1975 Schwinn Continental

1975 Schwinn Continental
This is the bike before most of the restoration work - click to view full-size

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kicking Asphalt Driving Change Edition

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Better World Club, Inc." <kicking_asphalt@betterworldclub.com>
Date: Nov 26, 2014 6:07 PM
Subject: Kicking Asphalt Driving Change Edition
To: "Dan" <aquarianm@gmail.com>


Obama Adds Green To Red China and Gets A Shade Of Gray (No, Not One of the 50 Shades You're Thinking Of)

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping make a pledge to reduce future emissions. This marks the first time China has made a commitment to protect the environment. The goal: the US will cut carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent, while China will stop its emissions from further growth by 2030.

Reactions to this news have been mixed. Some say it's "historic" and a "breakthrough", some are skeptical that Beijing and Washington can make good on their pledge, and some even say it's simply too little too late.

Regardless of the outcome -- if they fall short of their goals or if the planet goes up in flames anyways -- it is definitely a huge move in a positive direction, and one that should be acknowledged as such.

Paul Krugman may be right on the money when he concludes in a NY Times Op Ed piece that: "The agreement between China and the United States on carbon emissions is, in fact, a big deal."

Krugman goes on to explain the reason it's a "big deal" is because it takes out one of the major lines of defense that have been erected by the Republican party that blockades action that would otherwise help save the planet.

There are three major defensive modes that have been inhibiting movement towards combating climate change: denial -- global warming does not exist and it's all a bunch of hogwash; scare tactics -- actions that cut emissions are bad for the economy because they lead to loss of jobs and impede growth; and, finally, there is nothing America can do as long as China keeps blasting out emissions at an ever increasing rate -- therefore anything we do is futile.

"Needless to say," writes Krugman, "I don't expect the usual suspects to concede that a major part of the anti-environmentalist argument has just collapsed. But it has. This was a good week for the planet."

While the union of Obama and Jinping on combating carbon emissions has, undoubtedly, generated a jolt of optimism the skepticism creeps in when it comes to the numbers. A series of scientific and economic reports have concluded that "in order to avoid the 2-degree temperature rise, the world's largest economies will have to drastically cut carbon emissions within just a few years — a rate far more rapid than what the United States and China have offered."

But, then again, it's better than nothing! And since China and the United States are the two biggest national emitters of carbon, if they can unite in an effort to save the planet than other countries should, hopefully, follow -- or, at the very least, some of the justification for not doing so will be destroyed.

Read More: BWC Blog
Read More: The NYTimes.com

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The Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) is a student and youth run national network

A nonprofit, non-partisan, membership-based organization. Works to protect the health of every Oregonian by working for clean air and water, a healthy climate, an unpolluted landscape and sustainable food and farms.

A national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women's, children's and consumer advocacy organizations

Works to protect wilderness through radical means.

The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation is to give the next generation of environmental stewards an active understanding and love for the natural world in which they live.




Maybe Washington and Beijing Should Look To Oregon...

Much like Massachusetts' healthcare program was used as one of the models for the Affordable Care Act, perhaps Oregon's Clean Fuels Program should be used as a model by Washington in its efforts to clean up the environment and combat rising carbon emissions. 

The Oregon Clean Fuel Program was approved in 2009 by Oregon Legislature, and its aim is to reduce Oregon's greenhouse gas pollution by lowering the carbon content of transportation fuel used in the state.

The Clean Fuels Program also "seeks to create economic development opportunities in Oregon, increase the state's energy security and reduce air pollution for healthy communities."

The idea is to lessen Oregon's dependence on Big Oil and level the playing field for local suppliers of clean fuels. The program aims to do so by way of gradually incorporating clean fuels like electricity, biodiesel, natural gas and propane into the transportation systems of the city.

The program offers not only a way to a cleaner environmental future but a brighter economic future by supporting the local economy and creating new jobs.

This is truly a win win situation. And it's a program with well defined goals, that lays out exactly how they aim to achieve said goals -- unlike Obama and Xi's wishy-washy pledge of convenience.

Learn More About Oregon Clean Fuel Program Now!

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The EPA Invests $3 Million In Green Technology and Innovative Research

Uh...That's No Typo. That's "Million", Not "Billion." 

"When we invest in research and innovation, that return on investment builds a healthy economy and a healthy environment for all of us." -- EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy


EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, recently announced the EPA's intention to fund nine small businesses with almost $3 million. The businesses to receive the money are located in Calif., Del., Ga., Ill., La., Ohio, N.Y., and Tenn.


The funding from the EPA is expected to aid the innovative businesses in bringing green technologies to the marketplace. During the announcement, McCarthy reiterated the EPA's "commitment to strengthening economic growth, supporting sustainable businesses, and combating the impacts of climate change."


