06 Jun 2006
Kate Rawles, a university lecturer, environmentalist and passionate cyclist, is setting out to cycle along the North American Great Divide, publicising climate change and its adverse effects.
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Kate Rawles, a university lecturer, environmentalist and passionate cyclist, has just been awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, giving her the opportunity to cycle along the North American Great Divide unsupported and often solo, from El Paso on the Mexican border to Anchorage in Alaska. On the way she will explore the consequences and responses to climate change, encountering them in the most oil intensive culture on Earth.
On her return to Britain, Kate plans to contribute to the debate about climate change in the UK and, most importantly, discuss how to bring about the personal and political changes needed to tackle it. Kate hopes her journey will be inspirational to others as an example of how an ordinary person can bring adventure into her life and engage with environmental and social issues.
Speaking about the change and the threat it poses, Kate says: “there is now a scientific consensus that climate change is underway, that it is at least partly human induced and that it will have a major impact on our quality of life. It also poses a threat to many other species on the planet. Despite the scientific evidence our practical responses to the threat of climate change remain seriously inadequate”.
Kate’s intention on the ride is to find out what we in the UK can learn from the challenges faced by North America and how we can turn this into action. As Kate points out, “we have limited time to act if we are to keep a quality of life and protect other species and ecosystems. However, everyone can make a difference whether in their personal lives or through their professional role. There is still time to move towards more sustainable, enjoyable and equitable ways of living”.
Kate will be charting her progress on the Carbon Cycle in a blog, available at http://www.outdoorphilosophy.co.uk/carboncycle.htmlPhoto: © Max Dobie
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