Vancouver – This Saturday, September 24, simultaneous events in more than 170 countries will draw attention to the role of transportation solutions in addressing global climate change.
The organization 350.org is coordinating this ‘Moving Planet’ worldwide event, and in Vancouver the feature event will be a mass bike ride across the city’s new separated bike lanes downtown.
“To really address climate change we need to break our society’s addiction to oil and our dependency on automobiles, and that means a transition to alternative transportation. Infrastructure for us to ride bikes is important and so is shifting investment from highways to effective, affordable public transit,” said Ben West, Climate Campaigner for the Wilderness Committee. “This weekend we’re inviting people to do their part in what is essentially a worldwide bike ride designed to get real climate solutions rolling.”
Before the ride beings, the “Smart Streets” forum and festivities start at 12 Noon at the Creekside Community Centre, organized in partnership with Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST). There will be family friendly activities including unicycle demonstrations, art bikes, the B:C:CLETTES dance troupe as well as a public forum on transportation issues. Speakers from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Wilderness Committee will be presenting a new report they co-authored entitled Transportation Transformation.
Fully 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in BC come from transportation. Marc Lee, Climate Justice Project Coordinator for the CCPA, has described their transportation report as outlining “a strategic framework to get to zero emissions by 2040.
The bike ride will begin at 2pm starting from outside Creekside Community Centre. The ride will follow the two-way bike lanes along Dunsmuir and Hornby, then up Beach Avenue to Second Beach in Stanley Park.
At 3pm, at Second Beach, there will an aerial photo of participants in the shape of the number 350 at the edge of the waters of English Bay. Similar photos are being collected worldwide to draw attention to what scientists consider the safe level of carbon in the atmosphere, 350 parts per million. Currently there is about 390 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere.
“We are ending our ride at the beach to connect the issue of oil tankers that threaten our coast with the changes to our consumption of oil required to eliminate them from our waters,” said West. “We are working with the Youth for Climate Justice Now to raise awareness about the need to reduce the supply and demand for oil, and this event really ties it all together.”
- David Suzuki: Building bike lanes pays dividends (straight.com)
- UBC professor Kay Teschke lauds Vancouver’s separated bike lanes (straight.com)
- Vancouver bike ride planned to highlight global climate call (straight.com)