Eugene Sustain-a-bull Quiz
In 2008, the City of Eugene's official slogan was "the world's greatest city of the arts and the outdoors" and the City government claims that Eugene is the greenest city in the country. This test highlights the difference between political rhetoric and practical reality. Can you get an "a"?
The answers are at the bottom of the page.
What city in Oregon has made the most effort to protect natural areas for parks preservation?
Which city has "G-rated," a program to provide modest grants to homeowners to implement "green" features in their home construction?
Which city banned extra large big box stores, was sued by Wal-Mart, and then prevailed at the Oregon Supreme Court (which upheld the right of the city to block Wal-Mart)?
a. Hood River
d. Grants Pass
Which city banned styrofoam food packaging in the late 1980s?
What organization declared the City of Eugene to be the greenest community in the United States?
a. a public relations firm in New York City that claims burning garbage is an ecological behavior
b. the Eugene Chamber of Commerce
c. the Lane County Democratic Party
d. the Register-Guard newspaper
What is the leading agricultural crop of Lane County, by acreage?
a. grass seed for lawns and golf courses
c. organic vegetables
d. wine grapes
How much food is stored in Eugene Springfield area food warehouses?
a. about three days worth
b. couple weeks worth
c. a year's worth
d. Eugene Springfield is self sufficient for food and doesn't need food delivery trucks
How much of Oregon's oil is extracted from the Pacific Northwest (northern Alaska is not part of the Pacific Northwest)?
b. just enough to power emergency vehicles if there was a cut off from other regions
c. most of it, since oil is "abiotic" and associated with volcanic magma (it is not really a fossil fuel)
d. nearly all of it, since we can "offset" oil shipments from other parts of the world
Why did the timber industry decline?
a. the biggest trees were cut, some of the big trees were exported without being milled first, and automation replaced many of the remaining jobs
b. it's all the fault of the spotted owl
c. ecological consciousness among government officials who banned clearcuts
d. lawsuits from environmental activists
Why is gold no longer mined east of Cottage Grove?
a. the ore was depleted decades ago, and it can only be mined once
b. a community consensus that greed is a bad thing
c. concern for water quality downstream of the mines
d. the desire to honor extinct mining culture at "Bohemia Mining Days"
What are the main drivers of the Eugene economy?
a. lumber, plywood, the University of Oregon, real estate development, road construction, recreational vehicles
b. organic food production, solar energy, green building, bicycle manufacturing
What is the top toxic air pollutant in Lane County (by quantity), according to the Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority?
a. formaldehyde from plywood manufacturing
b. acids emitted from Hyundai (Hynix) computer chip factory
c. helicopter spraying of herbicides in private timberland
d. carbon emissions from SUVs
The City of Eugene has a "sustainability" initiative that states it seeks to change the way the city operates. How many building code changes have been implemented because of this initiative? How many highway expansion programs have been stopped because of the "sustainability" program?
What initiatives did the City of Eugene implement as part of its pledge to encourage that the Olympics trials in June 2008 would be ecological?
a. expanding flight capacity at the Eugene Airport so more people can fly here
b. encouraging people to take Amtrak from other parts of the country
c. the local Tibetan exile community was given official opportunities to explain the human rights situation in their homeland, in honor of the claim that Eugene is the "human rights city"
d. The City of Eugene decided to boycott the Olympics due to human rights abuses in China and the amount of jet fuel required for attendees to get to Beijing.
The State of Oregon has major policy initiatives regarding the need to address climate change. What impacts has this made to forest regulation in Oregon?
a. no changes are proposed to the Oregon Forest Practices Act, which regulates logging on private timberlands
b. the State of Oregon has started enforcing the anemic requirements for timber companies to leave two trees per acre per clearcut (a requirement that has not been enforced much in recent years)
c. clearcuts are going to be phased out because deforestation is a huge contributor to climate change, and helicopter spraying of cancer causing herbicides is going to be banned
d. logging companies that have shredded forest habitats are having their corporate charters revoked and the land given back to the American Indian tribes
The states of Oregon and Washington are planning to spend $4.2 billion for a new, widened I-5 bridge across the Columbia River, which would also extend the Portland light rail a couple more stops across the river into down- town Vancouver. What did Oregon Transportation Commissioner Gail Achterman say about the environmental impacts of this expansion?
a. "The Columbia River Crossing project is a major forward step in our effort to reduce the carbon footprint of our transportation system"
b. "We are canceling the highway component of this project and diverting the funds toward public transit in metropolitan Portland and high speed passenger rail for Cascadia" (Eugene to Vancouver BC).
c. "The State of Oregon recognizes the seriousness of the Peak Oil and Climate Change crises, and we are going to implement the Oregon Transportation Plan's policy guidelines to prioritize fixing existing roads before building new capacity."
d. "The I-5 widening is part of the national NAFTA Superhighway proposals, so the state is opposing this proposal to encourage support for regional business instead of outsourcing our production to foreign sweatshops."
