You know that definition of "insanity" that everybody quotes?

Jeff Golden

Picture 4 OK, with everything else going on, this one's not exactly on the front burner.  But one thing I'd like to know from the Guv candidates is how many chips they're ready to spend to reverse the 1990s initiative measure that commits every dime of gas tax and auto registration money to highway construction, or closely-related expenditures.

    If that weren't the law, we might not be on the verge of throwing another hundred million highway dollars at the Sisyphean task of unclogging Highway 62, the major road thrusting north out of Medford towards Crater Lake and Bend.  This particular rathole has swallowed more ODOT cash over the years than I can remember.  Yet as I write these words 62  resembles a long linear parking lot for more hours of the day than ever.  I don't think a thoughtful argument can be made that this new slug of cash will make a difference for more than a very few years.  Even local county commissioners are reluctant to accept this particular check, and in the world of cash-strapped local government, that's just weird.  Weird enough to deserve its own column.  

    We're going to hear plenty from 2010 candidates about Oregon's great and glorious Green heritage, and how it's the key to a future worthy of our kids.  Working to repealing the car-worshiping mandate on transportation spending would be a good way to show they mean it.

Comments

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "Highway 62, the major road thrusting north out of Medford towards Crater Lake and Bend."

    The last time I drove OR62 (September) it went east to Crater Lake and Klamath Falls. If you want to get to Bend you need to turn off OR62 to OR230, OR138 and US97.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "You know that definition of "insanity" that everybody quotes?"

    Yeah, it is funny how we spend more and more on streetcars and light rail in Portland and bike paths and no new highways and yet traffic congestion doesn't get better. I guess we'd better build another street car to fix that.

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    "Yeah, it is funny how we spend more and more on streetcars and light rail in Portland and bike paths and no new highways and yet traffic congestion doesn't get better. I guess we'd better build another street car to fix that."

    Except you're wrong about that. You would have to compare the status quo, to a situation where those options did not exist. Considering that Portland has about the same carbon footprint it did 30 years ago with almost twice as many people, and the number of vehicle miles is similarly stagnant despite a large population increase, those indicators prove pretty decisively that alternative modes reduce congestion. Not to mention the billions in economic growth as a result of the buildout along rail lines...

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Well, in clinical psychology, that "favorite definition" is "uncontrollably out of control".

    Maybe more relevant than the momentary flailing.

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    Okay, this is totally off-topic, but I keep checking out Jerry Wilson's web page out of idle curiosity. He has a post over there titled "How to run a lemonade stand -- profitably" wherein he uses a lemonade stand as a metaphor for the Federal Government.

    Profit is what’s left over after paying expenses. Let’s take a look at some of the expenses of our jointly owned lemonade stand, America, Inc. It is a corporation; has the same rules as any corporation (except for the non-standard accounting method). Here are the current ballpark expenses on our corporate income statement: Night Watchman’s department expense – 50% of gross sales Healthcare expense – 20% of gross sales Public employee expense – 17% of gross sales Cost of Goods expense (what we manufacture less weapons) – 15% of gross sales Selling costs (wholesale and retail) – 20% of gross sales Total profit – (22%) loss Uh, guess we should reduce expenses somewhere. Where would you start?

    I mention it, not because I am pimping Jerry's candidacy for Governor. but because I would love to see more politicians try to explain budgets in terms like those.

  • Greg D. (unverified)
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    A bit difficult to become outraged over the fact that 100% of automobile related taxes are used on automobile related facilities. Hopefully also 100% of bicycle related taxes are used on bicycle related facilities, 100% of yacht related taxes are used on yacht related facilities, and 100% of aircraft related taxes are used on aircraft related facilities.

    To the extent that general fund dollars are used unequally to support a particular mode of transportation, then I could share in the outrage. Not otherwise.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "Not to mention the billions in economic growth as a result of the buildout along rail lines..." vs. "You would have to compare the status quo, to a situation where those options did not exist."

    "Portland has about the same carbon footprint"

    Proof?

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    Using the term "footprint" is probably inexact, but the reference was to flat emissions compared to 1990 (so I should have also said 20 years rather than 30).

    As reported by the Trib.

    I don't see the contradiction in your first point relative to mine; the TOD conclusions I recall were an attempt to compare to the status quo ante. The City's development report makes clear comparisons between streetcar-vicinity development and that in the rest of the CBD.

  • bonzilliac (unverified)
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    Sal Peralta commented: ...I keep checking out Jerry Wilson's web page out of idle curiosity. He has a post over there titled "How to run a lemonade stand -- profitably" wherein he uses a lemonade stand as a metaphor for the Federal Government.

    Profit is what’s left over after paying expenses. Let’s take a look at some of the expenses of our jointly owned lemonade stand, America, Inc. It is a corporation; has the same rules as any corporation (except for the non-standard accounting method). Here are the current ballpark expenses on our corporate income statement:

    Night Watchman’s department expense = 50% of gross sales ...

