According to State Representative Ed Orcutt of the state of Washington, bicyclists should be liable to pay tax to improve and maintain roadways not only because they use said roadways, but because their excessive breathing from the act of riding leads to increased CO2 emissions. To Ed Orcutt, this increased output of CO2 is akin to pollution – that is to say, bicycle riders are contributing to the greenhouse effect and, to stretch that statement, to global warming. You’d think this is a media hoax, but nope, this man made the statement before you in an email to bike shop owner Dale Carson.
Read the full story about bicyclists causing pollution by breathing CO2. The upshot to this argument about breathing, CO2, and pollution relates to levying a tax for bicyclists for improving and maintaining roads.
Naturally, if you agree with our genius Ed Orcutt and his view on the science of global warming, then you will be all for levying a tax on runners. At least where I run, I’m on the road 95% of the time. And we know that runner expend more calories per hour than bikers, by which we can therefore conclude, there must be more waste product in the form of exhaled CO2 produced. From which we derive the natural result that runners cause more environmental damage than bikers, since they breathe out all that awful CO2 while they are exercising.
There is the basal metabolic rate of oxygen consumption and CO2 exhalation to consider. I’m not sure if Mr. Orcutt has factored that into his thinking.
What about electric bikes? Of course, they use the same roads Ed Orcutt is lobbying to be made taxable to bikers. Let’s assume a cyclist on an electric bicycle pedals just enough to increase his heart rate by 30% over the basal rate, whereas on average cyclists say double their heart rate, which would be a 100% increase. Then I suppose electric bike riders should pay 30% of whatever tax rate the brilliant Mr. Orcutt proposes.
Wait, what about people out walking their dogs at night on public roads? Those dog walkers and those canines are certainly breathing, and by gosh, they are on the same roads as the bikers and runners, so any and all dog owners must pay some additional roadway maintenance tax, too.
And so on. Well, let’s see what comes of this story!