Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rio+20, Dublin+2

This time two years ago, like many others with an interest in sustainability, I was starting to look ahead to Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which began in Rio de Janeiro today. It marks 20 years since the United Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992, commonly known as the Earth Summit, which was a major landmark in global environmental policy. I half-fantasized that perhaps I'd be in Rio today, or at least somehow involved with events leading up to or connected to the conference, wherever I was. Life and its always unpredictable happenings have as usual intervened, so I'm here in Ireland rather than Brazil. A fitting way to participate in the spirit of today was to take a bike ride through the streets of Dublin with around 1,000 other cyclists, and much environmentally-sound fun it was too.


The lunchtime mass cycle was part of Bike To Work Day, itself part of Bike Week, with cycling events happening all over the country until Sunday.


Everyone assembled at Grand Canal Dock.


This team from Google were clearly looking to win the 'best-dressed group' prize.


Then it was off through the city, with the cars helpfully held back by Gardai. We rolled over the Samuel Beckett bridge.


On down the North quays.


Notice the fabulous Mondrian-ish reflective vest on the lady to the left.


Heading on up to O'Connell bridge and the junction with D'Olier Street.


This doesn't really capture the number of people. Or the number of electric green Shrek-ish bike helmet covers.


Indeed we were in a 30km/h zone on College Green.


After a spin down Nassau Street and along the excellent cycleway by the Grand Canal it was back towards lunch near Grand Canal Dock.



Where we were greeted by some cool bikes,


plus a temporary bike rack.


Also the unsettling and unexplained presence of a Dublin Civil Defence Radiation Monitoring van.


But the mayor was there on his bike wearing a hoody and his mayoral bling. Which made it all ok. Planet saved.


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