Hypocrisy on Global Warming

By Ronald A. Buel of Portland, Oregon. Ron is a longtime progressive activist in Portland. In November 2006, Ron contributed "Let's put the East Bank freeway in a tunnel".

It wasn't very long ago that Ted Kulongoski announced, “I want Oregon to lead the nation in fighting climate change.” Before this legislative session, Kulongoski appointed a Commission on Climate Change, which, with the Governor's encouragement, proposed that Oregon get out in front of the Western Climate Initiative and the Obama Administration with its own Oregon version of Cap and Trade. The Governor has lobbied and testified on behalf of this bill in the current session.

At the Portland City Club, in his recent State of the City Speech, Portland Mayor Sam Adams said:

This spring, the City of Portland and Multnomah County, together, with the co-leadership of Commissioner Jeff Cogan, will launch an ambitious new strategy to reduce the carbon emissions that cause climate change ... Together, we propose to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. To accomplish this, I will bring a solid action-based plan to Council by June. It will focus on real steps we can take that will cut emissions while creating thousands of jobs.

This advocacy follows up bills passed and signed in the last session of the Oregon Legislature which set rigorous State goals for limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Goals for 2050 that reduce global warming pollution by 90% from 1990 by the year 2050. The legislation sets benchmarks for 2030 as well.

Even organized labor has joined in the climate change love-fest. At a meeting late last month at SEIU headquarters in Portland, Jerome Ringo, national leader of the Apollo Alliance, a group that seeks to pull together labor and environmentalists on green jobs, spoke about the need to “save the planet” by fighting climate change. Sitting at the table at the front of the room with Ringo was Tom Chamberlin, Executive Director of the Oregon AFL-CIO. Bob Shiprack of the Building Trades Council is also on the Oregon Apollo Alliance leadership council.

With the Labor Democrats in power in both houses of the legislature, and the Governor eager to charge ahead on global warming, we must be making huge strides in fighting climate change in Oregon, right?

Well, think again. All this talk about global warming pollution turns out to be more than a little hypocritical. Cap and Trade is clearly in trouble in this session of the legislature. Without similar action by California, Washington and other Western States, which isn't exactly zooming ahead, any effort we do make in Oregon on Cap and Trade will be virtually meaningless. It seems that, as in almost every other economic matter, the Oregon lobbyists control, whether they are the lobbyists of business special interests or labor special interests. And the lobby is fighting Cap and Trade hard.

More importantly, it turns out that Kulongoski, Adams, and labor leaders aren't really serious about global warming pollution after all. Otherwise, why would they be supporting a 12-lane, $4.2 billion bridge across the Columbia River that is opposed by every major environmental and land-use group in Oregon, in large part because these organizations know that the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) will significantly increase vehicle miles traveled, and therefore global warming pollution.

At a recent Portland City Council hearing on the CRC, there was a Kulongoski staffer testifying for the Governor on behalf of 12 lanes. Kulongoski has been the leading advocate for the big new replacement bridge. Also testifying with Kulongoski for the 12 lane bridge were Tom Chamberlin, Lynn Lehrbach of the Teamsters and a representative of Bob Shiprack's Columbia-Pacific Building Trades Council. This testimony was part of what was the most intense and pressure-laden lobbying effort this observer has seen in his 40 years of watching City Hall closely. In addition to labor, support for 12 lanes included every major business organization in the State, including OBA, AOI and the Portland Business Alliance. These folks were joined, of course, by the normal group of paving special interests – truckers, aggregate companies, highway contractors, developers, etc.

As for Sam Adams, he first said he wanted eight lanes. But in weakened condition from the Beau Breedlove affair, and under public pressure from his former buddy, labor darling Randy Leonard, Adams supported 12 lanes. Adams was joined in supporting 12 lanes at City Council by people you might think were good environmentalists, Nick Fish and Dan Saltzman (but not by Amanda Fritz, who stuck to her environmental guns). Adams tried to greenwash his support of 12 lanes by touting the fact, that, in relenting to 12 lanes, he has reached agreement with the other five local government bodies, including Metro and David Bragdon, in putting together “performance standards” for the 12-;lane bridge. Adams says he wants to create a “thermostat” for the bridge impact area. But a thermostat doesn't work if all of the windows and doors are open, and that's the situation with this bridge. People aren't going to spend billions making 12 lanes all the way across the bridge, and then not use them. That's not credible.

