by Goldy, 11/28/2007, 3:54 PM
sierrabear.jpg
Photo Elaine Corets.

The folks at the Sierra Club are quite proud of their role in killing Prop 1, the Roads & Transit measure, grandiosely claiming:

“This is the first major public works proposal I know of to be defeated because it would worsen global warming.”

But according to a new poll conducted by EMC Research and Moore Information on behalf of Sound Transit… not so much. When asked to rate, from one to five, reasons for voting against the package, “global warming” came in dead last out of the eleven reasons offered, with only 20% of respondents rating it a four or five, compared to 75% for “blank check/no cost control” or 74% for “costs too much.” And when asked for the best reason to oppose Prop 1, only 1% of respondents chose the environment.

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Yup, those cute kids in the polar bear costumes really got the environmental message out.

That’s not to say that the Sierra Club didn’t play an important role in defeating Prop 1 — it did — but it did so mostly by lending its name and credibility to the dishonest campaign of Kemper Freeman Jr. and the rest of the anti-rail/pro-roads camp. Cost and taxes were by far the top reasons given for rejecting Prop 1, a frame that makes passage of any future rail-only ballot measure all the more difficult. Rail isn’t cheap, and due to “sub-area equity” issues, Sound Transit can’t easily break it down into smaller projects. And when it comes to funding, Sound Transit is particularly hamstrung: only 23% of respondents support raising the sales tax to fund transportation improvements (compared to 51% for the MVET,) yet that is the only additional taxing authority available to Sound Transit under current law. Sure, there’s some talk of transit money eventually coming from congestion pricing (40% support,) but it would take years to implement such a plan, if ever.

The short term reality is that while light rail expansion remains popular in theory, its cost and available funding mechanisms do not, and it appears to be far from the region’s number one transportation priority, with 91% of respondents emphasizing the need to fix unsafe roads and bridges, compared to only 55% prioritizing building light rail east to Bellevue and Redmond. (Though ironically, only 57% of respondents prioritize replacing the 520 bridge. Go figure.) Light rail continues to substantially out-poll “bus rapid transit” in all five sub-areas, but without an adequate funding mechanism and a unified pro-rail campaign from the environmental community, it’s likely that BRT — whatever that ultimately means — might be all us common folk get.

How diesel buses choking in traffic on our existing roadways is supposed to save polar bears, I’ll never know. But if the ideological purists at the Sierra Club really have a viable plan for building a 21st century transit system in the Puget Sound region — and getting it approved by voters sometime before the 22nd century — now is the time for them to step forward and take the lead. They are the ones responsible for blowing apart the environmental coalition on transit, and they are the ones with the onus of putting it back together. If Sound Transit attempts to come back in 2008 with a rail-only proposition — and unless the legislature stops them, I’m not sure what choice they have other than gradually dismantling themselves — then the Sierra Club damn well better be prepared to spend the blood, sweat and money necessary to fix the damage caused by its collaboration with the Freemanites.

FYI…
The poll was conducted by phone, November 11-15, and is based on 1,013 respondents, +/- 3.1%. You can read the key findings here.

79 Responses to “New poll: Sierra Club shits in its own sandbox”

1. SeattleJew spews:

I know I have beaten this drum too many times, BUT … in my unscientific survey of folks who did vote against this, the reasons come down to one .. distrust. No one believed the claim that these funds would be well administered by an anonymous set of appointees, over a very long period of time, without clear funding mechanisms for critical parts of the process, etc.

I DID vote for it .. but this is because I met enough people at DL to get some vague idea about how this things was to work. I also thought the PI and Times eventually did a fair job of describing the things but the articles were looong in a short attention span era and may have served only to clarify the fact that some parts of this, esp 520, were undefined.

The idea of the Guv, the Mayor, the Speaker, etc. sitting the election out and Sims opposition (most of my friends trust in Ron) did no good either.

BOTTOM LINE:

I actually think this WOULD have passed if there was evidence that our leaders were in support of it.

2. Tlazolteotl spews:

Sierra club = right-wing tool

But we figured that already, Goldy.

3. Tlazolteotl spews:

Oh, and forget about the polar bears…the diesel exhaust hurts local fish. Every time you hurt local fish, baby Jesus kills an orca!

4. michael spews:

Goldy, please give it up and move on. Prop 1 never stood a chance even if The Sierra Club had been for it.

All you’re doing is grinding axes.

5. Richard Pope spews:

We need to make Sound Transit ACCOUNTABLE. Right now, you have an appointed board, named by each county executive — 10 from King County, 4 from Pierce County, and 3 from Snohomish County. People just don’t want to give tens of billions more money to an appointed body. Nor will an appointed body’s proposals be viewed with the credibility that an elected body would have.

I suggest replacing the existing Sound Transit board with the county council members whose districts are within the Sound Transit area. And give each council member a weighted vote, based on the number of their constituents who reside within the Sound Transit area.

6. My Goldy Itches spews:

I’ll throw this story into my who gives a shit file.

7. SeattleJew spews:

Tlaz

One thing that pees on my sense of rationality …

Why in God’s brownish Earth, do folks want to put lists of unrelated things in one or another pigeon hole?

Seem to me that the Sierra Club is an environmental Organization, the ACLU is about the bill of Rights, the NAACP is about civil rights for African Americans, NOW wants women to own women’s bodie s, and the NBA wants to move the Sonics to Dogpath, USA.

Then there is the Nationla Rifle Association , who wants us all to be armed, the Catholic League who wants us all to NOT read or listen to nasty stuff, the Chamber of Cmeerece, the VFW, and the Jimmy Swigert Ministeries.

Is there some logic to such agglomerations?

Why do we only have wings anyhow … what good are wings w/o winds?

I think I am gonna start a new grouping.. we will have right, left, up wind and down wind. I am going to organize the up wind. We will combine the Unions, the NFL, the Antidefamation League, the off road association, Ducks international, Peace Now, the American Buddhists and the Power Squadron.

Since the Dems have the left wingwing, the Reps, the right wing, I guess the Independent get to be for the upwind.

That leaves the downwind for whoever wants to organize it. I think it would be good to tie together the frankly inane (NOT a typo) organizations … say the Discovery Institute, the Ignoble Committee, PETA, Orah Fan Club, American Aetheists, Christian Scientists, Scientilogists, and the Madonna Church of the Holy Kabbalah.