    ...I mention it, not because I am pimping Jerry's candidacy for Governor. but because I would love to see more politicians try to explain budgets in terms like those.

    eh... you mean terms based on complete and utter nonsense? Geesh, don't we have enough of that already?

    The latest DoD budget is $680B (which DOES include the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, contrary to a comment in another post here recently) - $680B is ~20% of the total federal budget. I don't know what kind of metaphorical balance sheet and accounting Jerry used here to extrapolate that ~$680B is equivalent to ~50% of 'gross sales' for the entire US - but I do now know for sure I don't want him in charge of the Oregon state budget.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    "Not to mention the billions in economic growth as a result of the buildout along rail lines..."

    What a whopper!

    The "economic growth and build out", what there was, was really just government buildings and tax spending through Urban Renewal and other schemes that never seem to deliver the projected beneift or revenue.

    The rest of the State should NEVER listen to the propaganda hyping Portland area planning and spending.

    It's been a tremendous failure at enormous cost.

    If your municipallities are preparing Urban Renewal Schemes they're likely using the Portland template delivered by the League of Oregon Cities go to consultants shut it down.

    Force their plan to go before voters and have it's own bonding approved. Urban Renewal is now a scandelous sham that diverts millions in basic service general fund revenue which then must be either starved or backfilled with new taxation.

    As for the wild notion that ODOT spends all of our gas taxes on roads, that's another whopper.
    Billions have been spent on non road projects many of which mascaraded as road work.

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    Bon - Pretty sure he's referring to the discretionary budget, not total expenditures. DoD + War on Terror is more than half of all discretionary spending.

    Who said I'd like to see him as Governor? I said I'd like to see more people speak about these budgets in similar terms. What he's offered here is a pretty effective metaphor.

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    A bit difficult to become outraged over the fact that 100% of automobile related taxes are used on automobile related facilities. Hopefully also 100% of bicycle related taxes are used on bicycle related facilities, 100% of yacht related taxes are used on yacht related facilities, and 100% of aircraft related taxes are used on aircraft related facilities.

    By that logic, defense spending should be funded entirely by taxes on military contractors. I'm in!

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Jeff Goldin:

    Working to repealing the car-worshiping mandate on transportation spending would be a good way to show they mean it.

    Bob T:

    Actually, some of the gas tax money that remains here in Oregon does go to non-car uses thanks to the titles of projexts, i.e. the "Whatever Road Improvement Project" which can mean taking away a car lane for five blocks and adding a paved pedestrian and biking path through a nearby park.

    If it wasn't for the state mandate (which is not 100%), more money would be blown or other projects -- it's bad enough that billions of gas tax money sent to Washington, DC is spent on non-auto uses. You've got to admit that the truck and auto drivers pay for quite a bit of non-car projects already, while the users (like light rail riders) pay about 20% of their own costs. It might get worse -- light rail is now costing about a quarter-billion per mile. That's a Billion for a paltry four-mile stretch.

    One project that's long overdue is adding an additional lane in each direction on I-205 between Oregon City and I-5. The space is there, mostly.

    Oh, and how can you all complain that auto drivers are "not paying their fair share" when they are paying for whatever road projects that do get done, plus light rail projects and their operating costs, and bike lanes, and so on.

    Bob Tiernan Portland

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    Sal, wouldn't it be more helpful if someone running for governor used similarly "helpful metaphors" about the state's budget?

    If Wilson is primarily interested in federal spending policies, there are 5 U.S. House and one 1 U.S. Senate seat up this year. He could lose as easily in one of those races as in the governor's race.

    Not to mention the fact that his metaphor is, of course, stupid.

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    Jack - I agree that the candidates should start talking in a more substantive way about state policy. Not sure why I'd expect a marginal third-party candidate to lead the charge up that hill when none of the major party candidates have done it in a significant way.

    Does John Lim even have a web site?

    Maybe you don't like the metaphor because you don't agree that 50% of discretionary spending is too much to be spending on defense now that the Cold War is over?

    Republicans are always saying that they'd like Government to be run more like a business. How much should an efficient company spend on security?

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    Greg, Richard, Bob T.

    The problem is you're not counting all of the additional costs of what has been an "auto-only" approach to transportation, and remains an pretty close to that outside the Metro area.

    Costs like health care and lost productivity due to air pollution and the fact that we walk less than people in most other industrialized nations.

    Costs like the massive disruptions from climate change, a huge hidden "tax" on us, our children and grandchildren.

    Costs like the neighborhoods ripped apart and destroyed by the auto-only planners of the 50s and 60s. (If you want to rant against planning in general, there's your target, not the current generation doing their best to fix the damage and prevent more.)

    Costs like hours spent in solo commutes instead of with family or at work. And no, for the 500th time, you can't build your way out of congestion. Not by building more freeway lanes, anyway.

