Who pollutes more, cyclists or trees? And how much CO2 is generated by felt and foam rubber?Remember how much fun we had laughing at Ronald Reagan’s jolly science fact about how trees cause pollution? And how it made absolutely no difference to anyone? You’ll be delighted to know that The Gipper’s example lives on, nurtured and sanctified by public servants like Washington state Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-SpringfieldTireFire), who patiently explained to the Seattle Bike Blog that bicyclists have no reason to be so damn smug about their impact on the environment because, “You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car.”

The comment came in response to an email Orcutt sent to a constituent, in which Orcutt defended his support for a new tax on cyclists. In part, the email read:

Also, you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But if I am not mistaken, a cyclist has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.

And after all, CO2 is a naturally occurring substance, so shut up, stupid hippies! If you really want to save the planet, you’d never break a sweat!

Needless to say, the comment doesn’t actually have any connection to reality — a car produces over 10 times as much CO2 per kilometer as a cyclist, who would also be, you know, breathing anyway — but that is no reason that Rep. Orcutt’s observation shouldn’t be immediately adopted by climate change deniers.

With his incredibly stupid statement, Rep. Orcutt gets an automatic entry into Wonkette’s coveted Legislative Shitmuffin of the Year Award, although considering the competition, he will have to step up his game if he wants to make the playoffs. Perhaps he could compare bicycles to rape or something.

[PoliticalWire / SeattleBikeBlog]

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