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Harvard guy says cycling just not "sustainable..."

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Harvard guy says cycling just not "sustainable..."

Old 03-05-19, 12:04 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
It sounds like study funded by the fossil fuel industry. I don' t think I have ever seen such a great example of what science calls "cherry picking data". A truly steaming pile of horse manure. Doesn't matter anyway, the only level of technology that is truly sustainable is stone age technology.
But only at a radically smaller population. Of course, if we reverted to stone age technologies, that would sort out fast (in Earth time; say two or three generations. It wouldn't be pretty.)

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Old 03-05-19, 10:07 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
But only at a radically smaller population. Of course, if we reverted to stone age technologies, that would sort out fast (in Earth time; say two or three generations. It wouldn't be pretty.)
Of course it wouldn't. So why do people think that that is the argument? "Oh we can't possibly go back to stone age tech because ... " IF we go back to stone age tech it will be because we are blasted back to stone age tech, or there is a pandemic or other Malthusian Event that decimates civilization. Which could very well happen if we do not at least slow our roll ... ... stone age? What about something like an Industrial Revolution Lite? What about enforcement of environmental regulations meant to keep the worst of cancer causing compounds out of our air, water, and soil? That would mean no fracking Fracking. Is that going back to the Stone Age? Electric Cars ... stone age? If the Grid goes down there won't even be any electric cars, we will be back to bicycles! If you can't ride a bicycle you will be on foot! It will be years, if at all, before there are enough horses for all the non-cyclists.
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Old 03-05-19, 10:08 PM
  #28  
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This is why we shouldn't be burning coal. If our technology collapses, we're going to need that coal. It will be our only readily accessible source of energy. It should be preserved in case future generations need it.
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Old 03-06-19, 12:50 AM
  #29  
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if the government were to collapse, and with it, its really stupid laws, hemp will be sprouting all over the freaking place---because it can grow like a weed in just about every climate and offers oil, fuel, feed and fiber. Coal won't be that useful because there won't be a lot of people equipped to mine it, and not a lot of people live near coal mines. Trees aren't sufficiently plentiful. What would be needed would be a fast-growing plant with a lot of oil .....

I am not one of those "hemp is the magic answer" people, but a tiny bit of research shows that it is a wildly underused plant, pushed aside so the wood-pulp and animal-feed farmers could control their respective markets.
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Old 03-06-19, 12:06 PM
  #30  
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Next up--a really heavy bike dangling from a rope attached to a fighter plane going Mach 2 twenty feet above Manhattan can do more damage and kill more people than a small tornado at sea.
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Old 03-06-19, 01:40 PM
  #31  
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This is why Harvard is such a second-rate school in STEM
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Old 03-06-19, 02:11 PM
  #32  
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Another dumb college boy.
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Old 03-06-19, 02:30 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
How many cyclists "consume mostly meat"? My guess is that people that eat mostly meat don't cycle much.

And I didn't dig into it much, but does the study account for the Prius driver's diet? What if the Prius driver eats mostly meat?
I'm a Prius driver & a cyclist. I'm not going to say my diet consists of "only" meat, but it's a rare day that my vegetable consumption is other than the odd fried potato. My diet just tripled in size if you realize beer is made from whole grain! Beer is good for the EARTH!
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Old 03-09-19, 03:23 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Frankly, I think he is clueless...

https://momentummag.com/carnivorous-...rd-researcher/

Great, now factor in vegetarian cyclists, and the fact that even if a Prius only uses 8X more energy than a bike, that is still 8X more, and it still requires more road. Sheesh

Bike on my friends, this is an old and poorly supported argument.
Yeesss, and this is where a lot our politicians graduate from! Great isn't it?
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Old 03-14-19, 11:09 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Frankly, I think he is clueless...

https://momentummag.com/carnivorous-...rd-researcher/

Great, now factor in vegetarian cyclists, and the fact that even if a Prius only uses 8X more energy than a bike, that is still 8X more, and it still requires more road. Sheesh

