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Study Finds a Way to Make Biking Less Environmentally Friendly Than Driving
"Since biking burns fat and not fossil fuels, most everyday cyclists are comfortable with the notion that their commute is a daily contribution to the global fight against climate change," writes Hilary Angus to begin an article in Momentum Mag. But that assumption about the environmental friendliness of riding bikes only sets up the drama of the post:
In findings published through Harvard University’s Keith Group, [Daniel] Thorpe singles out cyclists who consume diets heavy in animal byproducts – specifically those who follow the Paleo Diet – as being more harmful to the environment than individuals who eat plant-based diets and drive low-emission vehicles.
Basically, your bacon-fueled bike commute is killing the planet, so you best be trading in that Schwinn for a Prius and a pile of chickpeas.
Angus goes on to explain the methodology of the study, which relies on measures known as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) and Global Warming Potential (GWP). Thorpe's conclusions also take into account the land use impact of the different travel and diet modes. According to Thorpe's writing in the study, his work is really about the huge effect of agricultural practices on the environment.
Angus concludes the article with a critique of the study, but is also willing to say: "you really shouldn't be eating a Paleo diet."