You might ask how all of these climate-change-fighting politicians can be so hypocritical. First, they've done plenty of greenwashing on this project. They tout light rail and tolls, but those are items that, if they can be done, can be done without a $4.2 billion, 12-lane bridge, as everybody knows.

In addition, supposed environmentalist Gail Achterman, the Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission, and the paid leaders of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), have led the CRC staff and consultants in a transparently dishonest attempt to subvert the National Environmental Protection Act. The staff and consultants say that their modeling shows that the 12-lane bridge will actually reduce global warming pollution. In all their dishonesty, they have assumed that the land-use is the same with and without the big, new replacement bridge. That means there won't be any induced travel in 2030, despite the fact that there are 5,000 acres of land undeveloped, but zoned for housing, near I-5 in Clark County, many of those acres in distant Ridgefield, La Center and Battleground. When we built the Glenn Jackson Bridge on I-205 across the Columbia in 1982, we also assumed static land use, and the 20-and-30-year travel projections have turned out to be nearly 50% low in estimating travel across that bridge. The Glenn Jackson Bridge is congested at rush hour today.

Perhaps even more egregiously, the CRC staff and consultants have claimed that because cars will be traveling faster over the new, 12-lane bridge, they will emit less greenhouse gas emissions and less air pollution into our airshed. This turns the science of queuing theory on its head. Any beginning student of queuing knows that if you take a single bottleneck out of a process flow, the bottleneck simply moves to somewhere else in the process. In this case, the congestion will just move to the exits and entrances to I-5, the surface streets going to and from I-5, the places where I-5 itself narrows to three lanes or two lanes, and to the existing bottlenecks on I-5, such as at the Rose Garden where I-5 merges with I-84. Queuing theory means that there will NOT be a net reduction of congestion over-all in the system from the big, new replacement bridge, induced travel aside. The lesson is that you can't build your way out of congestion. Many American cities have learned this lesson, but particularly Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Portland is the 23rd largest city in the nation. Surprise -- it has the 23rd greatest amount of congestion.

Almost no one at Metro or the City Council believed the claims of the staff and consultants on induced travel or greenhouse gas emissions from the project. In approving the replacement bridge as a Locally Preferred Alternative, both the City and Metro formally asked for new traffic modeling and an independent analysis of greenhouse gas emissions. Achterman and ODOT have stonewalled the City and Metro on these requests, and with the exception of dissidents Robert Liberty, Carl Hosticka and Amanda Fritz, that stonewalling tactic has worked so far. Both bodies leaders who serve on the joint local government council are going ahead with a 12-lane bridge, despite their earlier reservations, not waiting for the analysis to be done to make the sizing decision.

When the Environmental Impact Statement is issued on the CRC in 2010, there will undoubtedly be a lawsuit brought under the National Environmental Protection Act. Given the precedents in federal court on induced travel and traffic modeling, that suit just may stop the project dead in its tracks, and we'll all be back to square one. That means re-working $80 million of staff and consultant work on this project. We will all be looking for a low-cost alternative to a big replacement bridge -- one that can actually be funded would be nice.

There are two lessons to be learned from all the political hypocrisy.

First, just because the CRC can hire someone who understands the politics, like Tom Markgraf, former staffer to Congressman Earl Blumenauer, that doesn't mean Tom should turn the process over to the special interests, which is what has happened in this case. You shouldn't be knowingly dishonest to subvert and trick the National Environmental Protection Act, the fundamental basis of which is honesty in assessing the environmental impact. NEPA and the courts aren't susceptible to a grand lobbying strategy, even if our local and state politicians apparently will roll over under this kind of intense, organized pressure.

The second lesson is that if you're a politician, like Adams or Bragdon or Kulongoski, it's not enough to talk the talk on global warming. You have to be prepared to walk the talk.

On global warming, for example, if you are going to set standards while remaining credible and believable, you need to be ready to prepare a plan or scenario in which you actually comply with those standards.

There are things the State, City and Metro can do about global warming pollution in the transportation arena. In Oregon, the experts say, vehicles using fossil fuels emit from 33% to 38% of all of our greenhouse gas emissions or carbon.

