How Orucase is helping cyclists slow global warming.
In the last few weeks alone, California suffered six of the 20 largest wildfires in human history. More than 3 million acres of land burned across the state, and residents experienced prolonged toxic air pollution and unprecedented heatwaves. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s climate change.
According to the LA Times, “California is being pushed to extremes. And the record heat, fires and pollution all have one thing in common: They were made worse by climate change. Their convergence is perhaps the strongest signal yet that the calamity climate scientists have warned of for years… is here today and can no longer be ignored.”
And it’s not just California. This summer and fall, fires have raged across Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Wyoming.
Climate change exacerbates wildfires in a number of ways, increasing average temperatures, drying out vegetation, extending periods of drought, and disrupting rainfall patterns. While humans and acts of nature certainly played parts in this fire season, climate change was the threat multiplier. “Hotter temperatures, less dependable precipitation, and snowpack that melts sooner lead to drier soil and parched vegetation,” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain told Scientific American. "It's actually drying out the air during these extreme heat events," which zaps plants of additional moisture. That left California a tinderbox when it was hit with hundreds of lightning strikes over the last two months.
“To cut to the chase: Were the heat wave and the lightning strikes and the dryness of the vegetation affected by global warming? Absolutely yes,” said David Romps, director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center, to the MIT Technology Review. “Were they made significantly hotter, more numerous, and drier because of global warming? Yes, likely yes, and yes.”
Cyclists already do their part to fight global warming. Biking emits less than 10 percent of the CO2 that driving does. And at Orucase, we’re seeking to do more, too, because we want to protect the landscapes where our best rides happen. This is why we partner with Cooler, a team of climate technologists whose software calculates and eliminates the carbon footprint of every Orucase product. Cooler eliminates carbon by buying pollution permits in regulated markets, keeping coal-fired power companies from using the permits to emit more greenhouse gasses. It’s an extremely effective and certifiable way to reduce the footprint of any product or service in real time.
As we’re writing this story, Orucase has already eliminated more than 40,000 kg of carbon by buying those permits with Cooler. To learn more about Cooler’s methodology, please visit www.cooler.dev/.
We need to do all we can to slow climate change and reduce atmospheric carbon concentrations. Please join the Orucase team in riding—and fighting—for the planet.