Tim Oey is riding in Climate Ride Death Valley this year for our kids–his and everyone's. As he puts it, “it is our responsibility to ensure they inherit a healthy world. Climate change is a huge problem that is well within our power to solve. If we don't, it will dramatically hurt our kids. We should not bury our heads in the sand because changing our behavior is too inconvenient.” As part of his commitment to the planet, Tim retired early from his work as a program manager in new product development at high tech companies such as Apple, Sun, and Adobe to volunteer full time. If you asked his wife she’d say he volunteers far more than full time.
Living in California, Tim has seen the heavy impact of climate change in the form of drought, fire, and loss of habitat and trees. Climate change has decreased the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada range, which in turn diminishes the amount of water for drinking, crops, and support fish. It’s also opened the door for invasive species which have overwhelmed native populations. Extreme fluctuations in weather have created the polar problems of drought and fire on one side and flooding on the other.
Seeing that impact is why he has chosen to support the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to improve biking in his home community. He’s also supporting Grist so more people can get high-quality news about our environment and world. Finally, he’ll be biking for the Adventure Cycling Association, which helps people travel by bike in the US to meet each other. Tim believes that when we get to know each other we usually find that we all are not so different and that most of us really want what is best for our kids and our kids' kids.
Death Valley will be Tim’s second Climate Ride and he’s already planning his third. Inspired by images of young albatrosses that had died due to eating plastic pull tabs, straws, and bottle caps, he went zero waste (http://ZeroW.org) but wanted to do more, so he’s creating his own Climate Ride Independent Challenge that brings together his love of the ocean and his commitment to the health of our planet. Having already organized one cross-country ride from Seattle to Boston in 1983 to combat world hunger by raising money for Oxfam, he decided it was time bike across the country again. Tim’s Indy Challenge will highlight the impact of the plastic disaster that is flooding our oceans alongside the impacts of climate change.
He’ll be biking from his home in Silicon Valley to his former home in Boston. He hopes to not only raise money but also meet and have tea with people across the US. He also plans to make stops at Aquariums along the way, to join forces with them to educate people on how to take better care of our oceans and planet. The route is still a work in progress but you can watch it develop it here.
Tim writes “I feel very lucky to be able to live comfortably with enough food, water, and shelter. This is what I want for everyone. I hope my adventure across the US will help ensure our world can continue to support my fellow astronauts on our tiny spaceship Earth.”