As the summer observing season is upon us, I wanted to make the Yuba Mundo more clearly visible as part of the Bicycle Astronomy project. I also wanted to better articulate the goals of the project with these signs, so I gathered up all my PR prowess (and got some help from supporters on the Bicycle Astronomy Facebook page.)
They are printed on waterproof vinyl and taped to the Yuba Mundo wheel skirts, panels made out of recycled plastic designed to keep things, like dangling kid legs, from getting caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. Here is the left side, that most drivers will see as they pass me:
Think Galactically, Act Globally! is my take on that tired old Earth Day expression. The view of earth from space has changed our perspective, but the view of earth from the perspective of the galaxy, which we can only extrapolate from what we know of its structure, should give us an even wider perspective. Our earth is the only thing we know for sure that harbors life, and we need to protect it. I also believe that we have to recognize that local vs. global is a bit of an obfuscation. All the millions of local actions (for good or ill) around the world each day add up to a significant global impact. When we act as individuals in a locality, in other words, we are also acting as representatives of a species with global impact.
The two goals of the Bicycle Astronomy project are to inspire people to think more broadly about sustainability by showing them the wonders of the night sky, and to educate people about the utlity of cycling to meet daily transportation needs, including hauling cargo.
The Yuba Mundo serves both goals. It carries the telescope and astronomer to the parks where I do Bicycle Astronomy “star parties”. It is also designed to advertise for those star parties around the city, thus, the more I use the Mundo, the more the word will get out. But the bicycle is designed to work in another way. The project’s second goal is to demonstrate the utility of cycling, and thus I want people to see the Mundo everywhere, hauling children, 25 pound sacks of potatos, other bicyles. I am living nearly car free now, and the Yuba Mundo not only allows me to get around, haul what I need to survive, it is also gentle on the earth. And it keeps my healthy. So I can live longer, and do more astronomy outreach.