Let's start with what government can't do. It can't dictate the rate of conversion to alternative fuels such as bio-fuels. And it can't dictate the rate of conversion to alternative vehicles, such as electric cars. It's possible for state and local governments to find ways to encourage bio-fuels and hybrid or electric cars. But the market still is likely to continue making those decisions in America. And, both in the case of oil and autos, market forces don't currently favor rapid conversion rates. Contrary to the reality of peak oil, oil prices have fallen sharply with the big recession, slowing the shift to alternatives. In the summer of 2008, we might have expected a 12-year conversion of our vehicle fleet. Now, at the rate which we in Oregon are buying autos, the conversion of our fleet will occur over 26 years, not 12. Here in Oregon, our existing fleet has a lot of gas-guzzling pick-ups and SUVs, one should add. That's what we bought last time we bought a vehicle.

There are a number of things Ted Kulongoski, David Bragdon and Sam Adams can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Let's start with Ted Kulongoski.

Moving on to David Bragdon:

Moving on to Sam Adams:

Comments

  • George Anonymuncule Seldes (unverified)
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    Welcome to the wreckage of environmental policy in Oregon, thanks for noticing. Big Green in Oregon has turned into a cover for Big Biz. The megabridge is one, the biofuels scams are another.

    Combined they paint a damning portrait of what a formerly progressive state has become, which is a state unwilling to actually restrain itself in any way today in order to provide for the well-being of the future. Add the nonsense projections of millions of new residents (attracted by all the jobs and affordable housing I guess) driving even more sprawl and creating pressure for even more expansions of urban growth boundaries and you have a system that runs amok, paying lip service to doing something about the climate crisis while merrily making investments that worsen the problem.

    Consider the Big Green position on the Boardman coal plant the state's number one source of greenhouse emissions: spend hundreds of millions on scrubbers that will make the plant operate LESS efficiently, causing it to burn MORE coal per unit of power produced, releasing MORE CO2 every day, while ensuring that ratepayers will fight to the death to prevent closure of the plant (because you just made them pay $400 million to add those scrubbers).

  • (Show?)

    While agreeing with much of Ron’s post, let me put two more initiatives on the table for those who care about climate change and our transportation future:

    (1) A substantial, revenue neutral gas tax: We need to influence the pricing system of our market economy to get the price of gas back up over $4 per gallon. At that point, from our recent experience, people start to change their behavior – driving less, using alternative transportation, and buying much higher gas mileage cars. We need to do this not only to reduce carbon emission, but to bring home some of the $700 billion a year we now send abroad for oil, to reduce our funding of petro-states that are often our enemies and tyrants to their own peoples, to reduce the strategic importance to us of the Middle East, and to give market incentives for alternative forms of energy and transportation. We can phase such taxes in and rebate them through some equitable means (reduced payroll taxes, direct checks to car owners or drivers). I know gas taxes are politically toxic. But they are the most important walk that follows talk.

    (2) Engage China and India directly. We are not going to make much of an impact on climate change in Oregon. As Tom Friedman wrote: “As goes China, so goes planet earth.” It makes no sense for us to increase our energy and transportation costs in order to reduce carbon emissions without having a strategy to persuade China, India and the other larger emerging economies also to reduce their emission. I do not think that the traditional nation-to-nation treaty negotiations will get us there. We need new ideas. There are bills before this session of the legislature to develop more Mandarin programs in our schools and to send many more high school students to study in China, India, and all over the global. These bills should also be seen as part of a broad strategy to prevent global warming and climate change.

  • Stephan Andrew Brodhead (unverified)
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    It takes one acre of land to produce 8.75 gallons of Bio Diesel ($27.00 dollars worth)! It also takes fossil fuel to farm the land!

    Ethanol although a good 10% additive for smog reduction also takes copious diesel to farm.

    When farmers grow corn for fuel, it drives up the price of food stocks for Cattle, as well as people. Milk producers have to pay more for feed. This drives up the price of all dairy products. Ranchers have to spend much more on cattle feed, so, fattening a cow on a feedlot goes up. Cereal goes up. All food goes up in price.

    Then their is clean and safe nuclear power and lithium ion-battery technology.

    Very soon commuters will be able to go back and forth to work without ever using fossil fuels.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/media/press_room.php?id=1284

    Why doesnt Obama give Tesla Motors money?

    Democratic energy policies are zero sum games!

    www.IraqEraVeteranGIBill.com

    www.StephanAndrewBrodheadForCongress.com

  • Cam (unverified)
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    If this topic interests you, come see Peter Defazio and Bill Bradbury debate the Cap and Trade issue next Tuesday in Eugene. http://lanebus.org/brewhaha-cap-and-trade-aganza/

  • Linley (unverified)
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    Well, that's good. Cap and trade is a bad policy. Like the current carbon offset programs, all it will lead to is endless amounts of fraud and little reduction in carbon emissions.

