Costumed Mass of Bikers in Durango

The beginning of the bike ride at Buckley Park. Photo by Oliver Luneau

The beginning of the bike ride at Buckley Park. Photo by Oliver Luneau

Critical mass (CM) biking is a worldwide event occurring on the last Friday of every month in over 300 cities around the world including Durango. The Friday before Halloween, October 30, a large group of costumed bikers left Buckley Park with their mind set on stopping traffic and having fun. Critical Mass biking began in San Francisco 1992 to bring attention to the unfriendliness of cities towards bikers but it now has no single clearly defined goal.

The only universal trait of every Critical Mass ride is the group of bikers riding through town. There are no assigned leaders and no strict organization which is part of what allows the monthly event to remain unhindered by the authorities. The rides around the world vary by size greatly. Durango has one of the smallest rides because of the amount of people living here, although it would be great to change that. It’s important to realize that CM is about riding, having fun, and asserting bikers right to the road, and not about making trouble or law breaking. The ride starts at Main and Twelfth Street, Buckley Park, every last Friday of the month, assuming the weather allows it.

There is no set route for the ride and often times the leader is the person in the front. Participation is extremely important because without a “Critical Mass” that can stop motorized vehicles there is no ride.

Photo by Ashlee Robinson

Photo by Ashlee Robinson

Durango loves to celebrate Halloween and nothing gets people in the spirit like a crazy bike ride through town. Winter has started there will be no more Critical Mass rides this year. There were around thirty five participants in the Halloween ride and I hope to see large numbers of bikers there in the future. To learn more about the history of Critical Mass biking visit the Wikipedia page.

Photo by Ashlee Robinson

Photo by Ashlee Robinson

– Oliver Luneau

Copenhagen Protocol

Oxfam Blogs Climate Cartoon

Oxfam Blogs Climate Cartoon

The Climate Summit happened October 27th in Copenhagen, Denmark.  The Summit is a precursor to the creation of the Copenhagen Protocol.  The Kyoto Protocol was enacted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in order to combat global warming.  The Kyoto Protocol has many critics due to some major shortcomings.  The United States and China were, originally, uninvolved which set back the effectiveness of the protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol set desired percentages for green house gas (GHG) reduction for all participating countries to meet.  Many of the projected changes in GHG created by the Kyoto Protocol are not on track for the end date.  The Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012, and the Copenhagen Protocol will begin.  The Climate Summit in Copenhagen is designed to create solutions to the problems of the Kyoto Protocol so that the Copenhagen Protocol will be more effective.

Nearly 8000 people representing 170 countries are expected to attend the conference in Copenhagen.  The conference will be powered completely by local windmills.  Connie Hedegaard, Denmark’s Minister of Climate and Energy, is the host of the conference.

The politicians will base their decisions on information provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which is based in Geneva, Switzerland.  The IPCC is known for its supply of information to countries around the world.  The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for their efforts to educate the world about man-made climate change.  To learn more about the IPCC check out their website at www.ipcc.ch.

The conference will provide important planning for the Copenhagen Protocol and will lead to both climate awareness and future positive change.  This climate summit is the beginning of serious environmental change that will come when the world agrees to participate in the Copenhagen Protocol.

– Oliver Luneau