The media team has introduced a new area to the Oxford section website called Green Biking. This is to do with the environment rather than biking in green lanes!
Global warming is now widely accepted as a man-made problem and solutions are urgently required. The fuel we use for biking puts carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which is known to cause global warming. Global warming is a huge issue and is likely to cause significant disruptions to our lives in the future and frankly we all need to help the planet.
We have been looking at initiatives that we as a motorbike club could take to help. These revolve around carbon offsetting, in other words trying to remove a similar amount of carbon dioxide that we put into the atmosphere through burning fuel in our bikes, principally through planting trees or preservation or restoration of wetland areas and peat bogs.
You could say why should I bother or say I am not convinced by global warming anyway. Also carbon offsetting is criticised because it is seen as a way for individuals to pay a little so they carry on what they have always been doing and helping to ease their consciences. Some say for carbon offsetting to be more meaningful, it needs to go beyond paying to emit the same levels of carbon dioxide as usual.
There are such criticisms, but rather than do nothing and bury our heads in the sand, what can we do to help? One simple way would be to buy petrol from Shell, using their Shell Go+ app. Shell has a carbon offsetting scheme that has already planted thousands of trees. So this is very easy to do and their app works very well and Steve Moxey has revisited this subject area with a new web post.
Another carbon offsetting idea is for the Oxford Section to raise funds for the planting of trees locally or elsewhere in the UK. There are a significant number of organisations interested in working with donors, whether individuals, small companies or corporations. A study is being undertaken at the moment to investigate organisations that could form good partners for a tree planting project.
Planting trees can be very beneficial to local environments. For example, we have probably all seen David Attenborough’s the Perfect Planet and the mention of the ‘green wall’ project in Senegal. Here the planting of millions of drought tolerant trees is helping to capture rainfall in deep channels and enabling deep wells to fill again, providing water for agriculture, greater food supplies, a boost to the local economy and better access to education for young girls.
Planting more trees either locally or in specific areas of the UK will enhance the environment and increase biodiversity and ultimately enrich our lives. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is that nature has formed an essential resource for humans to regain their mental equilibrium and take stock.
OK if you have got this far, I suspect there is still the question, what has all this got to do with me riding my bike and having fun? No one is asking you to stop doing that. Riding a bike is a great pleasure and enriches our lives. Advanced riders are those bikers who think about their riding and presence on the road. Encompassing green biking is about going a little bit further and possibly eking out a few more miles per gallon, using fuels such as those sold by Shell and contributing to projects that plant trees or conserve other beneficial environmental habitats. Or of course in the longer-term we could all be using electric bikes!
A target for the project is to raise £100/yr for the next five years. If you would be interested in helping to progress the tree planting project or if you have other ideas about green biking, please contact the editor on firstname.lastname@example.org.