    The only sure way to change people's behavior is to change the cost structure. Oregon should institute a carbon tax on all fuels, just like a gas tax. Yes, we don't know how to price that tax yet, but one must start low and phase it in over time in any case. Time will tell how much it should be.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    Mr. Buel's ire-provoking (at least to me) diatribe leads to make a simple response, paraphrased from Bjorn Lomborg:

    We must make sure that the "cure" for global warming isn't worse than the disease.

    Mr. Buel's economy-destroying proposals are a good example of such a "cure." He has completely forgotten about the role of freight, moved by trucks, to our economy, and the wastage resulting from an inadequate bridge.

  • Mimi (unverified)
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    Hypocrisy on Global Warming

    is wringing your hands in angst while providing the widest read platform for those trying to sabotage discussion and pollute the data stream with malice of forethought.

    Have some editorial standards about the constant reposts of misinformation by billy, Terry Parker, richard, etc., or accept that you're giving those trolls a pretty visible platform to introduce lots of Oregonians to their deliberate, self-vested, misinformation.

    I guess there's not a quorum without a self-aggrandizing windbag, though. That is, unless Zarathustra changed his name to Stephan Andrew Brodhead. This one sounds younger. Figures. At least Z didn't sound long for the world and there was hope of relief.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    build their way out of congestion, which doesn't work

    Ron, don't you think there is some kind of middle ground on this issue? Taken to the extreme, would you argue that if we just had the rutted dirt roads of Portland circa 1880, we would be living today in a green eden? In my view, there is room for compromise. We are going to have to build new, higher capacity roads for all the new, higher capacity people moving here. At the same time, the UGB and other forward-thinking policies limit our sprawl and limit our environmental impact, and to the extent we can develop new policies that will do even more, we should. Arguing that the road capacity that we have today is the absolute max and should never again increase just seems unrealistic.

    Also, your post goes after "lobbyists" and "special interests" as the cause of our problems, but you ARE a lobbyist, and the environmental groups that oppose the CRC ARE special interests. What you really seem upset about is that your lobbyists and special interests didn't win the debate.

  • AntonioSosa (unverified)
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    More and more scientists and thinking people all over the world are realizing that man-made global warming is a hoax that threatens our future and the future of our children. More than 700 international scientists dissent over man-made global warming claims. They are now more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. http://www.climatechangefraud.com/content/view/3562/218/

    Additionally, 32,000 American scientists have signed onto a petition that states, "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate…" http://www.petitionproject.org/index.html

    "Progressive" (communist) politicians like Obama seem determined to force us to swallow the man-made global warming scam. We need to defend ourselves from the UN and these politicians, who threaten our future and the future of our children. Based on a lie, they have already wasted billions and plan to increase taxes, limit development, and enslave us.

    If not stopped, the global warming scam will enrich the scammers (Gore and Obama’s Wall Street friends), increase the power of the United Nations and communists like Obama, and multiply poverty and servitude for the rest of us.

  • (Show?)

    I'd argue environmental groups aren't special interests - they're public interest groups.

    Linley, you wrote:

    Cap and trade is a bad policy. Like the current carbon offset programs, all it will lead to is endless amounts of fraud and little reduction in carbon emissions.

    Do you have any evidence for this claim? Cap and trade systems are proven to succeed. That's what the sulfur dioxide cap and trade system did in the 1990s - dramatically reduced pollution at low cost. That's what the European system is currently doing (after an admittedly rocky start).

    The only sure way to change people's behavior is to change the cost structure.

    Cap and trade systems DO change the cost structure. They create an economic incentive to reduce pollution, as those reductions are then commodities that can be sold.

    NOW, back to discussing the MegaBridge that costs $5000 for every household in the region.

  • George Anonymuncule Seldes (unverified)
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    @ Miles: "Arguing that the road capacity that we have today is the absolute max and should never again increase just seems unrealistic."

    Arguing that you can do anything other than stop increasing paved surfaces is what seems unrealistic. Unless you want to sprawl out, you are talking about taking more and more of a fixed area (within the UGB) and giving it over to cars, all to encourage and reward people for driving.

    Obviously the roads of pre-automobile Portland are inadequate for the auto dominated city. But it does not follow that increasing roads does anything to reduce congestion. In fact, the opposite is correct.

