Sunday, July 05, 2009

Green Nazis and the carbon footprint of bicycles

Being a regular user of a folding bicycle from Dahon, I am often surrounded by lots of angry environmentalist muppets bearing grim faces as they fight their way through the evil capitalist streets filled with car drivers.

Personally, I use a bike just to try to get a bit fitter. Because as a cycle user in a city, I am probably using up just as much carbon as any car driver.

Unlikely? Well, consider the following.

My bike is made from high quality aluminium, which requires high levels of technology and energy to extract from the ground, though admittedly, this is a lot less energy than even the cheap steel in most cars.

But we follow this with the increased amount of food I eat, to propel myself along the road, all of which has to be grown and transported to my fridge, often in the back of the car I use to visit the supermarket.

Then there's the extra clothing I must purchase, to wear on the bike, plus all of the extra washing this kit needs, due to all of the sweating one does on ones bike.

Worst of all though, and dwarfing all of the above figures, is the amount of braking and accelerating I force car, bus, and truck drivers to do, to avoid hitting me and going around me, as I bumble along at 15 miles an hour or so. On a typical cross-city journey I probably force about a hundred cars to waste energy by braking, and then accelerating.

Do many environmentalist cyclists ever consider this carbon energy loss caused by their behaviour? I'm sure some have. But their solution would be to spend hundreds of billions of pounds building new dedicated cycling highways and then forcing car drivers to purchase bicycles and use them.

This forced use of bicycles would then massively slow down the economy, as so much more time and energy would then be used by people just getting to and from work, rather than generating wealth.

So we would then have an impoverished society dragooned by force, with streets filled with millions of stinking cyclists unable to afford the cost of regular and frequent clothes washing.

Ah, such is the happy world of environmental perfectionism that awaits us. No wonder the miserable cyclists around me look so unhappy. They hate the current world. And all of us are going to hate the world they have planned for us.

Such are the joys of being a Green Nazi.

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