Surfrider is hosting a bicycle pub crawl to facilitate conversations about climate change

By Danny Karel

First stop: the Venice Whaler’s beachside patio

Getting people to think about their climate impact is challenging, so the Los Angeles chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is trying a new strategy: invite them out for drinks.

This Saturday the organization’s newly formed Climate Committee is hosting a bicycle bar crawl with four stops, beginning at The Venice Whaler near the Venice Pier and ending at The Albright on Santa Monica Pier. Along the way, crawlers will engage in informal, salon-style conversations on topics ranging from ocean acidification to the urban heat island effect.

Discussions will be led by members of the climate committee, including chairman Daniel Dauhajre, an oceanographer at UCLA. Like many, his passion for environmental justice was catalyzed by Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” a 2006 documentary that explained how central human activity has been to the ominous trajectory of Earth’s climate.

“Climate is very close to my heart,” Dauhajre said, “as both a scientist and a card-carrying human.”

The Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit committed to preserving oceans and beaches, gives chapters the freedom to create programs that align with local interests. The Climate Committee was originally formed as an in-house educational resource for members of the L.A. chapter who were interested in climate change education, but Dauhajre saw the opportunity for something greater. By expanding the audience, he hopes to improve “climate literacy” among both Surfrider supporters and members of the local community.

To expedite an atmosphere of intimacy, the crawl will begin with introductions and frosty ice-breakers. Along the way people will be encouraged to share their own climate-related fears and findings. Dauhajre and other climate committee members will be there to dispel misinformation and hopefully guide participants to a broader and deeper understanding of climate issues.

By the end, he hopes that crawlers will set personal climate commitments focused on decreasing their individual carbon footprint. They should also expect to be in — how should we put this? — good spirits.

To join the crawl, bring your bicycle to The Venice Whaler (10 Washington Blvd., Venice) at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. There’s no need to sign up, but you have to cover your own tab.