ELSE, (“Emerging leaders for Solar Energy), is partnering with the Great Climate Race and Bullfrog Power to raise funds for an expanded renewable energy project to power OrcaLab. (More info: http://GreatClimateRace.org/orcalab)
We have some great news to share. For the second year in a row Bullfrog Power, Canada's leading green energy provider, has just offered to match donations--dollar for dollar--toward the solar projects we are crowdfunding for up to the day of the race!
We are excited to be partnering with Bullfrog Power to help achieve our mission of building local renewable energy projects! Bullfrog offers renewable energy solutions that enable individuals and businesses to reduce their environmental impact, support the development of green energy projects in Canada and help create a cleaner, healthier world.
We hope this news helps motivate you to get involved. Why don't you Register for the race and do a little crowdfunding or donate to a solar project?
Don't forget you can also download this pledge form if you find it easier to do fundraising offline.
If you want to thank Bullfrog Power please give them some love on social media.
Here are there Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Feel free to contact us with any questions about matching funds or the projects we are supporting.
Less than one week to go until the Second Annual Great Climate Race on October 30th. Online registration closes at midnight on Thursday Oct. 27th. If you are thinking of getting involved now is the time. You can save 20% if you register online using the discount code FeelTheLove2016.
Co-Founder and Chairperson
The Great Climate Race
The answers to all of your questions about the race are probably up on our FAQ page. GreatClimateRace.org/FAQ
Bib pick of the Vancouver race is at Patagonia in Vancouver, 1994 west 4th from 12 noon to 6pm on Friday and Saturday or on site at the race from 7:30 to 9am on race day. You can register in person at bib pick up if you don't register online before the cut off Thursday night at midnight.
Please help spread the word! We want to create opportunities for communities to crowdfund for their own renewable energy projects. We rely on word of mouth for outreach
Pro tip: Anyone who wants to participate but can't make it to the event can be part of our virtual race from wherever they are anywhere in the world anytime this week. They can still help raise money for solar projects and compete for prizes if they want and registration is free. For more information on that visit GreatClimateRace.org/virtualrace
Why am I so excited about being part of THE GREAT CLIMATE RACE? This quote from Ben West, co-founder of the event, really sums it up nicely.
"We like to say we turn environmentalists into athletes, and athletes into environmentalists.”
I’m a life-long environmentalist, and I spent most of my twenties and thirties passionately engaged in and consumed by various activist causes. So I strongly relate to the story that I’ve heard Ben share, when speaking of the genesis of this event, about waking up one day to realize that he was living life as if his body was just the sadly neglected and over-looked vehicle for carrying his big brain around. (I’m paraphrasing here, so apologies if I haven’t quite gotten it right, Ben!)
As I started looking ahead to my forties, I realized that I needed to pay much more attention to my physical well-being and health. So I started running, and then eventually started competing in triathlon. I didn’t have any idea how much I was going to love it when I started out, but now engaging in endurance sports is a driving passion in my life. But, generally speaking, the two worlds are usually very far apart, with little to connect or bridge the concern for the health and well-being of the planet, with concern for the health and well-being of the individual. Which is what makes THE GREAT CLIMATE RACE so very unique and special!
I strongly believe that doing everything possible to arrest runaway climate change is the most pressing issue facing our generation, and the most important challenge ever faced by the human species. So I love THE GREAT CLIMATE RACE because it's not only a compelling metaphor for the challenge we are facing, and a great way to raise awareness, but it's also about supporting active solutions through funding alternative energy projects.
So last year I signed on to volunteer with THE GREAT CLIMATE RACE, and it was one of the most fulfilling volunteer experiences of my life. I have benefitted from the incredibly generous volunteer time of literally thousands of people who have helped out at the many races I have participated in over the past few years. So it was a great pleasure to be able to pay some of that kindness forward, by volunteering at this race.
