Iowa, it’s been real!
Hey everyone. We made it! Our Team NWF rode from Rock Rapids to Bellevue, IA in 7 days – 477 official miles, but more like 500 when you count getting to campsites and a few detours.
Saturday was our last day of riding, 56 miles from Dyersville to Bellevue, on the Mississippi River. We ran into the 3 Romney brothers, sons of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. They rode the last day with matching t-shirts with their names and ’08 on the back.
I saw Josh and Craig Romney on the road and passed them, yelling out the biking etiquette “On your left!” as I went by ;-) Later, they caught up with me at a roadside stand selling fresh watermelon. I said hello and got Josh talking about global warming. He said his father accepts that global warming is real, though thinks the jury is still out on how much human activity is to blame. Regardless, however, he said Mitt believes there needs to be a global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. When I asked him why his dad pulled Massachusetts out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) at the 11th hour (despite his administration having been a big part of creating it) he didn’t have an answer and launched into the need for other countries like China to be mandated to cut emissions.
He did say the US needs to do it’s part in reducing emissions, but that his father wants to be sure we use all available technologies, including nuclear power. I asked him if we had time to build the number of plants it would take to really address the problem and he acknowledged that nuclear is not the silver bullet and that other technologies like wind and solar need to be part of the mix.
Bottom line – He had many stock answers we hear from politicians and didn’t have detailed responses, not that I would have expected that from the son of the candidate in the middle of a bike ride across Iowa. I urged him to ask his father to make global warming a priority, and he claimed that Mitt talks about it “in every speech.” Really?
So, our wee has come to an end. I’m in the Dubuque airport on my way to Chicago, then Albany, NY and then Burlington, VT. Our team is all on our way to our perspective homes to rest up. It’s been an incredible week. We’ve spoken personally to at least 1,000 people, most of whom live (and vote) in Iowa. Our global warming message was seen via our jerseys by thousands of others. We signed up about 250 new activists and have a minimum of 100 people eager to buy a “Cycling Against Global Warming” jersey (if we ever decide to sell them!).
Mission accomplished! Thanks for reading, and stay connected to NWF as we mobilize our networks to bring meaningful global warming legislation passed and signed by a president who will make confronting global warming a priority.
As they say along the bike route when a cyclist leaves the road: Rider Off!