There are nine major dams in Lane County. How many were designed to consider seismic shaking from large earthquakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone?
a. zero, Eugene, Springfield and other downstream communities are likely to encounter serious damage when the Cascadia earthquake happens, and no funds have been appropriated to mitigate these threats.
b. three, the newest dams were built strong enough, but there are some older dams that need urgent attention
c. six, the concrete dams in Lane County are likely to be strong enough, but the earthen dams (Cottage Grove, Dorena, Fern Ridge) are at risk
d. all nine dams have been strengthened to protect downstream communities
What is the pattern of Eugene voters for bond measures?
a. Eugene voters fund school bonds, libraries and parks, but refuse to fund a new police complex or corporate welfare for chain stores
b. Eugene voters are happy to fund a $150 million City Hall as long as there are meetings promising it will somehow be "green"
What is the top priority of Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB)?
a. spending at least $85,500,000 to relocate their maintenance yard to the West Eugene Wetlands so that they can privatize part of their riverfront property (currently in public ownership)
b. building a solar panel factory in Eugene so the city can systematically install solar electric and hot water panels on every home and business
c. improving fish habitat in the McKenzie River
d. installing wind turbines on the Oregon coast to increase renewable energy generation
EWEB appointed five members of the public to a committee that will make recommendations about the reuse of their riverfront property. How many of these members have ecological expertise about floodplains?
a. none, EWEB picked Eugene Chamber of Commerce and "development" interests to advise them on privatizing this public property
b. 1, EWEB has a token environmental expert on this committee
c. 3, EWEB wants a balance between environmental experts and specialists in speculative development
d. all five have this expertise since the maintenance yard is going to be converted into a riverfront park
The Holy Cow Cafe serves organic, vegetarian food to University of Oregon students, faculty and staff. It has pioneered waste reduction and prevention for the campus, and has a loyal following built up over many years. How did the U of O management honor their efforts for sustainability?
a. the U of O revoked their space in the EMU student center in favor of a chain restaurant from Portland. Holy Cow sued and they now have five more years to feed the University.
b. the U of O gave Holy Cow Cafe a Campus Sustainability Award and is requiring other food outlets on campus to shift to organic, locally sourced foods.
c. the U of O is requiring all food service facilities to phase out "disposable" food packaging in favor of washable, reusable plates and cups
What is the top construction priority for the University of Oregon?
a. a new basketball arena (plus a baseball arena)
b. a solar energy research facility to help future generations have electricity after coal and natural gas
c. earthquake retrofits for older, seismically unsafe buildings to protect students, staff and faculty
d. a public transit system for U of O complexes
What is the main criteria that is being used to promote the environmental attributes of the proposed new basketball arena?
a. there is a Bus Rapid Transit stop near the proposed site that would be able to accommodate a small percentage of the fans (a route that currently serves 4,000 trips per day, and the arena would have about 12,000 seats)
b. the food stands in the arena would be catered by the Holy Cow Cafe
c. the arena would only use non-toxic building materials and have solar panels on the roof
d. the basketball team would only play other teams in the Pacific Northwest so teams would not have to take energy intensive plane rides to get to Eugene
Jerry's hardware has co-sponsored events of the University of Oregon Climate Leadership Initiative (the think tank behind some of the City's "sustainability" programs). What did Jerry's do to earn this promotional association?
a. Jerry's contributed money but was not required to stop selling poisonous products
b. Jerry's started a solar energy division in their hardware stores to help homeowners install green power on their roofs
c. Jerry's garden center stopped selling 2,4-D (part of the notorious herbicide Agent Orange) and shifted their emphasis toward supporting suburban agriculture (converting lawns into food production)
d. Jerry's is now shifting to only selling lumber from selectively logged forests and is helping to finance restoration of eroding clearcuts
In January 2006, Mayor Piercy introduced Peak Oil expert Richard Heinberg at a large event at the Eugene Hilton. What policy initiative was prioritized by the Mayor shortly afterwards?
a. building another parking garage downtown
b. shifting funds for road expansion toward better bus service
c. free bicycles for all City employees
d. massive expansion of the City's community garden programs for citizens who lack access to garden sites
In November 2007, which politician was the swing vote at the Lane Council of Governments in favor of adoption of the Regional Transportation Plan, a long term budget for the Eugene Springfield area that included $817 million for more highway expansion?
a. Kitty Piercy
b. Jim Torrey
c. Jennifer Solomon
d. Bobby Green
In 2007, which level of government made the formal decision to select "no build" for the West Eugene Parkway?
