back to article US lawmaker blames bicycle breath for global warming gas

A Washington state representative has uncovered a previously under-reported source of greenhouse gas: huffing and puffing cyclists. Ed Orcutt, who lists "Tax relief" at the top of his legislative priorities and who was 2000's Washington Young Republican Federation Man of the Year, emailed the owner of a Tacoma, Washington, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Facepalm...

    ...that is all.

    1. VaalDonkie
      Trollface

      Re: Facepalm...

      Why? He is right after all: cyclists produce CO2 and use public roads. It is only fair that they also pay the penalties and taxes. Granted, a smaller amount should be asked of them, but his logic is sound. Factor in drivers having to sit behind cyclists in a lower gear, thereby increasing the amount of CO2 that their cars produce,and it makes even more sense. My car uses 8.5 liters per 100km in top gear, but 10.5 in third, which is where I'm stuck in if I have to follow a cyclist. I reckon it's unfair that I have to pay for that extra 25 odd percent CO2 my car produces.

      1. I like noodles
        Holmes

        Re: Facepalm...

        Ok Troll, I shall with some reluctance feed you:

        I don't doubt for a second that your car uses more fuel per km when following a cyclist. What about when you're in a jam caused by too many cars for the road? I suggest the rise in fuel usage you get when stuck behind a cyclist pales into insignificance in comparison with the fuel usage you get when stuck behind a thousand cars (mostly with one person in them) all trying to go to the same place at the same time.

        Walkers also produce CO2 whilst travelling along the pavement. Perhaps we should tax them too. And as for them causing the lights to change at pedestrian crossings when briefly our fuel usage rises to infinite per km, well my word, maybe we should actually ban walking.

        You don't *have* to pay that extra 25 odd per cent you know - you could always try cycling instead.

        1. VaalDonkie
          Trollface

          Re: Facepalm...

          A few points of order:

          1. I use the same amount of fuel whether I'm stuck behind one cyclist or 1000 cars.

          2. When walkers use a pavement constructed specifically for the purpose of walking, then yes, they should be paying for its upkeep.

          3. I would rather pay a few pounds extra for fuel than have to spend a thousand on a new bike and all that safety gear your nanny government would force me to wear.

          1. I like noodles

            Re: Facepalm...

            @VaalDonkie

            1. No you don't. I certainly don't anyway. When I'm stuck behind 1000 cars, people are walking past me. I'm completely stationary for long periods. Clearly I'm using more fuel, for parts of that I'm doing zero miles per gallon. And that's not counting the other 999 cars also spewing stuff out.

            2. Are pavements constructed specifically for the purpose of walking? Perhaps they are constructed for the purpose of not driving upon. Who knows!

            3. My nanny government permits me to cycle wearing nothing but a thong if I so wish. Luckily - for me but moreso for everyone else - I don't own a thong

            1. VaalDonkie
              Trollface

              Re: Facepalm...

              You have valid arguments. And atrocious levels of traffic congestion. Pavements are there for the some purpose of enabling prostitutes to earn a living.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Facepalm...

              Luckily - for me but moreso for everyone else - I don't own a thong

              .. which, combined with you not owning a saddle either still remains a spectacle I don't want to witness.

            3. Gerhard den Hollander
              Joke

              Re: Facepalm...

              @I like noodles .... so you would be driving with nothing, even without a thong .. and you thin k that's lucky ?

            4. I think so I am?
              Thumb Up

              Re: Facepalm...

              1. No you don't. I certainly don't anyway. When I'm stuck behind 1000 cars, people are walking past me. I'm completely stationary for long periods. Clearly I'm using more fuel, for parts of that I'm doing zero miles per gallon. And that's not counting the other 999 cars also spewing stuff out.

              There is this little thing called "Stop-Start" just thought I'd let you all know :)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Facepalm...

                "There is this little thing called "Stop-Start" just thought I'd let you all know :)"

                A lot of people don't know what that is. I didn't till I had a hire car and found its engine cut out when I stopped. Coming from an old banger that you'd prefer to leave running, I was a little surprised.

                Even some radio adverts took the piss out the phrase with a manager saying "don't all our vans start and stop." Surely that joke would be enough to alert someone that not everyone knows all the jargon.

              2. M Gale

                Re: Facepalm...