    Here are some excellent blog posts I found:

    http://www.bettertransport.org.nz/2009/04/the-real-cost-of-automobile-dependency/

    http://www.bettertransport.org.nz/2009/07/costly-auto-dependency/

    Some of my favorite quotes:

    While the Japanese walk, bike and pay three times our gas tax, we pull mere pennies from our pockets at the pump and then subsidise the car. The Japanese pay 9 percent of their gross national product for transport; the United States pays 15 to 19 percent. Europe does better too. By paying a truthful $5 a gallon, plus three to five times what the United States pays in visible car-based fees, the Japanese and Europeans have an awareness of costs. The consciousness makes them decrease their driving and curbs cars in cities. It encourages a more compact land use policy and hence promotes four to eight times as much public transport. (from a book titled "Asphalt Nation: how the automobile took over America and how we can take it back“, by Jane Holtz Kay)

    Speaking about (and quoting from) the book "Resilient Cities,"

    For a start, the book outlines the way in which many of the actual costs of auto-dependent sprawl are somewhat “hidden” from us:

    "One of the main characteristics of our modern society is that so many of the direct and indirect consequences of our consumption and other personal (and collective) decisions are hidden from us. We tend to judge our investments in renewable energy in terms of artificially truncated incomplete pricing systems that fail to adequately account for the full and true costs of our overuse of fossil fuels."

    This is particularly true for private vehicle focused transportation policies in my opinion. We don’t offset the CO2 emissions produced by our cars, or the particulate matter emissions that kill hundreds of people in Auckland a year, or the effects of requiring masses of the city being set aside for parking, or many many other hidden costs of our auto-dependency.

    So, please, don't cry me a river about how drivers pay more in auto-related taxes than they get back. It's quite the opposite. We are all paying the price for the high-carbon, auto-centric, sprawl-inducing status quo. Changing that can't come fast enough

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Jeff, the Highway 62 project is certainly a great metaphor for the useless centralized planning process epitomized by ODOT. The 62 project could have been far more effective and cost much less had local business and government been listened to.

    as to your meme - what better way to pay for roads and bridges but with fuel taxes? I mean, the recent enacted fuel tax increase by $0.06/gal was PREDICATED on increased spending on road projects. Any governor candidate thinking about taking the money for something else will get pilloried. Rightfully so.

    Oh, and the real problems with 62 are the first mile and a half. Had Medford and Jackson County planners denied some development (like the whole Sportsmans Warehouse fiasco) the existing Highway 62 would be fine.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    "Costs like the massive disruptions from climate change, a huge hidden "tax" on us, our children and grandchildren".

    Good grief. Now we have to include the imaginary?

    Isn't reality enough to deal with without the lunatic fringe coughing up the worst crackpot whoppers in history?

    There is no responding to that lunacy.

    End thread here.

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    Maybe you don't like the metaphor because you don't agree that 50% of discretionary spending is too much to be spending on defense now that the Cold War is over?

    Republicans are always saying that they'd like Government to be run more like a business. How much should an efficient company spend on security?

    No, this is why I don't like the metaphor:

    Assume you ran the state government like a lemonade stand. (And I'm going to do this from memory, but I think the percentages are close).

    You'd spend 60% training your future workers.

    You'd spend 20% chasing down and either collecting from or prosecuting people who gave you bad checks.

    You'd spend 10% helping pay the medical bills for people who got sick drinking your lemonade.

    And you'd spend only about 10% on the supplies, materials and people who make and sell the lemonade.

    Why doesn't this analogy make sense? BECAUSE GOVERNMENT ISN'T A LEMONADE STAND!

    Government basically provides us with services that are ancillary to our normal lives and businesses. The state primarily sells up education, safety and health care (they also sell us transportation on the side).

    The federal government first and foremost sells us security, not to protect the rest of its "business activities" but to protect us in the course of our lives, including but not limited to our business activities.

    And, Sal, if you or anyone else can find anywhere that I have said we should run government like a business I will print the quote out on an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper and eat it. That statement is a pet peeve of mine precisely because the people making it generally don't understand the business that the government is in.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    The lemonade stand is a good metaphor in one basic sense. The kids' lemonade stand isn't really a business. It is their play, dressed up as one. Similarly the Government isn't a business. In a country without a monarchy or much tradition, it is a costume that is donned to look professional. All this talk about gov as business and Kari's comment about taxing contractors is sounding dangerously Libertarian...

    Richard , humor me for a moment if you would. Can you make a post without any name calling or insults, just pure facts, just once? I certainly like to toss 'em around, but they are supported by facts. You just yell something inflammatory and then declare the conversation over. That is trolling. Pure reaction, no discussion. Your spelling tells me that you can't engage in a debate, which is why you resort to name calling. Just like in pre-school the "biters" are the ones with low verbal ability. Not wanting to be left out of social interaction they engage in the only way they can. My rescue cat has learned to mew rather than bite. You up to it?

    The rest of the State should NEVER listen to the propaganda hyping Portland area planning and spending.

    What a solution! "We should ignore what 42% of the state thinks in making state wide decisions".

    Hmmm. 42 again.

    Jaybeat, taking the country back from the car could happen over night. It's a matter of people not wanting it bad enough, relative to the comforts that go along with it. I suffer from ileitis and have my own business. I gave my car away 10 years ago and have no sympathy for those that say they can't get along without it. If I can, anyone can. I'm not young, either. Before people will embrace the idea, we have to get to the point where they aren't hostile to it. I have no doubt I will die a grisly death under an automobile.

