December 8, 2011

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AAA Watch
California Governor Listens to AAA Over Better World Club, Vetoes Bill Written To Protect Cyclists

Hmmm...Let's Not Worry About The Safety of Cyclists, Let's Worry About the Driving Record of Motorists

California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed Senate Bill 910, which would have given bicyclists 3 feet or more of clearance when being passed by drivers. Brown's arguments against the bill echo those of Paula LaBrie, Legislative Counsel for AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah.

Jerry Brown: On streets with speed limits of 35 or 40mph, slowing to 15mph to pass a bicycle could cause rear end collisions. On other roads, a bicycle may travel at or new 15 mph creating a long line of cars behind the cyclist. (Quoted here)

AAA: Current language in the bill would require the vehicle to slow to 15 mph of the speed of the bicycle to pass…it can cause a drastic decrease in speed differentials between the vehicle passing the bicycle and other vehicles on the road depending on the posted speed limit. (Quoted here)

These very similar arguments seem to hinge on the same assumption: that drivers are being asked to endanger themselves, and other motorists, by significantly altering their behavior to accommodate bikes. However, the reality is that there are many roads in California not equipped with bike lanes, and cyclists in California are only required to keep to the right when conditions allow. This means that a bicyclist can already legally occupy a full lane for as long as necessary at speeds under 15 mph. In short, bikes are already on the roadways. Drivers are already dealing with the logistics of encountering slower and more vulnerable vehicles on the road. Governor Brown and AAA point out that slowing down and changing lanes are not entirely safe actions for motorists, and therefore object to requiring them by law.

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In The News
Better World Club Sponsors Ride in Support of National Bicycle Greenway

Martin Krieg, author of How to Bike America and How America Can Bike and Grow Rich will make the first west to east, coast to coast ride on an 1891 Eagle HiWheel. He will pedal the historic fixed-gear bicycle, which resembles a backwards Pennyfarthing, from San Jose to Boston in 2012 to promote the nonprofit National Bicycle Greenway, an organization dedicated to establishing a nationwide network of interconnected, bike-friendly roads and bicycle pathways that will connect cyclists to major cities throughout the US.

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Member Alert
Do You Have Opinions?

Would You Like to See Them Immortalized on the Internet?

Hey, so, uh, hi. How's it been? Yeah? Not too bad, myself, just…well, I was wondering. I have this…favor to ask. If you have time. If it's not too much trouble. Not to pressure you or anyth--what's that? Get to the point already? Oh. Ok.

Better World Club is in the National Green Pages. And we could use some reviews from our members! So if you could go sign up and let them know what our service is like! By clicking this link! IT WOULD BE REALLY AWESO--what's that? Stop shouting? Oh. Got a little carried away there. Sorry.
Top Story
Better World Club Forced to Give You a Free Membership When You Give Two as Gifts

International Tribunal Nixes Original Plan, Rules That Shipping 18 Tons of Fruitcake Violates Geneva Convention

We're now offering bigger rewards for gifts and referrals! They're environmentally friendly (and 100% free of candied prunes).

Through December, if you refer new members or give memberships as gifts, we'll shower you with Good Car-Ma Points!

Buy or refer 2 Premium memberships, and you'll earn 40,000 points – enough for a year of Premium coverage. Buy or refer 2 Basic memberships, and you'll earn 23,000 points – enough for a year of Basic coverage.

For gift memberships: when you're signing up for someone else, select "this is a gift" in the top right-hand corner of the form, and our highly-advanced computing system will assign you the points.

For referrals: whether you're the person doing the referring, or the one being referred, just send us an email with the name and address (and member number, if you're feeling fancy) of both parties. Then our highly-advanced, carbon-based technicians will make sure you get the rewards you deserve.

If you have friends who might like to become members, play matchmaker by following this link. We'll send them an email (don't worry: we value privacy, and we don't spam) with information on our services. If things go well, we might even invite them up to see our etchings.

For more information about the Good Car-ma Program, read the article here. To view your point balance, or to redeem points for rewards, log on to the member section of our website.

Read Last Issue's Top Story:

We Give and We Give and We Give...And Soon You Can Give As Well

Take Advantage of Your Member Discounts

We provide hundreds of discounts for products, services, hotels and car rentals - many of which are green! Click here to log on and take a look.
Discounts for the Holidays
Trikke Carving Vehicles

Don't Miss This BWC Member Exclusive Just in Time for the Holidays!

