Bicyclists need mirrors, panniers, lights, and fenders. Biking to Better the World. Motorists should not rush to get past a cyclist or pedestrian. They need to give space to bikers. They should signal and watch out for bikers before turning. Bikers should signal. Right-sizing Boulder’s streets
Marc writes that cars couldn’t see him until he added a flashing red rear light, and now they see him and no longer drive right next to him. link
Manfred writes of a car that turned right into him at the intersection. A car driver driving into the sun made a left turn into a friend, putting her into a coma for weeks. So now I will have a flashing light on the front and back of my bike. I have been hit twice by cars at night, and the drivers said that they didn’t see me, even though I had bike lights.
Manfred lists major dangers: 1-Car driver turns right/left into bicyclist; 2-Driver with cell phone while turning; 3-Driver fails to signal left turn or signals only a few feet before turning; 4-car diver races to traffic circle. link
Compost helps build soil, store carbon, absorb water, increase food, and increase resilience. Food production (mostly hemical fertilizers and feedlots) causes 20% of greenhouse gases. Ocean acidification could harm the phytoplankton, which creates much of the world’s oxygen. See the last 5 minutes of Michael Pollan’s talk. link
Using native sovereign treaty rights plus educating local people about the threats to water quality, wetlands, fish, wildlife, and rice beds, natives stopped the huge Gogebic Taconite iron mine in northern Wisconsin. Pro-mining forces gave $ 15 million to Gov. Walker and legislators. The company got to write a new state law that would allow mining waste to be dumped into wetlands. They got Walker to fire the 66 staffers at the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources. Walker tried to appoint the mining company flack to the state DNR. The mine’s owner Chris Cline, has given $1.5 million to Illinois politicians including the Illinois Governor, House Speaker, and Supreme court Justice. His coal companies have 8,000 federal safety violations since 2004. Two other large iron mines were stopped by Ojibwe tribes with alliances with environmental groups and local citizens. So mines and oil drilling can be stopped by campaigning together, especially when you start early. The giant Pebble mine in Alaska, is also being held up by the EPA, which says that it would destroy the last intact salmon ecosystem. Pollution and failure to obtain consent of the local communities leads to resistance. Communities form coalitions, do education, file legal cases, and do blockades. link
“Ivory belongs to elephants only” is the message of African natives who march and protest. “Please be our protector. Please deliver us from evil” is the imagined cry of the elephants. Some good news: Daphne Sheldrick and a team of supporters have been rescuing orphaned baby elephants. A British zoology professor, Lee White, left studying elephants and moved to Gabon to protect them. He leads 250 army rangers in protecting 13 national parks. President Obama’s recent rule change will ban interstate sales of elephant ivory across state lines. He also will use the intelligence agencies to target the $20 billion illegal wildlife trade. link