    Biking the Willamette one summer about 12 years ago, I came into Eugene. Waiting for a bus I asked another cyclist about the conditions in Eugene. She said, "It's not bad. People here are more car hostile than bike hostile". That's the beginning. It's close in Portland, but I think the majority are still, at best, equally hostile, though it seems bike hostility may still be greater. On the other hand, I would rate Portland almost as good as the worst Dutch cities, bike wise. By American standards, that ain't too bad! It's still a long way to go to compete with the car.

  • shock collars for dogs (unverified)
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    Great post, had me thinking for a while. I will pass this through my friend who is a doctor in pscycology

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    Richard,

    The "imaginary" is pretending we can consume endlessly without disastrous consequences. The "lunacy" is to insist on continuing business as usual despite overwhelming evidence that it will kill us.

    If you want to join the reality-based universe (which I doubt), here are some recent updates to start you off:

    World on course for catastrophic 6° rise, reveal scientists

    African ice loss

    Climate change will hit developing world harvests hardest

    Climate change threatens rice production

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Those aren't updates.

    Good grief no wonder you are lost. They're nothing but convenient presumption to boost hysteria.

    You as well be posting the polar bear story from a few days ago. Or telling me the ocean dead zones off Oregon are signs of AGW.

  • Rick (unverified)
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    jaybeat,

    The statement about "overwhelming evidence" is akin to saying "the world is melting". Saying it more often and with more enthusiasm doesn't make it true. When thousands of scientists offer opposing evidence, then the issue isn't settled.

    Anyway, see here and here (scroll down a bit)

  • jamieeee (unverified)
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    Why push for transit?

    Transit DOES NOT save energy compared to small cars.

    Transit POLLUTES MORE than small cars.

    Since transit USES MORE ENERGY, it emits MORE CO2 than small cars.

    This even happens in big dense cities.

    Again, why the push for transit which wastes energy, money and people's time?

    see livableportland.com

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    You know that definition of "insanity" that everybody quotes?

    Would that be the one that speaks to repeating what you hear on talk radio?

    This is good summary of the most commonly repeated climate change denier myths.

    It's too bad so many scientists are integrity and logic challenged. It gives fodder for the skeptics. Non-science is hardly better. As has been posted umteen times on this blog, if your hypothesis is not falsifiable then it is not scientific. Failure to reject the null hypothesis is not evidence in favor of the null hypothesis. I must conclude from the way people brush right by that, that it isn't understood. Right wing dittoheads I expect that from. We suffer from the fact that those that should know can't articulate the points. Same with teaching creationism in schools.

    The reason they twist studies to their ends is that there are no studies to quote that directly test the alternatives they propose. There can't be. Their statements are not falsifiable.

  • jamieeee (unverified)
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    Peri Brown: This is good summary of the most commonly repeated climate change denier myths. JK: Let us know when they finally prove that CO2 is actually capable of causing dangerous warming. (Saying that we cannot figure out any other cause, therefore it MUST be CO2 is no proof)

    You might also ask Gore if it is still appropriate to lie to us (see his Grist interview.) Same for NASA's Hansen.

  • Rick (unverified)
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    Peri,

    Your charge of integrity and logic challenges is a lovely swipe without basis. If someone disagrees with AGW, or ACC, then they have no integrity? Or logic?

    Also, the name calling is not complimentary, but it seems to be too common on this blog. Can you have a civil discussion? Or disagreement? I don't claim that there isn't climate change. I don't claim there is. I claim that the science is still out. But I can certainly talk about it without being offensive.

    I often think about an old adage that, if you were face to face with other drivers on the road, much of the anger, frustration and obscene gestures would simply disappear, as our car windows, for some reason, allow us all to act horribly. I fear this blog (and conservative blogs) do the same thing. If those here who speak offensively would be face to face with real, breathing people, they would likely be much more civil. Especially those on BO who seem to claim a moral high ground. But I digress.

    Interesting that, in the article you link, the author states clearly that they dismiss claims that are, in their opinion "out of date" or "false". How's that? Not scientific, correct? Purely opinion, those standards? If I was to claim that all supporters of climate change were "false", would you give my opinion credence?

    My point is simply that there is disagreement. And that we should resolve these issues before we spend trillions to address the issue. I assume you are convinced, and that I am a roadblock in your attempt to control the thoughts and actions of the world. To "save" the world. Isn't this a bit too much like the religious you make reference to?

  • Mike (unverified)
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    "When thousands of scientists offer opposing evidence, then the issue isn't settled."

    see this article that points out may of these "scientists" are not actually scientists.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/10/us/politics/10morano.html?_r=2&hp

    Dern libruls and their facts

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    I'm mystified, Rick. That "swipe" was at the "good" scientists! It is based on the fact that I have seen everything imaginable done in pursuit of the publish or perish mentality. I've worked with statisticians for drug companies that twist the data on request. We've just gone through 8 years of "research" where you could only get funding for studies that were expected to support US policy positions. I've had neurologists that do good research tell me that they can't even consider gov funds for their research, since they can't guarantee that it'll show that marijuana destroys your brain.

