I take a great deal of pleasure in pissing off the enviro-nazis. Environ-nazi is a term I use for those who claim they’re environmentally friendly but in actuality are not because they oppose real methods to improve the environment. Needless to say it always puts a smile on my face when I can mention the average 17mpg my Ford Ranger gets to one of these individuals. With that said I’m not a fan of paying for gas and I do want to get some physical exercise so I periodically ride a bike. Riding a bike is a double-edged sword in my book because it does offer great exercise and transportation but only at the cost of gaining approval of the enviro-nazis. Thankfully some researchers have my back:
Substituting bicycling for driving is frequently promoted as a means of reducing energy consumption and the associated degradation of the environment. This paper estimates the magnitude of this effect. The analysis takes account of the first-order effects due to the dramatically lower energy requirements of transportation by bicycle relative to automobiles. The environmental benefits of human power are, however, strongly coupled to the environmental costs of increased population, due to increased longevity of those who engage in physical activity. Paradoxically, increased use of human power for transportation is unlikely to reduce substantially the use of energy because of this second-order effect. Human powered transportation is therefore less an environmental issue and more an issue of public health. The interplay between longevity and environmental impact is a central feature of the conflicting societal objectives of improving human health and increasing environmental sustainability.
Since riding a bike leads to a longer life it gives me more time to use energy and increase my carbon footprint. Therefore I can continue riding a bike in good conscious knowing it ultimately goes against everything the enviro-nazis support (which is to say it lets me increase my carbon footprint).