Saturday, July 22, 2006

Are Cyclists Destroying the Earth?

NY Times reports:
Karl T. Ulrich, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has put forth a provocative theory. Traveling by bicycle, he argued in a recent paper, may cause more environmental harm than driving around in pollution-spewing, fossil-fuel-swallowing cars and sport utility vehicles.

How can this be? Bicyclists are healthier, he wrote, so they live longer. Over their lifetimes, they consume more energy than they save. ...

"I see it happen here in Berkeley all the time," Mr. [Andrew] Leonard wrote [in his blog How the World Works]. "First you start biking around town, then you put solar panels on your roof and start worm composting your newspapers. Suddenly, you find yourself raising organic free-range chickens in your backyard and hosting weekly meetings of your local Peak Oil Awareness encounter group."
Yes, bicyclists become more enlightened, but the solar panels and recycling aren't necessarily saving the environment either.

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