                "There is this little thing called "Stop-Start" just thought I'd let you all know :)"

                You know I wonder about the whole stop-start thing. Sure you might spend a little less in fuel, but doesn't stopping and re-cranking the engine every couple of minutes cause extra stress to the parts? As soon as the thing stops, the oil starts flowing back into the sump unless you have some kind of sticky MagnatecTM-like addition to it.

                Then you get that lovely metal-on-metal contact until it starts flowing again.

              3. Vic

                Re: Facepalm...

                > There is this little thing called "Stop-Start"

                And what percentage of vehicles can stop and start in a fuel-efficient manner?

                Vic.

          2. Psyx
            Facepalm

            Re: Facepalm...

            "3. I would rather pay a few pounds extra for fuel than have to spend a thousand on a new bike and all that safety gear your nanny government would force me to wear."

            Like the politician, you're now making shit up.

            Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything, except to have lights on their bike when it's dark (which about half of them do in my experience, hence the dozen bike-shaped kill markings on my car door).

            1. VaalDonkie

              Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

              Different countries: different rules.

              1. Ken 16
                IT Angle

                Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Naked_Bike_Ride

              2. Silverburn
                Facepalm

                Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

                Different countries: different rules.

                Naturally, it would help your case if you ACTUALLY DISCLOSED WHICH COUNTRY YOU'RE FROM...

              3. Psyx
                Facepalm

                Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

                "Different countries: different rules."

                Tosh. You stated "your nanny government", implying that you meant the UK.

              4. Nasty Nick
                Pint

                Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

                Yep, we have different rules in the UK to those in the US (like for motorcycle clothing/helmets), and I guess individual states might have some of their own special regulations. El Reg needs to remind commenters that we are a diverse bunch and apart from often talking complete bollox because we can, also may confuse because our laws and customs differ quite alot.

                How about having a country flag option for commenters?

            2. DiViDeD Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Facepalm...

              "Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything..."

              Ah but here in Oz they are required by law to wear a silly hat made of foam and carbon fibre. I suspect there is also some law which requires that:

              a) They must wear lycra at all times

              b) Said lycra is to be a minimum of one size too small to contain their flabby bits

              These days I try not to look. Mines the one with the peril (and cyclist) sensitive sunglasses in the pocket

          3. David Simpson 1
            Flame

            Re: Facepalm...

            Okay so I'll explain this like you are a child since you really sound like one....

            So cars are big and heavy and have lots of power so over time they break up the road surface, which costs lots of money to fix, people are not heavy enough to effect the road surface either on foot or on a bike, which is why it is idiotic to claim that cyclists and walker should pay road tax, even after those people have already paid tax for things like foot paths.

            Silly people who claim these things are really stupid because they are just blaming other people instead of putting pressure on the government to spend the money they collect in road tax on the actual roads instead of on other stupid things like illegal wars, not to mention all the tax they collect on fuel.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Facepalm...

            But you in your car, well you are probably obese due to lack of exercise, and cost the NHS billions in heart, blood thinning, anti-inflamatory and diabetes medicines. Also because you are so unfit, it means your concentration levels and reaction times will suffer making it more likely for you to have an accident.

            Car drivers should have a black box installed that shows that when they make a journey less than 4 miles long they get a `health tax' added on. 60 quid per infraction I think is fair. Oh yes and one penalty point. That will get you walking to the corner shop.

            1. Corinne
              FAIL

              Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26

              "Car drivers should have a black box installed that shows that when they make a journey less than 4 miles long they get a `health tax' added on. 60 quid per infraction I think is fair. Oh yes and one penalty point. That will get you walking to the corner shop."

              I guess you were trying to make a point there, but suggesting anything under 4 miles should be walked is just a LITTLE excessive don't you think? My 2 (one either side) elderly disabled neighbours for example, or the grand-daughter of one of them who is 8 months pregnant, or the person with a bad back, or in fact anyone who isn't extra-super fit and has an extra couple of hours to do that 4 miles each way walk rather than drive (sigh).

              1. robin48gx
                Meh

                Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26

                Are your elderly disabled neighbours physically fit enough to drive a car safety ? Also 8 months pregnant congrats, but should she not have her husband/partner help out ?

                1. Obvious Robert
                  FAIL

                  Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26

                  What? Is the husband/partner supposed to carry her for the 4 miles or something...?

