Bethany United Church of Christ, Quinault Indian Nation, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Microsoft, League of Women Voters of Washington, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Amazon, REI, Washington Machinist Council, Washington Education Association, United Auto Workers Region 6, the Washington State Labor Council, the Washington State Building and Constructions Trade Council, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Washington Prescribed Fire Council, Vancouver Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Teamsters 117, the Suquamish Tribe, Spokane Audubon Society, SEIU 775, Sammamish Valley Grange, Methow Valley Citizens Council, the Hoh Tribe, HDR Engineering, the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Yakima Valley, the American Institute of Architects Washington Council, Climate Protection Northwest, the American Farmland Trust, and many more. Those organizations disagree about a lot of things. But they all agree that you should Vote “no” on 2117.

Do your part. Vote “no” on 2117.

Is this because of global warming?

This summer, we have had beautiful weather around Puget Sound. Things have not been so nice elsewhere: 1,300 people were killed by heatstroke in Mecca last month and 125 people were killed by heat in Mexico since March. It’s been 104 degrees in Philadelphia, 113 degrees in Phoenix and 107 in Fresno. There have been wildfires in California and New Mexico, and widespread flooding in North Dakota and Minnesota.

As reporters share news about heat waves and flooding, they usually omit that global warming is the likely culprit. Part of what is going on is that climate scientists used to say they couldn’t make any conclusions about specific events.  They could tell what was going on in a decade, but not last month.  That has changed.

Recently, climate scientists have developed techniques to figure out how much global warming raised the chances of specific events. These techniques are called “Attribution Science.”  Attribution Science is kind of new, and we don’t yet have great ways to talk about its discoveries.

Here’s an example: The June heat wave was the sort of thing that had about a 2% chance of happening each year (about 1 out of 60). Attribution scientists have found that, because of global warming, that probability was 35 times higher this year: about 58%.

Does that mean that burning fossil fuels (like gasoline and natural gas) and releasing greenhouse gases caused the heat wave? Almost certainly.

To understand what the attribution scientists are saying, consider this situation:  A magician says she can guess the next card. She guesses ace of spades, and pulls out an ace of spades. The magician explains the trick: she added the aces of spades from 70 other decks to the deck and shuffled the cards before she did her “magic” trick.

Before she added the 70 new cards, the chance of an ace of spades was 1 out of 52 (2%). After the magician added the 70 new aces, there were 71 aces of spades, and 122 cards.  The chance of an ace of spades had gone up to 71 out of 122 — and 71 out of 122 is 58%, just like the probability of June’s heat wave with our warmed globe. When the magician pulled a card, did she get an ace of spades because she added those cards?

It’s the same question as “Did the heat wave happen because people burned oil, gas and coal?”  Burning oil, gas and coal lifted the chances of the heat wave from 2% to 58%, just like how the card trick chances were lifted by adding 70 aces of spades to a deck.

Did adding the cards cause the magician to pull an ace of spades? I think the answer is “almost certainly.” Of the aces of spades in the deck she pulled from, 70 were aces she added, and one had already been there. Chances are that the card she drew was one of the aces she added. In the same way, burning gasoline, natural gas and coal added 70 heat wave cards to the deck that only had one before.  Chances are that the heat wave would not have happened without our having burned oil, gas and coal.


If you had family killed or sickened on Hajj this year, or overwhelmed by flooding or heat waves in Mexico or the U.S., I’m very sorry for your loss. If we stop the change in climate change, we will be able to set up new structures and procedures so this kind of thing doesn’t happen anymore. The way to stop the change of climate change is to stop burning gasoline and natural gas. If we don’t stop burning fossil fuels, the temperatures will get higher and the floods will get deeper, and I doubt we will keep ahead of them any better than we do now.

One strong step to stopping greenhouse gases, and stopping the change of climate change, is to vote “No” on Initiative 2117.

— By Nick Maxwell

Nick Maxwell is a certified climate action planner at Climate Protection NW, teaches about climate protection at the Creative Retirement Institute and serves on the Edmonds Planning Board.


