Today is Earth Day. Maybe you already knew that. Did you yawn? You just exhaled huge payload of carbon dioxide. I hope you’re satisfied with yourself.
I remember the first Earth Day in 1970. It’s the only time I can recall riding a city bus with my dad.
More than 40 years later, Earth day has become something of a yawner for most people. The front page of my local paper today had two articles fretting about gas prices, but no mention of Earth Day.
But in ignoring Earth Day this way, the paper asked a subliminal question: What are you, gas consumer, going to do about these prices in your daily life?
We bike commuters, regardless of our motivation, are already ahead of the curve on answering question. The question and the answer aren’t just fermenting in our subconsciousnesses, we’ve pondered the question, and are living the answer. Not too smugly, I hope.
I hold the position–ensuring that I will never get elected to anything–that rising gas prices are good. And I don’t just mean good for the cycling industry. (Although I’m sure cycling execs all across the country close their office doors and do happy dances whenever pessimistic news is announced about dollars per gallon.)
High gas prices force people to think about energy, not in the abstract, but in the personal and practical way that catalyzes change.
Those among us who are waiting for Mr. Science to come up with a magical engine that runs on porn and requires no change in lifestyle, those people may start thinking a little more realistically.
But politicians will consider the price at the pump, and likely take shortsighted measures to ease it.
The White House will announce an Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group.
But you and I will bike to work. Again.
You and I will talk to our friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
When people begin to discuss the prospect of gas at five dollars per gallon, do you become the go-to person on bike commuting? I bet you do.
If you are a regular reader, you may be way beyond the Commuting 101 articles of this website. These articles were written long before I’d ever heard of Commute by Bike. But I’ve been finding myself referring people to these articles more and more in recent days.
These are perennial favorites, and I can’t take any credit for them. But if you know someone who is about to take the leap, and bike to work, these are great articles to show them. You may even find they have some practical information you could stand to re-learn.
Take a look. Bone up. You’re supposed to be the expert.