Not only were the other volunteers, and their energy and enthusiasm, an incredible joy to be part of, but it was such a pleasure to support the most diverse community of athletes I have ever seen at a race event. I loved seeing the incredible spectrum of participants - from the many folks who were doing this race as their very first walking or running event, to the elite runners who are some of the top athletes our city has to offer, from families with young kids and parents pushing strollers, to awesome and inspiring elders. The positivity, enthusiasm and sheer fun of the race was unlike anything I have experienced before. And I think it’s because the mission of the race is so very important - it energizes a unique kind of passion and commitment from everyone who gets involved.
So I will be volunteering at the race again this year, and I strongly encourage anyone who feels so inspired to join the volunteer team, too. I guarantee you will have a huge amount of fun, and meet an incredible community of other wonderful folks!
And I am also participating in the Virtual Race, and have started a team for anyone who might care to join in and participate in the event that way, from wherever you are in the world. I have named the team “Triathletes and Distance Geeks”, because that’s what I am - but it is absolutely open to any runner of any stripe who would like to join in on the fun. Please feel free to join the team, if you feel so inspired:
I'm currently training for my first stand-alone marathon on Nov. 6. So I will be logging all my training runs this week to the Virtual Race. I'm hoping for a fast enough finish time to qualify to run the 2018 Boston Marathon, as a way to celebrate my 50th birthday, which will happen just a couple of weeks prior. (My actual first marathon came at the end of my first Ironman triathlon in Whistler this summer. But the Ironman marathon is a very different beast, coming as it does at the end of a very long day of swimming and biking. So I’m really excited to take on the challenge of a solo marathon!)
There are so many different ways that you can get involved in this great event. I hope you find the one that fits for you - whether that’s volunteering, coming out to walk or run on Oct. 30th, or participating in the Virtual Race. Together we can make a difference!
If you care about climate change you know how disheartening it can be. It's challenging to explain because it's mostly invisible. That's if you're one of the lucky ones and you're in a region where it's not that obvious. Billions of people in the world don't have that luxury and it's usually the poorest, most vulnerable people. It's hard to understand how to connect the dots between crazy weather and the climate system. Climate change is a huge bummer or worse it's too boring for the people who have it good enough to want to pay attention to it. It makes people put their heads down and kind of try and pretend it's not happening at all or it brings out some seriously bizarre behaviour that I find truly illogical. So whenever I read a real life good news story about climate change that's happening on the biggest world stage among the most high-polluting countries (cough Canada- our per capita carbon emission are unarguably in the top twenty countries on the planet), I put on some Beyonce and do a little dance of joy.
Bye Bye HFCs
The hard-won historic Kigali accord means a phasing out of hydrofluorcarbons (HFCs) a supremely potent greenhouse gas found the world over in refrigerants and air conditioners. So ironic. The very chemical that's helped us for years to stay cool in our homes and our produce fresh, is warming the planet way the hell up. The deal is the equivalent to taking...wait for it...two hundred million cars off the road each year. The Environment Protection Agency's carbon calculator told me that's the equivalent of 24,537,902,904 metric tons of carbon dioxide or 239,111 wind turbines or 24,537,902,904 barrels of oil. These are not insignificant numbers, people. And that's in one year. And the awesome news is that HFCs have an atmospheric lifetime of fourteen or so years. Unlike C02 which remains in the for centuries. That is totally worthy of celebrating. If we can accomplish that, what else can do?