    The bottom line is that the Road Gang is using the arguments about freight mobility to get what they've always wanted, which is a wide-open sprawl conveyor to benefit North Clark County developers.

    All of the so-called "thermostat" demand management measures should be implemented now to be tested and validated before they can be used as a guide for judging the environmental impact of the new bridge. Of course, the proponents of that particular sham don't want that -- because to the extent these "no build" controls work, they defeat the argument for a new bridge; and to the extent that they don't work, they prove that the new bridge will not reduce congestion or greenhouse emissions.

  • Stephan Andrew Brodhead (unverified)
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    I guess there's not a quorum without a self-aggrandizing windbag, though. That is, unless Zarathustra changed his name to Stephan Andrew Brodhead. This one sounds younger. Figures. At least Z didn't sound long for the world and there was hope of relief

    This went over my head! Could you explain the Long for The world thing?

    www.StephanAndrewBrodheadForCongress.com

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Though I'm not a fan of cap and trade, it might be better than nothing, which is what I'm afraid we will get on fighting global warming. If the world economy remains mired in recession, the will to invest in CO2 and CH4 emission reductions will dissolve. If the economy recovers, China and India will burn more and more fossil fuel, enough to overwhelm any reductions made by North Americans and Europeans.

    Though talking about global warming and sustainability is a good way for politicians to curry favor with voters, doing something substantial about either is a bad way to curry favor with campaign contributors. Let's not kid ourselves - it's the latter group that has the greater influence on policy. Elected official may seem hypocritical if you listen to what they say. If instead you gauge their economic interests, then their policy decisions usually make perfect sense.

    Miles fails to see the difference between blanks and live loads with

    Also, your post goes after "lobbyists" and "special interests" as the cause of our problems, but you ARE a lobbyist, and the environmental groups that oppose the CRC ARE special interests. What you really seem upset about is that your lobbyists and special interests didn't win the debate.

    It's true that anyone can lobby. Environmental groups even have paid lobbyists. It's lobbyists backed by large potential campaign contributions that move policy, though. That means lobbyists for the oil, gas and coal industries, manufacturers, building contractors, financial services, shippers, and to a less extent, labor unions have major clout. Environmental groups do not.

    Of course, we can't have such a discussion without AntonioSosa or his ilk claiming that "More and more scientists and thinking people all over the world are realizing that man-made global warming is a hoax...."

    So it goes.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Tom, when you claim that environmental groups do not have clout, you must be referring to elected officials outside the City of Portland, right? Because OLCV is one of the most sought-after endorsements of Portland politicians. They could easily derail any politician in the Portland area who crosses them. I think the idea that the energy industry is going to have any clout with Sam Adams if he runs for reelection is foolish. Look at this last election, and I think you'll find most of Adams' campaign contributions come from liberal groups, including environmentalists.

    Maybe, he and other officials who are supporting the 12 lane bridge looked at the various data and decided that this is an area where they should compromise? Maybe they're looking at the interests of the City as a whole, rather than the specific interests of the environmental groups? I think it's fine to disagree with that decision, but I don't like the way that Ron tries to turn it into the big bad business lobby versus the rest of us. The Mayor is as green as they come, and his vote on this doesn't change that.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    The big bad business lobby is not alone. Captured government agencies and unions often cooperate in pushing for unwise spending.

    I don't mean to belittle OLCV, but most politicians will be swayed more by $$$ than by endorsements, unless those endorsements appeal to single-issue voters, i.e., abortion opponents, gun rights enthusiasts, tax cutters. Also, when so many elected officials migrate to the dark side, it's tough for OLCV to make a useful differentiation.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Big success story Evan? I think you are imagining things.
    http://communities.canada.com/calgaryherald/blogs/hannaford/archive/2009/03/16/climate-change-less-co2-less-jobs-it-s-that-simple.aspx

    Climate change: Less CO2, less jobs. It's that simple.

    03-16-2009 Nigel Hannaford

    If you want to know what an economy that pumps out less carbon dioxide is like, look at Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Factories closed, growing numbers of jobless, people driving less because they have nowhere to go, government deficits. As it happens, it’s the U.S. debt crisis that’s done it to us. When the air comes out of the tires of your biggest trading partner, look out. However, it’s also what a well-meaning climate-change lobby felt was pain worth risking for the sake of the planet, when it recommended a regimen of emission caps and/or carbon taxes to reduce C02 emissions in Canada. How do you like it so=2 0far?

