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Davis, California

Sunday, September 26, 2021

City of Davis marches for climate action

DIANA LI / AGGIE

Davis locals bike to People’s Climate March in Sacramento

Saturday, April 29 marked 100 days of Trump’s presidency. Davis residents, young and old alike, gathered at Mace Boulevard park-and-ride at 9 a.m. to bike to Sacramento, where the march for climate change commenced at 11 a.m. The bike parade was open to the public and was kid-friendly. Since people bike at various speeds, there were several meeting points along the way to ensure that the group could stick together and that no one would be left behind.

In a world with an ever increasing population with its associated pollution and environmental damage, many are fighting to get recognition of climate change and for subsequent action to be taken. Davis is known for its cyclists and for being a very eco-friendly town; UC Davis has a goal of being completely waste-free by 2020. So why might residents take part in a march for climate action if the City of Davis is already reducing its carbon footprint?

Much support is needed in order for government administration to take action. But in order for action to be taken, the issue at hand must first be recognized.

Ergo, when Davis residents took part in a march for climate change in Sacramento, their mode of transportation — to prove their point and fight for protecting the environment — was biking.

“As we were thinking about ‘how will we get there,’ of course we want to live our values — that only makes sense — so we should be thinking about carpooling, or should we have ordered up a bus, or how else can we get there?” said Maria Contreras Tebbutt, the founder and director of The Bike Campaign and The Bike Garage. “We can take the train to Sacramento, or we can take a bus that is already en route, we could rent a bus to be here all together. And so we decided that there would also be a bike ride to get there. Most people have never been on the bike lane on the Yolo Causeway, and so this will give people the chance to go ‘okay, I’m going with a group and so this’ll make it easier for me to do something I haven’t done before that makes me feel a little bit nervous.’”

Juliette Beck, member of the Sierra Club and volunteer for Cool Davis, was a facilitator for the bike march from Davis to Sacramento.

“Sacramento has a wonderful coalition of people called the Sacramento Climate Coalition, and they started organizing the march in Sacramento and we wanted to join them by bike,” Beck said. “And so we’re encouraging people from this region […] to get there without polluting the environment [and] without using fossil fuel and to get there by bike, which is the best mode of transit if you’re able to do that — completely fossil-fuel-free […] [The march is] a response to the climate denialism that’s pervasive in this administration and a call for climate action to protect every living thing.”

The march was also a way for Davis residents to take part in a bigger movement with others who share the same passion for climate action.

“We’re going there to be inspired by other people that are like-minded, that care about our environment,” Contreras Tebbutt said. “I think there are a lot of people that are really afraid of some of the rollbacks that were seen with the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] — things being eliminated that people had worked really hard to get instated in the first place. So this makes people nervous, but yet there are more of us, and every one of us can make a choice every day about how we live our lives, and transportation is a big part of that.”.

Transportation is one of the main contributors to human-induced global warming. Out of comfort or convenience, many people decide to drive their own vehicle rather than carpooling or taking public transportation. In addition, they even drive short distances that could easily be walked or biked.

“Active transportation makes you healthier,” said Mark Vayssieres, an attendee of the climate march.

Vayssieres is well aware of the effects of climate change and does his part to keep the planet clean by making his commute to work from Davis to Sacramento via bike.

“I found [out] about the march because I’m a member of several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund and other groups, and we’ve been organizing this march for some time now,” Vayssieres said. “The Sierra Club started as a club to go hike in the mountains […] and then it evolved from that into protecting public lands and forest.”

Activists encourage residents of Davis, and citizens worldwide, become better informed about the effects that their lifestyle choices can have on climate change.

“We really encourage students to keep biking and being an example of the type of future we need with bicycle power transport,” Beck said.

 

Written by: Kaelyn Tuermer-Lee — city@theaggie.org

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