Climate first – People first – Bicycle first?

As probably many have noticed, yesterday was the huge climate demonstration in Copenhagen. As I passed by Charlottenborg square on my way to the library (yes someone still have some school to do), a large group of people had already gathered, and as I stood there more and more joined in. It’s so far the largest demonstration ever held on danish ground, and the newspaper Politiken says there were 100.000 people walking towards Bella Center.

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Copenhagen Cycle Chic COP15-competition

Just to mention, for those of you in Copenhagen these days; now you can win this beauty of a bicycle from Velobris. Go to Copenhagen Cycle Chic, enter 25 words, and maybe you’ll be the lucky one bringing some Danish chicness to your hometown.

Climate Bottom Meeting

The climate meeting COP15 in Copenhagen has started today, and the city is full of people concerned with climate issues on all scales. The conference arena in Bella Centre is packed with delegates from all over the world, (and as the news said today, there was not enough space for the huge interest), a boat from Greenpeace arrived a couple of days ago, and thousands of activists, researches and other interested people from all over the world are gathering throughout the city to, in many different ways, take part of the 1,5 week long conference.

What is to be said and decided in these Climate Change meetings is uncertain and vague for me. They’ll probably not solve one single climate problem in Bella Centre (and anyhow it seems inaccessible in many ways to most people), but one already apparent result is the grand attention towards climate issues in all kinds of fora. Wherever you walk in Copenhagen you’ll either hear, see or feel there is something going on, and there are many ways to approach and participate the climate debate these days…

One opportunity is to go to Christiania, where they every single day have a “Climate Bottom Meeting” which will serve as an alternative view on the climate issue, and how we all can change the world. You’ll find the whole program on this page, but I will highlight two days which seems interesting for city planners and/or bicycle enthusiasts :)

Sunday 13th – Ecological Construction and Urban Renewal from Below Focus on sustainable building/architecture and urban change.

Monday 14th – Sustainable Energy – The Ecological Footprint Focus on new forms of energy, and how to get to the CO2-neutral society. I will definitely try to attend the part of this meeting concerning bicycles…

Transport
Moderator: Jane Kruse, Danish People’s Center.

14.20-14.40 Christoffer Lux and Anders Rosenqvist Energy-Bike and its successful story Also demonstration of the bike by children from Christiania
15.00-15.15 Per Jørgensen Møller, Engeneer & President of the Danish Committee for Electric Cars The cars of the future
15.20-15.50 Esben Larsen & Chresten Træholt, lecturer at the Danish Technical University and students from DTU Electric cars, what then?
15.55-16.15 Holger Jørgensen, Bicyclelogical Institute The modern Transport-structure with coupling to climate care and bicycle traffic
16.20-16.30 Lars Engstrøm and Annie Lerche, Christiania Bikes The fairytale of the Christiania bikes
Jane Kruse outlines and introduces the hall to:
16.35-16.50 Lars Barfoed (Conservative Party), transport minister ‘Future Transport System  in Denmark’ Mike Legarth (CP), spokeman for Christiania

Put the fun between your legs

Put the fun between your legs: The Bike Bloc

For the UN summit Mobilisations in Copenhagen, Climate Camp is teaming up with artactivist collective The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (link) to design and build a new tool of civil disobedience, to be unleashed on the RECLAIM POWER day of action on 16th December. Made from hundreds of recycled bikes, The Bike Bloc will merge device of mass transportation and pedal powered resistance machine, postcapitalist bike gang and art bike carnival.

(copied from the web-page)

Books

Yesterday I went to the Chris Carlsson meeting in Copenhagen, and it turned out to be a good one. All (three) speakers were engaged in the climate issue, and questioned the importance of COP15. Especially Chris Carlsson had some interesting views concerning peoples power. How do we turn the capitalism around, and could we all live in a “Burning Man”-society ?

Well, I won’t be discussing these issues deeply now this early in the morning, but I’d like to mention that I ended up buying two of Carlssons books. The new “Nowtopia” and “Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration”.

I’ll probably comment on some of the bicycle related issues in these books later on, but for now you can check out the links or go get them in a bookstore.

I’ve earlier on gotten some arguments against critical mass as an effective instrument, but I’d still like to give the idea a chance. (Carlssons book might help me on the way.)

Any suggestions on different approaches towards getting to a bicycle-friendly society are absolutely very welcome…

Social change – COP15

I’m sorry for not writing in such a long time, but my mind has been elsewhere for some time…

It’s been brought to my attention that  the bicycle activist and author, Chris Carlsson from San Francisco, is coming to Scandinavia this week. He will be talking about the importance of social change – how movements and social activism can reach immediate change towards greener societies.

The event in Copenhagen will actually be already tomorrow, Wednesday. I might be going, so give me a call if you’ll join in. The one in Oslo is on Saturday, and in december he’ll be in Stockholm. I urge everyone to consider it.


November 25th, 19:00
Bogcafé 61, Dortheavej 61, 2400 København NV

“American author Chris Carlsson comes to to discuss the ways in which people are creating alternatives to capitalism in the here and now. He argues that DIY activities such as free software and guerilla gardening point the way towards a profound social transformation.

KlimaX member Oskar Larsson will talk about the connection between capitalism and climate change. He will de-mystify some of the COP15 mechanisms and argue that the COP15 process does not present a real solution to climate change, but will only provide a green image for business as usual.” (Kilde: modkraft.dk)

November 28th, 14:00
Humla, Hausmania, Hausmanns gate 34, 0182 Oslo

Program:
14:00  Utopia starts now! – Nowtopia!
15:00  Planka.nu – Public transport and climate activism
16:00  Open Space discussion An open discussion to facilitate action and ideas.

More information on the Oslo-event here.

December 5th:
Kafé 44, Stockholm, Sweden

If you’re not able to attend any of these events, you can watch this interview with Chris Carlsson to get an idea of what he’s talking abour…