                2. Corinne

                  Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26

                  My elderly disabled neighbours are not fit to drive cars no - which is why they get driven by someone else (e.g. husband, daughter, even me) to in-essential things like visits to their doctor etc. Or did you mean to suggest that if you can't walk at least 4 miles then you need to be housebound? same for the pregnant girl, she shouldn't be allowed out if her journey is under 4 miles while her husband is at work during the day?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              WTF?

              Re: Facepalm...

              "Car drivers should have a black box installed that shows that when they make a journey less than 4 miles long they get a `health tax' added on. 60 quid per infraction I think is fair. Oh yes and one penalty point"

              So if my wife is away, I'm supposed to walk four miles with my four-year-old son, in -10c weather, in the dark, in pounding sleet, so I can get him some cough medicine?

              I'm supposed to walk to work or to go grocery shopping when it's 30c and blazing sun in the summer, and haul my milk and eggs back the same way?

              Sometimes I wonder about people...

          5. Wize

            Re: Facepalm...

            "...all that safety gear your nanny government would force me to wear."

            They don't force you to wear it. I wear it out of choice. But then I have something inside my cycle helmet worth protecting.

          6. M Gale

            Re: Facepalm...

            "3. I would rather pay a few pounds extra for fuel than have to spend a thousand on a new bike and all that safety gear your nanny government would force me to wear."

            Where are you buying your bikes? Halfords or Harrods?

          7. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            Re: Facepalm...

            2. Barring the few who drive directly from garages at home to garages at work, essentially everyone in a metropolitan area uses sidewalks. And frankly, those of us treading kilometers of it with shoe leather are probably contributing less to the sidewalk's deterioration than those driving a couple of meters across it in a car.

            3. Whose nanny government? The left bank of the Potomac is pretty persnickety, but I see people riding all over without helmets.

      2. Andrew Moore

        Re: Facepalm...

        by your logic (nearly) every living thing on the planet pollutes by producing CO2*. The only way to stop it is to remove oxygen from the atmosphere. This sounds like a start of idiot politicians wanting to introduce an "Air Tax"

        *maybe we can give plants a tax break for reversing the process...

        1. VaalDonkie
          Trollface

          Re: Facepalm...

          And another:

          4. During the dark phase of photosynthesis, plants actually produce CO2 and consume oxygen. So yes, we need to tax those petunias. It is science.

          1. Tinker Tailor Soldier

            Re: Facepalm...

            OK, I'll feed the fellow South African troll. Well, I won't, but I will observe that more effluent comes out of your mouth in the average post than CO2 from your white entitled SUV's tailpipe.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Joke

          Re: Facepalm...

          Tax breaks for plants? So THAT's their plan - given the sheer number of vegetables in the Republican party, it's all starting to make sense...

      3. Silverburn

        Re: Facepalm...

        So much fail here...

        - In a 30mph/50kph limit, you will not be in top anyway - likely 4th or even 3rd. Nor will you be cruising at a constant speed. In town you have junctions, lights, bus stops, pedestrian crossing etc. Frankly cyclists are the least of your worries.

        - In town (it's been proven in London many times) that cycling is faster than driving. I'm an "above average" cyclist, and I get held up by cars.

        - Public roads are funded through council taxes, not VED. So unless all cyclists are homeless, they pay. They are also subject to normal road rules, and if they have a driving licence can even accumulate tickets and points (in theory...but rarely in practise).

        - Your car only does 8.5 in ideal conditions. That's a gas guzzler. I'd hardly be quibling about 25% if I was you - if you can afford to feed it, you're paying your dues.

        1. VaalDonkie
          Trollface

          Re: Facepalm...

          - Not everyone lives in London you know. Nor does everyone drive around town. I spend 95% of my commute on a freeway, doing 120km/h (that's about 65 imperial horse dongs or 700 cubed furlongs).

          - Again, not every country on earth works like Britain, hence the taxes employed in upkeep does not come from the same source.

          1. I like noodles

            Re: Facepalm...

            "I spend 95% of my commute on a freeway"

            And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

            1. VaalDonkie
              Trollface

              Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

              About once a month. See my dilemma?

              1. Silverburn

                Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                See my dilemma?

                No....not really.

                1. VaalDonkie

                  Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                  I get to follow a cyclist on the freeway.

