Winter Madness

19th September 2021 |

I asked you last week what I must do about climate change. So first of all I need to apologise for dragging you into this quagmire, when what you really wanted was happy tales of adventure and twisties in paradise.

Secondly I apologise for asking an impossible question.

Eighteen of you were kind enough to indulge me, but we all know that there is nothing I could do or say as an individual that is going to change the course of events. If Greta Thunberg can’t do it, nor can I.

The things some suggest – generally individual choices, small sacrifices, lower consumption – can mitigate, and delay the crisis, but won’t avoid it. Only overwhelming pressure on the politicians gathering at Glasgow this November might have an effect, and that, in my opinion, would mean millions of people physically surrounding them and holding them hostage.

Glasgow in Winter?

Actually the whole idea hardly bears thinking about.

Andy White (Andy Strapz) thinks I could do a burn-out outside the conference. My subsequent assassination by the Extinction Rebellion people would get some publicity, The wrong kind, I think.

Most people think the combination of over-population and over-consumption will eventually make earth uninhabitable and I’m afraid I agree.

Here are a few choice quotes:

Rene van Eynde:

Please don’t do stupid things.
Nothing we can do will alter the future.
Enjoy the years that are left to you.

Joe Lews:

A Tesla has to be driven a hundred thousand miles before it starts to benefit the planet.

Joe Crennan:

Ride your motorcycle to London. In winter rain, cold & hardship that would floor other 90 yr olds (you don’t have to mention the relay of fine hotels & friends along the way to warm your path)
Barge into C4 or the BBC. Someone will give you an audience once you can side step the initial security. Attenborough is in Richmond; easy to find. Pound the pavements with a couple of your books as passports. A retinue of readers will eventually accumulate.

Seamus Gordon:

Just keep writing. You’ve done enough for three or four lifetimes.

Matthew Lee:

Maybe a combination of your fame and Long Way publicity plus ninety electric bikers aged ninetyish led by you on a 90-kilometer ride showing the world that electric transport is the way to go. Sponsored by Harley Davidson of course. I am only in my 69th year, so am not ninetyish! Maybe you could get President Biden on a bike – he looks one hundredish!

Fabio Colpani:

I think you could plan a conference by streaming (i.e. Zoom App) in which you show pictures, tell stories about your incredible travelling around the world. You could ask for a minimal conference registration fee to donate to some organization engaged in some project related to climate change.

Mick McMillan:

Could you ride an electric bike around or back and forward around Glasgow in November? A motorway, you may know cuts through the centre of the city. A fair contingent of local bikeys could more or less be guaranteed to escort on their conventional bikes but perhaps you’d only want other leckie bikes?

Joe Zeller:

A gallon of gasoline weighs about 6.3 lbs but when combined with the combustion air necessary for a ICE to generate power produces about 20 lbs of CO2. That factoid caused me to pause and think. So, my Sunday ride to the coffee shop, a 120 mile RT produces 50 lbs of CO2. Yikes! That caravan of Viagra fueled Harley riders that roll through Tucson bedecked with American flags and MIA POW banners (and the occasional faux Nazi helmet) is creating enough CO2 to smother their grandchildren?

Russell Schuetz:

The World’s population increased by a factor of four (2 billion to nearly 8 billion) in only the last 100 years, 2. Our leaders are always focused on the short term, and long term problems can be left to the next guy, 3. Capitalism is designed to sell us more and more stuff, making sustainability almost impossible, and 4. We have already passed the tipping point on Climate Change (our daughter is a climate scientist, so we get the real scoop) and are snowballing down the other side. … For me, that combination of things is the perfect storm working against a bright and sunny future.

Of all of these Joe Crennan’s idea has a chilly fascination, as a starting point.

If I did the journey to Glasgow in 100-mile increments, and at the first stop there would have to be ten others starting off from somewhere in Europe for me to continue, and at the second stop, a hundred, and so on until there were millions making their way to Glasgow. Well, is that crazy? Who would organise it? Am I insane?

Think about it. Meanwhile, please buy my book.