Thursday, September 24, 2009

Call to action on climate change - Oct. 24:

Dear fellow cyclists:

Riding our bikes on roads and trails, we have access to parts of the world few of our fellow citizens ever see, and enjoy scenery that most people don’t notice whizzing by at 65 mph. By being active outdoors during all seasons, we as cyclists surely take note of our changing climate patterns – and we are able to directly impact climate change by choosing to ride our bike more instead of drive. We're asking you as a cyclist to take action on Oct. 24 in a one-day project that we hope will have some measurable impact on changing the world.

You spend much of your time riding your bike out in the elements. It is likely that you’ve noticed your local weather patterns getting less stable, less consistent, and more volatile. Climate change is having a direct impact on our world weather through significant melting of glaciers. In fact, scientists who have drilled glacial cores around the world tell us this melt is happening ever faster, to the point where in our lifetimes it may endanger billions of people, ecosystems, food production and more. So far, though, the political response to climate change has been too slow!

The cycling response has been great: is lucky to have the CLIF BAR Development Cyclo-Cross Team, Kashi Leuchs, Ted King, Adam Craig, Tom Danielson, Heather Irmiger, Lea Davison and more riders and teams supporting our cause.

Now, with the crucial negotiations looming on the horizon at the United Nations Climate Change Conference this December in Copenhagen, we can do something to help change that. The world's foremost climatologist, NASA's James Hansen, and his team last year declared that 350 parts per million co2 was the most carbon we could safely have in the atmosphere. That's a tough number, because we're already past it. At the moment, the atmosphere holds 387 ppm co2, which is why glaciers and Arctic sea ice are melting. Indeed, this research team cautioned that unless we got back below that number, then eventually the earth might well be ice-free.

The planet will scrub some of that co2, but only if we stop pouring more in. To move political leaders to take this seriously, is organizing a huge global day of action on Oct. 24, designed to drum that number into every head on the planet. So: we urge you to ride somewhere notable and visible on October 24 – by yourself, with a group, or at a race - and figure out some way to make the number 350 visible. What we'll need by day's end if possible, is a photo, uploaded to the web, of whatever 350 bike ride action you've figured out to do. We need a picture of you and 350.

A few days beforehand or a day or two after will work as well - the goal is simply to take this obscure number, arguably the most important number in the world, and make it the most well-known 3 digits on the planet. If we do, then it will set the bar for negotiators. At the very least, we'll have helped let the rest of the world know what the crucial reality facing the planet is.

If you can help, please contact Jamie Henn at

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TEAM CLIF BAR is working to fight climate change