                  1. Silverburn

                    Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                    a) Cyclists are not allowed on Freeways (assuming US)

                    b) Even a cyclist mental enough to do this, Freeways have hard shoulders. They would not ride in the traffic unless they wanted to die

                    c) Freeways are 2 lanes wide and fast, and if you're approaching at your 120kph, the last thing you would be doing is slowing down to follow a cyclist. If you are, please - walk - to the nearest Police station and hand in your licence.

                    1. Euripides Pants

                      Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                      "a) Cyclists are not allowed on Freeways (assuming US)"

                      In South Dakota bicycles are permitted on the shoulders of interstate highways. But South Dakota has more cattle than people.

                      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                        Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                        But South Dakota has more cattle than people.

                        Asses don't count as cattle; if they would then Washington DC would be way beyond South Dakota in that respect.

              2. evs
                Megaphone

                Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                Good example. In most states and provinces, (including Washington:RCW 46.61.160) It is illegal to ride a bicycle on limited access highways so if this situation can arise (there is a bike in your lane in a place where you can legally go 120kph) then there is clearly eitther a signage or an enforcement problem (and certainly a safety issue). Now my question as a cyclist is: what's my fair share of the tax for that roadway that I am not permitted to use. What about roadways that I am permitted to use as a 2nd class citizen (stay out everyone's way, don't use the left turn bays etc.)? How about depreciation? Trucks cause several dollars/km damage just from their sheer weight. How much of that should I, as a cyclist, pay? Safety? if I'm paying "my share' I expect the same level of safety as the cars get: proper signage, separated lanes, separate signalling etc.

                LSV is really the elephant in the room here. Nobody with money wants to talk about how we can work towards LSVs because they would greatly harm the auto and oil industries and motorists are entirely unwilling to relinquish any existing rights to the 40-60% of urban land that they currently get to use for almost free.

            2. Captain DaFt

              Re: Facepalm...

              "And you're stuck behind a bicycle?"

              Upvote for that laugh!

              Reminded me of a routine by Emo Phillips:

              "I was travelling down the freeway the other day, minding my own business, when some jerk pulled behind me and kept blowing his horn. I didn't flip him the bird or anything, I like to think I'm above that. So I just ignored him and kept on wakking."

              1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

                Re: Facepalm...

                I would tax the politicians first, they seem to be producing far more hot air than anybody else, and heating that air must be fuelled by burning carbon-based stuff, so they are producing excess CO2.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Facepalm...

          What? My car has 6 forward gears and sod all torque yet it'll happily cruise along in 6th at 30mph. If you're spending most of your time at 30 in 3rd, you need to make your way to the nearest naughty step and think about what you've done.

          1. M Gale

            Re: Facepalm...

            What? My car has 6 forward gears and sod all torque yet it'll happily cruise along in 6th at 30mph. If you're spending most of your time at 30 in 3rd, you need to make your way to the nearest naughty step and think about what you've done.

            Not everyone has a 7 litre big-block engine under the hood. If it has 6 forward gears and comfortably cruises at 30mph in top gear, I can promise you it has a lot more than "sod all" torque.

            30mph in top gear? Most cars in this country probably wouldn't make it up a 1:100 gradient like that. Think 1.3 litre Ford Fiesta. A friend's classic BMW M535 might make it like that, but that's three and a half litres of fun that sits on the spot making smoke from the tyres if you even think about twitching the accelerator too hard.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Facepalm...

              My Saab 9-5 has a 2.3 liter turbo 4 that makes about 230hp and flat torque from 1500rpm up, with a five speed box, and it's running at < 2000 revs in third at 30mph. It sits at about 2k in fifth at 65; trying to run in top gear at 30 would be absurd - what, 600rpm? Given that it idles at 900, I think that would be asking rather a lot.

              Unless the 6-forward guy has a car that's geared for 45mph, I call proverbial bullshit.

      4. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Facepalm...

        Road damage is proportional to axle weight to power of 4

        So if your car weighs a ton that's 8 times even my weight and you probably do at least 8 times the speed/distance so I'd be happy to pay 1/32000 of your roadtax for my usage of the road - so long as you pay the admin for collecting it since it worries you so much.

      5. Hi Wreck

        Re: Facepalm...

        I think we need a few more TROLL roads to make us all pay pay pay.

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