More Breathing

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I am fascinated by the concept of carbon pollution.  The supreme court ruled in 2006 that the USEPA could regulate carbon dioxide as a harmful greenhouse gas, and now the President is moving on the issue with executive action.  In my online search for bits on the topic, I came across this news article from 2013:

Bicyclists cause pollution by breathing hard, says politician

SEATTLE:   A Washington state lawmaker apologized Monday for telling a bike-shop owner that cyclists cause carbon pollution simply by breathing hard …

He wrote:

Also, you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But if I am not mistaken a cyclists (sic) has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride

The comment which recalls a remark by President Ronald Reagan that trees cause more pollution than automobiles do caused a bit of a sensation.

The politician suffered a week of derision for his comment, and then issued an apology.  I guess it was politically expedient, but in fact, his statement is correct.  A cyclist will emit more CO2 than someone walking.  (Much less than a car carrying the rider, of course.) If CO2 is a pollutant, a rider is a polluter.  And I don’t see why this is at all reminiscent of Reagonzo’s remark on trees:  that was simply incorrect in toto.  Trees consume CO2 and produce oxygen, which, as of yet, is not considered a pollutant.  (Although it is a highly dangerous and destructive substance, causing explosions and slow deterioration of ferric assets.)

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