  1. What is your alternative to the use of fossil fuels to maintain our standard of living?

    1. The way to generate electricity that provides the opportunity for the cheapest generation and the greatest profits is wind farms and solar. They can have fully loaded costs of $27 and $29 per megawatt hour. That includes all of the expenses of the power plant, including land, construction, operation, shutdown, and cleanup. The closest competitor is a natural gas plant, at $45/MWh. The cost to continue running a natural gas power plant that is already built and paid for is $30/MWh. That’s excluding the costs of building the plant.
      Power plants are designed to run for 30-40 years. Almost all of our power plants will have to be replaced before 2050. In general, people like to make more money rather than less. Solar and wind are the answer for more money.

      That’s why you should buy only electric appliances and vehicles.

    2. Here are two links worth reading about: WA state’s EV charging stations and what Home Depot has done. I’m told those places where you can take the stolen copper do not copy Driver’s Licenses, let alone get customer’s names. Our police are not prioritizing thefts from EV stations.

  2. Thanks Nick for that card trick analogy. I am not good at statistics but that explanation was easy for me to visualize the effects of carbon and methane emissions.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Arlene! I was very worried that no one would even try to read that part of the column.

  3. Our climate waa hotter in Medival times900 AD to 1300AD. Then we entered the mini Ice Age. Then we started warming up in the 1800’s
    This followed the ending of an Ice Age over 10,000 years ago.

    Climate has always been changing. Washington state with roughly 7.2 million people doesn’t even matter compared to the nearly 3 billion people living in India and China.

    Climate alarmist have been pushing their narrative for decades with one doomsday date after another. We have spent trillions in this country with ZERO measurable results.

    Look at actual oitcomes.

    1. Jeff that is a misrepresentation of the Medieval warm period. Those temperatures only matched ours in the 1960s to the 1990s. We have shot way beyond that in the last thirty years. And by the way, china is rapidly deploying solar and putting EVs on the road. To fix the climate everyone has to do their part including the state of Washington. And since it is the future, our state will benefit economically from doing the switch now and not waiting till the economic impacts grow from global heating. We will be ahead of the curve.

      1. You might want to look at actual China and India emissions.
        China’s Paris promise was to stop increasing emissions by 2030. You might want to consider the number of coal fired plants China is building.
        You could stop all Washington state emissions tomorrow and it would have no effect.
        What outcomes have occurred for the trillions of dollars spent in our country to fight climate change? Nothing.

        Worldwide fossil full consumption has increased every year since 2021.

        Look at facts and actual outcomes.

        Follow the money.

        1. No. If you stopped all the emissions of Washington State, it would stop 0.2% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Not only would it have an effect, we know how big of an effect it would make.

          0.2% is 1 out 500. All we need to do is do our part and then collaborate with 499 similar communities as they do their part, and then we will have stopped global warming.

  4. There’s definitely a lot of environmental grifters that stand to lose money if 2117 passes. “Follow the money”

    1. Spot on.
      It’s all about the money.
      This anthropogenic scam is the biggest gift in history.

      1. The biggest grift is from the oil, coal, and gas companies who want to delay fixing our climate because they want to pocket more money. They don’t care about the children who will have to face the disasters, food shortages, wars, tropical diseases, and huge costs of a hotter world. Mothers and grandmothers everywhere should vote No on 2117.

      2. Meanwhile, gas companies are building massive sea walls to keep rising seas from flooding their enormous plants (

        You may doubt climate change, but those big companies and the Defense Department don’t.

        Anthropogenic scam? Gosh – who to trust – you, oil/gas companies/Fox – or climate scientists?

        Grift? Who’s making record profits, oil/gas companies – or scientists?

  5. I look forward to buying an EV when battery technology evolves to a respectable level. The ongoing promise of solid state batteries providing 750 mile range and 10 minute charge is enticing. Those numbers come from Toyota anticipation the late 2020’s
    In some apps the current limited range EV’s can make sense but I’m waIting until infrastructure issues are resolved.

    1. Good for you. Drive the car you have now until the technology you want to buy is available. Then buy an electric car.

      Buy only electric

  6. I am a yes on the initiative you want to fund all those programs/projects then find another way instead of punishing the low income people that can’t afford your grift.

  7. It would be nice if we didn’t have to pay attention to climate change. I’ve got other things I would rather do.
    For a moment, it can be a break to think about the past and what scientists have learned. Here are some resources for that:

    Right now, we face dramatically rising homeowner’s insurance rates, because of climate change, even here around the Puget Sound where we are doing better than other places.
    We can’t afford to allow climate change to continue much longer.

