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Meltdown Warning “Pedaled” in NY

October 20, 2008

New York, NY - A pilgrimage on two wheels is taking place in New York today, as bikers "pedal" a message warning of a meltdown that's more literal than the financial crisis metaphor. Bicyclists from Buffalo to Long Island are riding to Albany to raise awareness of global climate change with political candidates.

Blair Horner with the New York Public Interest Research Group is one of the riders.

"While the public has been transfixed by the global meltdown of the financial industry, one important meltdown is falling underneath the radar screen, which is meltdown of the climate."

Scientists are now reporting record-high autumn temperatures in the Arctic, which are causing polar ice melt that can be linked to a saltier Atlantic Ocean. Horner says New York is seeing similar climate change impacts with rising sea levels.

Horner says the scientific community has made it clear that major changes are needed, like greenhouse gas reductions of 80 percent by the middle of the century. Some still doubt whether human actions can have an effect. He says candidates should declare where they stand.

"The election's coming up in just a few short weeks and we think that this is the important issue. There is no turning back if we end up with runaway global warming. The world as we know it will be devastated, and now is the time for the candidates to speak up and let the public know what kind of policies they are going to embrace."

Horner is with a group of riders following the Hudson River headed north. Another group is following the Erie Canal through Rochester, Syracuse and Utica. All the cyclists will link up in Albany on Sunday.

Michael Clifford/Steve Powers, Public News Service - NY