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.

18 Responses to “Climate Change Doublethink”

  1. Ellery

    You forgot to acknowledge her “leadership” on climate when she vetoed the transit funding option in SB 5433 this week.

  2. Sivalinga

    “Climate change methadone” is the new “climate change heroin”.

  3. Craig

    Don’t forget that no one actually wants to pay for it.

  4. holz

    what’s more green, cars sitting in traffic on the “surface” option, keeping the waterfront cut off from downtown…

    or the deep bore option, with the potential of opening up a greenscape along the waterfront.

  5. Matt the Engineer

    [holz], traffic is self-balancing. Add more lanes and more people will drive. Remove lanes, and people will find other ways to get around. We just have to make sure we provide choices.

  6. Erik

    She also drastically cut the WSDOT Rail office such that it is now basically a freight rail-only operation.

  7. holz


    the tunnel is 4 lanes, isn’t it?

    this is less than what is existing through downtown.

    personally, i’d rather put the 3 billion toward a quality multi-nodal public transport system and demolish the damned elevated – but no one in gov’t has the stones…

  8. Matt the Engineer

    Less? I think the cut-and-cover section has exactly four lanes. Removing offramps, that’s the only bottleneck. So it’s the same capacity – more with the speed gain of removing offramps.

  9. holz

    that doesn’t make sense, i read somewhere something like 18% of viaduct users going north get off on the downtown and belltown offramps. the percentage of people going through the cut and cover might be the same, but that’s not the viaduct.

  10. Zelbinian

    Can we work on some sort of a plan so I don’t just have to keep voting for the lesser of two evils?

  11. Jaye

    San Francisco? Embarcadero Freeway? Any lessons to be learned here? Apparently not.

    People will figure out how to get around sans viaduct.

  12. The Deep-Bore Tunnel Is A Done Deal (Just Like The Monorail Was) | hugeasscity

    […] the record, here’s why whiners like me and McGinn won’t shut up, and aren’t ready to concede that the tunnel is a done […]

  13. If The Dynamic Doesn’t Change, It’s Game Over | hugeasscity

    […] Despite Mallahan having a home team advantage—the debate was sponsored by the pro-business, deep-bore tunnel-loving Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce—McGinn clearly dominated.  And that’s not just my […]

  14. Valeria Kelly

    Climate change is quite on the rise these days, so be prepaired for more weather disasters”~-

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