So the new alignment will be

righties … reps
lefties … dems
upwinders … indies
downwinders … the inane.

8. Right Stuff spews:

Prop1 failed because Sound Transit hasn’t yet delivered phase I, and what they will end up delivering is 70% of what was sold to the voters, at twice the cost…..

9. SeattleJew spews:

8.

Again, this IS the consistent theme. You can NOT ask people to tax e themselves for a program run by anonymous bureaucrats.

10. michael spews:

@5

Yep, and then fold Pierce Transit, KC Metro and Community Transit and the ferries into one Org. like Oregon did with Trimet.

11. ArtFart spews:

Perhaps in a perverse way, We The People of the Puget Sound region may end up teaching ourselves a lesson by choosing to do nothing about a looming problem and living with the consequences for a few years. Let’s assume that homo sapiens is going to continue to occupy the planet in large numbers for more than just the next hundred years. With that postulate, we’re going to have to be convinced to adopt some significant changes in the way we live, or our children and grandchildren are going to be pretty miserable and our great-grandchildren…well, there may not be any. We may have to get a taste of a truly dysfunctional future to convince us to do so.

12. SeattleJew spews:

I agree with 10 and 5. I am not sure just who should be on the board, but as Seattle grows, we have less and less need for a second large municipality except to keep the vicious dogs from Mercer Island away from the throats of the nice folks from Capital Hill.

Maybe we need to think about an overall reorganization to create a more rational more regional government?

OR we could just secede!

As our great leader, DB Cooper, said:

Rule Cascadia, Cascad1ans shall rule!
Cassss-cadians
ne-er ne-er will be fools.

13. Neal spews:

Umm, yeah, sure, except for question 20 from the poll:

If the package had just included transit improvements and not roads and highway improvements would you have supported or opposed it? (IF SUPPORT) Would that be strongly or somewhat support? (IF OPPOSE) Would that be strongly or somewhat oppose?

Strongly Support 28%
Somewhat Support 21% [total support:] 49%
Somewhat Oppose 13%
Strongly Oppose 25% [total opposition:] 38%
(Undecided/DK/Refused) 13%

14. Puddybud spews:

Tlazolteotl above said:”Sierra club = right-wing tool” Really, nothing of any significance!

Now Ms Tlazolteotl, you should know better about “tools”. Anyone who disagrees with the NEW Progressive NorthWest Division of Goldy Moonbat!s (TM) is a right-wing tool?

Typical, typical!

15. headless lucy spews:

re 5: Richard: With corporate money funding the candidates, who will they REALLY be representing?

I know you are not naive, so you must be stupid.

16. proud leftist spews:

Even good organizations fuck up from time to time. The Sierra Club is an organization that has done a wealth of good over its years. It fucked up this time. Odds are that next time it will once again be on the side of good and righteousness. Let’s cut the Sierra Club some slack.

17. Paul spews:

Obviously we just misunderstood the nature of the organization. Perhaps it is actually the GMC Sierra Club.

18. michael spews:

@16

The Sierra Club is a grass-roots organization. If Goldy and Will are so upset with them they should pony up 30 bucks for membership and join the Cascade chapters transportation committee. Committee membership is open to all members.

19. michael spews:

There ya’ go Goldy and Will. Put up or shut up.

20. otterpop spews:

I’m sorry, David, but I don’t get your logic.

You start your argument by saying that the Sierra Club didn’t have much to do with the defeat of Prop 1.

And then you say that the Sierra Club needs to fix the damage done by defeating Prop 1.

So which is it?

If environment wasn’t a factor, then the Sierra Club (hint: environmental organization) wasn’t a factor. And the converse would be true as well.

21. hotfootharp spews:

Sierra club SUX

22. tim eyman owns you spews:

hahahahaha

GMC Sierra Club

I love it! All you bitter election-losing union-contribution taking Greg Nickels worshiping moonbat punks please shut your pie holes and admit defeat.

ROADS ROADS ROADS!!! THEY’RE ON THE MENU TODAY!!!

23. michael spews:

@1

“I actually think this WOULD have passed if there was evidence that our leaders were in support of it.”

Our leaders weren’t in support of it because it was a screwball package. John Ladenburg supported it because it contained a little funding for the cross-base highway (that aint never gonna get built).

24. michael spews:

Btw, so far this year the Spokane Transit Authority has seen a ridership up of 11.7%. Transit ridership is up everywhere, gas tax revenue is going down. Transit will do just fine in the future and will include light-rail.

http://www.spokanetransit.com/aboutsta/mediareleases.asp#RCI

25. Roger Rabbit spews:

“They are the ones responsible for blowing apart the environmental coalition on transit, and they are the ones with the onus of putting it back together.”

Hogwash, Goldy! Prop. 1 was blown apart by the clowns who put it together. Too much gold plating; too much pork; too expensive; wrong tax, wrong people paying for it.

You base your argument on a belief the Sierra Club swayed enough votes to change the outcome. Yet this poll indicates only 1% of the voters gave primary weight to environmental messages (which were conflicted and went both ways), whereas over half the “no” votes were swayed by financial issues.

It’s pretty obvious that the cost and the tax package, not the Sierra Club, are the culprits behind Prop. 1′s defeat. Nothing could be clearer than that.

26. Roger Rabbit spews:

I’m still waiting for an explanation of how you raise $27 billion for light rail by taxing 1 million households only $150 a year for 20, 30, or 40 years. By my figuring, that doesn’t come close to even the lowball $11 billion figure.

27. Roger Rabbit spews:

Notice the 66% who said “Don’t trust them”? Gee, I wonder why. Sound Transit lowballs the cost, then pro forces lowball the tax bill, and … THEY WONDER WHY VOTERS DON’T TRUST THEM?????????????????????????????!

28. Roger Rabbit spews:

It’s like this, Goldy. Putting an onerous new tax burden on those least able to pay it — and, for the most part, people who won’t even USE light — and then justifying doing it by saying it’s the only tax available just won’t cut it.

I’m not against light rail, if the system is properly designed, built for a reasonable cost, and the method of paying for it is fair. (Right now, Sound Transit is wanting in all three of those categories, but never mind that.) My point is, if fixing the tax system is a necessary preliminary step, then you have to do it.

You can’t skip that step, and if you try, you’ll fail again. The population segment bearing the brunt of the sales tax has made it clear — not only in Prop. 1′s defeat, but also in the earlier defeat of the penny education tax — that this tax has reached the saturation point. Building light rail by raising the sales tax isn’t doable, Goldy. Not a year ago, not today, and it won’t be next year or the year after that, either.