a. Federal Highway Administration
c. Lane Council of Governments
d. Eugene City Council and Mayor
What does the West Eugene Collaborative say about the WETLANDS alternative (West Eugene Transportation, Land and Neighborhood Design Solutions) to the $200 million West Eugene Parkway?
a. they censor any mention of it in their discussions and reports even though the consultants admit it was well presented and the primary instigator of the Collaborative called it "brilliant" in 2006.
b. the Collaborative invited supporters of the WETLANDS alternative to be part of their group discussions
c. the Collaborative considered WETLANDS during their "design storm" to discuss alternative ideas
d. while the Collaborative members do not want to acknowledge the authors of the WETLANDS alternative, they managed to plagiarize some of the ideas from it for their own report
What neighborhood has the highest concentration of participants in the West Eugene Collaborative, which is discussing land use and transportation issues?
a. Hendricks Park in east Eugene
b. Bethel - Danebo
c. Churchill (West 18th)
d. River Road
How many west Eugene neighborhood organizations were originally part of Mayor Piercy's West Eugene Collaborative?
a. zero, none were invited to create the collaborative (more collaborators live near Hendricks Park than west of Chambers Street) In late summer 2008, after a year and a half of criticism, two representatives from West Eugene's 8 groups were finally welcomed to take part in the last meetings.
b. two, Churchill and Active Bethel Citizens
c. four, Churchill, Active Bethel Citizens, Trainsong and Whiteaker Community Council
d. all eight are participants, since the "Collaborative" wants a cross section of community opinion
In March 2008, the West Eugene Collaborators published a map of proposals. What did this map include?
a. build half of the WEP, remove much of the west Eugene industrial zone and build a transit route through homes south of West 11th Avenue (west of Garfield).
b. ensure that the WEP could not be revived by converting the WEP properties to parkland
c. fix west 11th intersections so traffic can flow better
d. a moratorium on more big box stores so that mixed use development can be implemented on west 11th avenue.
How many City of Eugene owned buildings have rooftop solar panels?
a. none, the rhetoric about green buildings is to smooth over public objection to a new, overpriced City Hall
b. three, but more are on the way
c. six, they have been busy in helping "relocalize" the electric power supply
d. all city of eugene buildings now have solar panels thanks to the sustainability initiatives
What solar array is the most notable in Lane County?
a. the University of Oregon Lillis Building has the largest solar array anywhere that was partially installed in the shade.
b. since Eugene is the greenest city in the country, it also has the highest ratio of solar powered buildings.
c. all new commercial buildings are required to install solar arrays, following policies being enacted in several European jurisdictions
What location did Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy support for McKenzie Willamette hospital?
a. at the north of Delta Highway, at the edge of town
b. at second and Garfield, near the geographic center for Eugene's population
c. on the Connor and Wooley properties downtown that have been left to decay
d. in the big pit in front of the library that the Piercy administration created at a cost of $200,000.
How are Lane County's election ballots counted?
a. all of the paper ballots are fed into a machine using secret software and then the computer tells us the results
b. since we have paper ballots, each ballot is counted individually by poll workers and therefore we have a guarantee the results are accurate
What did Representative Peter DeFazio say in 2007 about the legality of the War on Iraq?
a. It is legal because Congress voted for it.
b. it is a violation of international law and therefore of US law because the United Nations did not sanction it.
c. the US has committed countless war crimes in Iraq and the US should provide medical care to atone for our sins, just like Martin Luther King said the US owed compensation to Viet Nam
d. the Bush administration lied repeatedly to Congress and therefore Bush, Cheney and other officials deserve impeachment and removal from office, as sanctioned by the US Constitution
On February 25, 2008, Rep. DeFazio, chair of the House Transportation Committee Highways Subcommittee, published an opinion article in the Register Guard about transportation priorities. What did he say about spending on superhighways?
a. he recommended a substantial increase in highway funding to reduce air pollution
b. he recommended that transportation policies acknowledge Peak Oil
c. he recommended that highway expansion funds be redirected toward Amtrak and public transit
d. he recommended prioritizing fixing cracked bridges on I-5 and I-84 before building more bypasses and other highway capacity expansions
Representative Peter DeFazio did not have a Republican challenger for the 2008 election. How many environmental groups endorsed Mike Beilstein, his Green Party challenger, since there was no danger of the Greens being a "spoiler" candidate that time?
a. The Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club only endorse Democrats.
b. these groups are impressed by Beilstein's honesty about the scale of the energy crisis, are alienated by the tepid response of the Democratic Party, and have a policy of selecting the most ecologically oriented candidate regardless of party affiliation
Each answer is "a."
Questions prepared by Mark Robinowitz.
Few of these issues are given serious consideration by Eugene's media, not even by the Eugene Weekly.