I got word this week that a local group of like-minded environmentalists have organized a local bike event to coincide with an international bike event to highlight the value of pedal power, instead of fossil fuel consumption, as a way to promote biking and other carbon friendly lifestyle choices.
It’s risky scheduling a bike event this late in the season but Mother Nature is showing her support by arranging fantastic weather — sunny and 70 degrees — so fill up the tires and join in this Saturday, October 9th, at 1 pm at Home Savings Plaza.
Sunday – 10th
Home Savings Bank Plaza
Group bike ride to reduce our carbon footprint. One kid-friendly loop – another route for adults – calculate your carbon footprint – commit to reduce it by 10% this year. The hope is to get 1,000 bicycles downtown and encourage people to take the 1010.org pledge to reduce carbon footprint.
Info: Rick Hawksley – 330.715.2354
Local Citizens Join International Rally to Halt Climate Change on 10/10/10
TransPortage, a group of Portage County residents working to build a region that is resilient to the challenges of peak oil and climate change, is organizing a day of earth-friendly transportation on October 10th, 2010. This “CarBan” (carbon reduction) event aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by encouraging local residents to use climate-conscious modes of transportation such as walking, biking, or ride-sharing. This symbolic action will unite local residents with hundreds of thousands across the country and from over 140 (and growing) countries around the globe who will be participating in similar actions on 10/10/10 to rally for a halt to global climate change.
The international event is called the Global Work Party and is headed up by 1010global.org and 350.org. The 1010global campaign aims to cut CO2 emissions by 10% per year. For this event 1010global is teaming up with 350.org, an environmental campaign founded by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, dedicated to finding solutions to the climate crisis. The name 350.org comes from a target concentration of 350 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 in the atmosphere to prevent global warming from causing dangerous levels of warming and long-term damage. In comparison, the present CO2 concentration is 392 ppm and the preindustrial CO2 concentration was 280 ppm.
Across the planet local groups will be installing solar panels, holding bike-repair workshops, insulating houses, planting trees, and painting their rooftops white. Last October, 350.org organized an international day of demonstrations focused on climate change that CNN hailed as “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.” The demonstrations were focused on creating displays of vivid and emotive impact. For example, a group of people in Sydney, Australia arranged themselves to form a giant “350” on the steps of the opera house. Another group posed on a swath of logged forest and made a sign stating “this does not equal 350.”
This year, the campaign’s emphasis is on performing actions that force people to get their hands dirty and address climate change on a practical as well as symbolic level. That’s why members of TransPortage are putting their hands to the handlebars and their feet to the pavement to demonstrate the potential impact that reducing carbon emissions for just one day can have.
TransPortage hopes to institute an alternative transportation day more regularly, perhaps once a month. Refraining from using just one gallon of gasoline keeps 19 pounds of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere. Thousands of pounds less carbon dioxide will be emitted if local Kent and Ravenna residents choose not to drive for just one day.
The group, taking advantage of the fact that 10/10 is a Sunday, is asking local churches to encourage their congregations to find alternative transportation to Sunday services. The day will also include a group of cyclists taking to the streets of Kent. TransPortage invites participating riders to meet at the Home Savings Plaza in downtown Kent at 1pm for a group photo. From there they will embark on a group ride which will include a child-friendly route and a longer route for more experienced riders. TransPortage is also enlisting the help of local members of the national group Critical Mass, an organization of cyclists who periodically gather for street rides in order to raise awareness about bicycle safety and culture. Also in the works is a friendly competition between Kent and Ravenna to see which municipality can bring out the most cyclists that day. TransPortage has set a goal of bringing out 1,000 (10 x 10 x 10) cyclists on 10/10/10.
Besides being a date that only comes around once in a hundred years, 10/10/10 happens to fall on the day after United Nations climate talks in China and three weeks before US mid-term elections. Organizers at 350.org are hoping that the special symmetry of 10/10/10 and the political timing of the Global Work Party create a sense of urgency around the climate crisis.
For their part, members of TransPortage are urging the local community to get to work on reducing their carbon footprints this October 10th by ditching their cars and pulling out the bikes. “After all,” say members of the group, “if we humans want to enjoy our present quality of life for the next 10/10/10 a hundred years from now, we had better start getting to work this year to halt global climate change.”
If you are interested in participating in the group bike ride on Oct. 10th and have questions, or are interested in joining/volunteering with TransPortage, please call 330-677-4129 or contact Chris Carmen at firstname.lastname@example.org