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I read the news Earth Day oh boy…

by Ted Johnson

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?

Arizona Daily Sun

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.

Gosar will call for more oil drilling.

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.

Commuting for BeginnersAs Bike Month and Bike to Work Week approach, I find myself shifting into ambassador mode more than usual.

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.

 
Burley nomad 229

4 Responses to “I read the news Earth Day oh boy…”

  1. Ted,

    Thank you for the great write up! I try to find the humor in the fact that I’m looked at as the bike commuter expert but I have not been able to commute further than 3 miles since my accident.

    I continue to check in on what you guys are doing and I know that moving on from Commute By Bike was the right choice and you guys were the perfect people to pick up the next version of it.

    Man up – that’s my feelings for May as well!

  2. Chrehn says:

    …the billboard reads, “Everyday is Earth Day at Boise Cascade”…

  3. Ted Johnson says:

    In fairness to the Arizona Daily Sun, I should point out that (a) I didn’t check any deeper than the front page for a mention of Earth day, and (b) they published a very poignant editorial earlier in the week lamenting the missed opportunities since Earth Day 2010:

    [I]f Earth Day is to be more than a once-a-year pep rally for a greener planet, it has to engage head-on the debate over jobs and a sustainable environment. Public education, at some point, must be tied to realistic political strategies that appeal to more than just the converted.

  4. Karen says:

    From what I’ve repeatedly read, even if we were to start pumping more oil tomorrow, it would have no impact of the price at pump since it just goes on the world market. OPEC just cut back on production, as people have cut back their use due to higher gas prices, and certainly would again if we were producing more over here. World wide demand is supposed to continue to go up though because more people in Asia and India are driving. Gosar surely has had this explained to him but is choosing to pander to a public that prefers easy answers to complex problems and has been reassured by our electeds that we shouldn’t have to change because we are Americans and thus, “special”.

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