Welcome to carbonstories.org. On this site you can learn about Michael Johnson-Chase and follow my blogs. With some exceptions, this site follows "theme based" cycling tours focusing on social and climate related issues. Slowed down observations of the world over days, weeks and months at 10 to 15 miles an hour can reveal a depth and quality of understanding about our environment often missed by faster modes of travel.

Forrest Watkins and 360bybike.org

Forrest Watkins and 360bybike.org

I recently learned about three fascinating bicycle touring websites focused on climate change and/or fundraising for climate change. They are:

Each of these sites are extraordinary by themselves and even more so for the adventures they represent. Recently I have had the good fortune to begin corresponding with Forrest Watkins of 360bybike. In his own words, he is “cycling the world, telling the human story of climate change.” Currently Forrest is in the Philippines, preparing to bike from Central Asia to Europe through the countries lining the historic northern Silk Road.

I have offered to create a post on behalf of 360bybike.com that will help carbonstories.org readers learn more about Forrest Watkins. So, read on and enjoy learning about this ambitious storyteller’s prior travels and his plans for an extraordinary journey to come.

Hello, readers of carbonstories.org. My name is Forrest Watkins, and I’m cycling the world to collect stories of humans and climate change. I’m interested in the impact of climate change on people, and also in the work of those searching for solutions. In the summer and fall of 2015, I biked 4,535 km across southwestern China and Vietnam and collected upwards of ten climate stories that I published at http://www.360bybike.org/

Then, I took two months off to visit home for the first time in a year and a half.

As of February 4, 2016, I’ll be in the Philippines (without Hester, my bike, which is currently resting in central China). While in Manila, I’ll meet with groups of artists and writers focused on social issues. I’ll move on to Eastern Visayas, where I’ll talk to communities of urban poor and groups working to get the word out about climate impacts in the area. Then I’ll head further south and talk to 350.org activists and groups opposing new coal projects.

After the Philippines, I’m going back to the city in China where I taught English for a year and where Hester is waiting. And I’ll strike out west. I’ll be in “mainland” China for about two more weeks before I get into the Central Asian region of the country. Then it’s on to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey.

Here’s a map indicating my general route. The red markers are points of interest. At the end of this segment of the tour, I’ll dip into Greece for a moment for visa reasons and then post up in Istanbul for 2-3 weeks to plan for Europe.

Here’s what I need from readers on my blog at 360bybike and/or any other blogs right now:

Please help me fill in that map! 

I need places to stay, I need people to talk to, places to visit, and/or any advice or encouragement you can give. If you know of any people or places that have been affected by climate change, any compelling climate or clean energy-related projects, any couches or floors where I could crash, or any places I simply can’t pass by, please contact me at fqwatkins@gmail.com, or use the contact form here. I’ll be inexpressibly grateful for any information you can give–tips for where to go, names of compelling projects, whatever it may be. The route is tentative and deviations of 100 miles or more are just fine.

I look forward to working together more in the future. Please do send me a link if you decide to post this!

Best, Forrest Watkins, 360bybike.com

A State of Indifference - Sea Level Rise and Florida

A State of Indifference - Sea Level Rise and Florida

Photos from COP21, December 3-13, 2016

Photos from COP21, December 3-13, 2016