Cycling to Fight Climate Poverty

December 3, 2007 at 6:59 am 7 comments

Listening to the blessing and cermony after they finished their bike 1,700km bike rideIt’s the day before the United Nations Climate Conference and already in Nusa Dua, Bali, the atmosphere is starting to buzz with people getting ready for the conference to start.

One of the most exciting things to happen today, was the finish of the Bike for Earth Goes to Bali event, that saw 100 cyclists ride form Jakarta to Bali, promoting the use of cycling for transportation, as a way that ordinary Indonesian people can help in the fight against Climate Change.

The ride, which saw the first stage of the Jakarta leg being led by Indonesian President, Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono , has traveled over 1,700 km in the last three weeks and arrived on the eve of the United Climate Change Conference.

On their finish at Nusa Dua the cyclists were warmly welcomed by the Indonesian Minister for Welfare and the Governor of Bali, who gave the cyclists a special blessing, followed by a tree planting to commemorate the ride.

Oxfam was proud to be one of the organisations behind this event, and our Indonesian based campaigner, Rully Prayoga, was at the finish line with a video camera to capture the moment as they rode over the finish line.

Watch Rully’s video report from the finish line of Bike for Earth goes to Bali.

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Entry filed under: United Nations Climate Change Conference. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

United Voices of Indonesia, sing to fight climate change Climate Conference is officially open

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Steve Salmony  |  December 3, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    From my perspective, we have a remarkably large and loud number of people, many of them are our leaders, who are denialists and naysayers with regard to the science of global warming. They have been doing what they are doing now during much of my adult life. What they are saying and doing, I suppose, is derived from one form or another of self-interested-thinking. At least one consequence of their widely shared and consensually validated way of viewing the world could lead the human community into danger. Let me say more now about what I mean.

    Self-interested-thinking is potentially dangerous because it serves to hide the truth of global warming, among other things, as well as “poison the well” of public discourse regarding climate change.

    Too many of our politicians, economists, big-business benefactors and the talking heads in the mass media are all “whistling the same tune.” What is even worse is the way they entice many appointees and surrogates to whistle that same tune, too. After all, who can resist offerings of great wealth, power and privileges that accrue to those who go along with one’s self-interests, with whatsoever is political convenient, economically expedient, religiously tolerated and socially agreeable. In the face of such temptation, we can readily understand why the scientific gains of the IPCC would be everywhere, in every way, rejected by the denialists and naysayers. The science from the IPCC could forcefully impede their acquisition of more wealth, more power and more privileges.

    Not only are too many leaders trying to hide or otherwise deny the good scientific evidence of human-driven climate change, they are also actively involved in poisoning the well of public discourse by strategically disseminating disinformation. And for what? Evermore power, wealth and privileges for themselves and their minions so they can carefreely play out the “conspicuous consumption fantasies” of their “Me Generation” by living large and unsustainably, come what may, having forsaken the future of their children and forgotten how human life depends upon Earth’s limited resources and frangible ecosystem services for its very existence.

    It seems to me that the human community has reached a crossroads in Bali, Indonesia, December 2007: EITHER we will choose to “stay the current course” of endless economic growth, ever increasing conspicuous per capita consumption and skyrocketing human population numbers OR we will find other ways to go forward. If these distinctly human overproduction, over-consumption and overpopulation activities we see overspreading the surface of Earth are unsustainable, then I am going to suppose we will insist upon some changes in our behavioral repertoire so that sustainable ways of living in the world are proposed by policymakers and adopted by our leaders.

    With thanks to all Bali participants,

    Steve

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/

    Reply
  • 2. pushpanath  |  December 4, 2007 at 10:26 am

    what an inspiration you have been- what a splenid achievement too.

    Wishing you all the best

    Reply
  • 3. Steven Earl Salmony, Ph.D., M.P.A.  |  December 13, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    The astonishing failures to act responsibly by too many leaders at the Bali Conference present us the most deplorable situation imaginable. The implications of inaction for the future of our children are potentially profound. How on Earth can the leaders in my not-so-great generation of elders consciously mortgage as well as threaten the very future of coming generations by remaining intransigent in the face of ominously looming, human-induced global challenges, the ones already visible on the far horizon?

    Steven Earl Salmony, Ph.D., M.P.A.
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/

    Reply
  • 4. Steve Salmony  |  December 14, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Three humble proposals……………………

    Hello to All,

    Thanks for your contributions to these discussions and for the uncommonly constructive way in which you participate. Perhaps you will be so kind and consider three following proposals.

    The first proposal is an idea that has been deeply developed by Dr. Jack Alpert of the Stanford Knowledge Integration Laboratory (SKIL). According to his calculations, if we agreed, as one family of humanity, to begin now to implement VOLUNTARILY a “One Child Per Family” policy, it would be possible in the coming 50 years to rapidly decrease absolute global human population numbers to 1.5 billion rather than have human numbers worldwide grow to a fully anticipated 9.2 billion people by 2050 (UN Population Division projections). Although there is much more to say about this proposal, I am going to immediately pass on to the matter of modifying the global economy: the second proposal.

    There are remarkably well-developed ideas by Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute in England regarding a plan for the “contraction and convergence” of the global economy, as a way of protecting the Earth from the reckless and relentless expansion of economic globalization that could soon become patently unsustainable on a relatively small planet with Earth’s limited resources. It goes without saying that the Earth does not possess enough resources to sustain the human species, if every human being on the planet consumes resources as voraciously as people in the ‘developed’ world do now.

