Friday, April 22

Ramming Speed Friday: Happy Earth Day Edition

I live in a conundrum. I want to be a part of the green movement. I want my little heart to bleed for the speckled marmot. I want to compost my underwear and eat only organic, cage free dirt.

But on the other hand I am such a non-conformist at heart I can’t get on the bandwagon with ANY movement. I don’t agree with a lot of what the Green Party promotes. I think a lot of environmental groups get bogged down in humanist issues and forget that we as human beings ARE the dominant species on the planet and our survival really is paramount, though not at any cost.

I disagree that alternate forms of consumerism are the answer to our predicament. Since we must CHANGE our mode of thought to truly affect any kind of meaningful reforms it doesn't do anyone any favors by joining some conservation group, by blindly adhering to the views of any one environmental camp or even to joining a particular political party. And taking out a second mortgage to put solar panels on my roof isn’t the answer either.

We must become more informed on what relevant issues pertain to us. In America many of our problems stem from overuse of energy. Oil isn’t our only source of trouble, but it is by far the greatest. And while transportation isn't our only energy related dilemma, it is our most pervasive and most dire.

We've arranged our lives in such a way that we are dependent upon energy intensive modes of transportation. While the answer is simple: scale back to humane arrangements to drastically reduce energy use. To engage our society in the efforts it would take to bring about the change we so desperately need is a depressingly overwhelming endeavor to contemplate. But we must.

Some people feel good about their efforts when they drive an SUV to plant a tree. Some people feel good about transporting their bike hundreds of miles on top of their SUV to ride a single track trail in another state. Some people think that whoever has the biggest carbon footprint wins. If you sell your Chevy Suburban at market value and buy a brand new Leaf you've not really done a darned thing for saving the whales.

There's nothing wrong with taking time to complete a journey. The human mind needs time to process and evaluate new information. When we travel into new places, or even the same old places day after day our minds work on dissolving the massive amounts of data they are bombarded with, even in a purely natural environment. If we slow down and let the juices of our minds work on the input we receive we can assimilate so much more information.

ADHD is a modern ailment. It is the symptom of an overwhelmed mind. If we take away all of the sensory input that is overwhelming us there is much less to compete for our attention.

I think I secretly (well, up to this point) hope for the Post Carbon Apocalypse because my whole life I've wanted to live in a world less complicated, less demanding on my senses. I long for quiet and calm places and there are so few.

Even on my bike rides through No-Man's Land in the mornings I am constantly exposed to the sounds of highway 58 to the north and I-70 fading behind me. There is no escape from the sights, sounds and smells of the military-industrial complex. The days following 9/11 were surreal in that there were no airplane contrails in the sky. It was wonderful to behold the natural sky unmarred by streaks of man-made white. Going up into the Front Range foothills or proper you rarely escape the views of Denver to the east. There are so few places where a man can go and feel a part of the world and not buffered from it by the edifices of other men.

Ramming Speed Friday? Yeah, it was. There was a wind out of the northwest that inhibited speed at first, but once I was headed east out of Golden it was like there were wings on my pedals.

I cranked on at a good clip until I had to pause at 44th. I-70 was backed up so there was a lot of spillover traffic on the side streets which made for a long wait to cross the busy road.

When I got to the bridge on Tabor over I-70 I couldn't resist the Earth Day photo op:


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