back to article US lawmaker blames bicycle breath for global warming gas

A Washington state representative has uncovered a previously under-reported source of greenhouse gas: huffing and puffing cyclists. Ed Orcutt, who lists "Tax relief" at the top of his legislative priorities and who was 2000's Washington Young Republican Federation Man of the Year, emailed the owner of a Tacoma, Washington, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Facepalm...

    ...that is all.

    1. VaalDonkie
      Trollface

      Re: Facepalm...

      Why? He is right after all: cyclists produce CO2 and use public roads. It is only fair that they also pay the penalties and taxes. Granted, a smaller amount should be asked of them, but his logic is sound. Factor in drivers having to sit behind cyclists in a lower gear, thereby increasing the amount of CO2 that their cars produce,and it makes even more sense. My car uses 8.5 liters per 100km in top gear, but 10.5 in third, which is where I'm stuck in if I have to follow a cyclist. I reckon it's unfair that I have to pay for that extra 25 odd percent CO2 my car produces.

      1. I like noodles
        Holmes

        Re: Facepalm...

        Ok Troll, I shall with some reluctance feed you:

        I don't doubt for a second that your car uses more fuel per km when following a cyclist. What about when you're in a jam caused by too many cars for the road? I suggest the rise in fuel usage you get when stuck behind a cyclist pales into insignificance in comparison with the fuel usage you get when stuck behind a thousand cars (mostly with one person in them) all trying to go to the same place at the same time.

        Walkers also produce CO2 whilst travelling along the pavement. Perhaps we should tax them too. And as for them causing the lights to change at pedestrian crossings when briefly our fuel usage rises to infinite per km, well my word, maybe we should actually ban walking.

        You don't *have* to pay that extra 25 odd per cent you know - you could always try cycling instead.

        1. VaalDonkie
          Trollface

          Re: Facepalm...

          A few points of order:

          1. I use the same amount of fuel whether I'm stuck behind one cyclist or 1000 cars.

          2. When walkers use a pavement constructed specifically for the purpose of walking, then yes, they should be paying for its upkeep.

          3. I would rather pay a few pounds extra for fuel than have to spend a thousand on a new bike and all that safety gear your nanny government would force me to wear.

          1. I like noodles

            Re: Facepalm...

            @VaalDonkie

            1. No you don't. I certainly don't anyway. When I'm stuck behind 1000 cars, people are walking past me. I'm completely stationary for long periods. Clearly I'm using more fuel, for parts of that I'm doing zero miles per gallon. And that's not counting the other 999 cars also spewing stuff out.

            2. Are pavements constructed specifically for the purpose of walking? Perhaps they are constructed for the purpose of not driving upon. Who knows!

            3. My nanny government permits me to cycle wearing nothing but a thong if I so wish. Luckily - for me but moreso for everyone else - I don't own a thong

            1. VaalDonkie
              Trollface

              Re: Facepalm...

              You have valid arguments. And atrocious levels of traffic congestion. Pavements are there for the some purpose of enabling prostitutes to earn a living.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Facepalm...

              Luckily - for me but moreso for everyone else - I don't own a thong

              .. which, combined with you not owning a saddle either still remains a spectacle I don't want to witness.

            3. Gerhard den Hollander
              Joke

              Re: Facepalm...

              @I like noodles .... so you would be driving with nothing, even without a thong .. and you thin k that's lucky ?

            4. I think so I am?
              Thumb Up

              Re: Facepalm...

              1. No you don't. I certainly don't anyway. When I'm stuck behind 1000 cars, people are walking past me. I'm completely stationary for long periods. Clearly I'm using more fuel, for parts of that I'm doing zero miles per gallon. And that's not counting the other 999 cars also spewing stuff out.

              There is this little thing called "Stop-Start" just thought I'd let you all know :)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Facepalm...

                "There is this little thing called "Stop-Start" just thought I'd let you all know :)"

                A lot of people don't know what that is. I didn't till I had a hire car and found its engine cut out when I stopped. Coming from an old banger that you'd prefer to leave running, I was a little surprised.

                Even some radio adverts took the piss out the phrase with a manager saying "don't all our vans start and stop." Surely that joke would be enough to alert someone that not everyone knows all the jargon.

              2. M Gale

                Re: Facepalm...

                "There is this little thing called "Stop-Start" just thought I'd let you all know :)"

                You know I wonder about the whole stop-start thing. Sure you might spend a little less in fuel, but doesn't stopping and re-cranking the engine every couple of minutes cause extra stress to the parts? As soon as the thing stops, the oil starts flowing back into the sump unless you have some kind of sticky MagnatecTM-like addition to it.

                Then you get that lovely metal-on-metal contact until it starts flowing again.

              3. Vic

                Re: Facepalm...

                > There is this little thing called "Stop-Start"

                And what percentage of vehicles can stop and start in a fuel-efficient manner?

                Vic.

          2. Psyx
            Facepalm

            Re: Facepalm...

            "3. I would rather pay a few pounds extra for fuel than have to spend a thousand on a new bike and all that safety gear your nanny government would force me to wear."

            Like the politician, you're now making shit up.

            Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything, except to have lights on their bike when it's dark (which about half of them do in my experience, hence the dozen bike-shaped kill markings on my car door).

            1. VaalDonkie

              Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

              Different countries: different rules.

              1. Ken 16 Silver badge
                IT Angle

                Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Naked_Bike_Ride

              2. Silverburn
                Facepalm

                Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

                Different countries: different rules.

                Naturally, it would help your case if you ACTUALLY DISCLOSED WHICH COUNTRY YOU'RE FROM...

              3. Psyx
                Facepalm

                Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

                "Different countries: different rules."

                Tosh. You stated "your nanny government", implying that you meant the UK.

              4. Nasty Nick
                Pint

                Re: Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything

                Yep, we have different rules in the UK to those in the US (like for motorcycle clothing/helmets), and I guess individual states might have some of their own special regulations. El Reg needs to remind commenters that we are a diverse bunch and apart from often talking complete bollox because we can, also may confuse because our laws and customs differ quite alot.

                How about having a country flag option for commenters?

            2. DiViDeD Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Facepalm...

              "Cyclists are not 'required' to wear anything..."