29. compassionatelibertarian spews:

Roger Rabbit –

Good call on the screwy math of the “pro” Prop 1 crowd…I hadn’t taken the time to even think about that:

1 million people
“Only $150 a year!”

27 billion dollar pricetag

…tax revenues of 150 million per year? Wtf???

27 billion/150 million…you get the idea…the 50 year claims made by “reactionaries” weren’t so insane after all.

30. Roger Rabbit spews:

The thing about roads, from the financing perspective, is that the people paying for roads are the same people using roads. No general tax revenues go to roads; all the money comes from taxes, fees, and user charges on motorists. If you don’t drive, you don’t pay for roads. For example, bicyclists don’t pay a cent for roads, even though we’re spending millions on bike lanes.

Light rail is fundamentally different from roads in that it requires a massive wealth transfer from people who pay taxes to people who use light rail. As light rail will serve only about 1% to 2% of the commuter population, this makes it extremely difficult to win political support for it. The fact people who want light rail refuse to economize and insist on spending (other people’s) money like drunken sailors on it, doesn’t exactly endear them or their cause to voters. Neither does a whiny, sore-loser, I’m-mad-as-hell attitude toward those who objected to having their pockets picked by a group that comes across as arrogant condescending bullies.

If you want light rail to have a chance, I suggest a different approach. They are more likely to be successful if they come up with a rational design in which expenditure of resources is related to ridership, economy is a key engineering criterion, and a fair method of paying for the system is devised that emphasizes putting the costs on the users and beneficiaries.

If you don’t do this, you will be up against the same brick wall of asking marginally solvent people to pay a lot of money they don’t have for something they can’t afford and won’t use … that’s NOT how you win elections.

31. Roger Rabbit spews:

I’m heartened to see that Goldy is getting almost as good at throwing temper tantrums is Dinosourpuss. Liberals have been good sports far too long. We need to behave more like Republicans! We’ve let them walk all over us, and look where it got them! We need to walk over THEM! Whining, banging the table, suing, and screeching is the only way to go! That’s the way you succeed in today’s political climate in this country. Goldy is finally wising up to the practical realities of contemporary politics. It’s high time he did.

32. Roger Rabbit spews:

“This is the first major public works proposal I know of to be defeated because it would worsen global warming.”

Total hogwash.

33. Wells spews:

I objected to the proposed Link LRT expansion because I question it’s engineering.

The 18 mile stretch between Seatac and Tacoma had a mere 6 stations which suggests they will consist mostly of gargantuan parking garages, noisome bus transit centers, and minimal economic development for surrounding communities without which area residents basic need for long-distance travel will continue to grow beyond both light rail and road capacity. This portion of light rail expansion was a blank check.

The highly desirable light rail spur to Southcenter was not in the plan. Southcenter has existing transit user base in the thousands. Extending this spur to Renton would add more riders and connect to the Lake Washington RR line, which is being decommmissioned for no good reason, and widening I-405 would have taken a stretch of its right-of-way.

Prop 1 would have directed most light rail construction funds to the tunnel through inner-city neighborhoods that are already pretty well-served with transit.

This engineering incompetence from Sound Transit is suspicious. I credit them for doing a good job along MLK, where tax dollars are revitalizing the community. Not so with every stretch of light rail track laid in Prop 1.

Thanks, Sierra Club. Your argument against Prop 1 was bogus, but you helped slow down what appears to be a corrupt political juggernaut. I wonder who’ll be the scapegoat?

34. Brian Z spews:

“Cost and taxes were by far the top reasons given for rejecting Prop 1, a frame that makes passage of any future rail-only ballot measure all the more difficult.”

I found it disturbing when I received the Sierra Club’s Polar Bear mailer – they seemed to be taking as many shots at Sound Transit as they did at roads. There are obviously a few anti-rail types who infiltrated this naïve group of self-centered do-gooders.

Kemper Freeman wasn’t the only one who used the Sierra Club for his own purposes. Sims’ 11th hour stab-in-the-back was also motivated by his own manipulative brand of politics: Sims pretended like it was taxes for roads he loathed.

His real target was rail, namely the sales tax capacity he had laid claim to years ago: for more money-pit bus service (pissed away by congestion and rapidly rising operations costs) and for the bottomless pit that is “ending homelessness.”

And those highly productive passenger ferries WA State DOT wanted nothing to do with….

35. Brian Z spews:

“I’m still waiting for an explanation of how you raise $27 billion for light rail by taxing 1 million households only $150 a year for 20, 30, or 40 years.”

It was explained to you, Roger Rabbit. You’re just too fucking slow (and too much of a crank) to figure it out.

36. johnj spews:

Goldy,

RTID was blown up because our elected leaders linked transit improvements to climate changing highways. Why not spend your time beating up on the politicians who thought that was a good idea? Sound Transit now admits it was a bad idea, can you?

Trashing the Sierra Club for expecting real progress on global warming — kind of counterproductive, don’t you think? What with icecaps melting and all that. But it is glad to see you acknowledge their critical role in shaping the debate and helping pass the next measure. Too bad the elected officials did not listen to Sierra Club concerns about linking transit to bad road projects. We might have avoided this fiasco.

37. compassionatelibertarian spews:

No Johnny, you’re absolutely wrong. People want roads. Lots and lots of roads. Everywhere. Because they like to drive.

38. Andrew spews:

Sierra Club was dead-wrong, and has admitted they don’t have a plan, or don’t have the means of bringing another plan that is transit-only.

Nice job greenies!

39. Goldy spews:

JohnJ @36,

Oh. It was okay for the Sierra Club to trash Sound Transit and Prop 1 supporters, but it’s not okay for me to point out the Sierra Club’s political miscalculation?

The fact is, if a rail only package went on the ballot today, it would likely fail, partially due to the costs too much/high taxes frame the Sierra Club worked so hard to reinforce. ST has no other option than a sales tax, and it’s hard to get around the fact that 80% of respondents don’t want to raise it.

We had a shot at extending light rail and we blew it. It’s up to the Sierra Club now to prove me wrong.

