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It is gratifying that the carbon-fee measure, Initiative 1631, seems headed for the ballot. Not surprisingly, big oil opposes the measure, which tells us it’s a good initiative for our environment and our climate.

If we think that droughts and extreme weather patterns will not disrupt agriculture, think again. If we think ocean acidification will not affect our fisheries, ask any southern-resident orca. If we think wildfires and hurricanes are just a statistical aberration, well … If we think expanding populations of disease-carrying ticks, spreading northward, will reverse, then you should buy my Florida swampland.

What do all these climate effects have in common? Higher prices. Higher taxes and insurance rates to repair or protect ourselves from hurricane and wildfire damage. Higher food prices from crop failures and fisheries decline. More Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

The “carbon fee” is an investment, and long overdue. This investment moves us away from unsustainable fossil fuel to clean, renewable, climate friendly energy systems that are now more affordable than carbon-based systems.

No wonder big oil says “no.” That’s why I say “yes,” and you should too.

Kevin R. Jones, Vashon