Biking for a cause

Over 130 students and Burlington residents joined 1,000 people in Montpelier, VT for the Global Day of Action on Climate Change last Saturday.   Students and community members met at the waterfront and road bikes 35 miles to the state capital in order to raise awareness about global warming and moving beyond fossil fuels.   Governor Shumlin attended the Montpelier event and spoke about effects of Hurricane Irene, changes in weather due to climate change and how the state must take action toward more sustainable practices, according to a press release.    “Vermont has been a leader in efficiency, but we’re just getting warmed up,” Shumlin said.  “The great thing about the green mountain state is that we won’t join the others as deniers.  We will get off oil and we will move forward as quickly as we know how.”   Senator Bernie Sanders also attended in order to discuss the importance of mobilizing around climate change, the press release stated.   “If we don’t reverse global warming all of the other issues won’t matter because we won’t have a planet for our grandchildren,” Sanders said.   Seven students teamed up with local sponsors such as UVM’s Bike Users Group and the bike advocacy group Local Motion as well as event coordinators from 350.org, junior Brie Timm said.    “It was really exciting,” she said.  “We had a great turn out even with the rain.”    Coordinators said that the event was a success and nothing went wrong that could have been prevented.   “It was really empowering to see all these bikers taking up an entire lane to the statehouse just to make a statement,” Timm said.