40. FallingOnMyOwnSwordForFun spews:

-Light rail continues to substantially out-poll “bus rapid transit” in all five sub-areas, but without an adequate funding mechanism and a unified pro-rail campaign from the environmental community, it’s likely that BRT — whatever that ultimately means — might be all us common folk get.-

A few minor details the Sierra Clubbed kinda….err, forgot to consider. Brian Z nailed it. With Sims you have a washed up politician surrounded by a gaggle of overpaid staff who know they will never make the money they rake in now shoveling this Sierra Club bs. And you got the washed up political consultant Bill Broadhead, who sold his soul to the Deathstar – aka ATT – thinkin’ he can redeem himself via cheap political Polar Bear tricks.

Ya, sure. They got the free media, and they got the attention they craved. But what does our community get? A newly-empowered highway lobby which smells blood in the water, and knows their efforts at delaying clean running light rail have finally paid real dividends. I’m sure they are now quite pleased at how easy it was to get the Sierra Clubbed to do the dirty work for them.

-How diesel buses choking in traffic on our existing roadways is supposed to save polar bears, I’ll never know-

Goldy, this is one example where Sierra Clubbed and Kemper Freeman saw eye-to-eye. Sierra has an elitist, Seattle-centric view of the world, where they get to voyage around the world all they want in jets, and travel Pugetopolis to their heart’s content guilt-free, because the Subaru Outback ads tell them they’re doing the environment a favor by choosing their non-SUV product. Kemper’s elitist beliefs are rooted in the notion only poor people ride buses, and the rich should not be hindered by unwashed middle class masses. Somehow, the No on Proposition 1 campaign became a perfect vortex or right wing and left wing elitists. The right wing elements feel no guilt in their disgusting tactics. The Sierra Clubbed tools should feel ashamed they played along.

Light rail has been dealt a big blow in this city. I doubt the Sierra Clubbed has the guts or gravitas to undo the damage they inflicted on their own cause. I hope our local chapter can prove me wrong, but at this point in the game, I will have to agree with Goldy’s dark cloud assessment.

41. Michael spews:

I for one, I am never renewing my sierra club membership.

42. FallingOnMyOwnSwordForFun spews:

-Too bad the elected officials did not listen to Sierra Club concerns about linking transit to bad road projects. We might have avoided this fiasco.-

One problem with JohnJ’s analysis: the Sierra Clubbed was MIA when the legislature tied Sound Transit and RTID together. In typical fashion, they rode in on their pure white horse after the ink was dry. The last time Sierra Clubbed was involved in transportation policy, it was 2005, and they were enthusiastically backing an $8.5 billion freeway-only plan, devoid of any light rail or bus transit. That was two years ago. Two years earlier, Sierra Clubbed didn’t raise a finger when tens of billions more were raised for freeways under the nickel package – without a dime for transit. You saw them bitch about a 30-50 year timeline to pay off light rail? That tax increase *never ended* the same way the Ron Sims .9ths sales tax for fossil fuel buses will *never end*.

JohnJ, keeping all those facts in mind, do you still think it’s intellectually honest of you to blame Goldy for his perspective on all this?

-Trashing the Sierra Club for expecting real progress on global warming — kind of counterproductive,-

JohnJ, can you answer Goldy’s question about how the Sierra Clubbed found it ‘productive’ to make their case by trashing specific light rail proposals, and for trashing the revenue source needed to fund light rail in general? Can you tell us how sluggish buses running on fossil fuel make for an acceptable alternative to light rail running off a carbon-neutral energy source? I didn’t think you could. Stop trying to defend the indefensible. If you want to walk your talk for once, admit your side screwed up royally, and try getting us all out of this mess. Novel concept, ya think?

What I think is you’re trying to weasel your way out of taking any kind of responsibility, like so many lazy “Sunday Liberals” do on a consistent basis.

43. Brian Z spews:

“Notice the 66% who said “Don’t trust them”? Gee, I wonder why. Sound Transit lowballs the cost, then pro forces lowball the tax bill, and … THEY WONDER WHY VOTERS DON’T TRUST THEM??????????????????????????  ???!”

Roger Rabbit: thank you for repeating the Dori Monson & Rush Limbaugh mantra. Now, do you have anything useful to add to the discussion? Sure, you believed Kemper Freeman’s cartoon math (natch) but did you bother reading the reams of financial data Sound Transit and the independent Expert Review Panel posted on their websites?

Of course you didn’t. You’re a goddamn cartoon and shadow of a man.

The problem Sound Transit made with their phase 2 projects was rooted in the exact opposite condition: to overcompensate for the previous administration’s lowballing, current staff overshot the mark to appease blathering idiot pensioners like you. Big mistake. No government should try to appease dinosaurs and idiots. Fiscal conservatism is a worthy cause in the Age of Bush, but realistic financial models can be achieved without first checking in with every basement dweller, axe-grinder and crank in the entire region.

Ditch the rabbits and other assorted freaks next time, Sound Transit. They will always complain, because that’s what they do. Get on with the damn light rail and and help us recapture our neighborhoods from crusty old rabbits’ crappy car-caused strip malls!

More vibrant walkable communities means less anti-social rabbits, less Libertarian crazies, and less Republican psychos. (why do you think they are fighting so damn hard to hold on to the dying status quo) I can’t imagine a better thing than to expedite the eradication of anti-people people.

“The thing about roads, from the financing perspective, is that the people paying for roads are the same people using roads. No general tax revenues go to roads; all the money comes from taxes, fees, and user charges on motorists. ”

Roger Rabbit is trying to achieve supreme dinosaur status. If this is the case, old man, than tell us why the the state has identified a $60 billion basic-fix roads backlog? How is it I-5 is turning into a gravel road, and the state DOT can’t identify funding until well into the next decade? How is it we have a bridge which will likely sink before you inbred dinos find it within you to actually acknowledge the real costs of road building? And how is it a war-opposing faux progressive like you can’t make the connection between his own addiction to oil and the war he vehemently opposes…made possible by his addiction to oil.

One thing we can all hope and pray for: the demise of this generation which survives on contradictions and lies. Why don’t you guys just spend your time licking Dori Monson’s feet? Why do we need to listen to the sounds of dying dinosaurs here?

44. scotto spews:

You know, Goldy, you’re way too emotional to think clearly about this, but you are currently making light rail harder to build. It will happen anyway, but it will be in spite of your efforts.

45. thor spews:

Yup, the local Sierra Club guys whored themselves out to the anti-light rail lobby to help defeat the ballot measure that would have done the most to focus the region’s growth in more compact ways and deliver many other environmental benefits.

