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Childhood friends, Erik Fyfe and Albert Thrower, set off for an "adventure around the Northeast" this summer talking to people about extreme weather and climate change.
Through conversations with "random people on the street" Erik and Albert are testing firsthand what it's like to talk about an issue that often makes people uncomfortable due to its political context. Traveling on an old British motorcycle (that they're able to fuel with biodiesel), the pair are filming their conversations with locals and updating their blog, Slow Ride Stories, with pictures, videos and stories of the people they meet along the way. Erik has a degree in environmental management and Albert has a background in filmmaking. Together, they hope their experiment will help them understand a diversity of perspectives on the issue and find effective ways to engage people in a constructive dialogue about climate change.
One of the people they interviewed so far is Nicholas Rogers, captain of the Clearwater, a historic sailboat on the Hudson River and a "floating classroom for tomorrow's environmental leaders." Rogers described how sea-level rise and extreme weather is already negatively affecting the Hudson Valley. He also recounted how a number of schools have asked them to discontinue their educational unit on climate change due to concerns that there is "not enough information" or that it is "too hot of a topic."
Another individual that they met along the road is Joe Ross, a truck driver in Haverstraw, NY who says there's no question that climate change is occurring. Ross draws on his personal experience with more frequent and unusual weather in his region, including Hurricane Irene and an early fall snowstorm in 2011; "Everybody says it's a hundred year storm, I go, yeah, we've had three of those this year."
Follow their travels at Slow Ride Stories.