As I wrote yesterday, I’m beginning to work on plans to promote bicycling. Since links to this blog appear in several places, many readers don’t know me, so here is a brief history.
When I arrived in Indianapolis in 1971, an Iowa farm boy, I was appalled by the clouds of auto exhaust I had to ride through on my bicycle (this was before catalytic converters). Although I did have a couple of used cars, I was never comfortable with that. When one was involved in an accident nearly forty years ago, I decided to see if I could return to a carless life. That has worked out very well for me, and I haven’t had a personal automobile since. Environmental causes have been a focus of my environmental/social justice work as a Quaker. I was an Action Leader in the Keystone Pledge of Resistance, and very involved with our local efforts to try to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
I am retiring at the end of this month, and have been listening to the Spirit, to discern what I am being led to do next. My home Quaker meeting, Bear Creek, is in the country, two miles north of the small town of Earlham, Iowa. Over the years Bear Creek Friends have worked to reduce their fossil fuel use. But there are obviously greater challenges in a rural environment, with no public transportation available.
I will now be facing my own challenges related to this. But it is also an opportunity to experiment, and try different things. I’m being led see what I can do, and the first ideas are related to bicycles, as I began to explain yesterday.
This is also related to the ideas of Integral Nonviolence. One of the ideas is we need to make radical changes to get off fossil fuels very quickly if we are to have any chance of avoiding a death spiral of environmental destruction. The following talks about turning off the lights, but refers more broadly to stopping the use of fossil fuels immediately:
The Gandhian Iceberg
A Nonviolence Manifesto for the Age of the Great Turning