    The millions of people in Washington State do matter. (Now 8 million.) You matter. I think what you mean is that the greenhouse gas emissions from Washington State are not very much. Washington State currently creates 0.2% of the global warming pollution. That is 1 out of every 500 tons of greenhouse gases released. All we need is to do our part in collaboration with 499 similar communities, and we’ll be all done. We will have stopped global warming.

  8. Nick,

    After that EV article you wrote, this one gave me the best laughs. You should write more (surreal) comedy, like the Marx Brothers. 🙂


  9. I do not doubt climate change. It’s been in an overall warming trend for over 10,000 years.

    Jumping to that conclusion that I don’t believe in climate change indicates ypur critical thinking skills are lacking. You even noted I stated my doubts are rooted in the anthropogenic claims. When has the climate not been changing?

    The grift? The money being spent to fight climate change which looks like wealth redistribution. If you want to believe the government’s can change the climate that’s on
    you. Have you actually read the Paris Accord? Have you seen how many countries are meeting their promises? Please pro ide facts that support the trillions already spent and their impact on climate change.

    If you do not trust oil companies (I dont), then stop using all their products. All 2,000 plus products that have enabled our society to be terrific.

  10. More broadly nationally there’s a high likelihood that after the election there’s going to be a change in the current administration’s energy policies. Opening the spigots. Unless you’re one of the small constituency that actually believes that Kamala Harris is actually viable. Cackle,cackle…

  11. For the life of me I just don’t understand those who, when confronted with rising global temperatures and more frequent catastrophic weather events, react with indifference by equating current conditions to previous eras. No doubt the planets climate has some degree of natural fluctuation. But never before has humanity had such a sizeable impact, in terms of sheer numbers of people and their polluting byproducts, including greenhouse gases, on our environment. To ignore or downplay this fact is folly. I salute Nick for his efforts and agree that all of us need to do our part in battling climate change, in whatever way we can.

    1. Did you know that 10,000 years ago Death Valley was a 600 foot deep lake? There were numerous other lakes in the region? Our Southwest was sub tropical?
      The climate has been warming for over 10,000 years. It’s not nww. You, no one, has any idea what portion of our current warming is anthropogenic or outside of our control.
      We have had several ice ages. They start. They end. The climate is constantly changing. Our earth is 4.6 billion years old. A thousand years isn’t even one tick on thr earth clock.

      You expect our government to solve climate change? What have all our trillions of tax dollars accomplished so far?
      Ypu are being played.

      1. Your claims leave a lot to be desired. To say no one “has any idea what portion of our current warming is anthropogenic” is patently false and ignores the multiple agencies and scientists who have researched this issue (for example, see URL below). Similarly, to ignore the role of humans in recent decades is foolish at best.

        1. No one knows is a fact.
          There are speculative models that are guesses.
          The only fool is someone that believes without evidence.

  12. Apparently Nick and the other climate cultists do not care that for a single home to convert from NG to all electric runs in the neighborhood of $30,000.00. Just how many households have that kind of disposable income lying around or to make interest bearing payments ? Also, wind and solar are never going to provide enough electricity for all the cultists fantasies. Better start building Nuke plants now if you want all electric, otherwise, forget it.

    1. Referring to the other side as “cultists” and “fantasies” is the same kind of cheap shoat that calling something “virtue signaling” is, a sort of rhetorical well poisoning.. Dismissing the other view as nonsense is nothing but a way of avoiding engaging with the other person with respect. But that’s climate change denial cultists for you. Perhaps address the issues actually raised the the article under discussion?

      Is there actually any movement to force conversion? Or is it rather phasing in? It will get cheaper and more efficient to build new with all electricity, just as new ways to create and store electricity will – hydrogen from water, anyone? It’s on the way.

      1. I don’t see anything on the horizon to make it cheaper and more efficient to go all electric when renovating a family house. Copper prices will continue to rise, new appliances are crazy expensive, properly sized heat pumps cost big bucks. Seems like new copper mines are impossible to permit in the US these days. If you’re talking about demolishing older homes and rebuilding with an all electric home that is a whole new layer of expense and is not green at all.

