Eco Advocates NW is active in promoting genuine solutions to create a truly sustainable Eugene, Springfield and Lane County (as a model for the rest of the nation) on issues ranging from solar harvesting technologies, to appropriate transportation, more sustainable urban planning, and other true green solutions.
World Renowned Investment Strategist States Civilization Will Collapse If Governments and Businesses Don't Take Drastic Measures
See a Charlie Rose Interview with World Renowned Investment Strategest Jeremy Grantham where he advocates why civilization must quickly transition off petroleum and coal.
Exposing Greenwash across the USA
Go to this San Gorgino Chapter Sierra Club website exposing and debunking "Greenwash" certifications and campaigns across the USA.
Go to this website Co-Created by the University of Oregon where consumers create a greenwashing index for products and company claims.
Moratorium of Highway and Freeway Expansion
EcoAdvocates NW and PeakTraffic.org call for a moratorium on the expansion of highways and "freeways" in Oregon and the entire USA.
Governor Kulongoski signed legislation in 2009 to expend more than $18 billion of taxpayer dollars to expand Oregon's highways, freeways and bridges.
The Columbia River Crossing will expand the current 4 lane I-5 bridge to 10 lanes with the addition of 6 more lanes on the Washington side off ramp at a cost of nealy $4 billion alone. Go to PeakTraffic for more details on Oregon's highway expansion projects as well as projects in virtually every state in the Union.
The north-south bicycle only street would run the length of Alder Street (already a designated thorough fare) one block from the University of Oregon starting from the Willamette River pedestrian/bicycle path north of Franklin Boulevard to 32th Avenue in south Eugene. These routes could be defacto bicycle boulevards this year if masses of bicyclist converged on these streets every day while abondoning the outdated and dangerous bicycle lanes shared with speeding autos and parked cars.
Don’t erase Glenwood’s character — enhance it
By Shannon Wilson and Kris Maenz
Published: February 21, 2013 12:00AM, Today
Glenwood businesses and residents are being told that we must accept that the city of Springfield intends to buy out all properties along Franklin Boulevard and the Willamette River. The city would do this to accommodate hospitality industries — multistory hotels, condominiums, student housing and low-end restaurants.
In its defense, the city of Springfield will say it has the Glenwood Refinement Plan, which incorporates the opinions of citizens of Glenwood and Springfield. However, this plan has no legally binding language that requires Springfield or prospective developers to follow citizen wishes.
Glenwood is an unincorporated area between Eugene and Springfield. At least 1,200 low-income people call it home. Glenwood offers a plethora of services to its residents that may be unmatched by any neighborhood in Eugene or Springfield.
Within eight blocks of any house in Glenwood proper one can find building supplies, auto maintenance supplies, tools, do-it-yourself recycling and garbage services, appliance repair, a locksmith, garden and landscaping supplies, brick and mortar supplies, professional dog sitting, equipment rental, recreational supplies, tires, auto repair, shipping services, family health services, miniature golf and pizza on the river.
Just outside Glenwood, large grocery stores are within one mile in each direction. Three public libraries are within one, two and four miles. Lane Community College and University of Oregon are within three miles. Island Park, Dorris Ranch, Hendricks Park and Amazon Park are all within a mile or two.
Where else in Eugene or Springfield could one live in close proximity to such a complete array of goods, services and recreation, as well as institutions of higher learning and culture — all accessible by bus, bicycle or foot? Many Glenwood residents are in economic transition: They’re college students, or citizens avoiding becoming homeless by renting in one of the five mobile home and trailer parks. Others who plan to stay in Glenwood long-term because it is affordable and offers a real community.
If Springfield and developers have their way, most of those 1,200 people may become “Glenwood refugees.” Once most Glenwood residents are shoved out, they will find their quality of life greatly diminished. Necessities will be more difficult to acquire. Some will become homeless.
Our vision accepts the fact that new and improved housing should be the primary goal for Glenwood. However, we contend that it should not destroy current businesses and services, create “Glenwood refugees” or diminish the beauty of the Willamette River.
We do not believe that Glenwood should be turned into a hospitality hub for University of Oregon sports fans or well-off university students. We believe that all future buildings in Glenwood should be built for lower- to middle-income Lane County residents.
The first priority would be not only to keep the same level of real services for Glenwood’s current and future residents, but to add services. Springfield should accommodate new, locally owned services and goods suppliers that meet the needs of a larger Glenwood population, as well as to create a more economically resilient and prosperous community.
The second major priority would be to create access to Lane Community College, Buford park, Mount Pisgah and the UO that is segregated from automobiles and connected to the EmX bus service. That infrastructure would benefit not only Glenwood residents but all Eugene and Springfield residents who had the ability to reach a Glenwood alternative transportation hub.