The Kigali Accord: A Step in the Right Direction
I am popping the champagne and I'm celebrating, don't get me wrong. I can't wait to see the benefits and how the effects of climate change are mitigated over the next decade and beyond. I can also hear the whiners and complainers who say the deal didn't go far enough. But what about cow farts?! Yeah, we know. Cow farts are a huge smelly carbon-emitting, heat-trapping problem on the planet. And cow farts are also not going to be solved in one fell swoop. The Kigali Accord took years and 170 countries coming together to make a big legally-binding, deadline driven decision. It doesn't happen that often. Do I wish we would start start right this second to start phasing out HFCs? Of course I do. Do I wish all big polluting nations would implement the phasing out of HFCs all at the same time? Hell yes. But unless countries get to keep their staggered time horizons to start phasing out HFCs, the deal probably never would have happened. And it's not like countries won't start doing it earlier than expected. They just want to create some economic stability in their country. Take India. Sure, it's the third biggest polluter on the planet. But there are a billion plus people there. Canada, where I live, is roughly 3% of the size in population to India. That's a lot of people to keep cool and that's a lot of A/Cs that are going to be sold over the next decade or so before India begins the process of phasing out HFCs. That's a lot of people dealing with heat waves which are growing crazier and more extreme every year. Instantly taking away the very thing that's become a symbol of the middle-class and plays a significant role in reducing heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses seems cruel. If there's one thing I've learned about trying to implement solar projects, trying to ride my bike, trying to drive a hybrid, is that no one solution is perfect and we still need two hundred million more to truly move the needle on climate change. No matter how many people criticize Ben and I for what we're not doing (what are you doing about cow farts?!), I just put my head down and focus on what I need to be doing: educating people about climate solutions and putting my money where my mouth is and getting solar energy projects built.
The Thing About High-Level Climate Deals
I didn't have any control of that landmark agreement. In fact, I think most people didn't even really know it was happening. It doesn't take away from the historic nature of the but ultimately we need to feel like we're making change at the local level in order to feel connected to the magnitude of the problem. Counter-intuitive, right? Everyone I talk to say they want to do the right thing by recycling and riding their bike or taking public transit when possible. And that's all amazing. But the ability to build renewable energy projects isn't happening at the community level by the community in enough communities. The last time I checked big giant unnecessary fossil fuel projects break communities a part. When communities build them together, it deepens their ties. I have plenty of examples of both and I'll be writing about it all on the blog. You and I may not be able to sit and negotiate for days for a great deal to benefit humanity like the Paris or Kigali agreements but we can absolutely do something right now to benefit our community. It's why I co-founded The Great Climate Race. I want to feel empowered about making change in my own community and I know I'm not alone. It's why we're expanding the race and why we want to help build even more projects.
Can you relate to any of the following?
- I'm not a runner - You are more than welcome to walk in the 10k or 2.5k. It's all about getting involved in whatever way works for you. Why not a little Sunday walk around Lost Lagoon?
- I care about climate change, but I'm not an environmentalist, I just like running. That's cool - The Great Climate Race is a fun race on a beautiful course. It's chip-timed and the course is certified by the best in the business. So why not come run your personal best while doing something good for the planet?
- I can't find a babysitter - I'll babysit for you. Just kidding, we are busy that day. But kids of all ages are welcome. We are proud to allow strollers in our race.The race is free for anyone under the age of 18 to join us for both the 10k and 2.5k distance. It's their future right?
- I'm running in too many races - If you're running in too many races, come for the 2.5k. It's just a super easy fun way to participate in a cause that affects all of us. Pro tip: there is more fun per KM packed into our 2.5 event.
- I'll just wait til next year - Climate change is a race against time. Every year that passes is another lost opportunity for more people to get involved in climate solutions. It's also another record year for global temperatures and extreme weather events.
- Will it really make a difference? - You may not think that your participation in The Great Climate Race in 2016 matters but it matters so much. The Great Climate Race community are actively participating in climate solutions by enabling new solar energy project that reduce pollution and spread awareness at the local level. This is part of the global shift towards a transition to renewable energy. Making change is like training for a marathon. Its takes time and hard work. That's why we all need to start from wherever we are and get to it.
- I will be out of town (or working) on Oct 30th - No problem. You can still be part of the event by getting involved in the virtual race. All you have to do is go for a walk or run in the last week of October and either upload or send us some pics or video that you shoot on your phone while you are out there. That's it, and you can be part of the Great Climate Race event.
What else do you want to know and what's stopping you from registering ok? We want to make the race better every year so your feedback is much appreciated.
Co-Founder & Chairperson
|The Great Climate Race|