Friday, June 13, 2008

What you guys rebelling against?


A little while back I posted a question with a couple of groups in Facebook asking if anyone knew of any books about bicycle culture - especially the history of the recent explosion of bicycle activism. Nobody answered my posts, and I tucked the idea of writing my own book on this topic into my back pocket (I've also written to Bicycling Magazine asking if they'd consider publishing an article on bike bloggers. So far I've had no reply).
Well - it looks like a book on this has arrived. Chris Carlsson has written Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-Lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today.




This curious, multifaceted phenomenon constitutes an important arena of autonomous politics. The bicycle has become a cultural signifier that begins to unite people across economic and racial strata. It signals a sensibility that stands against oil wars and the environmental devastation wrought by the oil and chemical industries, the urban decay imposed by cars and highways, the endless monocultural sprawl spreading outward across exurban zones. This new bicycling subculture stands for localism, a more human pace, more face-to-face interaction, hands-on technological self-sufficiency, reuse and recycling, and a healthy urban environment that is friendly to self-propulsion, pleasant smells and sights, and human conviviality.
Fixed photo from this page.

P.S. - my left I.T. band basically aches all the time these days. me no likey.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Cycling with e.e. cummings

Up and on the bike early - rained hard all night but sun broke out nicely on a day meant to hit 30Celsius.

creekfromtrail2

up into the silence the green
silence with a white earth in it

you will(kiss me)go

out into the morning the young
morning with a warm world in it
hawkstonebridge2
(kiss me)you will go

on into the sunlight the fine
sunlight with a firm day in it
creekjamis3
you will go(kiss me

down into your memory and
a memory and memory

i)kiss me,(will go)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Say goodbye to suburban living

The June 9th issue of Macleans magazine has a good cover story titled After Cheap Oil.
I guess I'm mainly impressed because - finally - peak oil is in the mainstream media, and blurbs like You won't be able to eat, travel or live as you do now. Say goodbye to the age of plenty are appearing on the covers of national popular magazines.

Here are a few good passages:

Last week, the International Energy Agency said it will re-examine the oil supply in 400 major oil fields around the world - a sobering acknowledgement that there may be even less oil than once thought. Even industry insiders are waking to the idea that the world is nearing the supply wall. Last year, former U.S. energy secretary james Schlesinger declared the battle is over, the peakists have won.

Peak Oil theory...describes the point at which the supply of oil can no longer keep up with the world's growing demand... When supplies run short oil prices don't just go up, they skyrocket. A 2005 U.S. government report concluded that a four percent shortfall would result in a 177 per cent increase in oil prices.

P.S. - none of this should be new to anybody. Heck, Hubbert Theory goes back to the 1950's.


And this really terrible picture comes from this story.