Saturday, 17 November 2012

Saturday Photo: Upside of Climate Change Is Longer Biking Season

Let me say straight out that I don't ride bikes unless my life depends on doing so--got hit by one when I was little and was traumatized.  But I appreciate that more and more people around here are using them as a means of transport.

That's good in ecological terms and might do something to improve our sorry situation concerning green house gas emissions and their consequences for climate change.  Consider what Michael Kesterton reported in Monday's Globe and Mail on a "a ground-breaking method for turning ordinary foodstuffs into fuel.” 

He quotes  Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan of “The potential is boundless as practically any food item will do – pumpkin seeds, cereal and salmon fillets can all transform into the energy required to get you almost anywhere you need to go while emitting almost no extra greenhouse gases. Here’s how it works: Eat food. Allow your digestive system to turn it into glycogen, which provides energy to your muscles that can be used to power physical motion. Then walk.”

Same thing for biking.  The irony is that with milder winters brought on by climate change also lengthenn the cycling season.  Could this be the start of a benevolent circle as opposed to a vicious one?

1 comment:

lagatta à montréal said...

Hi Mary,

I do wish you could overcome that trauma. I understand, as I was seriously bitten by a dog when I was very small, and much as I love animals, I remain a bit wary with dogs, though of course cats could and have inflicted serious bites as well.

Cycling is so wonderful. Here is a great illustration: Great science story.

While (knock on wood) I don't have any grave condition such as Parkinsons or MS, I do have more than a touch of arthritis, and had a horribly aching and stiff joint after a day of sit-still work yesterday. A bit of cycling smoothed that out nicely, due to the fluidity of the motion.

Since I had so little time not cycling last winter, I didn't gain back any weight in that dread sedentary season. What a relief!

It is indeed ironic. I HATE winter, but the climate change is causing very serious harm in the far North, and in many other parts of the world including close by in NYC.