We’re Mammals and We’re Wild!

[This post belongs in a series of 7 entries written to build community and receive donations to support the Climate Ride, a 320 mile cycling pilgrimage I made in October, 2011.  Several entries focus on and celebrate the particular efforts of each of the 4 NGOs I designated to receive funds I raised for the ride.]


Happy Friday!  There are two weeks left until the Climate Ride.  My training rides have gotten longer and my legs are (I think!) ready for the gusty winds and infamous hills jagging up and down the Pacific coast.

This week, I’m giving a bow of gratitude to my fourth and final NGO, the NRDC – the Natural Resources Defense Council.  In addition to forging strong relationships with influential companies like Walmart, the NRDC has its 300+ lawyers and scientists working in China, India and the Americas to address global warming, the health of the oceans, pollution reduction, defending wild places, and fostering sustainable communities.  One visit to their website will illustrate the many-faceted approach of this organization and why they have 1.3 million people like you and me giving them support.  They tout great success, they’re good at what they do, AND they share great resources for any of us trying to answer confounding questions like, “which is worse, a conventional car or disposing of a Prius battery?”


This week:  NRDC  http://www.nrdc.org/

Their mission: To safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.

Geek Treat:  One acre of trees annually consumes the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that produced by driving an average car for 26,000 miles. That same acre of trees also produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe for a year.  More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest, and one-fifth of the world’s fresh water is in the Amazon Basin.  (New York Times, and Rainforest Alliance)


And now…We’re Mammals and We’re Wild!


“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out
going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…”
 John Muir


I don’t know if Muir’s message above is really true or not.  I know that I WANT it to be true.  I know that it’s true for me, and it’s true for a good many of you, as well.   On days when I’m irrationally hung-up on a silly detail, or feeling overly-anxious for no good reason, it’s time spent in nature that brings my being into balance.  Digging in the dirt, laying in the grass, smelling the Cedar tree as I pedal passed….these acts of everyday wilderness are a necessity for me.  They help me reconcile my human do-ing  tendencies, with my human be-ing nature.  Wilderness reminds me that amidst all this work and activity, I’m a MAMMAL….and there’s something really, really wonderful about that!

Domesticated Mammal Collaboration

The human mammals working at the NGOs the Climate Ride funds support do a lot of work on behalf of our species.  The beautiful reality of inter-dependence, however, means that even more of the work done by the NGOs is done on behalf of the wild spaces and wild species on which our lives depend.  Whether it’s walking your tail-wagging friend around the block, or getting lost in the woods for a week with your backpack, I pray each of us cultivates intimacy with the wilderness around us.  May we admit the necessity of its place in our action-packed lives and may we celebrate its ability to connect us to our wonderfully mammalian inheritance.


Wild, Wacky Mammals


And since we’ve been talking about it — and it is nearly the weekend — are you ready to do something a little WILD?  How about supporting the work of the NRDC by giving to my Climate Ride???

P.S. Congratulations to those of you who received a FREE Green America membership last week.  There are still a few Freebies left with a contribution of $50 or more to my Climate Ride.  Will that new Green America member be Y-O-U???