              Ah but here in Oz they are required by law to wear a silly hat made of foam and carbon fibre. I suspect there is also some law which requires that:

              a) They must wear lycra at all times

              b) Said lycra is to be a minimum of one size too small to contain their flabby bits

              These days I try not to look. Mines the one with the peril (and cyclist) sensitive sunglasses in the pocket

          3. David Simpson 1
            Flame

            Re: Facepalm...

            Okay so I'll explain this like you are a child since you really sound like one....

            So cars are big and heavy and have lots of power so over time they break up the road surface, which costs lots of money to fix, people are not heavy enough to effect the road surface either on foot or on a bike, which is why it is idiotic to claim that cyclists and walker should pay road tax, even after those people have already paid tax for things like foot paths.

            Silly people who claim these things are really stupid because they are just blaming other people instead of putting pressure on the government to spend the money they collect in road tax on the actual roads instead of on other stupid things like illegal wars, not to mention all the tax they collect on fuel.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Facepalm...

            But you in your car, well you are probably obese due to lack of exercise, and cost the NHS billions in heart, blood thinning, anti-inflamatory and diabetes medicines. Also because you are so unfit, it means your concentration levels and reaction times will suffer making it more likely for you to have an accident.

            Car drivers should have a black box installed that shows that when they make a journey less than 4 miles long they get a `health tax' added on. 60 quid per infraction I think is fair. Oh yes and one penalty point. That will get you walking to the corner shop.

            1. Corinne
              FAIL

              Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26

              "Car drivers should have a black box installed that shows that when they make a journey less than 4 miles long they get a `health tax' added on. 60 quid per infraction I think is fair. Oh yes and one penalty point. That will get you walking to the corner shop."

              I guess you were trying to make a point there, but suggesting anything under 4 miles should be walked is just a LITTLE excessive don't you think? My 2 (one either side) elderly disabled neighbours for example, or the grand-daughter of one of them who is 8 months pregnant, or the person with a bad back, or in fact anyone who isn't extra-super fit and has an extra couple of hours to do that 4 miles each way walk rather than drive (sigh).

              1. robin48gx
                Meh

                Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26

                Are your elderly disabled neighbours physically fit enough to drive a car safety ? Also 8 months pregnant congrats, but should she not have her husband/partner help out ?

                1. Obvious Robert
                  FAIL

                  Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26

                  What? Is the husband/partner supposed to carry her for the 4 miles or something...?

                2. Corinne

                  Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26

                  My elderly disabled neighbours are not fit to drive cars no - which is why they get driven by someone else (e.g. husband, daughter, even me) to in-essential things like visits to their doctor etc. Or did you mean to suggest that if you can't walk at least 4 miles then you need to be housebound? same for the pregnant girl, she shouldn't be allowed out if her journey is under 4 miles while her husband is at work during the day?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              WTF?

              Re: Facepalm...

              "Car drivers should have a black box installed that shows that when they make a journey less than 4 miles long they get a `health tax' added on. 60 quid per infraction I think is fair. Oh yes and one penalty point"

              So if my wife is away, I'm supposed to walk four miles with my four-year-old son, in -10c weather, in the dark, in pounding sleet, so I can get him some cough medicine?

              I'm supposed to walk to work or to go grocery shopping when it's 30c and blazing sun in the summer, and haul my milk and eggs back the same way?

              Sometimes I wonder about people...

          5. Wize

            Re: Facepalm...

            "...all that safety gear your nanny government would force me to wear."

            They don't force you to wear it. I wear it out of choice. But then I have something inside my cycle helmet worth protecting.

          6. M Gale

            Re: Facepalm...

            "3. I would rather pay a few pounds extra for fuel than have to spend a thousand on a new bike and all that safety gear your nanny government would force me to wear."

            Where are you buying your bikes? Halfords or Harrods?

          7. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            Re: Facepalm...

            2. Barring the few who drive directly from garages at home to garages at work, essentially everyone in a metropolitan area uses sidewalks. And frankly, those of us treading kilometers of it with shoe leather are probably contributing less to the sidewalk's deterioration than those driving a couple of meters across it in a car.

            3. Whose nanny government? The left bank of the Potomac is pretty persnickety, but I see people riding all over without helmets.

      2. Andrew Moore

        Re: Facepalm...

        by your logic (nearly) every living thing on the planet pollutes by producing CO2*. The only way to stop it is to remove oxygen from the atmosphere. This sounds like a start of idiot politicians wanting to introduce an "Air Tax"

        *maybe we can give plants a tax break for reversing the process...

        1. VaalDonkie
          Trollface

          Re: Facepalm...

          And another:

          4. During the dark phase of photosynthesis, plants actually produce CO2 and consume oxygen. So yes, we need to tax those petunias. It is science.

          1. Tinker Tailor Soldier

            Re: Facepalm...

            OK, I'll feed the fellow South African troll. Well, I won't, but I will observe that more effluent comes out of your mouth in the average post than CO2 from your white entitled SUV's tailpipe.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Joke

          Re: Facepalm...

          Tax breaks for plants? So THAT's their plan - given the sheer number of vegetables in the Republican party, it's all starting to make sense...

      3. Silverburn

        Re: Facepalm...

        So much fail here...

        - In a 30mph/50kph limit, you will not be in top anyway - likely 4th or even 3rd. Nor will you be cruising at a constant speed. In town you have junctions, lights, bus stops, pedestrian crossing etc. Frankly cyclists are the least of your worries.

        - In town (it's been proven in London many times) that cycling is faster than driving. I'm an "above average" cyclist, and I get held up by cars.

        - Public roads are funded through council taxes, not VED. So unless all cyclists are homeless, they pay. They are also subject to normal road rules, and if they have a driving licence can even accumulate tickets and points (in theory...but rarely in practise).

        - Your car only does 8.5 in ideal conditions. That's a gas guzzler. I'd hardly be quibling about 25% if I was you - if you can afford to feed it, you're paying your dues.

        1. VaalDonkie
          Trollface

          Re: Facepalm...

          - Not everyone lives in London you know. Nor does everyone drive around town. I spend 95% of my commute on a freeway, doing 120km/h (that's about 65 imperial horse dongs or 700 cubed furlongs).