Bike on my friends, this is an old and poorly supported argument.
More like, he has a screw loose.
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Old 03-15-19, 06:14 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Of course it wouldn't. So why do people think that that is the argument? "Oh we can't possibly go back to stone age tech because ... " IF we go back to stone age tech it will be because we are blasted back to stone age tech, or there is a pandemic or other Malthusian Event that decimates civilization. Which could very well happen if we do not at least slow our roll ... ... stone age? What about something like an Industrial Revolution Lite? What about enforcement of environmental regulations meant to keep the worst of cancer causing compounds out of our air, water, and soil? That would mean no fracking Fracking. Is that going back to the Stone Age? Electric Cars ... stone age? If the Grid goes down there won't even be any electric cars, we will be back to bicycles! If you can't ride a bicycle you will be on foot! It will be years, if at all, before there are enough horses for all the non-cyclists.
A few of folks in my neighborhood have massive solar panels, for their house, and charge their cars right from their panels.

SDGE has a solar education center in the neighborhood with a big array of tracking panels, and several car charging stations.
https://www.sdge.com/energy-innovation-center

Electric cars don't need "the grid," but ICE cars need gas stations and refineries.

Tesla is building solar charging stations too.

The folks most likely to have to go to bicycles in some apocalyptic future are those folks depending on petrochemicals.
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Old 03-17-19, 11:37 AM
  #37  
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Dude has never heard of entropy.

My guess, undergraduate.
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Old 03-19-19, 03:17 AM
  #38  
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Hmmm the cost of food for me to eat in order to bike vs the 1.20$ a litre (about 4.53$ of a US gallon) + carbon tax + 13% HST for fuel for a car..... I think I will eat more food and save a metric crap tonne of money not driving. xD
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Old 03-19-19, 07:24 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The entire thing is based on a flawed premise from the get-go-- I'm not petite by any means, and while in full-hammer mode I burn around 50kJ/km.

On Friday, I rode 112km at a fairly brisk pace of 31.5km/hr, doing 2,304kJ of work. That's 20.6kJ/km. So on that day, a Prius would have used 20x as much energy, and a typical car 42x as much.

In simpler terms, 42 people on bikes doing 20mph use the same energy as one car. They better put a whole lot of people in that car to improve that offset.

I would imagine a bike commuter, unless conditions were particularly difficult, or they were combining their commute with a workout, might use 10-12kJ/km. So the "study" could be off by as much as factor of five.
If you go to the Keith Group artice, he has amended the paper making it into a great big “never mind”. He cut the energy needs of the cyclist in half and, low and behold, bicycling looks a whole lot better. A paleodiet cyclist is still worse than a double occupancy Prius but only slightly. Then the question becomes how large a proportion of the population belongs to both of those categories? I would say that there is only a small proportion of paleodiet cyclists and only a small proportion of double occupancy Priusi on the road.

It doesn’t look like the Keith Group articles are peer review as it seem to be just some kind of blog. A paper like this would be ripped to shreads under peer review and would never have seen the light of day. Peer review may be difficult but often it keeps you from making the northbound part of a southbound horse out of yourself.

The real question to ask is did “Keith” of the Keith Group help before or after D. Thorpe made a horse’s ass out of himself? If it was after, they should have just cut the post. If it was before, it makes one question what good the “Keith Group” does.
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Old 03-19-19, 08:03 AM
  #40  
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I've seen two adults on one bicycle more times than I've seen two adults in a single Prius.
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Old 03-19-19, 08:48 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
If you go to the Keith Group artice, he has amended the paper making it into a great big “never mind”.
New headline: Harvard Researcher Announces, "Oops, I Can't Do Math."
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I've seen two adults on one bicycle more times than I've seen two adults in a single Prius.
Research results of equal or superior scientific value and far greater humor value. BF trumps Harvard yet again!
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Old 03-19-19, 09:50 AM
  #42  
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He amended it years ago. Maybe you all might want to actually read the blog before you fauxrage?