And in the process the Sierra Club alienated long time backers like me and most of the leadership in the state legislature – massively reducing the Sierra Club’s clout in this state.

These guys also set back the cause of doing anything real about global warming by firing off silly rhetoric that makes people interested in seriously dealing with the problem look like dopes.

This poll shows that Prop 1 probably would have failed without the Sierra Club’s involvement. We’d all be better off if the Sierra Club had found something better to do this past year.

46. Jeremy spews:

“And then you say that the Sierra Club needs to fix the damage done by defeating Prop 1.”

Perfect example. Scott Ottersonpop doing his best to avoid any sense of responsibility. These Sierra Clubbers all sat around and slapped eachother on the back for helping their roadwarrior friends defeat 50 miles of light rail.

Now, the dust has settled, the survey results show Sierra Club did real long term damage to light rail and folks like Otterpop shrug their shoulders trying to find somebody else to blame. Where’s Mike O’Brien? Driving his SUV out to the mountains, no doubt.

The rest of us real/realistic greens are still here, dealing with our Sierra Club / Kemper Freeman reality, after they killed off 50 miles of light rail…the epitome of lazy-ass attention grabbing special interest groups.

It’s easy to assassinate the good by the trigger hand of the perfect (ask Ralph Nader). This has practically become a pasttime for self-aggrandizing “progressives.”

Is Scott Otterson and his suicide pals at the Sierra Club planning their redemption currently? Well, by the tone of his comments, and the silence we’re getting from the usually verbose Sierra Club gang, my guess would be “no.”

Nice work, boys. Good thing your national organization is too busy selling off their ship load of $15 sweat shop backpacks to notice just how out-to-lunch the Cascade Chapter has become.

And where are the suck-ups at the Cascade Bicycle Club? These morons saved most of their ire for light rail projects the same way Sierra Club did.

Good thing we’ve got such a strong team out there pushing for progressive transportation causes.

Seattle is a car-dominated GHG cesspool because our voters listen to the likes of these fake greens. Seattle loves its cars alright, and the Sierra Club and Cascade Bike Club did an excellent job preserving the status quo.

47. scotto spews:

@46, I have no idea who otterpop is.

Anyway, it sounds like you think the Sierra Club did, in fact, kill Prop 1. In that case, I think you should start a debate with @45. Or, you could debate Goldy. Or maybe not; it’s hard to tell what side he would be on since he firmly maintains that the Sierra Club both did and did not affect the outcome.

While you guys enjoy your indignation, the Sierra Club will continue working behind the scenes. Nobody is trying to avoid responsibility — if you have evidence to the contrary, you are free to present it.

48. Jeremy spews:

“You know, Goldy, you’re way too emotional to think clearly about this, but you are currently making light rail harder to build. It will happen anyway, but it will be in spite of your efforts.”

Check out the ego on this Scott Otterson chap! He’s back with the other screen name now (Sierra Clubbers are crafty!)

Want to know how to make light rail harder to build, Scott Otterson?

1) Spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to beat up on light rail and the revenue source needed to build light rail.

2) Listen to the anti-rail ideologues inside your “green” organization, and partner up with Ron Sims to help his light rail – bashing crusade (diesel buses 4 evah!)

3) Provide the hardcore pavement lobby with the PERFECT greenwashing brand name. Kemper Freeman knows he can’t pave the planet on his own. But it SURE DID HELP to have the Sierra Club brand name running at the end of all his ads.

And how’s about that richguy nutcase Mark Baerwaldt, Scottopop? Man, he really loved to splash your Sierra Club logo around, didn’t he? Think the big checks he wrote may have influenced Sierra Club’s new-found rail-trashing position?

I know you’re doing your best to rinse the political blood off your hands now, scotto. Funny how quickly you Sierra Club guys tried to walk away from the pile of crap you helped create.

What’s the next fad issue you plan to tackle? Why not ditch the fad stuff, and start with this: get each Sierra Club member household to give up 1 of their 3 cars. Whaddaya say, scotto?

49. Jeremy spews:

“@46, I have no idea who otterpop is.”

Of course you don’t. You didn’t @ 20 either. Plus, there are probably all kinds of Sierra Club activists around here named Scott Otterson.

While you guys are working behind the scenes, I hope you follow the brilliant 05-06-07 strategy:

1) Support billions for more freeways and no transit

2) Disappear when legislature ties transit to roads

3) Show up in the middle of the rtid process to say you think some roads are ok, while others are not – using totally inane criteria; show up at the end of the public process to criticize light rail program.

4) Walk in at the 12th hour and file lots of lawsuits because you really (really!) want to help Kemper Freeman out, and want to make sure all the world can see that Sierra Club backs Kemper’s anti-transit crusade in the voter pamphlet.

5) Help Ron Sims and Mark Baerwaldt do long-term damage to funding light rail (we all know diesel buses stuck in traffic will save the Polar Bears – and we know how efffective Baerwaldt’s monorail was at inspiring confidence in public transportation)

6) Get on the blogs, shirk the blame, and try to pretend this is somebody else’s problem now.

7) Repeat as needed.

50. Jeremy spews:

“@46, I have no idea who otterpop is.”

Uh, scotto @47, did you fail to notice you chastised Goldy using that same argument @ 20? Under the otterpop screen name?

Smooth moves, guy. I can tell light rail is in good hands with the Sierra Club.

51. Wells spews:

One recourse for Sound Transit is to divert ‘existing’ funds intended for the Link tunnel to Husky Stadium, instead, to LRT on I-90 to Bellevue and Redmond. The extra road and transit capacity on I-90 will suffice while the SR520 Lake Washington floating bridge is rebuilt.

Link on I-90 has enough technical and political roadblocks to keep Sound Transit busy working under cover of secrecy for years, but the general public will probably approve this expansion.

Much more station location work and public involvement is needed on the proposed Link LRT stretch between Seatac and Tacoma. And the spur through Southcenter to Renton is an important expansion for the majority of Seattlers despite a minority of powerful political opponents.

I remember back in 2000 when Sound Transit first bust the tunnel budget, and WsDOT trotted out their wish list of $80-some billion worth of road projects that had to be funded NOW! No doubt WsDOT, or the ‘special interests’ WsDOT serves, will pull the same trick, probably starting with widening I-405. The WsDOT mantra, “Destroy Rail” is whispered in Olympia.

52. Andrew spews:

Sierra Club is not bringing back light rail, they said as much to me.

