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Archive for Friday, October 8, 2010

Colorado man riding renewable energy-powered tricycle 2,500 miles to raise awareness

Tom Weis stopped on KU’s campus to share his message with students

Colorado resident Tom Weis, left, showed his150-pound tricycle to Stuart Pence, 25, a sophomore from Pratt. Weis is on his way to Washington, D.C., to convince lawmakers to create a 100-percent renewable energy grid by 2020.

Colorado resident Tom Weis, left, showed his150-pound tricycle to Stuart Pence, 25, a sophomore from Pratt. Weis is on his way to Washington, D.C., to convince lawmakers to create a 100-percent renewable energy grid by 2020.

October 8, 2010

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Traveling through one small town at a time, Tom Weis aims to gather the support to convince lawmakers to create a 100-percent renewable energy grid by 2020.

Colorado man cycling across country

Tom Weis, is traveling from Boulder, Colorado to Washington D.C. to gather support for a 100 percent renewable energy grid by the year 2020. Here Weis explains different functions of the vehicle.

Colorado resident Tom Weis made a brief stop in Lawrence on Friday, Oct. 8, 2010, on KU campus to educate KU students about renewable energy.

Colorado resident Tom Weis made a brief stop in Lawrence on Friday, Oct. 8, 2010, on KU campus to educate KU students about renewable energy.

Colorado resident Tom Weis stopped in front of Wescoe Hall to speak with students about renewable energy.

Colorado resident Tom Weis stopped in front of Wescoe Hall to speak with students about renewable energy.

Colorado resident Tom Weis is riding across the country to raise awareness for renewable energy and stopped on KU campus to speak about it. His bike is tricked out with solar panels, an electric motor and three wheels.

Colorado resident Tom Weis is riding across the country to raise awareness for renewable energy and stopped on KU campus to speak about it. His bike is tricked out with solar panels, an electric motor and three wheels.

It’s a goal that Weis calls a “green energy moon shot for America” and one he is pursuing by pedaling his bright yellow rocket tricycle from Colorado to Washington, D.C.

“It’s a huge goal, but we have a huge problem. The solution has to be commensurate with the problem,” Weis said.

The one-man renewable energy revolution stopped on the steps of Wescoe Hall at Kansas University Friday morning where Weis was lecturing more than 200 geography and environmental studies students.

“It’s time for our generation to get up and do something,” Weis told the crowd.

Since Sept. 21, Weis has been riding his 150-pound tricycle, which has a bright-yellow carbon fiber shell, an electric motor for an extra boost to get over hills and solar panels for powering headlights, blinkers and an iPhone.

“It looks and feels like a rocket,” Weis said.

Weis left from Boulder, where he is the president of Climate Crisis Solutions, an environmental consulting firm committed to solving the global climate crisis.

He rode across Kansas on U.S. Highway 36 and 24, camping in city parks and staying in people’s homes along the way.

“I want to pedal through Main Street America and I want to find out whether Main Street America agrees with me. Is this a desire that they have for America to be great again, for us to have a generational mission, a bold goal? And what I am finding is the answer is yes.”

On his 2,500-mile journey, Weis plans to visit examples of renewable energy sources, such as the commercial wind farm outside of Concordia.

Weis thinks America can get to 100-percent renewable energy by using solar, wind and geothermal energy and for everyone to be more efficient in how they use it.

He is asking others who believe the same to sign a petition on his website, rideforrenewables.com.

“The stakes are so high that we need to be coming together as Americans to get the job done,” he said.

After Weis finished his talk, students crowded around the trike asking questions and taking pictures with their phones.

“I think it is awesome,” said Stacy Ash, who was taking photos for her dad and to post on Facebook.

Weis plans to spend a few more days in Lawrence, visiting the Farmers Market and participating in this weekend’s bike activities surrounding Octoginta.

By mid-November, Weis wants to reach Washington, D.C., where he will share his goals with Congress and the White House.

“This is really heavy stuff. We are dealing with saving the planet for our children and future generations and trying to rescue our economy. But it can also be a lot of fun,” Weis said. “We need to bring some joy back into the planetary protection movement. And, that is partly what this ride is about.”

Comments

LogicMan 4 years, 2 months ago

Just asking:

Why do you humans expend precious resources of time, energy, valuable materials, etc. "raising awareness"?

If these things were such good ideas, they would already be a hot sellers on the open market if products, or readily adopted into policy if not tangible. Most of these awareness raising exercises are just people seeking attention, at least according to my extra large organic high resolution light sensors.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

That really begs the question of why the oil and coal industries spend literally $billions on advertising, lobbyists, campaign contributions, etc., merely to "raise awareness." I mean, shouldn't the "open market" determine whether or not these products are bought and used without all this "attention seeking?"

Ken Lassman 4 years, 2 months ago

Good question:--here's the answer: 2009 stats in the US: Newly installed wind generated electricity: over 9,000 megawatts Newly installed coal fired electricity: 0 megawatts Newly installed nuclear power electricity: 0 megawatts

Next question?

Flap Doodle 4 years, 2 months ago

He should redo his trip next February to show us all how practical his cycle is when the windchill is below zero and the roads are covered in icy slush.

parrothead8 4 years, 2 months ago

Because it absolutely defies the American spirit to modify or improve anything to adapt to changing conditions, right?

robinhoodlum 4 years, 2 months ago

New tech is always expensive in the beginning. If it continues to be expensive or inconvenient people will not embrace it. We have already seen these issues retard the growth of green energy thus far. I doubt many programs and ideas would be commercial now if it were not for Government subsidies of various types.

Rjl 4 years, 2 months ago

I always jave a hard time understanding people's irrational fear of change

The stone age did not end because they ran out of stones.

lounger 4 years, 2 months ago

Very cool Tom! We are behind you 100 percent. Its only you out there when the weather is bad, or you are in the middle of the country. Keep it up and your cause is most noble.

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