On October 28, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown, then Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and British Columbia Environment Minister Mary Polak gathered together in San Francisco to sign the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy.
With this signed commitment, these governments, pledged that their region, which represented the world's fifth largest economy, to a comprehensive and far-reaching strategic alignment to combat climate change and promote clean energy.
Each of the U.S. state governors and the BC Environmental Minister made a statement. Gov. Jay Inslee started off his remarks with the notable sound bite quote:
“We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.”
A video of Gov. Inslee stating that quote was also featured at the end of episode 5 of the 2014 Showtime documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously. This episode featured actress Olivia Munn interviewing and doing a profile story of Gov. Inslee on his first year on the job in 2013. In November 2012, Jay Inslee was elected governor of Washington State on a platform of combating climate change and boosting jobs for the local economy.
The video episode documents Inslee’s progress and frustration engaging Republicans when he introduced a climate change bill to the state legislature. The goal of the bill was to create a bipartisan workgroup to tackle Washington State’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The lesson for all of us:
Governor Jay Inslee may be willing to take bold action to reduce the threat of climate change. However, it is ultimately up to you & me and our generation to create the political will so that our elected officials can pass laws and create incentives that will reduce the danger of climate change.
Image Source: Brian Ettling.
“We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.” – Governor, Jay Inslee, Washington State.
Click to play, then click at bottom to view on YouTube