Monday, March 31, 2008

Bamboo for you ? Ghana get one ?

Craig Calfee had worked with the Earth Institute at Columbia University (EI) on a feasability study trip in June of 2007. EI continues to study the issues and how it can be integrated into their Millennium Village Program. With his own funding, Craig went back to Ghana in February to continue efforts to get bamboo bike building started. These bikes would be for local use although some may be sold to tourists.

The purpose was to get Ghanaians started on building bikes and see what practical issues came up. He wanted to see how the private sector would take to it as a sustainable enterprise and see what credit mechanisms could be used to help people get started on owning these bikes. Click on this article's title to read about Craig’s journal on that trip...

But first, let's hear your comments if you've ever built a bike, bamboo or other, and whether you would ever consider building a bike... building a bike from bamboo... and, what would you do with any such bike ?

For now, I've got the bamboo. I'm just trying to decide if I'm going to copy Calfee and try one for myself ? Or, maybe I'll build a bridge like these guys did...! Wow, what an unbelievable project !

Drop me a line... In the meantime I'll see you out there, on my bike, of course... JD Howell, Eugene, OR.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tell next President 'eat the view' !

It turns out that there 'have been' kitchen gardens at the White House before. What a great way to Cut 20, you might say. Since I'd guess that 20% of the costs associated with the food coming into the White House are for transportation - namely, fossil fuels. So, if our next President were to restore a former tradition and begin using 20% of their garden staff to prepare fresh organic veggies - think of the positive effect this could have on the entire nation... potentially, planet.

And hopefully, they'll be using a bike and a Bob to haul their worm castings to and fro rather than using some horribly awful gas-powered lawn cart. Better yet, bike the compost out to the vermiculture farm, now part of the new White House tour, and use the compost tea and castings to create the 'full circle' effect of recycle, reuse, renew. That's what powers me on my bike since we're now doing vermiculture along with hydroponics, a rooftop garden and starting all our plants from seed. See you out there, on my bike, of course... JD Howell, Eugene, OR

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Lance Armstrong - Next French Ambassador

On Day One wanted to know what I thought we should ask the next President to do. There were so many good suggestions, but of course I always think about cycling - that totally understated solution to help ensure Global Cooling.

I suggest we get Lance to be our Liaison to France and set about improving relations with our ally. On his returns to 'check in' he could do Critical Mass rides with the President, creating a wave of rides globally with a 'Cool the Planet - YeeHaw Rally'... (YeeHaw is a word in Texas)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Iraq War Greenhouse Emissions

Staggering ! I mean STAGGERING ! No, not just the equivocal greenhouse gases of 25 million cars, but the amount of money to achieve the renewables needed to reach a year 2030 target for reduction of global warming. As it stands, incentives for renewables are slated to end at the federal level - end of 2008.

True, we wouldn't have spent this much on renewables, and we haven't really spent this much on the war - we've borrowed and hedged our bets on the future of our country on this war. Though I support the military, I don't support fighting for oil - especially when I see the majority of people riding alone in their vehicles, going less than 4 miles average to their errands, jobs, etc.

People... we need to be cultivating minds, trees and bike lanes. We need to stop forcing our agenda on others and get back to fighting for those who can't defend themselves against tyranny, poverty and social injustices. We need to pack City Hall's everywhere, with people that care... really care.

Hope to see you out there, on my bike, of course... JD Howell, Eugene, OR