Fortunately a majority of decision-makers around the world (even in the U.S.!) now understand that our climate is changing far more rapidly than it would have without our help. Humans have caused this change that, if left unchecked, could lead to our own demise. On the way, we’ll have to watch our coastal communities drown, our crops whither and our mountains bake. That is, unless we do something about it.
According to recent studies (see references at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change ), the greenhouse effect, which is the warming produced as greenhouse gases trap heat, plays a key role in regulating Earth's temperature. Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have been the primary cause of global warming since 1950. Every gallon of gasoline burned produces 20 pounds of CO2 so it’s no surprise that fossil fuel combustion is the most significant factor in the increase in CO2 levels.
Enter the zero-emissions vehicle: The Bicycle! This seems to us to be a no-brainer – that all efforts to slow and even reverse climate change must include replacing motorized trips with bicycles. Unfortunately this is not the case. The bicycle advocacy movement has hit surprising barriers when trying to offer our expertise to officials and even environmental organizations who, instead of advocating for zero emissions trips through bicycling and walking, are spending enormous amounts of money on creating “low” emissions vehicles.
While these efforts to lower emissions of motorized trips are certainly a part of the solution, they do not take into account the amounts of fossil fuels and energy needed to provide for motorized travel:
- Energy to produce and salvage motor vehicles
- Fossil fuels used in tires, motor oil and plastics for motor vehicles
- Fossil fuels used in paving and maintaining roads and parking areas
Until we focus our efforts on replacing motorized trips with zero-emissions bicycling and walking trips we will be missing the most effective means of stemming climate change. One Street looks forward to lifting bicycling to the level it deserves in climate change discussions.
- View this incredible 90 second, wordless video on climate change that INCLUDES bicycling as a main solution: http://www.350.org/en/animation
- Read this article regarding Climate Change – Norwegian
Free Gas at Moore's Bike Shop in Hattiesburg, MS