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Old 03-19-19, 10:39 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
He amended it years ago. Maybe you all might want to actually read the blog before you fauxrage?

-mr. bill
Fine, but it's still a pretty lousy analysis, now with enough qualifiers on it to make it a rather pointless exercise.

Basically, he shows that a vegan diet has a lot less environmental impact than a paleo diet, and that food production takes up more land than oil production.

Fuel production is such a small percentage of the land use requirements for car travel that it's hard to see why this is even in the article. There's nothing in there concerning parking, roads, shipping facilities needed for the import of cars, or land occupied by the mining of materials used in the construction of cars (a lot more than bikes, I'm pretty sure).

I didn't know this revision existed--the original paper received a lot of publicity, the revision did not. Having seen it now, I think it's pretty obvious they know the original was a misfire--they were trying to make a point about food, but got too cute with the example. As a result, they had to select facts to make the bike example work for the point, and it ended up sounding like someone bending over backward to make biking sound bad for the environment.

I still think they miss the obvious worst example of fuel and food use using their own analysis--driving a car to the gym for a workout. It challenges the whole assumption that drivers eat less than bicyclists.
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Old 03-19-19, 11:55 AM
  #44  
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Old 03-20-19, 09:06 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Fuel production is such a small percentage of the land use requirements for car travel that it's hard to see why this is even in the article. There's nothing in there concerning parking, roads, shipping facilities needed for the import of cars, or land occupied by the mining of materials used in the construction of cars (a lot more than bikes, I'm pretty sure).
You aren't kidding. As I understand it, 51% of the land area of Los Angeles is parking lot! Just think of what housing costs could be if they could do more 'recent construction' there ...
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Old 03-20-19, 09:18 AM
  #46  
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He probably weight 350 pounds and is totally out of shape.
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Old 03-20-19, 09:36 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
You aren't kidding. As I understand it, 51% of the land area of Los Angeles is parking lot! Just think of what housing costs could be if they could do more 'recent construction' there ...

If you figure that point to point transportation by car requires at minimum, a parking space at both ends of the trip, that 51% figure is not too surprising.

The whole analysis is premised on a comparison of the impacts of fuel costs, gas for the car, food for the bikes, but there's an overlap there--drivers also use food as fuel for at least their basal metabolism. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the parking lot of a supermarket usually bigger than the store itself? Driving to the store actually increases the land use impact of food as fuel.

The problem with the whole exercise is that the authors thought the best way to make a point about the environmental costs of food was to arrive at a "Freakonomics" style demonstration about why our intuitions are wrong--in this case, our intuition tells us that biking is less bad for the environment than driving. The problem with that was that our intuitions were, in this case, spot on, and so they had to pick data and assumptions in such a way as to make the thing look like it was created by a lobbying firm for driving in order to get to the "surprising" conclusion. By that point, they pretty much lost the whole "food has environmental impacts" plot, and ended up looking silly.

Probably would have been better off comparing the environmental impact of a vegan cyclist to a paleo one.
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Old 03-20-19, 12:04 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
The problem with the whole exercise is that the authors thought the best way to make a point about the environmental costs of food was to arrive at a "Freakonomics" style demonstration about why our intuitions are wrong--in this case, our intuition tells us that biking is less bad for the environment than driving. The problem with that was that our intuitions were, in this case, spot on, and so they had to pick data and assumptions in such a way as to make the thing look like it was created by a lobbying firm for driving in order to get to the "surprising" conclusion. By that point, they pretty much lost the whole "food has environmental impacts" plot, and ended up looking silly.
Perfectly summarized.
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Old 03-20-19, 12:29 PM
  #49  
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Wonder if his folks paid extra to get him into Harvard.
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Old 03-20-19, 02:31 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Wonder if his folks paid extra to get him into Harvard.
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