The land is open to such transportation infrastructure now. In contrast, the Glenwood Refinement Plan states that this type of non-automobile infrastructure is a “long-term vision.”
This vision, if enacted, could create a truly sustainable and economically resilient community for current and future residents who would not be dependent on either the boom-and-bust hospitality industry or on automobiles. It could become a world-class showcase of how to design and renew an urban area sustainably and with respect — an example for other communities to follow.
Springfield’s city manager tried to placate our apprehensions regarding Glenwood residents and services being shoved out by this development. He told us that Springfield would try to help citizens who might be displaced by the development get back on their feet.
Why would the city of Springfield want to diminish the quality of life in Glenwood, as well as knock the feet out from under struggling Glenwood businesses and residents, just to enhance the wealth of the wealthiest?
Glenwood residents Shannon Wilson and Kris Maenz have been involved in alternative transportation and land use issues relating to Glenwood and neighboring communities for several years.
Our future is with rail, not bigger roads
Published: June 26, 2008 12:00AM
Contrary to U.S. Rep. DeFazio’s assertion in his Feb. 25 guest viewpoint, “Feds must lead the way on roads,” Congress and DeFazio should scrap obsolete highway and freeway expansion plans throughout the country. Our future as a civilization is now dependent on creating a new transportation system to survive the end of cheap petroleum and climate change. More and wider freeways and highways will only hasten economic and climatic chaos and disruption.
The only way to make this transition is through major expansion of light rail infrastructure and major upgrading of existing rail infrastructure as a viable alternative to the crumbling highway and freeway systems.
The planned “NAFTA freeways,” including Interstate 5, being promoted throughout the country by governors, Congress and the paving industry to accommodate millions of bigger and heavier trucks from Mexico and Canada must be stopped and scrapped. The trucking industry will soon collapse when diesel fuel is too expensive to run the trucks. This can’t be too far off with diesel now at nearly $5 a gallon. Surely we must repair and upgrade some of the most vital bridges around the country, but we must simultaneously create a rail-based public transportation system.
The cheap and easily drilled crude oil is diminishing, while worldwide demand for oil is surging. Soon the trucking and airline transportation systems are likely to fail, and if we do not prepare for that inevitability there will be chaos and major economic disruption because of our dangerous dependence on these two petroleum-based systems for our every need.
Light rail and heavy rail is the safest and most sustainable transportation on the planet. In the case of passenger transport, hybrid and other hyper-mileage cars can compete with light rail only when used as carpool vehicles. Passenger rail achieves between 50 to 80 passenger miles per gallon, and about 70 to 100 grams of carbon per passenger per mile. A 40-mpg auto can achieve between 40 or 80 (with 2 occupants) passenger miles per gallon. The death rate for all rail is 0.7 deaths per billion miles traveled, while death rates for motor vehicles is more than 10 deaths per billion miles traveled.
The mindset that more and wider freeways are going to reduce pollution as well as reduce global warming gases flies in the face of science, history and basic logic. This is the kind of logic that has gotten us to this dire point.
Fifty years of building highways and freeways for autos and trucking without any regard to urban planning, the impact on our climate, the effects on our health as well as the impact to our psychological well being as a society has led us to this over dependence on a failed system. Let us not forget that scientists have been talking about global warming since the 1960s.
California is working on building a high-speed rail system from Sacramento to Los Angeles. Many major urban areas in the country are turning towards high-speed light rail. Why is the Northwest not forging ahead with a new high-speed rail system from Eugene to Seattle?
The new Amtrak rail from New York to Washington, D.C., has seen an increase in ridership of 20 percent from 2006-07, for a total of 3.1 million passenger trips. The new Amtrak route from San Jose to Sacramento is up 15 percent from 2006-07 for a total of 1.4 million passenger trips.
As constituents we must convince DeFazio — chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit — as well as all other Oregon lawmakers that we must have a high-speed light rail system in the Northwest as well as upgrades in rail infrastructure throughout the nation. These new rail systems will not only provide thousands of new jobs but it will keep the Northwest and the country economically competitive with other economic superpowers in Asia and Europe.
We must demand rail infrastructure now. We either transition off of our addiction to petroleum by going to rail now or surrender to a complete collapse of our whole economic system and way of life.
Shannon Wilson of Eugene is chairman of the Many Rivers Group of the Sierra Club and co-director of Cascadia’s Ecosystem Advocates.
It’s sad to hear about another bicyclist struck to death by a motorist recently. It seems apparent that bicyclists have fewer rights than most people in our society.
Pedestrians have miles of seemingly endless sidewalks which they deserve. However, bicyclists are subjugated to ride in the gutters or so-called bicycle lanes with broken glass, rocks, disintegrating manhole covers, potholes and speeding vehicles that may cause our death each day we decide to brave these city elements.
