Joe the Bicyclist
Photo appeared in Ohio Magazine
We have done three rather extensive bicycle tours in our campaigning over the years.
During Campaign 2000, we did a five-state, 2,000-mile "Back to Basics Bicycle Tour" of the Midwest.
With two of our young kids, no less. Committed? I should have been.
In Wisconsin, a newspaper reporter asked Liz: “Why bikes?”
Her response was that it was time for Americans to get out of the “fast lane,” slow down and get back to basics. And the bicycles represented that.
The other reason, I told a reporter in Kansas, was that global warming was becoming a concern (and this was in the year 2000).
During Campaign 2004, our family bicycled a 1,300-mile around Ohio called the “Buckeye Trail,” as a campaign tour leg. And global warming was getting worse now.
By the year 2006, scientists were indicating it was getting worse yet, so we launched on an END GLOBAL WARMING BICYCLE TOUR, also in Ohio.
On that tour, I told the Wellington Enterprise newspaper that America has become “extremely gluttonous” about energy use. Central heat and central air-conditioning, for instance, often heat and cool rooms no one is using. We drive practically everywhere, without thinking twice.
While in Wellington, I also was asked to talk at a Sunday service at First United Methodist Church about environmental stewardship.
I told the congregation that “good environmental stewardship” at this point would be to dramatically cut back on air-conditioning and excessive heat use. It would be to drive way less. It would be to cut down on the purchase of many consumer goods. (It often takes the burning of fossil fuels in the factories, for instance, to produce these consumer goods.) I also asked people to fund carbon offset projects and to plant more trees – which absorb carbon dioxide.
In Oberlin, Ohio, I told The Chronicle Telegram newspaper that we often bicycle at home within a five mile radius and added that if our family can do a lengthy bicycle tour, people locally – “can ride a mile to the market.”
In Mt. Vernon, Ohio, I told the Mt. Vernon News that I didn’t want our children inheriting a world of climate chaos. And to avert this, Americans needed to cut back dramatically on energy use generated by fossil fuels and shift, just as dramatically, to much more green energy.
“Just driving a little bit less and turning back the thermostat only a degree or two is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic,” I added.
Based on the experiences from this particular bicycle tour, I wrote a simple, common sense booklet that contains an excellent template for reversing global warming – before it’s too late. [The link to the booklet is here.]
Back Road to the White House book excerpts
Joe on all the bike tours
*See some tour articles below