    So, that was a description of exactly what I've seen. I agree about the name calling. Sorry if that's what it sounded like. I think I'm just calling a spade a spade, though.

    And I agree, it shouldn't be religion. That was my point about creationism. Faith is the opposite of a falsifiable hypothesis. One says, "I won't reject my beliefs, no matter what", the other says, "this is when I will reject my theory". There should be no conflict.

    Mike, that's how it gets settled. We have to get over this "our facts" and "their facts".

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    Posted by: jamieeee | Nov 18, 2009 4:09:30 PM

    Peri Brown: This is good summary of the most commonly repeated climate change denier myths. JK: Let us know when they finally prove that CO2 is actually capable of causing dangerous warming. (Saying that we cannot figure out any other cause, therefore it MUST be CO2 is no proof)

    You might also ask Gore if it is still appropriate to lie to us (see his Grist interview.) Same for NASA's Hansen.

    Crap on a stick. It's Carshlock again.

    Do you understand the difference between a study and an experiment? Would you like us to take two planets and randomly vary, only CO2, so we could prove it? Oh, wait, nature already did that experiment. See Venus. I thought conservatives liked studies over experiments. Easier to interpret. The point is a study can only show a relationship, not cause and effect. There is a relationship between ambient global temperature and CO2. You would have us wait forever, because it's not a causal hypothesis, while continuing to exacerbate the symptom. Your logic is backwards, anyway. You've decided that you don't want to change some area of your life, and are reasoning backward to find data that fits.

    I said that on here exactly a year ago to the selfsame JK. But you're not listening are you? It's just become a blind hate of anything that doesn't burn gas. BTW, I've noticed a correlation between saying, "let's do nothing; it's a TAX", and age. Most I hear saying that won't live to be around when the shite hits the fan. Would you really leave a fouled nest to your children so that you can have your customary comforts right up to the end? I'm betting, "yes". At least I can use my name without setting off the spam filter.

    You might also ask Gore if it is still appropriate to lie to us (see his Grist interview.) Same for NASA's Hansen.

    He's trying to be truthful, but he's a politician. Yeah, Hansen must really bug you these days. He's been saying straight out that deniers will use the democratic process to cause gridlock, until it's too late. I've compared the Dem position with their 19th century positions on slavery. It's a good metaphor. Take action, or live the hell. Oh, right. You're betting you won't have to.

  • Rick (unverified)
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    Peri,

    I must have misunderstood the "swipe". Thanks for clarifying.

    And I agree with you if what you are saying is that there is disagreement. The point I've made several times is just that there is disagreement. The response is almost always to tell me how the scientists that disagree with AGW are dis-credited or non-existent. The scientists who agree are to be trusted.

    One question I asked previously(not of you), without response, is how I am supposed to ignore the potential for a profitable result from agreeing that it's a problem (AGW). I can't really see any financial boon to anyone (with very few exceptions) who doesn't see this as a problem. But you know that, factually, science is financed by either government money or corporations who have an agenda. Research grants, etc. But the money is hugely on the side of the trillions to be spent on fighting this "problem". Follow the money? I can't ignore the money in good conscience.

    Even Al Gore (visiting Portland today) has increased his net worth 50 times in 10 years by riding AGW. And scientists who can get large grants to study this problem certainly have a financial motivation.

    But again, the response I expect from some is that "AGW scientists would never stoop to that. They are trustworthy". But even I can agree that some on either side are liars and miscreants. So I do feel that the AGW people are defending something that isn't proven.

    Do I make sense?

  • Rick (unverified)
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    Oh, and Mark,

    It is typical here for someone to say "look, dismiss this argument as it has no basis, for something else casts doubt".

    I don't know Marc Moreno's name, or his work or his website. And his "list" may lack credibility entirely. But there are other lists. One of the better ones I've found is created by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. (linked in my other post)

    Why can't you admit that real, valid scientists disagree on this? It seems pretty unreasonable to be dogmatic about it. I wonder why this is so difficult to accept. Why must you claim that the debate is over? When the facts are that it is not?

  • Peri (unverified)
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    Yeah, Rick. I think that's a valid point. I know there's been a lot of press in the UK around the phenomenon you describe and very green folks there are wary of it. It's one of the gray shades that gets edited out of the more black v white, US coverage.

  • Mike H (unverified)
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    Cap & Trade may not be the panacea we hope it will be so says this articlwe in rolling stone by Matt Taibbi (scroll to part 5 of the article). Makes you think anyway.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/29127316/the_great_american_bubble_machine/print

  • Mike H (unverified)
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    Rick my name is Mike, not Mark.

  • Mike H (unverified)
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    Using the term "footprint" is probably inexact, but the reference was to flat emissions compared to 1990 (so I should have also said 20 years rather than 30).

    As reported by the Trib.

