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From the NEYM Earthcare Ministries Committee
Planning to attend Yearly Meeting sessions at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, this August? The Earthcare Ministries Committee of New England Yearly Meeting wants to help you to help reduce the Yearly Meeting’s carbon footprint, by traveling in (1) full cars, taking (2) public transportation, or—if you’re hale and hardy enough—getting yourself there on (3) foot or by (4) bicycle! The Four-fold Path!
Coordinating the The Fourfold Path of alternatives to driving a partially-full car, the Earthcare Ministries Committee offers the following. Please contact the people listed below as early as you can, definitely by July 31st. The Earth will thank you, and you’ll have fun and meet new people in the process!
Ride sharing—We are coordinating rides, through erideshare.com. To use the site follow the instructions given here:
- Go to erideshare.com.
- In the middle of the page you will see a listing of steps. Click on #1 (Join for Free).
- Fill out your information.
- Then go back to the original page.
- Click on Groups at the left hand side of the page.
- Then click on search travel/event listings.
- Fill out the travel listing search page. Our group name is Private Group: NEYM Carpooling 2010.
- Click on Find travel matches.
- The Group Password is "earthcare".
- Now you should get all the information on people that are looking for rides or offering rides that might help you in your search.
If you have problems or questions, Contact Marcia Winters. 603-352-2051 • firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line “NEYM rideshare”).
Public transportation—arranging transportation between the train station or bus station in Providence and Bryant College. Contact Meg Kidd. Phone 603-352-6459 • email@example.com (subject line “NEYM pickup”). Public transportation choices to Providence include:
- Commuter trains from South Station, Boston, on the Providence/Stoughton line. Seven trains run on Saturday, more on weekdays, www.mbta.com
- Amtrak Acela (Boston to Washington, DC) or NE Regional (Boston to Newport News, VA) lines, click on Stations, www.amtrak.com, enter PVD as station code, and click on “go!”
- Bus into Providence via Greyhound (www.greyhound.com) or Peter Pan (www.peterpanbus.com).
Walking—Contact Sheila Garrett, who is walking from Worcester and wants companions, and will arrange logistics for people walking different routes. 603-899-6508. • firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line “NEYM walking”).
Biking—Contact Mark Fraser, who is biking from Woolman Hill and wants companions, and will coordinate people biking from other locations. 413-772-3197 • email@example.com (subject line “NEYM biking”).
This path may seem like a tall order for many of us who are accustomed to the convenience of motoring to Yearly Meeting alone. But the handwriting is on the wall: Human-induced climate change is about to alter forever the way every one of us is living on this planet, whether we find it convenient or not. And if we want to continue having Yearly Meeting sessions for all the Quaker meetings and churches in New England and a sustainable future for all of life, we will need to begin now to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases we produce in order to get there.
Our big, fat carbon footprints. If we are typical residents of the United States, each of us is currently responsible for the emission of about 22 metric tons of CO2 into Earth’s thin, fragile atmosphere every year. With only 4 percent of the world population, we are together producing about a fourth of the 27 billion metric tons of CO2 emitted worldwide every year.
The world’s climate scientists now agree that we must reduce by 80 percent the amount of CO2 we are spewing into the atmosphere by the year 2050 to have any chance of averting runaway global warming in the next few decades. To achieve that degree of reduction, those of us who are relatively more affluent need to reduce our share of emissions even more—up to 90 percent—simply because those who are less affluent don’t have room for further reductions without great suffering.
Our transportation habits. Transportation accounts for a major portion of the CO2 emissions in the U.S., which is more reliant on the private automobile than most other countries. One way to make a big cut in our transportation-related CO2 is to make the single-occupant vehicle a relic of the past. Let’s say that those who attending this year’s New England Yearly Meeting Sessions on average come from 75 miles away, or 150 miles round trip. A motor vehicle getting 27 miles per gallon therefore will emit about 75 pounds of CO2 emissions per person during that round trip if it has only one occupant, but will emit only 20 or so pounds of CO2 per person if it has four occupants.
By comparison, a 150-mile train trip will emit about 32 pounds of CO2 emissions per rider, while a 150-mile bus trip will emit about 15 pounds of CO2 per rider. The CO2 emissions of those who choose to bicycle or walk will be insignificant. The bottom line: The collective carbon footprint for the number of Friends likely to attend Yearly Meeting sessions this year could be reduced 20 tons or more if we put our minds and hearts to it.
Photo: Nathan Broaddus