53. J.R. spews:

@18: Join the Sierra Club? Wouldn’t a better response be to give them five years off from membership or donations for their very serious blunder?

54. tim eyman owns you spews:

ROADS ROADS ROADS

I LOVE TO DRIVE

55. johnj spews:

Goldy — c’mon admit it, linking light rail to climate changing highways was a really bad idea. The conventional political wisdom prior to the election was wrong.

Which means that maybe you should start questioning the conventional wisdom being pushed by those who were wrong before.

I understand the light rail argument — this was the best we could do given the hand we were dealt. But the defeat of Prop 1 means that we have a new deck, and this one wasn’t stacked by Eastside republican road advocates, they are now out of office (thanks in part to the Sierra Club electoral work).

The legislature can change the available sources, they won’t link highway expansion to transit and they will seriously look at tolling. These things provide an opportunity for a measure that can reduce global warming emissions, improve mobility, and be more fair to poor people.

Finally, is the debate about light rail, or is it about global warming? It sure sounds like some people were ready for light rail at any cost. A new plan should have a mix of light rail, buses, tolling, streetcars, in the right places. Global warming means we have to be a lot more open to picking the right tool for the right job, given the resources we have.

Light rail advocates can choose to be bitter. Those concerned about global warming should choose to advocate for much smarter choices than we were given by Prop 1, on the road side and the transit side.

Gripe at the Sierra Club as much as you want, but the Sierra Club has been on the winning side of just about every major transportation measure the past decade. Maybe the elected officials should pay attention to their concerns, instead of discounting them.

56. scotto spews:

@50, uh, it can be obvious to more than one person that Goldy has become unhinged…

57. scotto spews:

@52, who told you that? If you don’t have a name, then I would tend to think you are not telling the truth.

58. please pay attention spews:

I am still pissed at the Sierra Club, but I am willing to move on and work towards a transit future with them. But they sat out the ST2 process for the most part and then critiqued light rail to Tacoma. This time they need to be at the table in forming a new plan. And this time they need to poll their membership on what their position should be rather than letting their board make the call.

The Sierra Club did do real damage to Sound Transit and light rail prospects in the region by getting in bed with Kemper. Now it is time for you to fix it by being part of the winning solution, rather than part of the problem.

I am waiting for your plan…

59. scotto spews:

@58, That the Sierra Club was not involved in Prop 1 negotiations is an enormously false and monumentally tedious meme. But I know you’ll persist in repeating whatever you’re told — no matter what I tell you now.

Anyway, glad that you’re ready to move on. The sooner other people follow your lead, the sooner we’ll get a transportation plan that makes sense.

60. Mr. Big spews:

“One recourse for Sound Transit is to divert ‘existing’ funds intended for the Link tunnel to Husky Stadium, instead, to LRT on I-90 to Bellevue and Redmond. The extra road and transit capacity on I-90 will suffice while the SR520 Lake Washington floating bridge is rebuilt.”

Wells, wtf? What crazy hat do you pull all these ridiculous ideas out of? Is it in the water down there in Portland, or what? Still trying to pitch that downtown Seattle circulator monorail? That was a real kick.

“Link on I-90 has enough technical and political roadblocks to keep Sound Transit busy working under cover of secrecy for years, but the general public will probably approve this expansion. ”

These certified nutcases (who play transportation engineers on the internet…I’m not kidding, Wells used to play himself off as one) come up with the dumbest conspiracy theories. If Wells (aka Art Lewellan) visited Seattle over the course of the past few years, he could have participated in a dozen “super secret” public meetings, discussing a boatload of information http://www.soundtransit.org/x3245.xml which obviously cannot be found on the internets.

“Much more station location work and public involvement is needed on the proposed Link LRT stretch between Seatac and Tacoma. ”

With what money, Wells? The money that grows on trees outside your apartment? The only reason they could do preliminary scoping and EIS work on the east corridor is because they have millions banked for that work. The south line will be served fine by BRT in the interim, and public involvement would begin – according to their staff – after a successful public vote.

“And the spur through Southcenter to Renton is an important expansion for the majority of Seattlers despite a minority of powerful political opponents.”

I know you’re obsessed with making the train go to the mall, Wells, but the problem with a Renton line isn’t the non-existent conspiracy against the idea. There are no opponents. There aren’t any supporters, either. That’s the problem. And again – there simply isn’t enough dough to satisfy all your wild ideas, and all the lines you draw on napkins. What part of that don’t you get?

61. Mr. Big spews:

“I understand the light rail argument — this was the best we could do given the hand we were dealt. But the defeat of Prop 1 means that we have a new deck, and this one wasn’t stacked by Eastside republican road advocates”

And what a wonderful new deck it will probably be, johnj.

“Finally, is the debate about light rail, or is it about global warming? It sure sounds like some people were ready for light rail at any cost.”

At any cost? Who said that? We light rail advocates push for light rail because it’s the best long-term solution for moving the most amount of people off a carbon-neutral power source. And it has been established in every city that light rail gets people out of their cars (no just the rabid enviro warriors) at a much higher rate than the Sierra Club’s buses do. How can the Sierra Club geniuses advocate for less pavement and more buses? It just doesn’t add up.

“A new plan should have a mix of light rail, buses, tolling, streetcars, in the right places. Global warming means we have to be a lot more open to picking the right tool for the right job, given the resources we have. ”

Has the Sierra Club done the analysis Goldy and other have referenced on whether buses are a solution to greenhouse gas emissions? Or, are you geniuses just assuming that’s the case? If we continue to see statistics which show buses don’t get people out of their cars, and we know buses run on petroleum, and weigh a lot, how can you just assume buses are the answer over light rail?

Short streetcar lines can’t be a solution to global warming either, can they? Has the Sierra Club done any analysis of streetcars?

“Light rail advocates can choose to be bitter. Those concerned about global warming should choose to advocate for much smarter choices than we were given by Prop 1, on the road side and the transit side.”

The Sierra Club didn’t make any sense at all on their critique of the transit side. Their political (not rational) critiques of north and south light rail extensions contradicted eachother. They were driven by Ron Simms’ bus-centric view of the world, and totally ignored the experience of suburban light rail extensions around North America. Now that flying is a big no-no for the carbon-obsessed hippidy dips, we can expect this provencial “damn the rest of the country” mind set to get even worse. Ride your bikes to Denver, Sierra Clubbers. Then take a trek to Salt Lake City. Every where you go, you’ll see your views simply aren’t rooted in reality.