    Mark, this is based off a CoP agency report. Given that the CoP is notoriously inaccurate (tram cost estimates, or all those biotech jobs that would flood to the sowhat district if we just build thesteel and glass hulks) I would takewhat the CoP says in thos reports as about as believable as a corporate prospectus from Goldman Sachs.

  • Rick (unverified)
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    Mike,

    Sorry, my bad. Go ahead, call me Dick (but just once) :-) And not "a" dick.

    Sorry again.

    Rick

  • jamieeee (unverified)
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    Peri Brown | Nov 18, 2009 5:02:51 PM: Would you like us to take two planets and randomly vary, only CO2, so we could prove it? Oh, wait, nature already did that experiment. See Venus

    Your ignorance is showing. Venus has 92 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth and is a bit closet to the Sun. So you lied when you said "vary only CO2".

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "the reference was to flat emissions compared to 1990 (so I should have also said 20 years rather than 30). "

    Umm, you do realize they have things like pollution controls and computers on cars that they didn't have 19 years ago?

    At least you were honest when you said imprecise.

  • Mike H (unverified)
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    Rick:

    No problem

    comcast had me as Mark Hammerton, not Mike Hamilton, for a yr.

  • Mike H (unverified)
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    Rick:

    Gore may have a confilct but he has been at this issue for a long time; did he have this financial interest back when he started on his enviro shtick?

    He may just be walking the walk.

    Also don't the oil and coal execs railing against cap & trade and/or carbon taxes also have a conflict?

  • xxx (unverified)
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    "Insanity" in Oregon is acting like the self-centered ignoramuses who call themselves "progressive" but aren't anything close, which describes the Blue Oregon crowd to a "T", are credible people. This thread from top to bottom is a prime example.

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    Actually I said you couldn't do that experiment, James K arlock!

    And I will not put up with your crap for another year. We need to have this conversation face to face. Since I know where you live, let's make it your place.

    Had to post that twice. Forgot your name is handled as unwanted trash on here. Well managed Kari. Doesn't stop dittohead spew, but I have to repost.

  • Rick (unverified)
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    Mike,

    Yes, like I said, there are liars and miscreants on both sides. And both sides have financial interests. But my personal financial interests are completely different than the oil and gas companies financial interests. As I assume are yours from the people hoping to profit from the AGW fears.

    But, I stand by the statement that trillions of dollars of spending to fight this "crisis" is a pretty strong motivator that I can't ignore.

    And I still have a problem with the people who say that the debate is over (like our president). The debate isn't over and again, the left is poor-served to label those who disagree with them as delusional, stupid, uninformed, etc. etc. I hear often that the right is divisive. Not in this case. I'm just saying that there is much more info to be acquired.

    Remember the computer models of just 10 years ago predicting warming? They were presented as scientific and accurate, and they said we were in for unprecedented warming. Now that we have been cooling for the past 10 years, the models still say warming. And the cooling was a fluke. Weren't they flat wrong 10 years ago? The predicitons were for dramatic warming and within 20 or 30 years. Now that we have seen 30 to 50% of that time pass, and no warming (in fact, the opposite), we are supposed to be even more concerned?

    What I really want is for people to do what was encouraged so openly 30 years ago. "Question Authority". Why has the left stopped doing that? Seems that the right are the authority questioners now.

  • Paul Cox (unverified)
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    I have a problem with conservatives that talk about "we don't know that CO2 affects climate". Good conservatives, wake up and stop caring so much what liberals think! You sound like some whiny little kid that wants approval from his mommy. You are never going to get it. So suck it up, stand up straight and say what you really believe. I'll go first.

    The whole "is it caused by man" debate, is the logical place to have a debate, as that's the crux of the question, but it isn't what we really disagree about. If we were honest about the real point, we would be dismissed. At least that's the party line. I am telling you, as I have, that we will always get our way, you don't have to always dress it up for liberals!

    CO2, temps, etc. are really irrelevant. When all is said and done, the phenomenon being addressed is that the environment is degrading to the point that nothing can live in it. That includes humans, which doesn't get a lot of attention. The REAL arugment is about what that means. I am an evangelical. I look forward every moment to His kingdom. These are the end times, and all is passing away. We agree on most of that. I, however, accept the will of God, and will accept that when He says life ends on earth, life ends on earth. Just what kind of hubris and religion-as-science thinking does it take to say, "no, we're going to prevent that"? As if. If it is His will, you can do nothing about it. And don't get me started on those that talk about it being "the planet, shaking us off like a load of fleas". The planet wasn't fit for life before plants converted it. Oh, right, by adding CO2 to the air.

    jamieee makes the good point that your attempts to stave off the inevitable will cause the saints (and sinners) more suffering. Their thinking can be rebutted, as it stands. First, cause no harm!

