Riding for the future - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Riding for the future

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They are on a one thousand mile trek to learn about issues like sustainable energy and climate change. They call their project a ride for their future. And getting where they go on bicycles is a way to help take a stand.

Explains Kaela Bamberger of New York, "We're living our values by biking from place to place, so cutting down on the oil and gas consumption."

Yet today the bikes are parked. They're painting at  the Wesley Foundation. "We're staying here for free, as a gesture of good will, to help with something they needed, " said Erik Rundquist of Massachusetts.

They have big goals. "A better future with smarter energy sources," explained Omar Navarro of Houston.

And, after a lunch they make themselves, they participate in an afternoon forum on sustainability.

"I acknowledge that the technology from fossil fuels has led to great advancements for humanity but a lot of those are not being used as efficiently as they can be," said Navarro.

"We're here to learn from the communities affected, and we're also trying to build a popular movement to try to transition away from oil, coal and gas," said Rundquist.

Kaela says, as she paints a wall. "We truly believe that the carbon that burning fossil fuel creates, is contributing to the warming of the earth."

Guiding today's discussion is Dr. John Day, retired from LSU. He's a scientist,  who's dedicated his life to studying the Louisiana coast and wetlands. "This coast is perhaps unsustainable because we expect sea level rise, stronger hurricanes, so it's going to be very challenging to preserve the Louisiana coast with these trends that are coming," said Day.

He worries people are not preparing for changes he says are coming. "The first thing people need to understand is how is it going to be different and so they can plan for a rational manner to how we're going to try to live."

But, these young people ages 18 to 23, are listening, learning and riding to make a better future.

The group will be in the Calcasieu and Cameron area through July 5 visiting  neighborhoods, industrial facilities, beaches and marshlands.

To hear more from Dr. Day look for our web extra.

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