First of all, let’s extend a welcome to Bob Shantaeu of Monterey, California. He wrote article about sponsored research in bicycle traffic the other day. He’s a professional traffic engineer who has also been heavily involved in bicyclist advocacy since the 70s in the San Francisco Bay Area. You’ll see his name on the minutes of city council and county supervisor meetings all over the place as he gives his public comments on the importance of providing for bicyclists in road design.
This AP story notes that both obesity and global warming can be fought at the same time if everybody started walking or biking to work instead of driving.
One numbers-crunching scientist calculates that if all Americans between 10 and 74 walked just half an hour a day instead of driving, they would cut the annual U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, by 64 million tons.
About 6.5 billion gallons of gasoline would be saved. And Americans would also shed more than 3 billion pounds overall, according to these calculations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering public promotion of the “co-benefits” of fighting global warming and obesity-related illnesses through everyday exercise, like walking to school or work, said Dr. Howard Frumkin, director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.
“A simple intervention like walking to school is a climate change intervention, an obesity intervention, a diabetes intervention, a safety intervention,” Frumkin told The Associated Press. “That’s the sweet spot.”
Important note: If you’re in a good mood, stop reading now and click over to Frazz. Or, if he’s your style, Bike Snob NYC. I’m also working on The Autosnob, which is something like a random mashup of BSNYC, Craigslist bike ads, and your computer. Just click the Reload button of your web browser for brand new Autosnob text. Like I wrote, I just started working on the Autosnob and more is the way!
I’ve thought a lot lately (and commented a little) on the ethical “dilemna” of climate change, in which the public health costs of global climate change are likely to be the greatest in those parts of the world that have contributed least to the problem. In other words, millions of third world babies will die in widespread famine over the next decade, and it’s not really their fault.
In happier news, a recent poll shows 7 in 10 Californians believe global warming is “extremely” or “very” important to them personally, and 43% believe immediate action is necessary. Unfortunately, their words have yet to be translated into action — there are as many cars on the road as ever, as far as I can tell.
While I’m in a bad mood, I might as well mention this induhvidual in Denver who lambasts the members of the Denver Bicycle Advisory Committee for their alleged ineffectiveness. You can read my further thoughts in the comments section of that blog, but I’ll try to post more later. If you want change in your community, quit your gripin’ and show up at the meetings!