Not all cyclists are on their wheels because they are worried about climate change. But it’s one of the reasons I bike.
Oh, dear! Now that I’ve put that down on the screen, I see how futile it looks. A drop in the ocean. Bland conscience stroking.
Then again, maybe it’s important not just to imagine alternative lifestyles, but to act in a way that shows these lifestyles are viable.
On the other hand, I could be investing in an armoured Hummer, building a bunkered house in a gated community and stockpiling weapons. It’s just, that’s not the world I want to imagine. Which brings me to tomorrow’s U.N. Climate Change Summit Global Day of Action. The call to action is timed to coincide with the Durban summit on climate change, and its wording is:
“We demand that world leaders take the urgent and resolute action that is needed to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate, so that the entire world can move as rapidly as possible to a stronger emissions reductions treaty which is both equitable and effective in minimising dangerous climate change.
We demand that the long-industrialised countries that have emitted most greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere take responsibility for climate change mitigation by immediately reducing their own emissions as well as investing in a clean energy revolution in the developing world. Developed countries must take their fair share of the responsibility to pay for the adaptive measures that have to be taken, especially by low-emitting countries with limited economic resources.
Climate change will hit the poorest first and hardest. All who have the economic means to act, must therefore urgently and decisively do so.”
As Canadians, we count among the worst climate offenders on the planet. What does that mean for our everyday lives? How does it change our perceptions of what we do when we climb onto our bikes or into our cars?