Go Green

The expedition to Antarctica commences November 5….

For months I have struggled on the best way to further an environmental message with my cycling expedition across Europe and around the world.  The ecological synergies between cycling and the environment are obvious, but I’ve wanted a clever way to get this message out.  Unfortunately I haven’t found one.

After participating in a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) conference in late April, I am more convinced than ever that action on climate change has to happen at the individual level, because it sure as hell isn’t happening at the institutional level.   Governments can’t and won’t take action; Copenhagen demonstrated that.  To do the right thing is just politically too unpopular.  While organizations like UNEP and many others are grappling with the climate change issue, and trying to figure out how to save the planet, everyone’s still talking strategy.

What we need is action.

Because of this institutional and political inertia, action depends upon us.  You and me.  As individuals I am convinced that collectively we can make a difference.   We must.  When the noise on this issue gets loud enough, I am convinced that the broader  population — and maybe even governments — will begin to hear the message, action will be taken, and energy consumption behaviors will change.  eventually, peer pressure will probably be the most powerful catalyst for change.  But that’s eventually.

I pledge to use TransEuropa 2011 and this blog to make some noise.  To drive this message, Fluffy and Ryan, two penguin characters created by my son, will accompany for the entire ride.  Why penguins?  They are cute and adorable from a distance (but stinky up close).  They are also on the front lines of climate change.   I recently read the following article in The New York Times about how penguins are already being impacted by climate change:-

Climate change and the penguin trail, from The New York Times

Please support me in my trip across Europe by pledging to  help spread the word and by adopting one, just one, eco-friendly activity.   Fell free to use the “Leave a comment” option on this page to post your pledges and/or comments.

It’s up to us.

Following is part of a message which my friend and fellow cross-USA cyclist, Helen, recent shared with me on this topic.  With her permission I also share with you:-

“I have 4 kids who will live in this world we are leaving them.  And I’m scared.  Like you, I didn’t really understand climate change.

But a month ago I set my sights at learning more and it is frightening.
It’s happening so much faster than we expected.  And no one is listening.

I look for analogy.

Are we like passengers rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?  Are we Nero fiddling while Rome burns?

I think the best analogy is the curse of Cassandra from Greek mythology.
Cassandra was cursed to see the future…to tell the future…and for no one to believe her.

How Greek tragic to see the danger of climate change…to see us rushing to the cliffs edge…and no one believes us.

We cannot stop it completely now.
But we can “manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable.””

Here are a few more perspectives on climate change, some sober and some funny, to continue the conversation.

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3 Responses to Go Green

  1. Love the videos, Todd.

    OK. I will pledge to give up red meat.
    Other than replacing my car with a bicycle, there’s nothing better I could do for the planet.

  2. David Astley says:

    Thanks for posting that first video, Todd. It’s one of the most logical arguments I have seen/heard on climate change. I will share it through my own social networks. Like you say in your blog post, we need to make more noise to force governments to take action.

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