The Planet

This Woman Is Biking Across the World to Collect Stories of Climate Change

by Naila Kelani

January 21, 2016

Devi Lockwood is on a mission to gather stories about climate change, and she’s doing it all on a touring bike. The 23-year-old American wears signs that say things like “tell me a story about climate change” as she bikes through the United States, Fiji, Tuvalu, New Zealand, and Australia, in the hope of getting people to speak up about how climate change affects their daily lives.

So far she’s gathered around 450 stories of the 1,001 she hopes to collect—1,001, of course, being a “magical and special” number in terms of stories, she says, presumably in reference to the Arabian Nights.

In late 2014, Lockwood participated in the People’s Climate March in New York City, where 400,000 climate activists marched from Central Park to the United Nations, and she wanted to keep the momentum going with her bike trip. 

Lockwood told Mashable she plans to soon continue her travels into Southeast Asia and the Americas. Her future travels depend on her ability to get a boat to carry her and her bicycle across continents. After meeting climate activist Chris Watson in New Zealand, Lockwood decided to reduce her environmental footprint by forswearing flying, instead crowdfunding her trip in a cargo ship across the Tasman Sea. She appreciates the help of locals, who often offer water, shelter, and food as she passes through. “When I stop in a place long enough to listen,” she told Mashable, “I meet people, many of whom are interested in what the heck a 23-year-old woman is doing riding her bicycle alone around the world.”

She plans to eventually make a digital map of her journey with corresponding audio recordings of the stories she’s been told so that others can hear and learn from them.

“The aim is to create an archive. I want to get people listening to each other—it’s all about human connection. If this archive can be a small way of getting people talking about water and climate change within their own communities, then I hope I’ve done something worthwhile.”

This article originally failed to attribute Lockwood’s quotations to an interview in Mashable. We apologize for the error. 

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This Woman Is Biking Across the World to Collect Stories of Climate Change