Climate Change Doublethink

At this morning’s announcement event for a new “Climate 2009” executive order, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire was introduced as “the best climate change governor in the nation.” It’s hard to know how to interpret that.

Just last week, on the waterfront just a few blocks south of today’s event at Pier 66, Gregoire spoke at a ceremony celebrating the signing of State legislation that funds a 2-mile long, $3 billion greenhouse gas generator, a.k.a. the deep-bore tunnel, to replace the Alaskan Way viaduct.

Climate Leadership In Action! Look closely at the board on the left and you’ll see a photo of a nice pretty roadway, right next to the language about creating “clean transporatation choices.” Total John Stewart material.

It was Chris Gregoire’s leadership that torpedoed a balanced, multi-modal, climate-responsible surface/transit solution for replacing the viaduct that had been vetted and signed off on by all parties, including WSDOT and SDOT. But at the last minute, Gregoire caved to the status-quo, car-centric, suburban mindset that astoundingly but predictably, is still being hawked by dinosaur organizations like the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, as well as our State’s biggest corporations, i.e. Boeing and Microsoft.

The deep-bore tunnel is exactly the type of a single-purpose, status-quo infrastructure investment we SHOULD NOT be making if we hope to transform our city to face future reality and avoid big pain. At some point you have to take the heroin away from the addict. But then again, doublethink works really well for drug addicts too.

UPDATE:  As commenter Ellery notes, Gregoire’s recent veto of the transit provision in SB5433 is right in line with all of the above.