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Eh?: It’s all about balance

At the intersection of global climate change and unicycles, you might find a man named Joseph Boutilier. From Canada, eh.

Believe it or not, Boutilier is on a five-month, 3,000-mile, single-wheeled trek from Victoria, British Columbia, to Ottawa, Ontario. All to make people stop and think about how our energy use is affecting our climate. And he’s passing through Duluth today.

Boutilier spent three years saving and preparing for this journey as he worked as a game designer in Victoria.

He said there was no one defining moment that pushed him to undertake such a mission, but when Canada pulled out of the Kyoto accord on climate change, something the U.S. had never ratified, that marked a turning point for the unicyclist.

Beginning his trek in April, Boutilier said he hopes to make it to his country’s capital by September, when the politicians get back to work. His plan is to take the southern route along Lake Superior, since America’s highways have “wider routes, with more places to stop,” Boutilier said.

Riding a unicycle across the Rocky mountains may seem crazy, and some might think that climate change is a crazy reason to do it, but that doesn’t make Boutilier a radical. He isn’t trying to shut down carbon-based energy, or dam up the tar sands. Boutilier said there’s a better approach.

“I’m no climate scientist, but I do know something about balance,” Boutilier said.

Instead of completely dismantling the oil industry, Boutilier proposes simply not subsidizing it and giving that money to non-carbon producing energy initiatives.

Boutilier said the time is now; it’s no longer something in the future. Climate change is affecting  our lives, economies and civilization as we know it.

Not exactly a rosy picture, but that in itself doesn’t necessarily make him wrong, eh?

For more information about Boutilier’s journey, follow his exploits on

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