Sunday, August 05, 2007

the state of cycling in the uk


In this episode we look at biking in the United Kingdom. We chat with Jack Thurston of London's Bike Show on Resonance FM. Then we get Josh Hart on the line to talk about his take on transportation in the UK as an American expat student of urban planning in Bristol.

Jack spoke of London's success with their downtown Congestion Charge .

Join Josh and his friends at Heathrow Airport Camp for Climate Action as they protest the proposed doubling of the air traffic there.

Josh avoided cars and planes on his trip to Bristol to avoid undoing all of the good he's done by biking. More on your carbon footprint.

Check out the pictures of the life size mousetrap at the heavy pedal cyclecide bike rodeo this year where the contraption worked as advertised a record two times in a row!

2 comments:

Caroline said...

I am a longtime listener and a huge fan of your podcast. I also listen to KBOO - another favorite of mine, although I live on the east coast. I look forward to hearing whatever comes from your Portland vacation! Have fun! Portland, like San Francisco, sounds like a wonderful place to be a bicyclist. (Here in rural New Hampshire people think I'm nuts to cycle 2-1/2 miles to the convenience store.)

Calvin Jones said...

Camp for Climate Action


From the 14th to the 21st of August 2007 people from all over the UK will come together to form the Camp for Climate Action at Heathrow airport. Described last year as 'Glastonbury, science seminar and protest all in one'1, we clearly have a lot to live up to. Last year this mixture of education, protest and entertainment captured the media imagination with the camp receiving unheard of news coverage for a climate change protest. At that time we focused on dirty coal2, this year the focus has changed to the ever expanding aviation industry.


Deciding to highlight aviation growth with this years climate camp was not an easy decision. But we asked ourselves: 'Where are government policies on climate change weakest and most badly needed?'. The answer is clearly the aviation industry: a heavy polluter that is highly subsidised and growing fast. Just imagine would could be done with the £9 Billion in subsides given to aviation3. That is a lot of hospitals, schools...or tax cuts! The government has climate policies that exclude aviation and aviation policies that exclude any consideration of climate change. According to a cross-party group of MPs who looked at this conflict, growth in aviation emissions are likely to entirely destroy progress made elsewhere4.


Whereas the government has shown it's rhetoric to outshine it's performance the Camp for Climate Action seeks to lead by example. The week long event will have a strong emphasis on learning, both about low carbon living and about communicating climate change. Renewable energy such as Solar and Wind will power the event, including on-site internet access, projectors and lighting5.


Heathrow was chosen as the symbol of aviation due to it's international profile and it's vast carbon footprint—larger than many countries6. It was also important to us that many local people are already strongly resisting the expansion of Heathrow, we felt a strong desire to strengthen there fight.


We have three aims:


1.To highlight government hypocrisy in pursuing both a climate plan and an entirely inconsistent airport expansion plan.
2.To support local communities i there struggle against loosing homes under the ever expanding tarmac of Heathrow.
3.To educate ourselves and all those who join us about low carbon living.

We do all this with a simple philosophy:


Climate change is our generations challenge, it must not be left to burden our children. As governments fail us the realisation is clear, action is our responsibility: we are the ones who we have been waiting for.




References:
1.http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/johann_hari/article1359823.ece
2.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_for_Climate_Action
3.AEF, Hidden Cost of Flying, 2003
4.Environmental Audit Committee, 2002-2004, 9th Report (Budget 2003 and Aviation)
5.http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/aims.php
6.http://bristlingbadger.blogspot.com/2007/05/heathrow-uks-worst-emitter.html