The World Naked Bike Ride is a growing movement of naked cyclists taking to the streets in cities across the world.
They ride naked to bring attention to climate change, toxic car culture, bike safety, and so much more, leaving tias and abuelas in shock everywhere.
And this past weekend, the World Naked Bike Ride came to Mexico City for the 13th time and it was the city’s largest one yet.
The crowds came out to protest the city’s heavy reliance on cars and the toxic car culture that makes it downright dangerous to ride a bike.
Each and every day some 8 million cars take to the streets and contribute to the city’s notorious traffic. But they also form a huge part of the city’s problem with record-breaking pollution that often reaches crisis levels.
The route took riders through the city’s most popular neighborhoods and along its busiest streets.
From the famed Palacio de Bellas Artes along Paseo Reforma – the city’s main boulevard – to the Monumento de la Revolucion, this year’s WNBR didn’t go unnoticed.
Being noticed was exactly their point.
In a city where accidents with bicycles happen all too often, these riders wanted to grab the attention of motorists. Many are hoping events like this will create greater awareness of bike safety.
Mexico City already has hundreds of miles of dedicated bike lanes, but even these can be dangerous for cyclists. They’re often blocked by cars or used by motorcycle drivers.
Biking wasn’t the only option as the route was joined by rollerbladers and skateboarders.
It’s estimated that some 3,000 people joined this year’s WNBR in Mexico City, making it the largest the city has seen in its 13 years of hosting the event.
And some riders used the event to call attention to other issues.
When you’re naked and riding through the city’s most popular districts, you’re going to get people’s attention. So it’s a good time to give a shout out to issues like women’s rights, environmental justice, and LGBT equality.
Twitter was full of reactions including a few jokes here and there…
I mean if anybody’s private parts are hanging down to the chain, I think they already have bigger problems.
Others wish they could unsee what they had just seen.
But in their defence, sometimes you have to be a little controversial if you want to get noticed. So good for them for doing what they have to do to draw attention to the very real issues of violence against women, climate change, toxic car culture, and bike safety.
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Last night, the top ten ranking Democratic presidential candidates participated in a seven-hour marathon discussing the impacts of climate change. The candidates were each given 40 minutes to discuss their plans for combatting the ever-growing threat of climate change and fielded questions from audience members. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the event.
Julián Castro framed the fight to combat climate change as a fight for civil rights.
“We know that this climate crisis is going to affect all Americans and all the folks around the world, but, as I mentioned a little bit earlier, we also know that it’s going to hit some people particularly hard,” Castro said when asked about racial environmental injustice. “After I announced my campaign, the first visit that I made was not to Iowa or New Hampshire. It was to San Juan, Puerto Rico to tell the people of the island there that we were with them and that we would make sure that they could recover from Hurricane Maria.”
Castro continued to reference an older man he met in Puerto Rico who was still trying to rebuild and fix his home that had been devastated by the hurricane two years ago. He then used the moment to talk about the overall environmental injustices plaguing poor communities, like Flint, Michigan.
“I know that too oftentimes, it’s people who are poor, communities of color, who take the brunt of storms that are getting more frequent and more powerful.,” Castro said. “So my plan actually calls for new civil rights legislation to address environmental injustice, including to make sure that there is a private right of action to file lawsuits against polluters.”
Beto O’Rourke was asked directly about the treatment of Puerto Rico.
“It makes me angry as well,” O’Rourke said about the response to Hurricane Maria. “I hope it makes everybody angry, the way we’ve treated the people of Puerto Rico, our fellow Americans, who were left in harms way without the necessary investment in infrastructure to mitigate the storms that we knew were going to hit them that are only more severe, more frequent, more devastating thanks to our excesses, our emissions, our inaction in the face of climate change.”
O’Rourke continued by calling out President Trump and his decision to move funds from FEMA and diverting them to the U.S.-Mexico border to detain more children.
Cory Booker pledged to create an administration where every agency works within the confines of fighting climate change.
“Climate is not a separate issue,” Booker told the audience. “It is the issue, the lens through which we must do everything that we do. It is an everyday mission. That means every one of my departments, every one of my agencies, every one of my cabinet members from the Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of Agriculture, has to be coming up with an aggressive climate change plan.”
Bernie Sanders is calling for a global effort to mitigate the devastating impact of climate change.
“I think we need a president, hopefully Bernie Sanders, that reaches out to the world, to Russia and China and India, Pakistan, all the countries of the world and say guess what? Whether you like it or not we are all in this together,” Sanders told the crowd. “If you are concerned about the children in your country and future generations, we’re gonna have to work together.
The Vermont senator went further and called out the money spent on arming countries and called for that money to be used to save the environment before it is too late.
Elizabeth Warren is tying the greed of corporations and their devastating impact on the environment to Washington.
