Rethinking Lifestyle

Bikes and the Planet

  • George Klassen, Guest Author
  • Advocate, South Eastman Transition Initiative

I came across the following article (author not given) on the internet the other day. The article was falsely accredited to the CEO of a major world bank, but while it’s doubtful this piece was written in anything but a satirical manner, it still makes a good point.

The BIKE is the slow death of the planet.

The CEO of Euro Exam Bank Ltd. gave economists pause when he said:

Cyclists are a disaster for the country’s economy – They do not buy a car or take out a car loan. They don’t buy car insurance. They don’t buy fuel. They don’t send their car for maintenance and repairs. They do not use paid parking. They do not cause major accidents. They do not require multi-lane highways. They do not become obese…

Healthy people are not needed in the economy. They don’t buy medicine. They don’t go to hospitals and doctors. They add nothing to the country’s GDP. On the contrary, every new McDonald’s outlet creates at least 30 jobs – 10 cardiologists, 10 dentists, 10 weight loss experts apart from the people working in the McDonald’s outlet. Choose wisely: a cyclist or a McDonald’s? It’s worth thinking about.

PS: Walking is even worse. They don’t even buy bikes!

I find this funny in a spoofy way and also sad, because traditional economists are fixated on out-dated notions like GDP and continuous growth.