          - Again, not every country on earth works like Britain, hence the taxes employed in upkeep does not come from the same source.

          1. I like noodles

            Re: Facepalm...

            "I spend 95% of my commute on a freeway"

            And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

            1. VaalDonkie
              Trollface

              Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

              About once a month. See my dilemma?

              1. Silverburn

                Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                See my dilemma?

                No....not really.

                1. VaalDonkie

                  Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                  I get to follow a cyclist on the freeway.

                  1. Silverburn

                    Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                    a) Cyclists are not allowed on Freeways (assuming US)

                    b) Even a cyclist mental enough to do this, Freeways have hard shoulders. They would not ride in the traffic unless they wanted to die

                    c) Freeways are 2 lanes wide and fast, and if you're approaching at your 120kph, the last thing you would be doing is slowing down to follow a cyclist. If you are, please - walk - to the nearest Police station and hand in your licence.

                    1. Euripides Pants Silver badge

                      Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                      "a) Cyclists are not allowed on Freeways (assuming US)"

                      In South Dakota bicycles are permitted on the shoulders of interstate highways. But South Dakota has more cattle than people.

                      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                        Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                        But South Dakota has more cattle than people.

                        Asses don't count as cattle; if they would then Washington DC would be way beyond South Dakota in that respect.

              2. evs
                Megaphone

                Re: And you're stuck behind a bicycle?

                Good example. In most states and provinces, (including Washington:RCW 46.61.160) It is illegal to ride a bicycle on limited access highways so if this situation can arise (there is a bike in your lane in a place where you can legally go 120kph) then there is clearly eitther a signage or an enforcement problem (and certainly a safety issue). Now my question as a cyclist is: what's my fair share of the tax for that roadway that I am not permitted to use. What about roadways that I am permitted to use as a 2nd class citizen (stay out everyone's way, don't use the left turn bays etc.)? How about depreciation? Trucks cause several dollars/km damage just from their sheer weight. How much of that should I, as a cyclist, pay? Safety? if I'm paying "my share' I expect the same level of safety as the cars get: proper signage, separated lanes, separate signalling etc.

                LSV is really the elephant in the room here. Nobody with money wants to talk about how we can work towards LSVs because they would greatly harm the auto and oil industries and motorists are entirely unwilling to relinquish any existing rights to the 40-60% of urban land that they currently get to use for almost free.

            2. Captain DaFt

              Re: Facepalm...

              "And you're stuck behind a bicycle?"

              Upvote for that laugh!

              Reminded me of a routine by Emo Phillips:

              "I was travelling down the freeway the other day, minding my own business, when some jerk pulled behind me and kept blowing his horn. I didn't flip him the bird or anything, I like to think I'm above that. So I just ignored him and kept on wakking."

              1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

                Re: Facepalm...

                I would tax the politicians first, they seem to be producing far more hot air than anybody else, and heating that air must be fuelled by burning carbon-based stuff, so they are producing excess CO2.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Facepalm...

          What? My car has 6 forward gears and sod all torque yet it'll happily cruise along in 6th at 30mph. If you're spending most of your time at 30 in 3rd, you need to make your way to the nearest naughty step and think about what you've done.

          1. M Gale

            Re: Facepalm...

            What? My car has 6 forward gears and sod all torque yet it'll happily cruise along in 6th at 30mph. If you're spending most of your time at 30 in 3rd, you need to make your way to the nearest naughty step and think about what you've done.

            Not everyone has a 7 litre big-block engine under the hood. If it has 6 forward gears and comfortably cruises at 30mph in top gear, I can promise you it has a lot more than "sod all" torque.

            30mph in top gear? Most cars in this country probably wouldn't make it up a 1:100 gradient like that. Think 1.3 litre Ford Fiesta. A friend's classic BMW M535 might make it like that, but that's three and a half litres of fun that sits on the spot making smoke from the tyres if you even think about twitching the accelerator too hard.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Facepalm...

              My Saab 9-5 has a 2.3 liter turbo 4 that makes about 230hp and flat torque from 1500rpm up, with a five speed box, and it's running at < 2000 revs in third at 30mph. It sits at about 2k in fifth at 65; trying to run in top gear at 30 would be absurd - what, 600rpm? Given that it idles at 900, I think that would be asking rather a lot.

              Unless the 6-forward guy has a car that's geared for 45mph, I call proverbial bullshit.

      4. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Facepalm...

        Road damage is proportional to axle weight to power of 4

        So if your car weighs a ton that's 8 times even my weight and you probably do at least 8 times the speed/distance so I'd be happy to pay 1/32000 of your roadtax for my usage of the road - so long as you pay the admin for collecting it since it worries you so much.

      5. Hi Wreck

        Re: Facepalm...

        I think we need a few more TROLL roads to make us all pay pay pay.

      6. No, I will not fix your computer

        Re: Facepalm...

        Taxes for walking?

        There is a logic to say, if you use the path, you must pay for it, however there is a converse logic to say if you wanted to walk from A to B you must be allowed to do it safely, if people want a road then it's approprate that there is some separation, this would normally be a sidewalk/path, so yes a pedestrian will use a path, but only because they are using the protection provided by the road builder.

        Paths are not needed, yes they are convienient, but if you don't have roads, you don't need paths (generally).

      7. Mike_1727
        Stop

        Re: Facepalm...

        Road funding at a local level comes from council tax. Road funding at a national level comes from the overall tax pot.

        Cyclists generally pay both council tax and income tax/VAT/etc so they already pay for the roads.

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Facepalm...

        "Why? He is right after all: cyclists produce CO2 and use public roads. It is only fair that they also pay the penalties and taxes. Granted, a smaller amount should be asked of them, but his logic is sound. Factor in drivers having to sit behind cyclists in a lower gear, thereby increasing the amount of CO2 that their cars produce,and it makes even more sense. My car uses 8.5 liters per 100km in top gear, but 10.5 in third, which is where I'm stuck in if I have to follow a cyclist. I reckon it's unfair that I have to pay for that extra 25 odd percent CO2 my car produces."

        This shit is so off the scale! How retarded?

      9. Wibble
        Happy

        Re: Facepalm...

