A Change of Pace

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Forgive me readers, I fell off the face of the planet. You may think it was due to the election, and in a small way you are right. I admit, I have not felt as excited about politics lately. Instead I am constantly angered by the reduction in evidence based reasoning or even the complete indifference to scientific fact. In a world where environmental science is my path, I find that it is threatened by our newly elected president.

Of course I am pissed.

 

But other than that, I have been superbly busy with my PhD.

 

And, I have been failing to ride my bike, I am ashamed to tell you. I have a lot of great excuses, but I’ll just sum it up with the excuse of life unfolding.

 

On a positive note, my family and I will be moving soon, to the inside of the Watterson! We will be in town again and I think it will be a lot easier to ride again, even when the weather is not cooperating. I am …. Elated.

 

Since I started this blog, I have been pretty focused on writing about riding a bike in a car centric city. I have had a lot of ideas to focus the pathway of my writing. For example, I thought of doing a 365 challenge, where I would ride my bike everyday for a whole year. But that would be impossible, did you know I have stepkids? They require a lot of things, especially driving, and it is not like I have a lot of control when co parenting with multiple families, dealing with extracurriculars or choosing where their school might be. Louisville just isn’t conducive to car-less transportation for families.

 

Another idea I had is to focus on environmental problems in the city. I could give you a quick history and maybe I can conduct a group ride to major sites such as these, via bike. This may prove to be difficult as well since a lot of the pollution sources are located on the outside of the city. I have been reading a lot of books for my environmental policy class and the recurring theme seems to be that people are unaware of the problems around them. Basically, a pretty large disconnect between the services we are provided, the costs we pay for these services, and the effects of some of these services, including health effects.

 

In fact, many of the bike rides I attend are on the edge of Rubbertown on the Louisville Loop. Rubbertown is home to three major synthetic rubber producing companies: Zeon Chemicals, Lubrizol and Polyone. The major emission from the three companies are vinyl chloride, a toxic chemical formed when making synthetic rubbers. Vinyl chloride is used to make polyvinyl chloride and is classified as ‘known to be a human carcinogen’ by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). These three companies also sit on the edge of the West Louisville neighborhoods, some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city. Some of the neighborhoods most affected by environmental health effects.

louisville-loop

The Planned Louisville Loop

rubbertown

Perhaps this could be a good start.

A good start to the new presidency: a newfound focus on environment and environmental justice.

A good start for environmental awareness.

A good start to a new biking season.

About Katlyn

Bike commuter, environmental scientist, community advocate, feminist, foodie and traveler I love cycling and commuting.
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