Forget about the gym and ski the streets for your fitness and fun at 15% off! Trikke vehicles provide a no-impact, full-body aerobic workout that simulates the experience of downhill skiing and skating. Trikke offers vehicles for every age and athletic ability. Riding has also proven to be excellent for cross-training and rehabilitation of joints.
Trikke has recently introduced an entirely new green ride, the Trikke quick-folding electric vehicle! This exhilarating ride rocks the same fun workout and provides a great way to get around town at top speeds of up to 16 mph. Trikke offers the best of both worlds for fitness and transportation in the Trikke Pon-e Lite, a faster, longer range commuter vehicle with the Pon-e 36V or the ultimate in distance and hill-climbing in the Pon-e 48V. All Trikke vehicles easily fold so you can take them with you anywhere! Transport in the trunk, carry onto transit, or even into the office. See it in action here.
To take advantage of this offer, go to the BWC member site and click on the member discounts link.

Take advantage of this offer by January 31, 2012 for your discount. All electric model purchases also receive a free BWC Bicycle Roadside Assistance membership with every purchase! Who's lookin' out for ya?

Tired of walking past rows of slot machines to get to the pool? Concerned about the electricity consumption of the Luxor's 42-billion-candlepower Sky Beam? Next time you're in Las Vegas, think about staying at the LEED® Gold certified Vdara Hotel. A non-gaming answer to Sin City blitz, Vdara's amenities include a spa with environmentally friendly products; a café that serves seasonal, organic food; valet service and storage for guests with bicycles; and preferred parking for hybrid and electric vehicles. Vdara offers Better World Club members 10% off their stay.

Call 866-745-7767 or log in to the member section of our website to take advantage of the discount.

Looking for coverage for your company's or organization's fleet? Contact us!
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Washington Watch
BWC President Mitch Rofsky Joins Other Business Leaders to Oppose Keystone Pipeline

Group Presents Letter to White House: Aides Criticize Lack of Holiday Cheer, Ask for Pictures of Children, Pets

The letter was organized by the American Sustainable Business Council, signed by 810 business owners across the nation, and includes a number of telling facts about the proposed pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf of Texas. The pipe would be fed from Canadian tar sands oil, considered the dirtiest on earth. The letter states, "It is inconceivable that we would increase oil extraction specifically from the tar sands where greenhouse emissions would be 82% greater than the greenhouse gas emissions from conventional U.S. well-to-tank refining, according to the Environmental Protection Agency."

In an article published by Green America, BWC President Mitch Rofsky is quoted as saying, "Keystone should not be able to impose its environmental costs onto the American people, and we find it hard to believe it would move forward if assessed realistically…Keystone needs to be required to cover the full remediation and economic cost of any potential leaks through insurance or a bond. The tar sand fuel involved should also be taxed to cover its environmental impact. No analysis should approve the pipeline unless these costs are included."

International protests against the pipeline have been ongoing. In September 117 were arrested while protesting at the House of Commons in Ottowa. The Dalai Lama and 8 other Nobel Peace Prize laureates also sent the President a letter urging against the development. In November, an estimated 10,000 protesters gathered for a demonstration at the White House.

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TravelCool Website of the Month

Finally: An Always-up-to-Date Travel Guide!

You Can Probably Recycle That 1967 Guidebook to Papua New Guinea Now

Getting lost in Wikitravel can teach you how to find your way around the world. A user-edited, peer-reviewed collection geared towards travelers, the site offers information on over 25,000 destinations. It tells you how to get there and back, how to get around once you're there, what to see, and where to eat and sleep. The "Cope" and "Stay Safe" sections are especially useful for international travel, as they explain possible dangers, common cultural misunderstandings, and who to turn to for help. It's like having a friendly local at your fingertips, whether you're on a business trip to Tennessee or a pilgrimage to Ulaanbaatar.

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Do You Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is?
No Surprises, Green Is Great For Business

by Brigid Milligan

We've been saying it for years: green is good for business. But as the Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) annual Global 500 reported last week, green isn't just good for business -- it's great for business and positively impacts the bottom line.

Many have long thought that being green is a luxury that requires extra cost, and that's partially true -- from a consumer standpoint, organic products can be two and three times more costly. As Ron Ashkenas noted on the Harvard Business Review blog earlier this year, many view sustainability as a Faustian choice, knowingly making choices that have instantaneous benefits but no long-term gains. In today's challenging economic environment, it's to be expected that many companies would place less of a priority on sustainability as they focus on more pressing business issues.

The CDP, which examines the carbon reduction strategies at the world's largest companies, surveyed nearly 400 of the Global 500 companies and reported that choosing to implement sustainability as a core component of business has incredible long-term benefits. In their latest report, they found that companies that had a strategic focus on climate change doubled the average total return of the Global 500 from 2005 to mid-2011.

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Guide to Greener Electronics

Thinking about buying a new Gameboy, laptop, or cyborg interface? Greenpeace has created a Guide to Greener Electronics that can help you make sure your cranial implant smart phone manufacturer is toeing the thin green line. They update their ratings regularly, encouraging companies to improve their score by eliminating hazardous components, recycling their obsolete products, and reducing the climate impacts of manufacturing. See how your tech measures up.

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