Friday, September 30, 2005

The news you DON'T hear

I love recreational, multi-terrain bicycling and I love any effort made to preserve the great outdoors for better biking, hiking or whatever. So, while scanning the news wires this morning, it's no surprise that this headline: "Budapest Critical Mass with up to 30,000 people" caught my wild eye.

You won't find this story on ABCNews.com, CNN.com, NYTimes.com or even the BBCNews site; no... for this story you'll need to go to IndyMedia.org—the news you lose, if you're only reading the snooze news. The story read out like some nationally attended Earth Day event in the U.S., but this one was happening on the other side of the world. It turns out we're not the only people to care about foundering environmental issues and, per capita—Hungary's population: 10,006,835 (July 2005 est.)—we may not even be in the top ten.

IndyMedia goes on to report, "Budapest, Hungary has experienced its greatest Critical Mass bike ride ever on September 22, 2005. Estimates range between 24,000 and 30,000. This would therefore also make it one of the greatest Critical Mass rides in history."

In case you're ready to defend the U.S. as an environmental leader, on the frontlines in the "war on mother earth," remember this: despite Vice President Al Gore's efforts to urged the passing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1998, the United States Senate has refused to ratify the treaty (An agreement on global warming reached by the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997).

As of September 2005, a total of 157 countries have ratified the agreement.

Ok, a bike ride protesting the fouling of our still beautiful skies may not be at the top of your "to-do" list. But it would be a good excuse for taking the day off from work and an excellent way to enjoy the great outdoors before all that "oil down-under gets sent up-over into the wild blue yonder."

See ya' on the bike trail—we've got over 50 miles of two lane, pedestrian dedicated pavement in our greater Sacramento area.