Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.
Our focus is on the number 350--as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. But 350 is more than a number--it's a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.
To tackle climate change we need to move quickly, and we need to act in unison—and 2009 will be an absolutely crucial year. This December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to craft a new global treaty on cutting emissions. The problem is, the treaty currently on the table doesn't meet the severity of the climate crisis—it doesn't pass the 350 test.
In order to unite the public, media, and our political leaders behind the 350 goal, we're harnessing the power of the internet to coordinate a planetary day of action on October 24, 2009. We hope to have actions at hundreds of iconic places around the world - from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef to your community - and clear message to world leaders: the solutions to climate change must be equitable, they must be grounded in science, and they must meet the scale of the crisis.
If an international grassroots movement holds our leaders accountable to the latest climate science, we can start the global transformation we so desperately need.
I found some beautiful hard-packed dirt roads, the kind that make me want my road bike. (I know it's weird, I just love road biking on dirt roads.) It was like running through a "best of country living" type magazine with endless cornfields on one side and beautiful brick estates spread out on the other. I even found a couple of dogs to come running with me.
I saw something so red fluttering in the underbrush next to the road that I thought it must be man-made. It was a red cardinal. The first I'd aver seen in person & I only knew what it was because of the baseball team. I understood why birding is such a big deal. Almost every guide book I've ever used has had a section on what birds you can find in that area. It was fun to spot a new bird and I can see why people might travel around looking for birds.
On the way out I passed a herd of cows. One cow turned its head to look at me. Then the entire herd turned their heads to look at me. I was strangely uncomfortable with my field full of spectators as I skied along. On the way back I passed the same herd of cows. One cow bolted at the sound of my poles. Then the entire herd bolted away from me. I preferred it to having them stare at me.
Between cow encounters I ran into a mini propaganda movement against alcohol. (Hosted, I'm guessing by the concentration of signs, by the cute little church on the corner.) Cardboard signs were posted saying things in marker and spray paint like:
"HURRICANE KIDS AGAINST ALCOHOL"
"BE SMART, DON'T START"
"YOU BOOZE, YOU LOOSE" (I know, dad, there's other people out there besides me who don't know the difference between "lose" and "loose.")
"ALCOHOL IS A DRUG"
Okay, I can tell you about pear orchards or the terroir of vineyards but I don't know the first thing about tobacco. I am fairly certain that some of the "ALCOHOL IS A DRUG" signs were posted on the drive into a tobacco field. And the barns on which some of the other signs were posted had tobacco leaves hanging from the eaves to dry. Maybe I'm completely out of line here, but isn't it strange to be bashing alcohol while growing tobacco? "DON'T DRINK. SMOKE."
And a deer darted out from my left and sprinted across the road with a nice low start from standing to get up to speed which I admired, having been working on that myself recently. The deer, however, failed to realize that there was a fence along the right hand side of the road, plowed head first into it and its hindquarters crumpled into its head from the momentum.
So I stood there watching this deer jerk its entire body around trying to free its head from a barbed wire fence, completely at a loss over what I should be doing in such a situation. I was still trying to figure it out when the deer freed itself and bolted down the road away from me.
Right about this time I noticed that it had turned from dusk to full nighttime and I interpreted almost getting run over by a deer to be a sign that I should turn around and ski home. When a car comes at you with its brights on it's just as blinding when you're rollerskiing as when you're driving, just saying. No wonder the deer freeze in the middle of the road and get hit. I felt like a blinded deer a couple of times on the way home.
By the time I got back it was dark enough that I could hardly see the road surface. I felt like I was floating as I skied. Which is a feeling I prefer to have on snow in the dark when falling has fewer consequences.
Why I am in Kentucky is a back story for another day. I will say that the rollerskiing here is phenomenal. Imagine winding blacktop back roads along a lakeside through old southern homes. Imagine tree-lined lanes and perfect temperatures. Imagine no traffic and hills where every down smoothly transitions into another up.
So we had this 3hr meeting in Lake Placid. I don't know about you but ever since I finished college sitting in a classroom for 3hrs has not been my thing. Wait a minute, even in college I stayed away from the long seminars. So pre-meeting I went down to the Adirondack Yarns store and got set up with a knitting project. Sue, the owner, was super nice. My grandmother had taught me how to knit a long time ago but I had to relearn most of the basics. It's really nice to have something to do that has a tangible outcome for a change!
I had a fabulous interval session the other day. It was hard, but enjoyably hard, what we call threshold. When I do threshold I get to stretch out the body and use proper race technique but stay out of the lungs-on-fire pain zone. Threshold is the interval type that makes me appreciate my fitness without questioning my sanity for deciding to be a cross country ski racer. (To quote Newell from the other day, "cross country skiing is really fun when you stop.")
We started in Wilmington and skied up the road toward Whiteface. It was the same road that was used for the Race to the Castle rollerski race last week but we started lower and never made it as far as the start of the rollerski race. From the four corners intersection there's still a fair amount of elevation gain to play with before you hit the race course.
We started staggered as we came in from our warm-up and Kristina Strandberg jumped in right behind me. We had a nice headwind and since I was leading and knew Strandberg was behind me I went just a little harder than I would have if I had been by myself so she wouldn't get bored. She came around and led the second interval. It was much easier to follow and draft and be able to relax into Strandberg's rhythm.
After two intervals we got in the van and drove back to the bottom of the hill where we changed into our skate gear and did two more intervals up the hill. Strandberg led the first & I led the second. It was almost like doing two intervals instead of four. There's a huge benefit in being able to ski with someone in a hard workout like that. It's been really nice to be out in Lake Placid working with a lot of different coaches & athletes and see how other people are skiing and training.
And despite how much we make fun of the tourists up here looking at the leaves turning to reds and oranges and yellows, it really is beautiful when we get a sunny afternoon.
p.s. We switched to skate halfway through the workout to simulate the stress of a duathlon race although I don't recall thinking I had to do any duathlon races this winter.
While in Lake Placid we had an informational meeting about the food situation at the Olympic Village. While the meeting was mostly allaying and addressing fears about availability of the "right" food. I don't have any special food needs so I wasn't concerned about where I was going to find almond milk.
I will share the dining room schedule with you. It sounds like it is going to be awesome. The have some international food service and a team of chefs & nutritionists. Extra motivation to make the Olympic Team.
So, who's excited for the Summer Games to be in Brazil in 2016? I am. I was even thinking maybe I should try to learn a summer sport and try to participate. hmm, rowing? I'm not sure any other sport appeals to me too much, unless I'm forgetting about something. I am psyched that South America got the Olympics for the very first time and I really, really hope they do a fabulous job of hosting.