NEW YEAR SPECIAL
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT IN 2009
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT IN 2009
At the dawn of 2009, I must take this opportunity to remind you of one very important commitment this year. We can't afford to lose sight of it. Even TREK will say the same (quick Burke! nod your head)
As you know, our planet is in deep shit. Scientists say human 'unfriendliness' to this earth has caused global temperatures to increase by 1 degree C over the last century. (I don't know about them , but every time a good looking gal smiles at me as we pass on the street, temperatures shoot way over 1 degree C within a matter of seconds)
Anywho, if such a surface temperature behavior is indeed true as per their claims, one could extrapolate given data for the next 90 years, assuming that the earth's weather machine is very simplistic - the same assumptions that the climate models took for granted in their calculations.
The resulting graph is staggering, and the upward slope could put Alto de L'Angliru to shame :
One only needs to imagine how this would gravely affect the world of cycling.
As examples : By the year 2100, the historic Tour de France could very well be an oven hot Tour de Toast, as racers fry on their bikes like Amazonian human sacrifices, feed zones are overwhelmed with requests for electrolytes and life giving medicaid, and the melting ice on Mont Ventoux inundates the slopes and chases away spectators with thousands of gallons of gushing water. Amateur cyclists throughout the world would need to hurry outside for a ride at 4am and get back before the fiery sun shows its ugly face. And the famed Iditabike in the Great Outdoors of Alaska would be reduced to a mere Ididaprayerforwintertoday. Projections such as these are not sounding good at the moment.
To avoid such terrible catastrophe, we need to take global warming more seriously and be absolutely ANAL about eliminating our carbon footprint. 100%. No questions asked. You too, Lance.
While I understand you're confused and scared at the same time, sit back and relax as I present you with some extreme solutions to be eco-friendly in the new year.
1. BICYCLES : Bicycles can be made of beanstalk, animal bone, corncob, bamboo, or any reusable garbage from landfills. Paints can be made with extracts from soy, blended with solvents like peanut butter oil and milk curd for consistency and then mixed with excretory pigments from cochineal beetles for color. Bolts and screws are not recommended, and in their place strictly starch based resins must be used. When the bike is ready, the overall itch and smell can be taken care off by thoroughly washing in disinfectant, treating with honey, or simply gritting your teeth and suffering through it. Then slap on some ultra thin track tires to those hoops and reduce your carbon treadprint. Enjoy the ride.
2. BIKE CLOTHING : Synthetics contains many many chemicals whose production releases many many hideous molecules of carbon into the atmosphere. Cyclists can use alternative materials by encouraging the slaughtering of all kinds of animals for skin and the deforestation of vast lands for hemp, soybean, and banana fibers. They can then weave these fibers, make fabric, and tailor jerseys or stitch some organic elastic bundle to some old boxers for shorts. Remember to lube them up with vegetable oil to save "la crotches". Now it is inevitable that anyone may look like a total beggar in such an attire. To then take care of the clinical depression that results, smoking marijuana or hashish is recommended. Okay...lets stop kidding here. Smoking weed can decrease sperm quality. Hmm... Click! I say the best solution is to just go commando. Zero emissions, and no carbon at all! While in this state, doing a Lance in a suitable aero position is highly advised. This takes care of covering stubborn genitalia and retains aerodynamic style, even in uber shame.
3. SHOES : Shoe manufacturers are very adamant about putting carbon fiber on the soles. Its hard to find one without these days. This isn't really supportive of our objectives you know.
4. BREATHING :
Exercise is great, but in order to reduce carbon footprint, it won't help if you're exhaling like a pig in labor. Chinese scientists have shown that if all people on earth breathed half as less than they do now, global carbon emissions in tons can be reduced by 14%. That's a lot! Acknowledging their accurate research conclusions, I recommend you go ahead and start incorporating this regime into your training and racing, because I just heard that the Japanese are introducing a mini defibrillator that can fit into a saddle bag.
5. TRAFFIC LIGHTS : While cyclists go anally green, I fear that the transportation department may be sluggish to keep up. Starts and stops, and accelerations and decelerations on the roads are not very energy efficient for cyclists. It is imperative that the transportation guys understand the environmental crisis and GO GREEN. In this regard, I ask that all traffic lights magically sense the presence of cyclists on the road by some invisible force field, immediately turn to green and send them off on their way. Turn red as soon as a car tries to pass! These traffic lights must also work based off solar energy and the heat from rolling resistance extracted from the surface of the asphalt. Make it work. Do it.
6. FOOD : Our good folks at PETA have discovered through research that cycling and walking while on a diet of meat is extremely emissions intensive. I say there was hardly any need for research, as I can personally testify that the aging populace in my local bike club emit some really nasty emissions during drafting. Heck, these guys need some serious gastrointestinal reform. Avoid buying cheap corporate junk to put in your mouth. Agrarian society enjoyed better air I tell you! Planting a garden and growing food with all kinds of natural materials like cowdung and bird shit is the growing green trend now. At least I see eating grass, seeds, roots and other funny things from the ground much much better over sleazy meat consumption.
7. CYCLEPOOL : This isn't some weird disney attraction with pedal bikes in water. Cyclepooling is carpooling applied to the bicycle. Put your wife, kids, grandkids, co-workers etc all on the same bike.
Think about how many pieces of heavy steel machinery this can lay to rest in the garage. Cyclepooling with 5 or 6 may make you look like a fool and lead to multiple injuries for passengers. But it is a very cost efficient way to energy efficiency. Make sure you buy the rider a nice ecofriendly smoothie for their hard work.
Also look back to make sure a bear hasn't accidentally hopped on for a ride.
7. HOME : I hate to be your daddy here and tell you what to do to reduce your carbon footprint at home. But I will be your daddy, because I'm feeling a little parental right now. As a first, all electric appliances must have the energy star label on them. Base miles must be applied to powering these devices, by using a generator coupled to your rear wheel on a trainer. You'll toil night and day on your bike to make a simple cell phone charge to full. You can invite friends and pretend riding an indoor Stage Tour in the basement, as you all try and power the host's refrigerator, chandeliers, air purifier, any holiday decorations, and heating and cooking appliances. Since many people are unemployed right now because of the economic slump, its not a bad idea to ask some of them to tag along, provide them with bikes and pay them to join your power generating ride.
As for your house, build it with eco-friendly bricks and use smelly alternative soils to make your roof. If you live in a cold place, turn the thermostat off to zero during the night sleeping. To keep from freezing, take your bike with you to bed and hug it tightly for warmth. Never sleep alone on a cold night.
Bathing once a week and cutting down toilet paper usage have already been expounded on by other experts elsewhere, hence we won't unnecessarily jump into those topics. If your loved ones demand an explanation as to why you look and smell so dirty as you ride down that lonely road, start bragging that you just finished a long and interesting cyclosportive on the French cobbles under heavy rain.
Tell them that you just hate to let go of memories.
8. DEATH & SELF DESTRUCTION : Now it may happen that you get a little too excited about this new year and let your mind wander astray somewhere on the road. Just in case you're one of those unlucky cyclists going underneath a truck this year, there's a green coffin waiting for you specially produced out of 100%, non toxic recycled paper made from papyrus plants grown in a greenhouse.
This martyrdom is not left unrewarded. Since self=carbon, and Powerbars=carbon, I reckon a good amount of emissions and one pair of footprints will be tossed out of the global warming climate model. And you, sir, get 5 brownie points for that.