Similar critiques of those rail proposals were also made before public votes (by anti-transit & pro car forces) and all proved to be false. Why is the Sierra Club so insistant on ignoring all the information around them, which illustrates why they are so very, very wrong. At least johnj and scotto seem to be proud of their ignorance.

“Gripe at the Sierra Club as much as you want, but the Sierra Club has been on the winning side of just about every major transportation measure the past decade. Maybe the elected officials should pay attention to their concerns, instead of discounting them.”

Including that freeway-building 2005 initiative, and killing off the monorail. That’s a fine record to tout, johnj. I can see why you’re so proud of yourselves.

Well, you’ve got Mr. Ron Simms for a politician who listens to your swerving and contradictory positions. Mr. anti-light rail (now that his rail line is nearly done). Sims is now trying to blow-up the potential for an eastside rail line and has hinted he will oppose light rail everywhere, except Northgate. These are the politicians you want on your side? Who need enemies when Kemper Freeman and Ron Simms are your friends?

62. please pay attention spews:

Scotto–I was involved in the negotiations and have been to every ST board meeting for years. The Sierra Club’s involvement was limited to a couple of testimonies by Tim Gould against light rail to Tacoma and a March letter to the board to the same effect. TCC and Futurewise were involved. The Sierra Club was not.

They weren’t even paying attention enough to notice the three ST board meetings where the board debated the makeup of the anti-statement group. So they sued later to cover up.

The Sierra Club has a lot to offer. But they sat on the sidelines for this one until far too late.

63. johnj spews:

@61

You’re kind of proving my point that for some people it is about the light rail. I doubt you have much analysis about the effect of light rail on global warming yet nevertheless quite a bit of faith about its effect. The experts say it is going to take a wide range of strategies on the road and transit side to make a difference, not just light rail. See the recommendations from the Governor’s climate process. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/TWGdocs/tra/111907TRAoptions.pdf. And yes, buses can help, dig into the analysis from Seattle’s Climate Action Plan. http://www.seattle.gov/climate/. You also keep comparing light rail to buses, when the problem with Prop 1 was 182 new miles of highway lanes — which we know makes global warming worse.

I ask again — is the issue light rail, or is it global warming? Light rail will be part of the solution, but no expert believes it is the solution. Before committing billions of dollars to transportation solutions, we need to make sure it will also hit global warming goals adopted by our politicians — you remember, the goals that the scientists say are essential. Put aside your fixation on light rail for a second, and focus on the goal that matters — global warming. Enough of the wars over different types of transit and let’s focus on planning for real results.

64. scotto spews:

@61, as some tend to do, you’re inventing a fake Sierra Club position so you can pretend to shoot it down.

The Sierra Club is not against light rail. It was, however, against Prop 1 because it would have made global warming worse — this was because of the massive highway expansion, which would have increased driving by 45% (even after light rail was taken into account). Prop 1 was obviously going in the wrong direction: a large increase in driving at a time when we knew we needed to decrease greenhouse gas pollution by 80% from 1990 levels.

You can’t get around that argument, so you’re just making stuff up. You have failed to document your claims because, of course, you can’t do that either.

Buses: I know the B-word boils the blood of light rail ideologues, but any competent transportation planner will tell you that a mix of buses and rail is an appropriate solution. Traditionally, the ratio of the mix was determined by cost minimization; it is the Sierra Club position that greenhouse gas minimization must also be a factor.

65. Disgusted ex-Sierra Club spews:

If the Sierra Club wants to redeem itself, they won’t rely on the same false analysis to guide their approach as it did last time around.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2003986898_elexprop1tacoma01m.html

Sierra Club used numbers generated by staff in Sims’ budget office, not the transportation department.

66. scotto spews:

@62, you are missing the point.

The Sierra Club was not opposed to ST2. It would have supported it if it had not been tied to a massive highway expansion. The Sierra Club also warned that it would oppose a measure that made that tie. This was made this clear, over a span of a year and a half, by lobbying in Olympia, personal meetings with leaders, and during the political endorsement process. When those measures failed, the Sierra Club tried to get ST2 and highways separated by legal means. And when that failed, the Sierra Club followed through on the promise to oppose.

People who actually were paying attention — as opposed to people with screen names claiming that they were — should not have been surprised.

67. scotto spews:

@65, you have not shown that those numbers are false.

68. please pay attention spews:

@66, The Sierra Club did lobby in Olympia. They were not involved in ST2 planning. They are following Ron Sims into a BRT vision that only moves people. It does not affect development patterns. Your dismissive tone towards people who question your strategies is just plain sad.

Still waiting for your plan…

69. scotto spews:

@68, I have to admit that I laughed out loud to read you — of all people — complaining about a dismissive tone!

70. scotto spews:

@68, I also laughed out loud to read that Mr. please pay attention, is still repeating the same tired lines, totally not paying attention!

71. Mariner Fan spews:

Goldy has a right to be a little mad. Just two years ago, the Sierra Club gloated in their opposition to I-912, repeal of the 9.5 cent gas tax.

Keep in mind, scotto and johnj were vigorously defending $8.5 billion for 125 new lane miles of freeway – regressive tax – next to zero transit – and a couple million for their pet Elk bridge project.

Sierra Club defends gas tax, opposes I-912

by Craig Engelking, Legislative Director

At first, it might sound unusual: The Sierra Club defending the recent gas tax passed by the Legislature. Haven’t we opposed gas tax increases in recent years?

Yes, but this package is vastly different. In the past, the state planned to spend the new money on mega-expansion projects—leading to more sprawl, more greenhouse gasses, and more dependence on foreign oil. This time, we worked closely with allies in the environmental, labor and business communities to pass the package during the legislative session, and are working together to oppose the initiative attempting to repeal it. Why?

First, most of the funds raised will go towards projects to make our highways safer and to take care of and maintain investments we as taxpayers already made. This package isn’t about more sprawl highways; it’s about making our roads safer and taking care of what we already have.

We’ll invest our money in hundreds of essential safety projects around the state. Replacing the Viaduct and the 520 bridge are the most prominent, but others include retrofitting bridges so they can better withstand earthquakes, straightening dangerous curves, more guard rails, and efforts to help reduce head-on collisions.