    There is no AGW and no need to reduce CO2. The vast policies abouyt to attempt to do so will fail to reduce anything while adding misery to the lives of everyone.

    CO2 is not pollution and higher taxes and energy costs resulting from trying to reduce emissions will run up the price of everything for no reason what so ever.

  • jim (unverified)
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    It is ironic - the 'leaders' of the 'leading' green city in the 'leading' green state are fighting to drive the region over the carbon cliff - a fall from which we will probably never be able to climb out and reach our greenhouse gas goals.

    Their decisions are the result of a relentless campaign, of which the CRC analysis was part and parcel. The Smart Bridge option (reinforce the existing structure, build auxiliary local traffic and transit/ped bridge, and straighten out the access point; coupled with proven traffic demand strategies) was never analyzed in the DEIS options.

    The Smart Bridge option would be less than half the cost, be as or more effective in relieving congestion, and would actually help in reducing emissions.

    But the process was run from the beginning by ODOT, WASHDOT and their masters - and was cannily designed to ensure that none of the DEIS alternatives were viable - the alternatives were straw men that served their purpose well.

    So the CRC steamroller has swept up many good people in its wake - including Kulongoski, Burkholder, and now Adams - and may deliver to all of these folks' greenhouse gas intentions 'the unkindest cut of all'.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    The definitive expose of the global-warming conspiracy is HERE.

  • George Anonymuncule Seldes (unverified)
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    If only we could think creatively rather than trying to replicate again and again what has been shown not to work.

    Watch this video and note what Jaime Lerner advises at the end.

    http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/curitibas-brt/

    What if we limited ourselves to $420 million for addressing the Columbia River Crossing issues? What would we do? And what if we said we only had $42 million?

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    We can think creatively, George, but we can't get political support for policy that does not please those with the most political power.

    Consider peace. Almost no people enjoy being shot at or having bombs dropped on them. Only a small minority of damaged souls enjoy doing these things to others. Yet, we have war after war on this planet, even though we have good documentation of the waste and misery that will be wrought.

    Why? Because people with economic power use it to gain political power, and war is useful for stealing resources and selling profitable weapons and services.

    A 12-lane bridge over the Columbia is a lot like war. It's wasteful, it's destructive, and it will make some powerful people a lot of money, both directly and indirectly. Until we rearrange our politics to empower the many instead of the few, we will continue to fight wars and build 12-lane bridges.

  • Anthrogenic Solar Chaos (unverified)
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    deep solar minimum http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/01apr_deepsolarminimum.htm A 50-year low in solar wind pressure: A 55-year low in solar radio emissions:

    A 12-year low in solar “irradiance”:

  • Doug Allen (unverified)
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    Until now, "green" politicians have bought into the CRC scam for the same reasons that well-off, intelligent people put their money into Bernard Madoff's funds. Self-deception, greed, and social-networking.

    If the CRC is a done deal, with Federal Money a sure thing, then it is hard to resist signing on. Tom Markgraf's role was to convince the Smart Money that this project was going to happen, and folks might as well go for bike lanes, light rail, a signature bridge or whatever.

    The CRC is not just a bad idea, it is a Dog in the Manger preventing us from moving forward with better, more cost-effective transportation projects that would, among other things, help move freight. Fortunately, the major environmental groups in Portland, especially the Bicycle Transportation Alliance which had given conditional support for a "green" version of the CRC, now realize that they were taken for a ride, and have come out in opposition. There is a rally this Sunday, April 5, at noon in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The Oregonian is clearly worried about the viability of the CRC, as shown by their recent hyperventilating editorializing against the BTA position. That gives me hope.

  • George Anonymuncule Seldes (unverified)
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    As Jim Howell of AORTA (Assoc. of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates) pointed out on the KBOO bike show, everyone said the Mt. Hood Freeway was a done deal and that nothing could be done to stop it -- until it was stopped!

    BTA blog has a link to the program.

  • (Show?)

    We're all hypocrites, Ron. How much meat and dairy have you consumed this week? Did you unplug all your unused appliances today?

    I could take the train from Eugene to see my folks in PDX, but it's far more convenient and cheaper to drive.

    But I agree: we should hold our elected leaders to a higher standard and push all candidates for office to "live their convictions" and do as they say.

  • Randy Spelling (unverified)
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    <h2>Good point Andrew. It is so easy to bask in that feeling of righteousness and forget that we are all guilty of hypocrisy.</h2>
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