Ebikes green?

Mass Deduction

Active Member
[...]The same people who scream about climate change use tons of disposable gadgets that end up in land fills or are picked apart by starving children in the third world at huge health consequences.

I'm sure what you say is true of some people, but I know lots of people who lead by example and lead very low-waste lives, including not using many gadgets (disposable or otherwise). Your statement suggests they're all that way, and I know that's not true.

But your argument is self-defeating anyway. I've heard people people complain that opponents of bad forestry practices shouldn't carry around wooden signs to make their point. And yet people often vote for political parties that spend *tonnes* of money trying to win elections on a platform of bringing in a frugal economic policy, and isn't that kind of the same thing? In all these cases they're using the available tools in an attempt to make change.

And without chemicals such as fertilizers made from petroleum by-products a huge portion of the world would starve

The science doesn't agree with your assertion. Chemical fertilizers are necessary because we feed vast amounts of the world's food to livestock. In the U.S. for example, 70% of all the grain is fed to food animals. All around the world huge amounts of grains, beans, etc., are fed to animals instead of humans. The science says that making our diets more plant-based is the best solution to feeding the world, not pumping chemicals into the ground. A person who adopts a plant-exclusive diet reduces the amount of farmland required to support their diet by about 70%, but any movement towards making your diet more plant-based helps.

It's like the billionaires in Davos screaming about climate change as they fly their private jets constantly. It's funny to see 16 year old kids get all upset about this, it's just part of being a teenager, but it's strange seeing adults being so uncritical. I would say that in the end we should come back in ten years and see what new death awaits us, but I guess we'll all be dead from climate change so we won't be able to. :)

If you're going to criticize a movement, at least be accurate. The scientific consensus isn't that we'll all be dead from climate change in 10 years. The concern is that as polar ice caps melt, and less of the sun's heat is reflected off the planet, that we'll end up in a runaway cycle of ice melting. The goal is to avoid that point, but it'll still take generations for it to play out.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
It goes beyond my comprehension that some people don't think the world population has made a rapid influence on the atmosphere and extreme changes we are seeing today. In demographics, the world population is the total number of humans currently living, and was estimated to have reached 7.7 billion people as of April 2019. It took over 200,000 years of human history for the world's population to reach 1 billion, and only 200 years more to reach 7 billion. But to many, these conditions are just like what happened a thousand years ago, no differences!

It's less about there being 7.7 billion people, and more what those people do. Demographic models suggest that the world's population is likely to top out at 9.5 billion, give or take. As infant mortality drops around the world, and as the world urbanizes, and as we have more two-income families, people are having fewer children.

Right now around 40% of the world's ice free land is devoted to animal agriculture. And animal agriculture affects not only climate change but is also a leading cause of deforestation, groundwater depletion, groundwater contamination, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, ocean dead zones, and much more. Because it hits the environment on so many levels, animal agriculture is the number one threat to life on this planet as we know it.

With a massive curtailment of animal agriculture, the planet could comfortable handle far more than 9.5 billion. Imagine freeing up vast amounts of food, water, and land that's currently going toward food animals. You talk about 7.7 billion people, but those 7.7 billion people at any one point in time have over 70 billion food animals. It's no wonder that humans and livestock together now make up 96% of the planet's mammalian biomass. Wowza.

So how does all this relate to e-bikes? I'm glad you asked. It's good to make sensible transportation choices, but it's only one relatively small piece of the puzzle. It's good to be educated about the environmental footprint of the different choices you make, whether it's food, e-bikes or what have you, and try to find a balance that both reduces your footprint and also works for you.

I eat a low-carbon/climate-based diet. And I use e-bikes and public transit exclusively for transportation. Yet I do have a smartphone, a PC, a big screen TV, and a game console, so I'm far from perfect. But I've found a balance that significantly reduces my environmental footprint, and that also works for me.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
I harp on this all the time. Most electric is produced by fossil fuels in America

'Tis true. Luckily, in Canada most of our electricity is produced by hydro electric. That's not without an environmental footprint of a different sort (land has to be flooded, etc.), but it's a much lesser one. And Canada does sell a fair chunk of power to the U.S., as well.

But two things are happening: electricity production is gradually getting greener, and devices are becoming significantly more energy efficient. Some modern day big screen TV may use less electricity than a small CRT television of yesteryear.

And the amount of electricity used to recharge an e-bike is incredibly small. At the local power rates here in British Columbia, it costs 2 or 3 cents to recharge a 500 Wh e-bike battery! So that's not a lot of electricity. :)

And I use an e-bike instead of taking the bus, let alone driving a car, so that's for sure a benefit.

And an e-bike may have a lower climate footprint than a regular bike, too. The electricity used to power the e-bike may be lower carbon than the extra food you'd eat if you were huffing and puffing after a long ride on a muscle bike (depending on your diet).
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
This article isn't a radical pro or anti electric vehicles, it does outline some challenges with them though. Much of the data is compiled by the EU.


I think the future for transportation is electric, but we have some work to do to make LEV's better. One big factor that's often missed is shipping materials back and forth, here and back again that has a big environmental and financial impact.