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

Judge, pot shop robbery...
Lisa Brooks

Corrections Department pays $600,000 settlement in sexual harassment lawsuit

Washington's Corrections Department has agreed to pay $600,000 dollars to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former student intern.
9 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

‘A double life’: Skagit County pastor accused of dealing drugs, money laundering

A Skagit County pastor who “admitted he leads a double life” was arrested in January with nearly three pounds of methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine
9 hours ago
A shopper checks out an item in a Target store in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Friday, t...
Associated Press

US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December

The Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge eased further in December, and consumer spending fell -- the latest evidence that the Fed's series of interest rate hikes are slowing the economy.
9 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Western Washington Gets Real: Pacific Northwest native wowing the opera world

Her astonishing voice has been heard around the world, but it was discovered and nurtured right here in the Pacific Northwest.
9 hours ago
Nicole Jennings

Seattle attorney representing 737 MAX victims’ families weighs in on Boeing arraignment

A Seattle attorney representing 50 of the families of victims of the Boeing 737 MAX crashes gives his take on the fraud charge against Boeing.
1 day ago
Frank Sumrall

Seattle finally experiences first 5 p.m. sunset of 2023

Ninety days have passed since Seattle saw a sunset at or later than 5 p.m., but the city will enjoy its first 5 p.m. sunset this week.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Washington needs to ‘defeat climate change at its source,’ says Gov. Inslee