        I cycle with my half-horsepower engine (I only have two legs) and breathe and fart just as much as any car driver. Car drivers don't follow me. They pass me. Or, when they're in traffic, I pass them. In fact any time a car is going less than 15 mile per hour, except when we're at traffic lights:-), I'll be passing them.

        So, for a journey across town, I'll do 15 miles per hour average whilst the car drivers still sit in their traffic jams drinking fuel and belching smoke.

        There's also the small issue of fitness. Cycling is the best form of exercise to get the circulation going. This, in theory at least, keeps me fitter than the driving community and out of hospital.

        But the best thing is that I ride on the roads for free and don't pay any taxes nor mandatory insurance. You know what, I don't give a fuck. I see it as a tax on lazy bastards in their cages.

    2. Badvok

      Re: Facepalm...

      It was a dumb statement but it was technically correct. Compared to someone sitting at home on the sofa or in a car a cyclist's body does produce more CO2. That CO2 is a pollutant (in the current world view) and so what we need is more people to 'Get off their bikes and stay at home!' to paraphrase a certain famous comment.

    3. VaalDonkie
      Trollface

      Re: Facepalm...

      This frothing at the mouth is EXACTLY why normal folks don't get along with cyclists. Cyclists think they're precious little jewels who don't need to follow the same rules as everyone else (like coughing up money or obeying the rules of the road) and throw a hissy fit if you hold them to the same standards they hold others.

      The real troll here is environMENTALism.

      1. Silverburn

        Re: Facepalm...

        Cyclists think they're precious little jewels who don't need to follow the same rules as everyone else (like coughing up money or obeying the rules of the road) and throw a hissy fit if you hold them to the same standards they hold others

        Whereas car owners who think they're better than everything else on the road is ok is it? And that all other road users are inferior or that rulings and amenities to provide safety to other road users is somehow a discrimination against them? Well, well...

        It should be noted, I despise the red light and pavement riders as well. Really doesn''t do the image of cyclists any favours. And i'm a cyclist!

    4. GotThumbs
      Facepalm

      Re: Facepalm...

      By that logic,.....running shoes should also be taxed....Joggers contribute to the pollution as well.

      In fact...anyone currently living should be taxed a "living tax" since while they are alive and breathing...they are contributing to the problem. :-)

      The more pets you own...the more tax you should then have to pay.....Give me a break!

      Bigger government is NOT the solution People.

    5. solidsoup
      Thumb Up

      Re: Facepalm...

      He may be an idiot. In fact, I'm fairly sure he is. However, the logic is sound. If we consider CO2 a pollutant, then it follows that anyone or anything that's releasing it into the environment in any significant is polluting said environment. All this shows is how retarded it is to classify CO2 as a pollutant.

    6. ian 22

      Re: Facepalm...

      Far too easy El Reg. The Republican Party is the habitat of lunatics, bizarre quotes originating there are numerous, and any lazy hack can find some outrageous statement to build a story around.

      Black is white, up is down, war is peace in that alternate reality.

  2. bag o' spanners
    Devil

    turbo-tastic

    I'm bean-fuelled all the way. 101 octane, baby.

    1. Thorne

      Re: turbo-tastic

      Damn cyclists destroying the environment....

      That'll wipe the smug holier than thou attitude off their faces

    2. LarsG

      Re: turbo-tastic

      Tax cyclists, not only do they breath more but they hold up cars, forcing drivers to accelerate past them increasing CO2.

      Tax caravans as they create more CO2 with their gas bottles and the increased fuel consumption towing them.

      Tax sex, increased laboured breathing during and then having the munchies afterwards using up vital resources .

      Tax going for a sh*t for the production of greenhouse gasses and the loss of work productivity.

      Tax tax just to be pedantic about it.

      1. Ted Treen
        Headmaster

        Re: turbo-tastic

        "Tax tax just to be pedantic about it."

        The UK Gov'ts already doing that:- petrol (gasoline to you 'Merkins) is subject to Duty, and that Duty is then subject to VAT.

        Thieving B'stards...

  3. Chairo
    Joke

    This is it!

    Finally they found a way to put a tax on breathing.

    Next would be a tax cut for burger flippers for making their customers obese and immobile - thus binding a lot of carbon.

    A tax on staircases might also be in order.

    And what about these evil fitness centers?

    Joke icon - for obvious reasons.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: This is it!

      Indeed...except the amount of energy it takes to move heavy objects, it's well known that fat people's aerobic systems have to work harder than you'd expect. I think the fattest man in britain's resting heart rate is 130bpm, or something mental like that.

      So tax fat people! Oh wait...they already plan to do that...

      1. robin48gx
        Happy

        Re: This is it!

        I am a cyclist and have a resting HB of around 45....

      2. robin48gx
        Joke

        Re: This is it!

        I am a cyclist and have a resting HB of 45. This means that for the 2 hours or so of cycling to work, I may output a little more CO2, but the obese person is worse, They produce more than me when they are at rest. Nd I bet they use a car too. Tax the unfit!

        1. Silverburn

          Re: This is it!

          This means that for the 2 hours or so of cycling to work, I may output a little more CO2

          Pfft...20 miles in 48 minutes for me (53 mins is the 12 month average) ...which must mean I'd be paying £125,000 a year in tax...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is it!

          Im clinically obese and my resting heart rate is 47...

          1. Silverburn

            Re: This is it!

            Yyyyyeeeessss....of course it is...

    2. I think so I am?
      Coat

      Re: This is it!

      But when your Fat they will TAX you because your a bigger burden to the NHS.

      pun not intentional.

  4. Don Jefe
    Happy

    Federation Man of the Year

    I wonder if he got a trophy for that and what it might look like?

    I could look it up but I don't want to ruin the image I've made in my head.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What an idiot. Besides, why's he only concentrating on CO2? I'm pretty sure cyclists don't emit Carbon Monoxide, particulate matter and all the other harmful emissions motor vehicles do.

    Maybe he should be taxed on the emissions that come out of his mouth. There's so much crap coming out of his mouth his ass must be jealous.

    1. VaalDonkie

      Because the buzz is around CO2. Do try to keep up with the narrative.

    2. AverageBloke
      Facepalm

      Animal abuse

      "There's so much crap coming out of his mouth his ass must be jealous."

      Just read article again. Are you sure he's got a donkey? Or were you talking out of your arse?