    2. Converting from natural gas to all electric is something that you need to plan ahead for.
      It will be cold out when you find out that you need to replace your furnace. Plan ahead to pick up electric space heaters to keep warm for weeks while you deal with replacing your heater. The space heaters you get now are safer and more efficient than the space heaters of 20 years ago.
      If you like, get some bids for replacing your natural gas furnace. There are folks who read this column who recently replaced theirs. Maybe they can share how much it cost them.
      For heating, I’m very interested MRCOOL’s 4th Gen DIY. That will cost you less than $7,000. There are videos of people installing them on Youtube. It would require installing a 240V line. Nationally, hiring an electrician to put in a 240V line costs less than $1,000. I don’t know what you would pay in Lynnwood-Edmonds-MLT. Maybe someone has done that recently and can share the cost?
      With the heat pump purchase, you might be able to get $2,000 back on your taxes: I would love to hear from someone who did.
      Ultimately, you’re probably looking at a few thousand more or about the same for replacing your furnace.

    3. You make a good point that retrofitting a home is a lot more hassle and expense than building it right to begin with. That’s why an initiative to promote natural gas is a mistake.

  13. No one is forcing anyone to convert an existing home to electricity. Keep your gas stoves and furnaces. But new homes can easily be built with efficient heat pumps and induction stoves which will help keep our emissions from escalating. And those who want to convert can get some financial help, especially those with lower incomes. They can get substantial rebates. For those in Snohomish County, check out

    1. So take money from taxpayers and give it to others.
      Have you seen the Nationsl debt?
      Have you seen the debt levels and underfunded if public pensions?

      Government is overreaching.

    2. Not accurate.
      In California you will not be able to purchase a NG water heater in a couple of years.
      In California you cannot buy a small engine device like a lawnmower or blower.
      In California, you will not be able to buy a gas car after 2035.
      Soviet style government.

  14. We are not talking about the real problem. Human population has grown substantially to essentially the point of out of control. Better health in all geographical areas, but exceptionally better in the major developed countries, is extending life and the time in which humans can create more human life. When S.S. was instituted in the 1930’s most people were expected to be dead by around age 67. Now, even with Covid 19 messing with the numbers a bit, people live at least 15 years longer than that on average. Countries with large populations like India and China have more and more people being able to purchase the items that contribute to global warming – more cars, power equipment and bigger homes that must be heated and cooled in most areas. We are consuming oxygen making forest lands, especially the Amazon rain forests, to create building materials for more people and more land to grow cows that fart a lot of methane pollution and require more power equipment to raise food to feed them to become food for ever more numbers of us. The climate will indeed over heat to kill off lots of the surplus humanity to bring things back into balance at some point. We won’t solve it but nature will, unless we blow up earth first which is quite possible too.

  15. I don’t disagree that global warming is man made and that information and data (they are the same thing) are good just for the sake of knowledge being a good thing to have. I just disagree that man dos use information to make good political decisions about this problem of global warming and is capable of making technology that will finally solve the problem of there just plain being too many people using the Earth. For example, we have tons of information that tells us not to even think about dumping polluted storm waste water into our precious for life sustaining drinking water resources, yet we pass city codes encouraging that very practice so we can provide for a greater population of people where there are already enough people. Rather than passing all these Draconian laws of prohibition of energy sources and telling people how to live their lives, it would be smarter to promote the ideas of trying to willfully control human population growth with responsible reproduction habits and making our living areas just more livable rather than able to hold more people. I certainly don’t see any such trends in current day Edmonds.

  16. It’s telling that many people who oppose clean and affordable natural gas power also want to tear down our hydropower dams (like the Snake River dams) which generate totally clean and super-affordable hydropower. Solar and wind have no inherent storage mechanism to save power when the sun sets or the wind stops blowing. Some advocates recommend pumping water uphill to store energy – which we already have with hydropower. Others stay silent. None oppose the gigantic subsidies paid for with our tax dollars. But when the wind stops blowing and the sun sets, we need to rely on hydropower or natural gas. Otherwise our cities have blackouts, our hospitals go dark, and lots of people start to die. Some environmentalists ignore the human costs of their ideas.

  17. Yes, do the conversion DIY. That’s a good idea. Oh, wait, unless your gas is decommissioned by a certified professional and your new electric service done by a licensed electrician you will not get insurance coverage and if something goes bad you will be SOL despite what you learned on YouTube.

    1. Many points made on this issue and it’s time to close the comment thread.

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