‘Remember me, and my crazy idea? It’s happening,” read one of my emails the other day.
One of my favorite genres of column over the years has been to profile Seattle’s “windmill tilters.” These are the many dreamers we have here, who have farfetched, starry-eyed ideas, of the kind that when you first hear them you say “that’s crazy.”
So it was three years ago with Matthew Metz. In his regular life he’s a high-end tort lawyer with an office on the 71st floor of Seattle’s Columbia Center. About three years ago I featured what has become his singular obsession, with the key word right in the headline: “He knows it’s crazy, but this Seattle guy is pushing a total ban on gas cars.”
I might as well have added: “Hint: it’ll never happen.” Except increasingly, it’s looking as if it might.
Through a group he heads called Coltura, Metz has been relentlessly agitating behind the scenes that efforts to combat climate change with things like carbon taxes or cap-and-trade plans may be too complex and confusing to the public. His notion for what to do about fossil-fuel powered cars, borrowed from other countries like Norway, is simple enough to print on a T-shirt: Just get rid of them.