The Department of Transportation is also working more closely with environmentalists to reduce impacts of road construction, and in many cases, actually improve the environment. An example is the I-90/Snoqualmie East project, which has expanded to include strategically located bridges and tunnels that allow wildlife to safely travel over or under the freeway, thereby reconnecting wildlife habitat. The project is gaining national attention, with both media and other environmental organizations lauding it as a model for other states.

We recognize that the higher cost of gas has an impact on all of us, and that gas prices are already high. But from an environmental perspective, the Sierra Club views this as a package worthy of your support. Please vote no on I-912.

72. Mariner Fan spews:

This is my favorite. The Sierra Club making sure everybody knows how pysched they were about building roads 2 years ago (Al Gore’s “Earth in the Balance was released 15 years ago)

As you read the Sierra Club’s enthusiastic newsletter commentary, keep in mind scotto and johnj’s gas tax never ended; and if you include bonding, the actual cost was $12 billion for the project list, in 2005. ….but decades worth of bond sales could still be on the horizon since the state had a shortfall in their finance plan.

So, the “Transportation Partnership” 125 new lane miles could easily end up costing what the $18 billion Roads&Transit plan would have cost. By 2016, that 9.5 cent gas tax just pays service on debt to pay off $5.1 billion in bonds sold for…Sierra Club-approved freeways!

Sierra Club complained about 2057 for paying off electric, carbon-neutral light rail – but, somehow, 125 new lane miles and a never-ending regressive tax was just fine in 2005. Besides 50 miles of light rail under ST2, there was nearly $200 million for buses and vanpools in the RTID.

Goldy, if you really dug in to how hypocritical and self-centered Sierra Club really is, in light of their enthusiastic “we were first” support for $12 billion in freeways (no transit) you might get even more mad.

Voters Reaffirm Environmental
Values with Sierra Club’s Help

by Craig Engelking, Sierra Club Lobbyist

The Sierra Club was one of the first environmental organizations to oppose I-912 and this was the first time in recent years that the environmental community supported a statewide gas tax.

“We opposed I-912 because the state is moving in the right direction on transportation…” said Tim Gould.

In western Washington, we amplified the value of our electoral funds by engaging hundreds of volunteers. The volunteers interviewed and vetted candidates, developed and maintained our elections website, phone-banked voters, knocked on doors in key precincts, and held rallies. All told, Sierra Club volunteers donated more than 2,000 hours.

Scott Otterson, co-chair of the Cascade Chapter Political Committee, was delighted with the results. “I’m thrilled to see so many people contribute so much of their valuable time to help protect our environment,” Otterson said. “And what could be more satisfying than to see the volunteers’ work validated by voters delivering environmental wins in race after race?”

73. scotto spews:

@49, Wish I’d noticed your posts earlier so I could have responded in a timely fashion.

So… you are totally ignoring global warming; unless you deal with the substantive issue, the rest of your post is pointless.

But of course, if you had dealt with global warming, the rest of your post would still be a disaster — a steaming heap of scurrilous accusations (Mark Baewaldt??), utterly confused logic about whoever otterpop is vs. me (and who the Hell cares?) and a totally featherweight claim that the Sierra Club is backing away from its stand on Prop 1 (evidence, please).

But I digress.

Jeremey, until you deal with global warming, you’re shooting blanks.

74. Jeremy spews:

Why do these Sierra Club people all sound like they belong to a cult? Scotto, why are you hinting I’m guilty of ignoring global warming? The bulk of Seattle’s green coalation was so frustrated with you Sierra Club zombies precisely because you may have very well done some big time long-term damage to light rail in our city and in the region. Your response doesn’t seem at all related to my accusations.

And by the looks of what Disgusted @65 posted, you boys are basing most of your ideology on flat-out bad information. Jesus Christ, man. Is this the extreme green version of the MegaChurch approach? What happened to inquisitive liberals?

I just read one of your esteemed leaders talking about how Sound Transit probably won’t be able to come back to the ballot in 2008. 2009 he said. ? Another off-year election, where the average age of the voters is 70? We can just leave the future of our region up to people who don’t leave the house until 10:30 in the morning, and could care less about the next generation’s mobility alternatives?

Scotto, does ‘dealing with global warming’ mean backing 125 miles of freeways in 2005, then opposing a package with 50 miles of light rail two years later? MF took your very own newsletter language in the last couple posts which tell me there is an extreme disconnect between you an reality, and yet you repeat the same old broken record mantra. I get the feeling your one dimensional and myopic approach represents a fight you picked with yourself, not the rest of us.

OK, I’ll drop the rhetoric and play on your terms. Every move, every step, every policy decision we make puts fragile earth on the collision course with doom. I get that. So, take a deep breath, forget about the kamikazee mission, don’t even try to explain why freeways in ’05 were the bees knees, and answer a simple concern which cause us all to hold on to lingering disgust with what you have done.

We’re getting the vibe from your boy johnj that lotsa buses are on the menu for Sierra Club Plan B. It looks like your organization includes several people who don’t like light rail.

Simple, non-loaded question: have you done any serious investigating into whether bus transit has a negative or positive impact on climate change? Yes, or no?

If yes, what did those calculations tell you?

75. johnj spews:

Did you go through the links in my prior posts? Of course Plan B will have lots of buses, as well as light rail and tolling, (and other things) if we are serious about global warming. Follow your own advice, be an “inquisitive liberal.”

And your lament about “damage to light rail” once again shows that to you it as all about the light rail, not global warming. Haven’t we had enough of light rail, monorail, BRT purists? Isn’t it time to go where the global warming facts lead us?

76. Liberal Dragon spews:

Scotto: Get over it, the basic fact here is that the Sierra Club, in all of it’s stupidity, plated right into the hands of Kemper Freeman, primarily because if it’s pathetically idealistic views. They just get dumb and dumber as time goes on.

This bill was never perfect, but it was a start in the right direction to keep our regional economy in tact and get alternative forms of transportation built. You people, sadly, made a huge mistake out of your dumb miscalculations and this crew are a complete bunch of idiots and deserve to pay the price.

77. Andrew spews:

Mike O’Brien said as much to me. He said something about high level principles and Ron Sims.

Ron Sims said something about Christine Gregoire.

She said “520 and Alaskan way viaduct”

The only person who said “light rail” was Nickels.

78. Andrew spews:

Whoops, I was refering to 52, 57 & 58.

79. col spews:

Big surprise. Most voters don’t care enough about the environment. Sad, really.