  6. William Boyle
    Thumb Down

    I think he forgot something

    What about taxing joggers? After all, they MUST emit more CO2 than bicyclists? "Excuse me sir (or madam), I need to see your jogging tax card." :rolleyes: And marathoners! Add another $100 to the cost of running one - I'm sure that would go down well!

    1. MacroRodent Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I think he forgot something

      Even worse, think about all those people having a workout at the gym. Producing prodigious amounts of CO2 and not even moving anywhere! Ban gyms!

      1. Silverburn

        Re: I think he forgot something

        And what about those evil Triathletes? All that swimming, running and cycling...We should tax them like 4x4's.

    2. Alan Birtles

      Re: I think he forgot something

      And walkers, cycling is more efficient than both walking and running

  7. jr424242

    Forget the bicycle, it's our children that threaten the planet.

    And we must save the planet. For the sake of our children.

    Come to think of it, if bicycles lead to early deaths, they might save carbon. So we should ban helmets. And ban health care for bicycle riding accident victims; if they were wearing a helmet, they are degenerate scofflaws. If they aren't, they have a death wish.

    Now, credentials established, on to climate science....

  8. Captain DaFt

    Let Orcutt lead the way!

    He can set a good example if he simply stops breathing... voluntarily, of course.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Let Orcutt lead the way!

      I think it's fair to assume that, since he appears to be talking from the wrong orifice, his every utterance generates methane.

  9. Wzrd1

    With respect to the naysayers, I fully agree!

    All Washington State citizens who own motor vehicles should also pay an increase, in accordance of the percentage of the average citizen of the state's base rate CO2 being null, vs the bicyclists rate vs their motor vehicle's rate, by model, year and engine.

    Of course, the motor vehicle operator will then pay out through every orifice.

    Ending the career of many idiots currently in office.

    At times, one has to look at the devil's advocate viewpoint and fine the surest path to hell for the idiot to assist them along their way before they share too much of their hell with the lot of us.

    But then, the BOFH took notes from me... ;)

  10. Steven Roper
    WTF?

    This guy redefines the term "oxygen thief"!

    And if we're going to talk about oxygen thieves, maybe this guy should set the example and stop breathing my air first.

  11. John Savard Silver badge

    Trees

    Hey, back under Ronald Reagan, there was something about how trees cause pollution! So this is not a first, and, in fact, except for the fact that cars emit much more greenhouse gases than bicyclists, it almost makes sense.

  12. EngineersAnon

    I seem to recall...

    Hearing about a study which claimed that, once the production, transportation, and preparation of the food required to account for the increased caloric expenditure was taken into account, there was a smaller carbon footprint to travel by automobile than by foot. Unfortunately, I cannot remember any of the details.

    Of course, CO2 is one of the "pollutants" human civilization cannot possibly eliminate; the others being H2O, heat, and various trace components of our excreta. Doesn't make the CO2 portion of this guy's argument any stronger. On the other hand, though, why *SHOULD* bicyclists be exempt from paying for road maintenance. Sure, per vehicle-mile they put *less* wear on the road than automobiles, but they certainly contribute some. And, depending on the road's layout and the individual cyclist's habits, they can be far more disruptive to traffic flow than a similar number of automobiles.

    1. Andrew Moore
      FAIL

      Re: I seem to recall...

      "On the other hand, though, why *SHOULD* bicyclists be exempt from paying for road maintenance."

      I do pay for road maintenance- out of my taxes. You don't think the vehicle tax covers all the costs do you?

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: I seem to recall...

        ...I do pay for road maintenance- out of my taxes. You don't think the vehicle tax covers all the costs do you?..

        Um.

        In round figures:

        Public spend on UK road system per year - £10 bn.

        Tax income from motor vehicles per year - £30 bn.

        So, yes, taxes on vehicles would cover the road cost three times over. I suspect that you were forgetting the fact that petrol is taxed up to the hilt....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          Re: I seem to recall...

          Do you have a source for those numbers? The road spend looks pretty low compared to what is spent by the Highways Agency alone, the bulk of the road network managed by local authorities which is funded by our council tax.

          http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/

          To pick two projects at random, widening the M25 came in at close to £1 billion, or 10% of your suggested spend.

          1. Silverburn

            Re: I seem to recall...

            Road maintaince is paid for out of Council tax, or through specific tolls (See Dartford, and formally, the Forth bridge)

            Road projects are paid to agencies/contractors out of Central gov, using a number of pots, including - by virtue of being a percentage point therein - VED. Or 100% privately, with the right to reclaim costs through specific tolls.

        2. Peter Ford

          Re: I seem to recall...

          As far as I am aware, VED is not ring-fenced, so yes: VED does contribute to the total tax income available to the government, some of which is spent on roads. However, the sort of roads that cyclists are allowed on are funded by local authority taxation (council tax, business rates, car parking income etc.), so assuming a cyclist is riding in his own county he probably pays for a fair bit of the road he rides on. Add to that the impact of a bicycle on the road surface compared to a motor vehicle, and I think the costs are pretty much covered. If everyone rode bicycles for local journeys (ever been to Shanghai?) there would be immense savings on road repairs...

          The roads that are funded by national government in the UK are motorways and trunk route A-roads, which are usually out-of-bounds for cyclists anyway...

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: I seem to recall...

          "petrol is taxed up to the hilt..."

          Must cheap petrol where you live then. 'Round here, the hilt drowned a good few years ago.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I seem to recall...

      Cyclists do pay for roads, or are you from 1936 and still think that Vehicle Excise Duty is a ring fenced road tax, not a general tax on the carbon emissions/engine size of your vehicle? Given that the CO2 output of a cyclist is way below the threshold for band A they wouldn't pay anything even if they were eligible, along with electric cars, some hybrids and very low emission ICE vehicles.

      The majority of road maintenance is paid for from Council Tax (for local roads) and general taxation for trunk routes. Given that a lot of cyclists live in houses, earn money and spend it, they are paying for the roads. in fact, given that a cyclist can also be a motorist, they can quite possibly be paying for a car, yet using a bicycle so causing less than their share of damage to the roads.

      As far as disruptive to traffic flow, I don't spend much time stuck behind a bicycle, I spend a lot of time stuck behind cars...