"The small businesses receiving awards today are innovating affordable, energy efficient technologies that are strengthening our economy and building a low-carbon future while bringing a unique vision for addressing complex environmental issues like reducing harmful emissions to create a cleaner environment and enhancing recycling processes," said McCarthy.


The funding is made through the EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program -- a program that has been supporting small businessess and protecting the environment for over 30 years. The program has dished out a whopping $140 million over the last three decades and given 969 awards, allowing numerous small businesses to commericalize their solutions, provide jobs in cutting-edge green technologies that help protect human health and the envirionment.


SBIR past awardees have included John Rich of Nashville-based National Recovery Technologies, LLC., a small business that produced a low cost technology to recycle electronics; and Carol Ann Wedding, president of Imaging Systems Technology, a small business that developed a highly efficient, versatile water purification system, based in Toledo, Ohio.


For more information about the SBIR Program: www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir/

To be notified by email when EPA's research funding opportunities are available, sign up at: www.epa.gov/ncer/listserv/
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Join Adbusters And Go Cold Turkey The Day After Thanksgiving, Or Continue To Indulge? That is the Question.

Adbusters urge consumers to reconsider spending habits on one of the biggest shopping days of the year...

                                                        ...but there are just so many good deals!

"I'm not doing it for myself…I'm doing it for the economy!"

On November 29th Adbusters --  a Vancouver-based advocacy group -- challenges consumers (mainly shop-happy Americans) to go cold turkey for the 24 hours post their Thanksgiving Day binge.

Will this be hard to do? For most people, probably. Consumerism is heavily entrenched in our society and is the backbone of capitalism. Besides, isn't it a good thing that we get insanely good deals at least once a year -- this means less into Walmart's pockets after all.

Adbusters refers to this as a "gigantic psycho-financial-crisis of our times" and argues that this rampant consumerism wrecks havoc on Earth.

The question is then: do people buy what they don't need during Black Friday and more of it, is consumerism drastically catapulted to unnecessary degrees that negatively affect our planet or does it actually, and simply, allow us to get more bang for our buck on things we were planning to purchase anyways?

The Buy Nothing Day campaign is international and continues to gain momentum every year. But, then again, so does the insanity of Black Friday.

So, what side of the fence do you fall on? Will you be standing in that winding-around-the-corner kind of line outside your favorite store energetically participating in Black Friday or will you be cutting up your credit card, mounting a boycott and pledging to Buy Nothing at all on November 28th?


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Mary Landrieu Goes Out On A Limb For A Pipeline???" (No, that's too mixed a metaphor.)

"Keystone Gets Stuck in the Senate Pipeline." ("Yes, That's Better…")

14 Democrats joined 45 Republicans in support of the Keystone KL pipeline that would run the length of America down into Texas. However, in a nail biting vote the bill failed to pass, coming up merely one vote short of the 60 it needed to pass.

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu gambled with her Senate seat on Tues, 18, when she attempted to push this bill through, which has been dancing around behind the curtains of the Senate for nearly two years.

To learn more about the Keystone XL pipeline, and in a comedic manner no less, watch this entertaining as always Daily Show snippet: Jon Stewart Puts Keystone Pipeline Into Perspective.

READ MORE (Washington Post)

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We, The World Campaign: WE Campaign

Join Forces With Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr. Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra And Many Other Visionaries In Their 11 Days Of Global Unity -- 11 Ways To Change The World Campaign.

WE - a global campaign of We, The World to unite and amplify the efforts of
people, organizations and movements working for the common good

Become a WE Campaign Partner! Join visionary leaders and endorsers of WE:
Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, Immaculee Ilibagiza,
Robert Thurman, Riane Eisler, Bill McKibben and many others. 
Message from Rick Ulfik, Founder of We, The World and the WE Campaign at WE.net:

"With much of the media focused on the US elections, it's very easy to lose sight of the big picture. While the elections are definitely important, we believe that the economic, environmental, social and political conditions that negatively affect most people will not improve significantly without a major change in the strategy and scale of grassroots coordination in the US and around the world.

"We believe that despite the transformative work being done globally, changemakers must begin working together on a scale we have never seen for humanity to begin to solve the core challenges we face: poverty & rising inequality, militarism & war, ecological damage & the climate crisis."

Subscribe to WE Campaign Global Action Newsletter here

Rick Ulfik
Founder of We, The World and the WE Campaign at WE.net

Learn More About We, The World and the WE Campaign
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There has been a movement afoot in recent years to make connections between what we eat, how we live and the planet. Modern Farmer exists for people who want to be a part of that movement—it is for window-herb growers, career farmers, people who have chickens, people who want to have chickens and anyone who wants to know more about how food reaches their plate.

