Pedal power gets climate message across
Five Dunedin students are walking the walk - or cycling it anyway - when it comes to climate change.
Lindsey Horne, Leander Schulz, Michael Fried, Letisha Nicholas, and Sophie Dobson are cycling to Auckland this month to attend Power Shift NZ-Pacific 2012, an international youth climate summit, from December 7 to 9, which brings together hundreds of young people from around New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Organised by climate change action groups 350.org and Generation Zero, it is expected to attract at least 600 young people from New Zealand and the Pacific.
The group left Dunedin early on Monday morning and passed through Timaru on Wednesday.
Lindsey said the event would be "part festival, part conference, part workshop".
They would be excited to get there. "We are just frothing to go."
The issue was an important one, she said.
"Climate change is pretty much the defining issue of our generation.
"We are really passionate about making change."
She said cycling to the event was positive for three reasons.
"It's fun, people can see it and it is having an effect [by being carbon neutral].
"People see our generation as somewhat apathetic. We need to change that perception, because there are so many young people who would really speak out with even just a little encouragement.
"It's exciting to be part of a growing youth voice. I think climate change and environmental issues are where that voice will become really strong."
Letisha said that by cycling to the event the team were showing the country they were "walking the walk" when it came to making a difference.
"We are actually doing it."
Sophie said it was important to be leading by example.
"You get a lot of detractors who will say: ‘Well, what are you doing about it?' "
The crew planned to ride almost every day for another 23 days, regardless of the weather, covering more than 1500 kilometres.
The cyclists are members of youth organisation Generation Zero, which aims to promote action on climate change.
The Timaru Herald