“How is it, in a democracy, that we have a handful of corporations, that year after year keep dragging in bigger and bigger profits are the oceans keep rising, while your home disappears, while your children have asthma, while people die? That’s not right,” Warren said. “And the reason it is happening is Washington. Washington could have put a stop to this decades ago but they didn’t. Washington is corrupt.”
And, of course, people are pretty concerned that Joe Biden had one eye turn bloody during his time on that stage.
When asked about China’s CO2 emissions, Biden appeared to have had a blood vessel burst in his eye. He spoke about how China is one country that needs to make real changes to make sure they adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement that they had signed onto. In response, Biden called on sanctions to be levied against China if they continue to export coal technology.
Who was your favorite during the Climate Change Town Hall?
Ahead of CNN’s Climate Crisis Town Hall on Wednesday in New York, Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro released his own version of the Green New Deal called the “People and Planet First Plan.” The former San Antonio Mayor is planning to “direct $10 trillion in federal, state, local, and private investments” over the next decade that his campaign estimates will create 10 million jobs over the next 10 years.
“People do not live their lives in silos and so our plan is intersectional,” Castro said in his proposal. “We will build a 100 percent clean energy economy that both combats the climate crisis and tackles structural inequality.”
Here is what you need to know about Castro’s ambitious environmental policy plan.
At the core of Castro’s environmental policy is combating and reducing greenhouse gas emissions until the U.S. achieves net-zero emissions by 2045 at the latest. Castro also says that his first executive action if elected will be to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement that President Trump withdrew from in 2017. Over the course of the next decade, Castro is also calling for the reduction of carbon emissions by moving from fossil fuels to clean energy.
“Right now, the climate crisis is already devastating our communities, our homes, and our families,” Castro said in his policy proposal. “Severe storms, deadly hurricanes, massive floods, extreme droughts, and wildfires are now a normal occurrence, destroying homes and businesses, and shrinking our economy.”
Castro is billing his plan as “ambitious and achievable” while the cost of it puts him in the middle of other democratic candidates when it comes to money put forth. Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke rank towards the lower end with environmental proposals that cost close to $2 trillion and $5 trillion, respectively. Bernie Sanders is near the top as he has called for a $16.3 trillion investment.
For Castro, it’s not about the cost of these investments but what is at stake if no action is taken.
A key part of Castro’s proposal is putting an end to “environmental racism” which predominately affects communities of color.
If elected president, Castro says said he would propose legislation to combat environmental racism, a form of discrimination where various communities of color are forced to live near environmentally dangerous areas like hazardous waste sites. Castro said he’d do this by bringing forth new civil rights bills such as requiring all federal actions to be reviewed for environmental and health impacts on these low-income and marginalized communities.
“In my administration, we will invest in environmental justice and climate resilience with an emphasis on frontline communities,” Castro writes. “People who are at the forefront of combating climate change, and families who have borne the unequal burden of pollution.”
Castro’s proposed bill would also further strengthen the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to go after polluters who do such harm. It would also give communities and individuals more power to file legal action against companies who have caused pollution and have had a heavy impact on communities of color.
Here is some of what Castro had to say during the CNN Town Hall.
Castro was the first Democratic presidential candidate at the CNN climate town hall which meant he had to set the tone of the evening early. He made an effort to point out many themes in his climate change proposal by emphasizing and calling climate change “an existential threat”.
Castro drew applause from members of the audience when he mentioned the rejoining of the Paris Climate Agreement. He says beyond just the rejoining the agreement again, “it’s actually what comes next that is most important.” There would be an imposed fee on carbon pollution and an executive order banning fossil fuel exploration and development on public lands, Castro said.
Another moment of applause came when Castro discussed some of his prior work as the nation’s housing chief. He reminded people of his past commitment working side by side with low-income communities and helping protect them from environmental dangers and natural disasters.
Castro also faced some criticism when it came to his prior support of fracking.
There was also a tough moment for Castro when asked about his prior support of fracking. Sila Inanoglu, an activist from the Sunrise Movement, a liberal environmental group, asked Castro why he should be trusted to move the country away from fossil fuels when he supported fracking.
“She’s right. When I was mayor of San Antonio, I did believe that there were opportunities to be had with fracking that was going on in South Texas.” Castro responded. “The thing is back then almost a decade ago natural gas was described as a “bridge fuel, we’re coming to the end of the bridge.”
While Castro said he isn’t calling for an immediate ban on fracking in the U.S., he supports the communities and people who are willing to put an end to the practice to move to cleaner sources. He also said he supports a plan for climate education be taught in schools at a young age. In an attempt to fight deforestation, Castro also hopes to plant 30 billion trees by 2050, or roughly 1 billion trees a year.