      1. robin48gx

        Re: I seem to recall...

        I pay VED but cycle about 4 days out of 5 (well it rains sometimes and I like to go for a 2k swim now and then).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Of course, in the case of the long trips taken by professional cyclists, the CO2 emissions created during the production of EPO and other doping agents has to be taken into account as well. Non-trivial, I'm sure.

    1. Silverburn

      ..and if comparisons with American gas guzzlers are allowed, it should be noted that one particular American rider definitely produced more "CO2" than others...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shaking head....

    Like the Republican Party doesn't have enough problems......

    I was his party I would disown him.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shaking head....

      This is the party that had Sarah Palin as a vice presidential candidate. He's a certified member of Mensa by comparison.

      1. Silverburn

        Re: Shaking head....

        He's certifiable alright.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Shaking head....

      Disown him?!? Hell, they'll run him for Senate next, then for Vice President...er, wait....

  15. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Wrong, but not ridiculous?

    The Right Hon. Representative may be wrong when he said that "You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car," but the figures from a bike site that The Reg used to make his words look ridiculous seem highly suspect to me.

    The engineering toolbox (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-persons-d_691.html) says that CO2 emission from a person doing "hard work" is 0.33-0.38 m^3/h. Assume that riding a bike is similar to "hard work" (it well may be harder), at a normal pressure density of CO2 of 1980 g/m^3 this amounts to 752.4 g/h. A cyclist going at 35 km/h (we are not talking Tour de France here) that's 21.5 g/km per person (without emissions from food production, etc., unlike the bike side claims).

    According to EU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_emissions) average new car emitted 145.6 g/km of CO2 3 years ago. Today the figure is probably a bit lower still, and it is not per person. If I play a devil's advocate and cheekily assume 4 people in a car that's 36.4 g/km/person. That is not too far from cycling.

    I did not forget the CO2 emitted by the 4 passengers in a car, but I assumed that corresponds to "rest or low activity work", and according to the engineering Toolbox site I looked up the emissions are low, almost 20 times lower than those from "hard work".

    So, the gentleman may be wrong, but not necessarily completely ridiculous.

    1. tony72

      Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

      Another point to consider is the effect of bicycles on other traffic. I regularly find myself in a train of traffic doing 10-15mph behind a cyclist, watching my mpg figure plummet. It's very hard to calculate the overall effect of that, but I personally experience that several times a week, and in each case one bike is slowing down a lot of cars, so I suspect there might be a sigificant effect there. It's all very well in places with ample dedicated bike lanes, but that isn't the reality for most of the UK. I don't recall seeing many bike lanes, so maybe that is an issue over there too. Mr Orcutt sounds like an idiot though, regardless of whether he inadvertently has a point.

      1. Silverburn

        Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

        Ok, steady on chaps...

        Lets factor in the fuel source as well. I think you'll find the amount of energy require to process and transport fuel from the middle east, is far more than plucking and eating an apple off a tree in Yorkshire. Even high energy meat produce is more efficient.

        And lets not forget..."our" fuel is "carbon neutral", as it's grown organically, whereas fossil fuels is net contributor to the CO2 level. Errrr....well...mostly...if we ignore the amount that is converted to methane which is factor more dangerous greenhouse gas...and the agro-chemical fertilizers and our tractors are mostly based and run on hydrocarbons...and that we do stupid things like fly bananas over from Brazil...

        Finally lets not forget that in most towns, bikes are actually faster than cars, and the biggest restriction for cars in towns are junctions and traffic lights, rather than cyclists. I'm an "above average" cyclist, and I actually find the cars are the ones holding me up. But regardless - tony's solutions is correct - make our cycle lanes better! Please!

      2. robin48gx
        FAIL

        Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

        I cycle and drive, and 99% of the time what holds me up when driving a car, is other cars....

        (cars hold me up occasionally cycling as well actually)

    2. BigG

      Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

      "A cyclist going at 35 km/h (we are not talking Tour de France here) that's 21.5 g/km per person (without emissions from food production, etc., unlike the bike side claims)."

      I'm not sure I'd manage a steady 35km/h - I'm probably ambling making about 15km/h through the city. Maybe you are wasted in front of computer and a career in cycle couriership might be beckoning.

      1. Silverburn
        Happy

        Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

        I'm not sure I'd manage a steady 35km/h - I'm probably ambling making about 15km/h through the city. Maybe you are wasted in front of computer and a career in cycle couriership might be beckoning.

        Actually, that's only < 22mph. With flat roads and the wind assistance of passing traffic, this is easily achievable with a modicum of effort. With a bit of training on a road bike/"racer", 27-28mph is perfectly possible to maintain on more open sections.

        One might ask why you're going so slow...

        1. Pookietoo

          Re: One might ask why you're going so slow...

          Because he's a "utility" cyclist rather than a "sporting" cyclist - he doesn't wear Lycra, and doesn't want to get his clothes sweaty. He's still going faster than a pedestrian, parking pretty much wherever he wants and not waiting for a bus.

        2. Tim Parker

          Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

          "Actually, that's only < 22mph. With flat roads and the wind assistance of passing traffic, this is easily achievable with a modicum of effort. With a bit of training on a road bike/"racer", 27-28mph is perfectly possible to maintain on more open sections."

          Thumb in the air - 28 mph would require not far short of double the power to maintain than 22 mph, which in turn would take 25% more power than 20 mph. Quick online calculator says for a 75kg person (not that heavy) riding on the hoods of a 10kg bike (reasonably light) you'd need about 210W for 20 mph, 270W for 22 mph and 500W for 28 mph. If you can do 500 W for any length of time after "a bit of training" you should consider a change in career (assuming you're not already a Cat1 or Pro rider).

        3. Tim Parker

          Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

          Oh yes - nearly forgot...

          "the wind assistance of passing traffic"

          WTF ?

          1. Silverburn

            Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

            Oh yes - nearly forgot...

            "the wind assistance of passing traffic"

            WTF ?

            Yep - it's true. Ask any competitive roadie if you like - there is a definite effect. The fact that some of the fastest Time Trial courses use busy roads is no coincidence.

            And re: 500watts...yes, that pretty close. However, aerodynamics are crucial here. At that speed you won't be sitting bolt upright like Mary Poppins...Think closer to 350watts with traffic assist, which most amateur riders can hold for extended periods.

