The city of Bend and its Climate Action Steering Committee are “inviting Bend residents to take 15 minutes to participate in an online community survey.”

You have to wonder why a committee seeking to capture views that reflect Bend would rely on a tool so fraught with potential bias as an online survey.

The survey results, the city says, will help shape recommendations for the Community Climate Action Plan. It’s supposed to be a set of strategies, policies and programs that encourage “voluntary” fossil fuel use reduction throughout Bend.

We highlighted voluntary, because reading through proposed actions mentioned in the survey — some are not voluntary at all.

One proposal calls for charging for parking downtown based on demand. That’s not voluntary, though we suppose you could always pay the fine instead of paying for parking. Or you could go outlaw and never pay the fine. When the police show up, try pointing out how the climate action plan was supposed to be voluntary. The police are always delighted to listen to such excuses.

Another idea mentioned are tolls in Bend to encourage alternative transportation. A voluntary toll? That’s a new idea.

Then there’s the proposal for the city to push for stricter state building codes to require more energy efficiency or certain technologies. A voluntary state building code just for Bend? Legislators will love it!

Perhaps it should be no surprise that a city that has no qualms about using a survey so prone to bias has no qualms pretending to propose voluntary actions.

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