    Most think as I do. Do you REALLY believe that people watch a program on polar bears, then go purchase an SUV because they don't care? Watch the unholy spectacle in Iraq, then fight mass transit for their solo auto trips because we want the Arabs to grasp our nuts a little tighter? Of course not. They accept, like me, that these things are going to happen, and like jamieee know that there's no use in our suffering needlessly. We are never going to use your science. We have scripture and faith. Argue until you're blue(er) in the face. It isn't how we deal with issues. Man has been given dominion (that means lordship) over nature. If my pastor and our Godly congregation all do something, you expect me to accept "science" telling me otherwise? Look at your kids, liberals. Do they act like you, or as I'm describing. They act like us, and more everyday. Boomers are being converted. I'm no friend of Sam, but his handling of the Virgil Breedlove, Jr. affair shows he's adopted those prinicples 100%.

    What I cannot believe is how you can have this pointed out to you in detail and yet you never get it. I came on here two weeks ago, pointing out that the Stupak ammendment was an example of how we control the bottom line, even when you think you're getting some big liberal lunch. Those in the know assured us, "no, no, they're just trolls. That will definitely be removed". Last night Harry Reid put up the Senate's best shot. No federal funding for abortion, after saying otherwise all week. Again, can you imagine that happening on a flag burning bill, or one of our pieces of legislation? Unthinkable. Yet, it happens with every last one of yours- and you're as in power as you can be in this country- and you still can't accept the conclusion.

    Liberal is something people act like. Almost no one believes it. It never carries the day, and you can tell because you will not get people pissing away their creature comforts for liberal science. Let's just be honest about that, instead of playing junior scientist and dithering about CO2 levels. Yeah, it sucks up a lot of good debate time, but why bother? They're not going to get there way on this any more than they are getting it with health care. Wait for it. At least accept that I've demonstrated that you really don't have a clue what you're going to be getting or why. Dick Armey knows more about the final shape of healthcare reform than Nancy Pelosi. Arlen Spectre has more of a say than Harry Reid does.

    That's why the left talks so much about this, compared to the right. That's all you can and will do. Believe those future predictions? Then start managing to it. You are probably wrong about the consequences, but, make no mistake, that is the road we are going down. You have never carried a major issue in the last 70 years. This will not be the first. You should have learned with the ERA. Go reread all those triumphant liberal quotes when it was passed by the Congress. Never became law, did it? You will not win, you cannot win, and you don't seem to know that you have never won. Let BO be a guide. Who gets censored most? Progressives or conservatives like jaimeeee and Richard? Conservative is like being a mason without the secret handshake. Everyone knows you're someone and they defer to it. Even Kari. That's why talk radio acts so rude. It's like the kid of a powerful man going around say, "my daddy's better than yours is". Bratty, but true.

    If I thought as liberals claim to, I would be standing in the middle of the road, this a.m. to force immediate change. Those that think otherwise are easily identifiable. You could picket their homes until they scream "uncle". But that will never happen (thank Jesus Christ!) I don't accuse liberals of being hypocrites. I accuse them that liberal is something you decide to don today, like an accesory. It's doesn't affect your behavior when it matters. Lets's be honest with ourselves and realize that 90% of us think alike on that. The rest is just the kind of stuff that kids do in college (like getting drunk), and some never grow up.

    Yesterday, at the dumpster, I was laughing at the spectacle of a mother instructing her kids how to recycle. The little boys were more interested in the F-111 training flight going over. That is the way it really is. You sit there separating trash, while our boys burn as much jet fuel as they please, whenever they feel like it, AND, your kids notice our boys much more. Then you go to an air show and celebrate being American. That part is real. The dumpster scene is an enviro morality play. Want to meet a real environmentalist? Hang out with hunters. That is the difference between real and play acting. Play acting is entertainment. Liberals have deluded themselves that if they enjoy it enough it will become policy. That's like saying that if a sitcom harps on something often enough that leg. will follow. Hmmm. Hard to be sarcastic. That's pretty much what you're doing with queer rights, isn't it? Yup, queer's the right word for all liberal behavior!

  • K. March (unverified)
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    With the Billion$ that have been spent on light rail, Oregon could have purchased a huge fleet of stretch limos. These limos could then transport ordinary folks around in luxury - just like our hard earned tax dollars pay to have politicians driven around in luxury. The limos could then be used in other cities besides Portland.

  • Also in Primate News (unverified)
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    Posted by: Zarathustra | Nov 17, 2009 7:24:04 PM

    Well, in clinical psychology, that "favorite definition" is "uncontrollably out of control".

    Maybe more relevant than the momentary flailing.

    How dare you make a rational, decent point? Where's the name calling and character assassination? You expect anyone to get how that is the essence of the post? Get with the program, Z.

    God, I hope I don't live long enough to see how this plays out!

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Oh, you all know you can't get enough of JK ! Brings a whole new twist to "dirty old man". You should link spam him, Kari. Turnabout is fair play.

    Seriously, is this always going to be a shouting match, or do you have plans to address his ilk? Huff Post reports that since "Inconvenient Truth" was published, public perception that climate change is real has dropped from more than 3/4 to barely half.

    How sorry is leadership when the old guy shouting on the street corner gets more consideration than Dem policy wonks?

