Washington needs to ‘defeat climate change at its source,’ says Gov. Inslee

Dec 3, 2021, 5:03 AM
climate change, flood...
In this photo taken from a drone, farm fields and a road remain flooded near Sumas, Wash., on Nov. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

There has been severe flooding in recent weeks in the northern counties of Washington state that damaged hundreds of homes and killed one person.

‘It’s not sustainable’: Destructive flooding highlights need for solutions in Whatcom County

During a press conference Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee expressed his respect for the community and the local leaders who pulled together to help their neighbors through this difficult time. Inslee also called out the leadership of two mayors in some of the hardest hit cities, Everson and Sumas.

“We have the national guard on duty, which we appreciate,” he said. “We had the sheriff’s and fire department doing great jobs. We have fast water rescue that did some great rescues. And we want to thank the hundreds of local volunteers who pitched in, both to do rescues and help people with cleanup.”

Gov. Inslee said the state is going to do everything it can to help these communities through this difficult time, including repair and rebuilding.

“We’re actively looking at the damage to come up with a sum total to present the federal government to see if we could obtain federal assistance,” Inslee added. “We now have … some cash assistance. We’re making some progress on housing options that we’ll have more to say about in the coming days.”

The governor says work is continuing.

“Again, I want to really commend the community for the community spirit they showed in so many different ways,” Inslee said.

The Lummi and Makah tribes were also affected, Gov. Inslee noted, at one point unable to access food or fuel because they were cut off by the flood.

“At the same time, the Lummis have lost a lot of their Dungeness crab industry because of the invasion of a foreign species — the green crab — that out competed the Dungeness, in part because of warming waters, because of climate change. And I think what we saw during the last couple of weeks is the really disastrous face of climate change which is sweeping across our country, our state yet again.”

Gov. Inslee recalled visiting a home where the Nooksack River went through the picture window, and he says he knows those folks and more will be “victimized by climate change” in the coming years.

‘Fingerprints of warming planet’ amid Seattle area’s year of record-breaking weather

“So we’re going to have to do everything we can to protect this and other communities in the future,” Inslee said. “We’re going to do what we can to become more resilient. We’re going to have to build up our roads. We’re going to have to build up our communication systems.”

“But ultimately, we have to fight climate change at its source,” he continued. “We can’t just build up the entire towns of northwest Washington to avoid floods. We have to defeat climate change at its source or we will continue to be over swept by floods, and fire, and invasive species destroying our seafood industry.”

Gov. Inslee said he will be presenting proposals to the Legislature that he hopes they act on to continue the state’s leadership against climate change by building a clean energy economy.

“We also had a loss of our Chinook. The Chinook were damaged because of the floods in the Nooksack River, and we know how Chinook are critical to our orca,” he said. “This was yet another loss to all of us because as the salmon go and the orca go, so do we.”

“I hope this can serve as an inspiration to our state legislators to take more action against this scourge that we’re facing in the state of Washington,” he added.

Local News

MyNorthwest Staff

Kent seeks refunds for missed trash pickups as collection resumes for Western Washington

Trash collection worker solidarity strikes ended Tuesday for Western Washington as Republic Services ratifies a new contract with Teamsters.
23 hours ago
COVID-19 deaths, Snohomish County...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

‘Occupancy is virtually 100%’: Just one available ICU bed in all of Snohomish County

As of Tuesday morning, there is only one intensive care bed available in all of Snohomish County, as hospitals continue to feel the strain.
23 hours ago
King County COVID...
Nick Bowman

King County COVID cases finally trending down, but ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’

After soaring to record numbers in January, COVID-19 cases in King County appear to finally be trending in a downward direction.
23 hours ago
Rumors camps...
Nick Bowman

UW expert: False rumors about forced quarantine for unvaccinated were ‘strategically amplified’

Rumors claiming that the state would soon be setting up forced quarantines for the unvaccinated spread like wildfire in recent weeks.
23 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

New mass COVID vaccination site opens in Snohomish County

A new indoor COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at the Everett Mall on Tuesday, and Snohomish County says a mass testing site is coming soon.
23 hours ago
Washington ferries...
MyNorthwest Staff

Washington ferries move ‘most routes’ to alternate schedules amid ongoing crew shortages

Washington state ferries have continued to deal with delays, staffing shortages, and reduced routes to kick of the new year.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Washington needs to ‘defeat climate change at its source,’ says Gov. Inslee