Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cars Are the New Smoking

I remember about 25 years ago it was considered acceptable to smoke just about anywhere except a movie theater or a doctor's office.

Today I read an interesting article from Jonathan Maus, titled Cars are Second-Class Citizens (hey, it was United Airlines that said it, Jonathan was just quoting). At the end of Jonathan's article, he says his new "mantra" is,

Cars are the new smoking

Yeah, I get it.

Copyright (c) Andy Singer; noncommercial use only

Saturday I took a ride with a dear friend who's active professionally in the Portland bicycle community. She was talking about a new chain lubricant that was based on soybean oil--though, as she laments, it was all genetically modified soybeans.

"So, uhh, what's the benefit of soybean oil?"

"It's not petroleum."

I think for a moment. "I'm not against petroleum, it's burning it that's stupid."

I did a rough calculation. Assuming I oiled my chain every hundred miles (which I will freely admit I don't always do), that I ride 7500 miles a year, and I use 0.25 fluid ounces of oil every time I lube my chain (which might be a bit excessive), I calculate that a gallon of chain lube would last me 51,000 miles, or about 7 years. A gallon of gasoline lasts at most, what, 60 miles, or about one hour?

Think about it.

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