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    Someone asked what I thought was a really good question, directed at AGW skeptics:

    Even if you think that human-produced (released) carbon is *not* changing the climate, why are you against the other benefits that come from reducing carbon emissions:
    • Reduced air, water and soil pollution
    • Reduced health care costs and lost productivity from the above
    • Reduced dependence on foreign fossil fuels
    • Reduced need for military expenditures due to the above
    • Increase in local jobs in energy efficiency and alternative energy that cannot be outsourced
    • Improvement to ecosystems and wildlife; improved environmental health and enhanced recreation opportunities as a result
    • More accurate reflection of the total costs of a product's entire lifecycle in the amount paid for that product (more-polluting products cost more, less-polluting products cost less), enabling market forces to drive businesses to produce more efficient, cleaner products, and reducing reliance on taxpayers as the "clean-up crew of last resort."

    I think most non-ideologically polarized people, regardless of where they fall on a broad liberal to conservative spectrum, would agree that these are good things. They might disagree about the best way to accomplish these goals, or which are most important, but even if it requires higher costs or taxes, most Americans support doing something.

    In fact, a poll released by the Pew Environment Group in June of 2009 found overwhelming support for action to reduce global warming pollution.

    • A supermajority, 78%, want the U.S. to reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide that cause global warming.
    • By a ratio of 4-to-1, voters support the core principles of the energy plan being considered by the U.S. Congress; 72% favor the two-part plan to reduce emissions and require use of clean energy sources.
    • Overall, two thirds, 65%, believe efforts to reduce global warming will either help create new jobs or have no effect on job

    But, sadly, like healthcare, entrenched interests who stand to profit from business as usual are acting as 10-ton weights tied to the legs of our Congresscritters, keeping them from doing what most of us (our favorite denier-trolls excepted!) want and need them to do.

    Campaign finance reform, anyone?

  • jamie (unverified)
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    Peri Brown | Nov 19, 2009 8:53:50 AM And I will not put up with your crap for another year. We need to have this conversation face to face. Since I know where you live, let's make it your place.

    Always good to see the personal threats - it shows that YOU have totally run out of rational arguments.

  • jamieeee (unverified)
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    jaybeat: Even if you think that human-produced (released) carbon is not changing the climate, why are you against the other benefits that come from reducing carbon emissions: J Lets look at your list: * Reduced air, water and soil pollution * Reduced health care costs and lost productivity from the above These are good things and are already happening. As to coal: Coal is quite dirty and new plant construction should have been stopped decades ago, but the greens stopped our conversion to the ONLY practical replacement. Instead they propose a series of unproven, expensive, alternatives like wind and photo-electric.

    * Reduced dependence on foreign fossil fuels * Reduced need for military expenditures due to the above Again good things, but we have no substitute for fossil fuels, so we need to develop domestic supplies. Again the greens have blocked this, forcing us to rely on inports.

    * Increase in local jobs in energy efficiency and alternative energy that cannot be outsourced Here the popular lack of knowledge shows. There is NO alternative that can supply today’s usage. To think we can cut usage dramatically will require “skyrocketing” energy prices which will mean getting rid of even more family wage jobs, hurt people and lower their standard of living. Again, the proven low cost solution was effective banned by the greens: nuke.

    * More accurate reflection of the total costs of a product's entire lifecycle in the amount paid for that product (more-polluting products cost more, less-polluting products cost less), Again, you are talking of raising the cost of life’s necessities and YOU WILL be hurting poor people. Also be careful what you wish for. For instance buses use MORE energy than small cars, so pushing people to buses will use more energy. (even in dense cities.) Electrically powered light rail is really coal powered. And it is too expensive to serve anything except the busiest corridors. Both bus and rail cost several times what small cars cost and are slower. Again this will lower people’s standard of living by wasting energy, money and people’s time. Is this really what you want?

    . .. but even if it requires higher costs or taxes, most Americans support doing something. YOU are advocating forcing people to choose between energy and food, living in a dark cold home in order to afford clothes for their kids.

    It all boils down to cost vs. benefit. You seem to show little respect for how other people choose to allocate their scarce money.

  • Lord Beaverbrook (unverified)
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    You know that definition of "insanity" that everybody quotes?

    Looking for decent debate at Blue Oregon? Yeah, that's really crazy, isn't it!

    It's time we took out the trash at a number of blogs around here.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Yeah, I've heard all of those arguments about the "real" cost of the automobile etc. But highways exist for reasons other than trying to "build out of" congestion. Broadening I-205 to three lanes each way for the entire distance from Oregon City to I-5 is simply a very reasonable thing to do. To believe that you can sit there watching the congestion diminish over time as we build more and more quarter-billion-dollars-per-mile light rail lines is not only foolish but will never happen. And as for these lanes "filling up" right away, while it's not exactly accurate it is true that this means that cars and trucks are being taken off roads and streets where they shouldn't be because they'd been travelling on these roads and streets where it's more likely that they will hit other cars, pedestrians, playing kids, and cyclists.

    By the way, the lobbying to improve road surfaces existed long before the automobile, and was even requested by cycling clubs in the 1880s and also the railroads, believe it or not. What's the conspiracy regarding those?

    Bob Tiernan Portland

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