Saturday, June 15, 2024

The future of cycling

Man stands in front of bikes on wall

Justin Oliver recently took over ownership of Human Power Planet Earth Bike Shop in Saranac Lake. Oliver began selling and servicing bikes at the store, renamed Silver Birch Cycles, about three years ago. He’s enthusiastic about promoting more biking access and opportunities in the greater Adirondack region.

He points to the arrival and growth of electric bicycles in the U.S. could also contribute to the expansion of the sport. Around 1 million e-bikes were sold in 2022, data from the Department of Energy shows.

“I also see that people are starting to realize how expensive, how complicated, how bad for the environment cars are,” Oliver said. “Cars are more of a necessity than an enjoyment item. I think people are turning away from having fancy cars for enjoyment.”

Read more here.

Four people stand in front of Wild Center climate exhibit

Photo provided by Hannah Barg of The Wild Center.

Adirondack environmental education takes international stage

Last year, a collection of environmental educators from around the world gathered to begin climate and environment projects focused on their communities. Among them was Hannah Barg, who works as the youth climate program manager for The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.

Living in Lake Placid since 2022, Barg has led several climate and education events around the Adirondack Park. The next step: bringing the Adirondacks to the global stage.

The CEE-Change Fellowship, developed by the North American Environmental Education Association (NAAEE), selects a handful of people leading climate work across multiple countries. Barg was accepted into the group last year and began the work last summer.

Read the story here.

Here are some stories I’m following:

Why this summer might bring the wildest weather yet (Grist): Forecasts suggest that this year’s upcoming “danger season” has its own catastrophes in store. On May 23, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season could be the most prolific yet.

How heat waves form, and how climate change makes them worse (Vox): Heat domes, heat islands, mega-droughts, and climate change: The anatomy of worsening heat waves.

Operation spotted turtle: how Ontario biologists fight wildlife traffickers (The Narwhal): The small black turtles with yellow spots and orange markings are at risk of dying out, and one of the biggest reasons is illegal poaching. “They are small, personable, rare and beautiful. Like jewels,” says biologist Scott Gillingwater, who has been surveying turtles on behalf of the largely volunteer program Southern Ontario At Risk Reptiles for 30 years. “Unfortunately, globally, they are one of the most coveted reptile species on the planet. An adult spotted turtle can go for a few hundred dollars in the U.S. or thousands of dollars overseas, depending on how beautiful the animal is. That’s why we don’t want anyone finding out the core areas where these animals are. A good person tells a good person tells a good person. And a bad person overhears.”

As ‘Zombie’ Deer Disease Spreads, Scientists Look for Answers (Yale Environment 360): Chronic wasting disease, which slowly destroys the brains of deer and elk, is hard to detect, impossible to treat, and spreading across North America. Researchers are mounting new efforts to understand the deadly disease, amid concerns it could someday spill over to humans.

This first appeared in Chloe’s weekly “Climate Matters” newsletter. Click here to sign up

Photo at top: Justin Oliver in Silver Birch Cycles in May. Photo by Chloe Bennett.

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Chloe Bennett is a climate change reporter based in Lake Placid, NY. Originally from North Texas, Chloe has always been drawn to the natural world. In 2022, she graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY where she focused on environmental reporting and audio production. She grew a deep appreciation for the Adirondack Park while interning for the Explorer in the summer of 2022.

2 Responses

  1. Linda Friedman Ramirez says:

    Congratulations Justin and good timing! (with all those bikes on the rail trail!)
    Sorry to have missed the ribbon cutting. Downtown Saranac Lake just keeps becoming more exciting and energetic.

  2. for a great evening Peter Corrigan says:

    i have spent a great many summers in Big Moose (Twitchell Lake ) . I remember certain years when chipmunks had white tails on the tip . You could also see very friendly Loons that would come up to your canoe. Fishing during the 1970s was plentiful, you cherished a few hidden ponds that special . My experiences were mostly from hiking and canoeing . Families had bond fires and parties on weekends . . The Twitchell Lake Inn had square dances that would bring many canoes, boats.

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