            1. M Gale

              Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

              I don't think I would want to ride so close behind a vehicle that I'm in its slipstream.

              I know people do, and there is a phrase that describes them perfectly: Wannabe Roadkill.

            2. Tim Parker

              Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

              "

              "the wind assistance of passing traffic"

              WTF ?

              Yep - it's true. Ask any competitive roadie if you like - there is a definite effect. The fact that some of the fastest Time Trial courses use busy roads is no coincidence."

              Oh ok.. interesting. I've had some assist from traffic but it's usually from the frontal wave off a large vehicle or a small train of them.. the dominant effect is lateral in my experience. I understand some of the fluid dynamics of why it can help, but I would have thought that dissipation would have limited the benefits... perhaps the roads i'm on don't have a regular enough flow or something.. i'll keep on eye on that.

              "And re: 500watts...yes, that pretty close. However, aerodynamics are crucial here. At that speed you won't be sitting bolt upright like Mary Poppins...Think closer to 350watts with traffic assist, which most amateur riders can hold for extended periods."

              Yep aerodynamics matter, agreed - 500W ? that's a figure (estimated) on the hoods, so not bolt upright but, yeah, pretty sloppy but what you'd expect for commuting (which is where this started from). It's a bit over 400 on the drops on the same calculation. That said, 350W over an extended period is most certainly not what the vast majority of cyclists can manage - that's nearly 5W/kg for a 75kg person and is in the very top of Cat2 and into Cat 1 territory for functional threshold in the Coggan chart for gents (with all the caveats about that)... and if you're talking extended periods then FTP is a fair guide.

              Anyway - I guess this is going a long way away from talking about an average Joe cycling to work, which is a good thing to be encouraging anyway.

              1. Silverburn
                Thumb Up

                Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

                Anyway - I guess this is going a long way away from talking about an average Joe cycling to work, which is a good thing to be encouraging anyway.

                Agreed. Things would be a lot less stressful if more of them rode than drove.

          2. Marcelo Rodrigues

            Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

            The wind created by the cars passing you.

            In a road with decent flow a wind is created, by the passing cars - and this can be a big help.

    3. Someone Else Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Wrong, but not ridiculous?

      The Right Hon. Representative may be wrong [...]

      Love it!

  16. AGR

    Ssshhhh.....

    I think he was trying to hoist warmists by their own petards. However, his comments will allow the other <strike>parasites</strike> politicians their ultimate goal in this CO2 debate: the ability to tax the air that we breathe. I hope eu.gov and Uk.gov are not paying attention.

  17. jai

    What about stairs?

    I dunno about you, but sometimes I'm outa breath after using the stairs at work because it's "healthier"

    But apparently I'm killing the planet .

    For that matter they ought to tax people who can't leave their homes on time in the morning and so have to run down the road and over the train station bridges to catch their trains.

    And that's not to mention the CO2 produced by people having sex.....

    1. Silverburn
      Joke

      Re: What about stairs?

      And that's not to mention the CO2 produced by people having sex.....

      It's worse than that. If the sex results in pregnancy it means elevated metabolic requirements for 9 months, followed by an additional and parrallel aerobic system being started, which is likely to be constantly producing CO2 for another 85 years afterwards.

      So much, much worse than cycling. Time for Dr Breen's supression field, methinks...

  18. Tim Roberts 1
    Paris Hilton

    rogering will be next

    Because you breathe harder and faster when rogering (or being rogered), then it stands to reason that that should be taxed also.

    Cycling, rogering, rowing, running, playing football (in all it's incarnations), skiing, hockey ........... Let's just tax everything. Oh wait, we already do.

    Paris, because from what I've heard .......

  19. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Huffing and puffing polluticians

    Politicians are probably the larger source of pollution, CO2 and other, than cyclists.

    Not that I'd done any analysis...

  20. skeptical i
    Devil

    If you walk, I'll tax your feet. If you bike, I'll tax the street.

    Don'cha holler that it's not fair, cuz if you breathe I'll tax the air.

    And he's a Republican? Don't they typically hate Hate HATE taxes? Unless they hate bicyclists even more.

  21. Mike Tubby
    Paris Hilton

    They'll want to tax sex next!

    Better not tell him that the act of having sex frequently results is increased levels of cardio-vascular activity, respiration and breathing... OMG now we're all at it! ... killing the planet that is!

    ... Better tax sex!!

    Mike

    PS. Paris because she knows how to make CO2 ;-)

  22. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Politicians eh?

      Had the Labour Party won the last election you will find it was in the manifesto.

      Even death would not have brought relief from taxation.

    2. Corinne
      Unhappy

      Re: Politicians eh?

      They already do in the UK - the name "death duties" should be a clue. Despite having paid tax on everything you owned, your heirs have to pay tax all over again on it when you die.

      Plus the funeral parlour has to pay their normal business taxes including VAT etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Politicians eh?

        @Corinne - Way to miss the point - You don't pay tax on what you own when you die, the people who inherit pay tax on what they get through sod all effort of their part. It's just like being taxed for any windfall. The thing is that this is such an easy tax to avoid that it's laughable - you just give your stuff to who you want to have it, a couple of years before you die.

        1. Corinne

          Re: Politicians eh?

          Who is paying the tax shouldn't be that relevant - it's already been paid once on the items, then it gets taxed a second time. Someone earned the money and paid a LOT of tax to start with, then spent that money on say, a house to bring their family up in. If they lived in an expensive part of the country then that house alone would be worth more than the tax threshhold, currently £325k I think.

          Check up on that "couple of years" thing too - it's a tapered relief over 7 years so anything given away in the last 7 years IS liable for some proportion of the tax. And it has to be given away with NO rights reserved, you can't say "I give the house to my children, but I reserve the right to live in it until I die" - which means if you have a falling out with those kids they can sell that house from under you, so not the safest way to avoid the tax!

          1. Yet Another Commentard

            Re: Politicians eh?

            Just to clarify for you all - your estate is liable for the inheritance tax, and your executors won't get probate (the ability to deal with your assets) until they cough up what's due to HMRC. Your heirs inherit net of tax.