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Not a Member of Better World Club?

BWC's Member Discounts More Than Pay for a Membership!

Our discounts can more than pay for your membership. BWC members save money through hotel, car rental, travel, or other discounts. Join Better World Club now and get in on the savings! Use this link and we'll even throw in a 10% discount on Better World membership.

And Remember To Tell A Friend About BWC!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Join the all-powerful bike and pedestrian lobby

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Jeffrey Miller, Alliance for Biking & Walking" <info@bikewalkalliance.org>
Date: Nov 24, 2014 9:01 AM
Subject: Join the all-powerful bike and pedestrian lobby
To: "Daniel Staffotf" <aquarianm@gmail.com>

Dear Daniel, 

When New York City's bikeshare program launched a year ago, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz was not happy. In a video that went viral, she complained that the new bikes were ruining NYC neighborhoods. And she blamed it all on the "all-powerful bike lobby."

Now, it's true that Alliance member organizations across North America have made some enormous gains recently. Every day, the Alliance works to support local advocates so they can be more effective and successful in their communities. 

But the biking and walking advocacy movement is FAR from all-powerful. The reality is that deeply engrained special interests are trying to uphold the transportation status quo, continuing to build dangerous road infrastructure and prioritizing speed over safety. The automotive industry spent more than $28 million on lobbying this year, and nearly 5,000 people lose their lives on United States roads each year.

Want to see a truly all-powerful bike and pedestrian lobby? Give to the Alliance before the end of the year and we'll put your donation to good use growing biking and walking advocacy around North America.

Plus, we'll send you these cool "all-powerful bike lobby" and "all-powerful pedestrian lobby" temporary tattoos as thanks:

Grassroots advocates are slowly making gains to improve biking and walking at the grassroots level. We're constantly hearing stories of real advocacy wins thanks to the Alliance's trainings and resources. 


Here's one example: 

This year, advocates from Bike East Bay attended the Alliance's Winning Campaigns Training in Oakland, CA, where they planned a tough campaign to pass Measure BB, a ballot measure to raise funding for active transportation. Equipped with Alliance support and training, Bike East Bay WON at the polls on November 4! Measure BB will generate $1 billion for bicycle, pedestrian and transit projects over 30 years in the East Bay. That's a lot of sidewalks and bike lanes.

Advocacy Directory Dave Campbell said, "The training and support we received from the Alliance during this campaign helped us win a major funding victory. Advocacy groups from around the country will benefit from this example."

In 2015, we want to continue to train advocates and strengthen organizations like Bike East Bay. Support for grassroots organizations is our best hope for growing a truly all-powerful bike and pedestrian lobby. 

But we can't do it without your help. 

Donate to the Alliance to support biking and walking advocacy in 2015. We'll send you "All-Powerful Bike Lobby" and "All-Powerful Pedestrian Lobby" temporary tattoos as thanks!

Our trainings in 2015 will help new community leaders launch powerful campaigns to make their communities better and safer places to bike and walk. With your support, we'll build the biking and walking movement in 2015 by: 

  • Holding more trainings for state and local biking and walking advocacy organizations around North America. These trainings help advocates make their communities better, safer places. 
  • Hosting more Mutual Aid Calls and Webinars to share knowledge and expertise among biking and walking experts and advocates. 
  • Making critical resources like our Benchmarking Report more accessible to help advocates use data to make the case for safer streets.

Please give to support the Alliance for Biking & Walking's important work in 2015.

Thank you, 

Jeffrey Miller
President / CEO

Alliance for Biking and Walking FacebookAlliance for Biking and Walking Twitter

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© Alliance for Biking and Walking 2014


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Let's melt icy relations on the road

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "PeopleForBikes" <info@peopleforbikes.org>
Date: Nov 12, 2014 5:03 PM
Subject: Let's melt icy relations on the road
To: "Daniel Stafford" <aquarianm@gmail.com>

People for Bikes

Our new safety campaign

If you ride a bike, you've probably experienced a nerve-racking moment where a driver passed you a little too close, a little too fast.

Totally not cool.

In an effort to prevent these dangerous and discouraging incidents, we're introducing Travel With Care. It's a national safety campaign designed to inspire the general public to see every bike rider as a neighbor, friend or family member—just a normal person who chooses to bike. In addition to humanizing bicyclists, the campaign intends to improve behavior by both people in cars and on bikes. Because we can all do better.

View the campaign

Help us melt icy relations on the road. Check out the campaign and share it with friends!

-- The PeopleForBikes team

Special thanks to our partners at Bike Pittsburgh for creating this campaign and working with us to take it national.

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© 2014 PeopleForBikes. All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 2359 / Boulder, CO 80306