Friday, August 17, 2007

The Undoit Petition jumped to 815,000 signatories!

Mike Tidwell of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network has said that more than anything, we need to get political to save our climate (see interview with Mother Jones). I started my bike to brazil trip with the idea that what we need most to deal with crisis is national legislation. I collected signatures for the Climate Stewardship Act. When I started, the petition had 619,000 signatories. After a few months, it had 642,000. I moved away from the petition for a while, considering the Safe Climate/Global Warming Pollution Reduction Acts as perhaps better. I have now moved back to the Undoit campaign, and have collected signatures at the BikeBike! Conference, at Little Friends for Peace Camps, on the C and O Canal Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage Trail...and the word has gotten around recently, because the petition is getting close to a million! You can tell anyone to sign on--at We only have one chance to save our climate, and our chance is now. Please read and sign if you have not yet. Add your name to 815,507 names to save our climate!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

P.J. Visits Cumberland, by Amy Shuman

A phone call after supper on August 7 became the highlight of John and Amy Shuman's week. Paul Joseph Park, better known as P.J., was biking through Cumberland to Pittsburgh on the new Allegheny Highlands Trail and was searching for a cool place to rest from the heat. He had camped for 2 days and was delighted that his parents' contact some time ago allowed the connection.

At age 26, P.J. is training to bike to Brazil, all the while spreading global warming solutions by "walking the walk," so to speak, traveling in what he terms an "eco friendly fashion."

Having graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio with a bachelor of arts in Environmental Studies, he searched his heart to discover what his next steps were. "This is the Green Millennium," he explains. "My generation has to be the greenest yet!"

Why Brazil? "I wanted to return to Rio Grande do Norte, where, in 1999, I worked through Amigos de las Americas, a community service agency, similar to what a 'Peace Corps for teen-agers' would be like," he said. He credits his early years in Boy Scouts with giving him the skills to survive in all types of environments and with his love of biking.

He decided that his most important impact might come from helping to promote U.S. legislation that would eventually lead to a worldwide agreement of developing and developed countries for saving the planet "I could have allowed the enormity of it all stop me. It's so big, what can I do?" he thought. Then, through research and contemplation, he happened on The Climate Stewardship Act of 2003 and said, "Everyone needs to know about this!"

Through his website, P.J. shares much of his philosophy and photos of his travels. He is visualizing other bikers joining him for the Brazil trek and sponsorships to assist with supplies.

As P.J. left the Shumans, Amy asked that John's and her love and peace would remain with him and go out to all the world. P.J. got on his bike, turned and smiled, "And I carry it!!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Become part of the Solution!

For just a fraction of a cent more per kilowatt hour, you can make sure all of you electric bill goes to a green supplier of power rather than a coal fired power plant! How do I do it? Switch to Green Power! The electrons coming into your house will not be much different; your house draws the electrons that are available on the grid. But different companies pump electrons onto the grid--some by burning global warming coal, some with wind turbines, some by burning reclaimed landfill gas. By switching to green power, your electric bill starts pumping green electrons onto the grid rather than coal-fired ones!

Monday, August 06, 2007

135 miles into the trip

As I write I am in Hancock, Maryland, and a gracious Super 8 Hotel manager is allowing me to use the internet for a few minutes. It has been very difficult to get internet access on this trip so far, partly because I left my laptop behind in the interest of packing light. It is proving to be an item that would have been well worth its weight.

The trip has been wonderful so far; beautiful segments, fun people I've met along the trail. I have many wonderful photos to upload, but that will have to wait until I get more than a few minutes on the internet.

I camped out one night, then the next night I met some Brazilians in Shepherdstown, WV who invited me to spend the night after they found out I speak Portuguese and lived in a town (Natal) very close to where they are from (Joao Pessoa).

Tonight I will camp out again. On the trail, I met some folks from Pittsburgh biking to DC who will be coming back to Pittsburgh for the BikeBike! Conference party on Saturday night! I also met a Boy Scout troop--31 scouts and 29 adults! from near Lowell, MA. One had a flat and I helped him fix it. When I told them I was a Boy Scout, everything changed. They were very happy to see the skills I learned in scouting being put to work for them, and the leaders were thankful for the chance for their scouts to learn how to patch a tire. To all you scouts: It was great meeting you all, I hope you have a great rest of the trip to DC, and keep plugging along the trail to Eagle!

Along my trip to Pittsburgh, I hear that the major climb will be from Cumberland past Frostburg to the Big Savage Tunnel, where you climb 1600 feet in 22 miles. After that, it is a gradual downhill to Pittsburgh! I'm exited:) So stay tuned for a slide show, and more from the C and O Canal Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Biking to Pittsburgh

This Saturday thru Thursday, I will be biking 360 miles from my home in Mt Rainier, to the C and O Canal in Georgetown, to Cumberland, along the Cumberland and Pittsburgh/Great Allegheny Passage Trail to McKeesport, PA, and then onto Free Ride Bike Coop and the BikeBike! Conference in Pittsburgh! It is going to be a beautiful ride.
I hope to raise awareness of the international climate negotiations coming up that Bush is trying to and, an international grass-roots organization, are working together to create a powerful media blitz in the areas where Bush will be meeting, phone call blitzes and other mass actions to demonstrate to widespread international support for immediate climate action. This will overwhelm Bush's special interest efforts. To donate to that cause and have your donation be matched, click here. This really is an international cause and will require international cooperation.

I will be blogging on my ride to Pittsburgh. I will learn more about community and non-profit bike shops and projects, get new ideas on how they run, and make important contacts--including developing relationships with other DC area community bike projects. If you would like to join me for the ride, or come to the conference, please email me at pauljosephpark at