Malkolm is cycling on! He is now cycling from Alaska to Washington DC, and then continuing on to the UN Climate Change conference in Cancun in December.
It all started with Bird Year, Malkolm and his parents' year-long, fossil-fuel-free journey in search of birds. Cycling a total of 13,133 miles (21,144 km), they identified 548 different bird species and raised more than $25,000 for bird conservation. Bird Year turned them into confirmed cyclists and taught them that climate change was more serious than they had thought.
In 2009, Malkolm biked from Whitehorse to Ottawa as a part of Pedal for the Planet: the project called for the Canadian Government to become a leader in the struggle to come to grips with climate change. The Harper Government did not even meet with the young cyclists.
Malkolm is now 18 and just finished high school. On August 24, he dipped his foot in the Pacific Ocean in Skagway, Alaska. Then headed up and over the White Pass to the Alaska Highway on his journey to Washington and on to Cancun.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Run in with a moose (Ken)

Malkolm gets a break from blogging since he has to write his final exam tomorrow!
This morning I wandered down towards Dease Lake to fetch a pot of water for coffee. Down at the lake, I knew, there was a Spotted Sandpiper's nest. I'd seen the sandpiper earlier. She'd fluttered away, crying piteously, drawing me away from her four eggs. This time however, I rounded the corner and heard what sounded like the photo-finish of a Kentucky Derby. A pony-sized calf moose galloped down the trail towards me, nearly knocking me back into the forest. I looked nervously about, hoping its mother wasn't following. We never saw her.
We've been on the road for five days now. Malkolm has seen 54 species of birds so far. The boreal forest seems endless. An ocean of trees. We know however, that it is finite. It is the birthplace of many of the songbirds that North Americans love. But many of these Boreal bird species are declining, including Boreal Chickadees, Rusty Blackbirds . . . and Spotted Sandpipers.
We'll keep cycling, hoping we humans can find it in ourselves to make the changes necessary to protect birds.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Romance of Bird Year

Getting ready for our Bird Year is extremely romantic. Today I vacuumed several rooms, swept and washed the stairs leading downstairs (never done that before), spent an hour or two responding to emails and spent a joyous few minutes scrubbing the bathroom floor. My daughters’ dogs are staring at me reproachfully because I haven’t taken them for a walk (Kirsten, Polly and Malkolm are in Haines, Alaska having fun at a bike race).
Starting on the summer solstice, I won’t be scrubbing any floors for at least a year (although we may need to wash the tent).

Friday, June 8, 2007

How did Malkolm get us into this? (Ken)

“Look at this one,” said seven-year-old Malkolm. “A purple… I can’t pronounce it. A purple something.”Malkolm sat strapped in the back seat, thumbing through the bird book that we’d just bought him. We were in the middle of a six-month slide show tour about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We tried to ignore the contradictions as we drove from the Yukon to Florida, up to New Jersey and west to California… burning gas while trying to prevent oil development in the Arctic Refuge. Back in 1999, global warming was a tiny, barely noticeable cloud on our horizons.We taught Malkolm his schoolwork while we drove from show to show. He liked the bird book more than Math or English. By the time we found the “purple something” (a Gallinule) in the Everglades, he was hooked. We’ve always read books out loud in the evenings. During a trip to the Arctic we read Kenn Kaufman’s Kingbird Highway. Kaufman, like Roger Tory Peterson and other notable birders, was writing about his “Big Year,” a year-long quest to see as many North American bird species as possible. I figured that Malkolm would eventually do his own “Big Year”, but I didn’t realize that he’d drag Wendy and me along with him.