Ever on the lookout for cycling documentaries, Why We Cycle is one of the best I’ve seen in quiet a while.

It delves into why and how the Dutch have thoroughly embraced cycling. It also talks about the lesser thought-of benefits of cycling to our communities, such as the ability to see and to communicate with the people around us through body language.

Just a quick note to point out an excellent new resource for those interested in making Cardiff even better than it already is.

Share Cardiff is a network of grassroots community groups and projects in and around Cardiff that aim to make Cardiff a better, healthier, more connected and more social place to live.

We have created an online directory of Cardiff based grassroots groups, neighbourhood projects, local community groups, co-ops, social enterprises and other initiatives that are achieving social good and that share the values of the sharing movement.

via Share Cardiff – Connecting people, projects and places, for social good – Share Cardiff

The site has everything from swap groups and repair cafes to Credit Unions, open source projects and spare room networks. There’s also a healthy number of cycling groups on there too, including our friends at Cardiff Cycle City.

Check it out and, if you are involved in a project that you think should be on there, be sure to let them know.

What a brilliant, brilliant thing. There’s so much good happening in our fair city already, it just needed something to help pull it all together and give it a platform. Now we have one. Thank you, Share Cardiff.

Being green is hot right now. Nobody really wants to be seen as the harbinger of death; the company that is bringing about the destruction of the ecosystem we depend upon, just to make a quick buck. However, there are those companies out there who are responsible for much of the habitat loss; much of the pollution that is endangering the lives of flora and fauna across the world, who see the green movement as a marketing opportunity. This has come to be known as "greenwashing".

100 Companies

The Carbon Futures Report, published in 2017 found that just 100 companies, a mixture of investor owned and state owned, are responsible for 1 Trillion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. It found that:
the highest emitting companies since 1988 that are investor-owned include: ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Peabody, Total, and BHP Billiton. Key state-owned companies include Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, National Iranian Oil, Coal India, Pemex, and CNPC (PetroChina). Coal emissions from China are represented by the state, in which key state-owned producers include Shenhua Group, Datong Coal Mine Group, and China National Coal Group.
It's understandable that these companies would want to distance themselves from their legacy, just as a murderer may wish to be remembered for the good that he or she may have done up until that point and, to their credit these companies have at least tried to be inventive in the ways they pretend to exhibit green credentials.

The exercise thing...

Ineos has lately doubled down on the physical activity thing. It sponsors a cycling team now, but has also been sponsoring a physical activity project for children. It's less a "green" thing and more of a social responsibility thing. Maybe pretending to be green whilst attempting to frack much of rural England is a bit too much of a stretch.
The Daily Mile is promoted as “a social physical activity, with children running or jogging – at their own pace – in the fresh air with friends”. But campaigners say its promotion of “fresh air and a healthy lifestyle” is at odds with the reality of Ineos’s operations.
via Ineos accused of 'greenwashing' over Daily Mile sponsorship | Environment | The Guardian

The please-don't-ask-us-what-we-do thing...

One of the positive benefits of not being on social media at the moment is that I no longer have to see Shell, BP and Esso's greenwashing exploits in the form of sponsored posts. Shell is doubling down on its tree-planting, meanwhile increasing the supply of oil into the market: https://twitter.com/Shell/status/1182190165466521600 Meanwhile, BP wants to solve climate change by selling us more oil. https://twitter.com/BP_plc/status/1181915419936002048 Yeah, I know... Unfortunately, whilst there is still a market for oil and gas, the likes of BP, Shell and Ineos will continue trying to provide it, usually with little regard for the consequences. It's a bit like the narcotics industry. We know that heroin is massively destructive to people's lives, but whilst there is a market for it, people will continue trying to make money from it. The difference here is that the sale of oil and gas may eventually lead us into a situation where money no longer has a value, after society has collapsed and the last few humans are scrabbling around for the last of the food, choking on the toxic air and wading through plastic. Money after all, is a social construct and its value is dependent upon there being a society that continues to value it. We've lost half of the world's wildlife since the 1970s and as much as we like to pretend otherwise, we are a species of mammal that has the same biological needs as the creatures we are losing. How long do you think we have left?

In this day and age, with huge amounts of information available at your fingertips it has become harder than ever to take anything at face value.

So when you talk about the environmental benefits of cycling it’s easy to lose people, because people assume you are talking about global warming or climate change.

We puny humans are not so great at dealing with the bigger picture. We often don’t have the power to make big changes, but if we focus on the small picture we’ll make inroads into the huge challenges ahead.