    My third proposal calls for a plan to be formulated that redistributes resources and caps excessive per-capita over-consumption. I suppose what I am trying to point out is this: current per human consumption in the ‘developed’ world, unbridled increase of human industrial/production capabilities in the ‘developing’ world, and skyrocketing human numbers in the ‘undeveloped’ world cannot be sustained much longer by the limited natural resources and frangible ecosystem services of Earth.

    As many have made clear to us elsewhere, there is plenty of blame to go around for the distinctly human-forced predicament in which humanity finds itself in these early years of Century XXI. At least to me, it appears that all of us in the human community are implicated in this situation, even though no one among us is responsible for our circumstances. Collective thought and action is anticipated; more sensibly sharing resources and cooperating with one another as a family of humanity is in the offing, I suppose.

    With warm regards,

    Steve Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

    Reply
  • 5. Steven Earl Salmony, Ph.D., M.P.A.  |  December 19, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Dr. Paul Sereno: “This is going to be the century where science either saves the planet, or we fail as a species.”

    Dear Paul,

    Seldom do I agree so completely with a single statement as I do with your statement above. It seems to me that the humankind has come to a crossroads, as many are recognizing in our time, and has a choice. We can choose to be guided by God’s great gift to humanity of good science and find the courage to what is necessary ot preserve our species and life as we know it or we can choose to stay the course of the predominant culture by overpopulating the planet, relentlessly expanding economic globalization activities and increasing per human over-consumption, which would lead most likely to the failure of humanity…….among other catastrophic occurrences and consequences.

    Sincerely,

    Steve

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/

    Reply
  • 6. Steve Salmony  |  December 24, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Are we communicating as if …………….

    ………..we are living in a modern day Tower of Babel? Is our unbelievable failure to communicate reasonably and sensibly about whatsoever is somehow real, and to widely share adequate understandings regarding both how the family of humanity “fits” within the natural order of living things and what are the limitations of the planet we inhabit, in evidence here and now?

    Perhaps the human community is indeed in a serious predicament, but only in part because of the objective biological and physical circumstances defining our distinctly human-driven predicament. The global challenges in the offing are further complicated by our incredible failure to communicate effectively about the potentially pernicious results derived from having recklessly grown a soon to become patently unsustainable, colossal global economy, one that we have artificially designed, conveniently constructed, and unrealistically expanded without regard for the requirements of biophysical reality.

    Could it be that the current gigantic scale and unchecked growth rate of the global economy is unsustainably driving both per human over-consumption and unrestrained human population growth toward the point in human history when the willful, relentless, unregulated growth of consumption, production and propagation of the human species precipitates the collapse of Earth’s ecology, even in these early years of Century XXI?

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/

    Reply
  • 7. Steve Salmony  |  January 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Please know that I would like to be mistaken in suggesting that humanity may not have even 20 to 25 years to figure things out with regard to what human beings are perniciously doing to the Earth in our time, and to begin to move with all deliberate speed from soon to be seen as patently unsustainable ways of living in this world to alternate lifestyles that put the human community on a road toward sustainability.

    At least to me, time is of the essence; it is in short supply; and there is no time whatever to waste. I expect that people here in this small community are going to play a large part in developing strategies and implementing able responses to the global challenges posed to humanity by human over-consumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities, inasmuch as these activities, when taken together, appear to be approaching a leviathan-like scale of unsustainability on a planet of the size and with the make-up of Earth.

    Young people ask every day, “What needs to be done now?”

    At least one of the correct responses to the children’s good question could be astonishingly simple, so incredibly obvious and yet so difficult to so much as even acknowledge because too many wealthy people, their bought-and-paid-for politicians and their talking heads in the mass media willfully ignore it. For all of the super-rich and their minions, silence is golden.

    All of the trillions of dollars of wealth, that are concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority of people within the family of humanity, have been derived from taking something of value from the Earth and doing something productive with it. For a long time, taking from the Earth in this way did not pose a clear and present danger to biodiversity, the environment, the integrity of Earth and, perhaps, humanity. For a moment, consider that the trillions of dollars comprising the global economy is wealth which has been “transferred” from Earth’s body into the bank accounts of people we call “haves.” Millions of “haves” hold almost all of the money. One problem with this distribution of Earth’s resources, however, is that billions of less fortunate “have-nots” in the the human community are hungry and destitute. Even though the “have-nots” have ecological footprints, we know the impact of the “have-nots” on the Earth is a small one. On the other hand, the millions of “haves” who possess the lion’s share of world’s wealth have huge ecological footprints because they have extracted a great deal from the Earth and also have conspicuously consumed Earth’s resources to the point of appearing obscene in our time.

    The task at hand is evident. The “haves” who have almost all of the world’s wealth, almost all of which has been accumulated at the expense of the Earth, need to return to the Earth a portion of that which they have commandeered from it. The wealthy and powerful among us are asked to help humanity transition from a perverse dedication to the endless accumulation of wealth and power that is effectively dissipating Earth’s resources, degrading Earth’s frangible ecosystems and recklessly consuming Earth’s body, to a more fair and equitable sharing of wealth with the “have-nots” as well as to a willing commitment to protect of Earth’s biodiversity, promote renewal of Earth’s resources, and do whatsoever is required of us to save the Earth as a fit place for human habitation by our children and coming generations.

    As has been noted in the Stern Report, the IPCC Report, and in many other reports, those people who hold almost all the wealth are called upon to make effective reparations to a ravaged Earth from which almost all that they possess has been derived.

    Sincerely,

    Steve

    Reply

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