John Morearty / Bilingual Weekly Contributor
I bike all over town—from port to airport, St. Edward’s to Chavez High to Pixie Woods, then home near Victory Park. At age 72, with a titanium hip, biking strengthens my legs and endurance. My wife likes that.
It’s a joy! Out in the fresh air, moving slow, I enjoy the flowers. I wave to old folks, families, pretty women. I honk my horn (OO-GAH) at other bikers—zoomer dudes, sad guys collecting cans, kids laughing two-on-a-bike. Like my dad, I love saying Hi to strangers.
I wear a helmet and avoid main streets. I ride through UOP across the Calaveras, then past Stagg and northward. Or I ride the levee east to Winco, and come home with bread, peanuts and apple juice in my baskets.
I’m saving gas, and not polluting the air. Fueled by huevos rancheros and coffee, I ride the wide sidewalks of Brookside to the San Joaquin River. I sit on a bench, watch the birds, and roll back home. I’d rather eat rice and beans than pour money in the tank.
Around the world, hungry people are competing with cars for grain. The price of bread has gone up fifty percent lately, and it will never drop. For centuries, corn was kneaded by mothers and abuelitas into soft tortillas and steaming tamales. Now 25% of U.S. corn becomes ethanol for our cars.
Not only that. Burning either ethanol or gasoline heats up the atmosphere—“global warming.” Warming destroys the mountain glaciers which water summer croplands. Warming melts the north and South Pole ice, and that raises the sea level.
Just a one-meter ocean rise would permanently flood with salt water the coastal rice-lands of Asia. That rice feeds hundreds of millions of people.
Do we want our grandchildren to live in a world with hundreds of millions of starving refugees? We see terrorism now, what will happen then?
It’s time to wave goodbye to the five-thousand-year-old War System. War wastes money, lives, ingenuity and spirit. It’s time to all work together, for our future. Think what we can accomplish, if we work together!
So ride your bicycle, feed the peoples. Real men work to feed their families—and now, all humankind is our family. Like the whale says, “Save the humans.”John Morearty, Ph.D., is a Stockton, CA. peace activist and retired carpenter, with ten grandchildren.