Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why Bike Transportation? Reason #9


Reason #10 – "Unrighteous Pride"

Reason #9 - The Environment

If you believe Algore and his corps of scientists (and frankly I'm quite skeptical), the earth is warming and our warm-living ways are to blame.

Regardless of whether Algore is right, it can't hurt to NOT spew hydrocarbons and toxic stuff into the air we've gotta breathe.

My air* is getting worse. The numbers don't lie. A "yellow-alert" air quality day is when they advise no open burning, limit driving (a joke, right?), people with respiratory difficulties quit breathing 'til it blows over, etc.

- In 2004, we had 48 "yellow or worse" days in Boise.
- In 2005, we had 58.
- In 2006, 83.
- We had 15 in the first 38 days of 2007.
(Source: Federal EPA; State DEQ.)

The air quality is largely dependent on climatic conditions. Normally, the pollution disperses fairly readily. But when the dreaded "inversion" sets in, the bad stuff kinda stagnates in the vally, sometimes for days at a time. If there weren't any bad stuff, it wouldn't stagnate.

According to a DEQ info sheet, "What can you do to help reduce air pollution?", the number-1 thing is "Drive less." Inconvenient truth.

One guy riding a bike compared with thousands and thousands of single-occupant cars, SUVs, pickups, etc. Looking at it that way, it could get discouraging. But… one guy riding a bike for 22 years – has resulted in a LOT less pollution in our air over time.

The operation of a motor vehicle also contributes tires, discarded motor oil and filters, broken parts, and ultimately tons of scrap metal, etc., into the environment. Far as I know, that is another UNDISPUTED "inconvenient truth." (Sure… bike tires and parts get replaced, and bikes eventually get scrapped… but compare the scale.)

It's a good feeling to NOT be part of the problem. So I included it on the list.

* - I call it "my air" because I breathe it 24/7. Most of my time is spent here in Boise, Idaho. I'll gladly share my air with you… but you have as much responsibility as I do to take care of it.

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