This is not to mention distracted drivers, while answering their cell phones or tuning their radios or spilling their lattes could kill any bicyclist in the blink of an eye in the so-called “safe” bicycle lanes.
Is it not time for the denigrated bicyclist to demand the same rights as pedestrians and motorists and that being in the form of some bicycle-only streets in this city and every city?
How many more of us must die before we demand these rights to pursue our healthful lifestyle? I call all Eugene bicyclists to dedicate 12th Avenue as a de facto bicycle-only street and memorial to the bicyclists who have been struck down until our rights are realized.
Shannon Wilson, Eugene
Wean Oregonians Off A Failing Fossil Fuel Economy
Opinion by Shannon Wilson 1.6.12
Editors Title "Time to turn away from fossil fuels"
The new logging plan for the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest, recently approved by Gov. John Kitzhaber, will increase logging levels by 40 percent regardless how much it damages salmon runs. Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service proposes to increase logging in ancient forests across the state.
Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio proposes to give away 1 million acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management forest land in Oregon to timber barons while he and other politicians ignore the export of billions of board feet of raw logs to Asia.
In addition, DeFazio incessantly pushes for federal funding for the paving industry’s billion-dollar boondoggles across the state to build new four-lane, six-lane and 10-lane highways.
All those plans and efforts have two things in common: They show there is an air of desperation among politicians and government agencies across the board to keep an unsustainable and failing fossil-fueled economy alive, and they reveal a total lack of leadership in creating an economy that is not totally dependent on fossil fuels.
None of those destructive acts of desperation are going to help the citizens of Oregon prepare for a future with a dwindling supply, and subsequent increasing cost, of petrol to supply their basic needs of food, transportation and shelter.
Isn’t it time we demand real leadership and real low-tech solutions such as re-localizing food production, hardware manufacturing, non-fossil fuel transportation and watershed restoration that focuses on weaning Oregonians from a fossil-fuel-dependent system?
Governor Kitzhaber's Energy Plan Relies on Dirty Fuels
June 26, 2012
Eugene Regsiter Guard
Gov. John Kitzhaber’s draft 10-year energy plan advocates that Oregon use 19th-century technologies such as burning wood (biomass) and fossil fuel (natural gas) to meet future energy and carbon emission goals. The last sentence of the plan’s introduction states, “Natural gas can serve as a critically important tool to reducing our state’s dependence on coal and helping Oregon meet 2020 greenhouse gas reductions.”
The California Public Utility Commission recently enacted a moratorium of new natural gas-fired electric generators. Instead they will rely on conservation and electricity generation resulting from solar-harvesting technologies.
Kitzhaber’s plan also asserts that “converting electric heat for residential, commercial and industrial customers to natural gas or bioenergy thermal heating technologies (biomass)… transitions consumers off inefficient” fuels.
Tokyo Power and Electric asserts in a 2010 report on heat-pump technologies that Japan will meet most thermal demands from the residential, commercial and industrial sectors by using heat pumps.
Overall, the Kitzhaber energy plan appears to have been written by the natural gas and biomass industries. It all but ignores the role solar-harvesting technologies such as heat pumps and solar electric could have in meeting all of the state’s energy needs, as well as greenhouse gas reductions, without burning “fracked” natural gas or razing our forests for dirty and inefficient electric generators.
Oregonians’ voices are needed on the draft plan to prepare Oregon for the 21st century by weaning us off all fossil fuels and saving our forests as carbon sinks.
Great Deceptions Mark End of 2012
Letter to the Editor Dec 8th 2012
Eugene Register Guard
President Obama and Wall Street want us to believe that our economy will fall apart if we don’t waste billions of tax dollars on fossil fuel and military-industry welfare. The threatened tax increase on the middle class is a coercion tactic. Congress and Obama could grant the middle-class tax cut without wasting billions on unneeded military goods and petroleum industry welfare.
Another great deception here in the Northwest is the announced protection of 9.6 million acres of federal lands for the northern spotted owl. How can the government protect more land while at the same time substantially increasing logging on those same lands? Furthermore, in October the Obama administration removed 4 million acres of critical habitat for the “threatened” marbled murrelet. Where are the “protections”?
Third, many utilities and fossil fuel industry-funded think tanks are devising plans to gut the renewable energy portfolio requirements enacted throughout the country including those for Oregon. Some Northwest utilities want to include hydroelectric power as a renewable energy source. If this happens the utilities could meet the renewable energy requirement without installing one solar panel or windmill. I would ask that utility patrons urge Oregon legislators and utilities to resist this move. Instead Gov. John Kitzhaber and lawmakers should designate heat pump technology as a renewable energy technology, mimicking the European Union. The Bonneville Power Administration estimates the electricity saved by replacing electric resistance heating with heat pumps for residential water and space heating could equal the energy needed to power a half million Northwest homes.