            Oh, any income earned by your estate from your death until it's distributed in full (such as interest in a deposit account) is also subject to income tax (your estate is sort of a person) so you never escape. Hotblack Desiato's plan of being dead for a year wouldn't work in the UK.

            Of course, give it all to charity and the rules are a tad different.

            It always struck me as being a tax of envy, as you say, tax you when you earn it, tax you if you save it, tax you when you are done with it. And if you own a car, tax the tax on the fuel you put in it.

  23. loopy lou
    FAIL

    food != fossil fuel

    Not sure about the rest of you, but most of the C02 I relesase when cycling was recently captured from the atmosphere when the wheat, carrot, potato or whatever grew. As such, we're part of a closed loop with the food we eat: C02 + H2O + Sunlight -> carrots + O2 -> exercise + CO2 + H2O.

    So there's no net effect on CO2 from the food itself or how much you eat. It just changes how fast things go through the loop.

    What does matter is the energy cost in getting the food to you (C02 and H20 make their way back to plants on their own) which is often driven by fossil fuels, but I suspect that subtlety is lost on the gentleman.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: food != fossil fuel

      Errr...not quite (see my post above). Being a cyclist, I'd love to believe this too, but there are a couple of snags:

      - One of the biggest consumer of fossil fuel is agriculture, both in processing, transport and fertilizers. Yes, the end product is "carbon neutral", but the processing is not.

      - Also, a lot of our food is flown in. Bananas from Brazil, Lamb from New Zealand, Strawberries from South Africa. This is done - very inefficiently - via fossil fuel.

      - Some of our food products (cows, mainly) product a lot of methane.This is a far more potent greenhouse gas than plain ol' CO2.

      Until we go 100% organic, using solar-powered electric tractors, and we only eat stuff harvested within a 10 mile radius, "our" food source will not be carbon neutral.

      1. NumptyScrub

        Re: food != fossil fuel

        There's also the question of how you define "carbon neutral" and over what timescales. Geologically speaking, fossil fuels are from a plant source and therefore part of a geological timescale carbon cycle. They sequestered lots of atmospheric CO2 back when we had a lot more atmospheric CO2.

        Yes, the current view is that today's (more like 200 years ago but still) CO2 percentage is the "optimal" one, but that's only because some people have an issue with the seas being 100m+ higher than they are now. From a planetary perspective we are at a CO2 low ;)

        Solution? Grow more fast-growing crops (whatever sequesters carbon the quickest) then bury them in landfill / down deep mine shafts. Make another batch of fossil fuels ready for a few million years hence. It appears to have worked on atmospheric CO2 levels several times higher than todays, so it is certainly scientifically viable as an option ;)

  24. Rupert Fiennes Silver badge

    Consistent

    Speaking as a cyclist, I think he's perfectly correct. If it's right to tax cars for emitting 271g /km, then it's just as reasonable to tax us cyclists too for emitting 21g. Of course, what the guys really doing is, as an earlier commenter mentioned, is bringing out how hypocritical the average greenie is :-)

    1. Nuke

      @Rupert Fiennes - Re: Consistent

      Wrote :- "I think he's perfectly correct. If it's right to tax cars for emitting 271g /km, then it's just as reasonable to tax us cyclists too for emitting 21g."

      That assumes that road tax is, and should be, purely about pollution. It did not start that way; it existed from the 1920's (AFAIR) and no-one gave a thought about pullution before about 1970. Roads cost a great deal of money to maintain (don't forget lighting, policing, signage etc).

  25. Gray
    Headmaster

    Not opposed to taxes, but opposed to "free rides" ...

    The Hon. Republican Representative is, in fact, representative of his party. I lived many years in Idaho (conceded to be the most Republican state in the U.S.) prior to moving back to my native state of Washington (historically, heavily Democratic). This gentleman's position that bicyclists exhale a disproportionately burdensome quantity of pollutant gasses and thus impose a burden on the streets and lanes, and therefore must be taxed--is pure Republican logic. But one must understand, it is NOT a TAX that he supports.

    It's part and parcel of the USER FEE mentality. Since he cannot easily craft a bill that would mandate GPS-based mileage recording devices on bicycles, upon which a mileage-based user fee could be imposed for passage upon government-owned streets and lanes, he is taking the easy way out. The proposed annual tax is simply a variant of the Republican-favored user fee.

    Thus, the annual tax is not a tax at all ... it is an alternative fee that spares the cyclist the purchase, installation, maintenace, monitoring, and reporting of device-recorded mileage ridden, upon which a per-mile user fee would be based.

    The user fee is the mainstay of the U.S. Republican philosophy. Thus when former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney tripled and quadrupled license, permit, and user fees in that state, he was NOT increasing taxes. He simply updated the user fees. User fees are never to be construed as taxes, which is why Gov. Romney bragged endlessly that he never increased taxes in Massachusetts.

    Simple, no?

    1. M Gale

      Re: Not opposed to taxes, but opposed to "free rides" ...

      I think my response is something like "do I have a choice in the matter?"

      The answer is obviously no unless you can survive without food obtained by going outside.

      So therefore it is a tax.

  26. Minophis
    Facepalm

    Republican science strikes again

    Another fabulous hypothesis from the people that brought us intelligent design and vaginas that can identify evil penises.

    Leaving aside: -

    The fact that the driver's car will be spewing out far more CO2 than the cyclist (not to mention other pollutants).

    The fact that the cyclist is causing less damage to the roads that will cost taxes to repair

    The strong probability that the cyclist will be healthier and use up less healthcare resources in their life.

    The important point is that the CO2 the cyclist gives off came from the food that they ate. Which in turn was absorbed from the atmosphere while the food was growing. The net carbon increase in the atmosphere is 0. Meanwhile the car is giving of carbon that was dragged out of the earth and has not been part of the atmosphere in millions of years.

    Why can't politicians leave science to scientists.

    1. VaalDonkie

      Re: Why can't politicians leave science to scientists.

      Because scientists can't leave politics to the politicians?

    2. James 36
      Coat

      Re: Republican science strikes again

      "vaginas that can identify evil penises." but if that was true politicians and other people in power would only be able to f**k people in arse

      hang on a minute ...

      mine's the one with the bicycle clips in the pocket

  27. Drummer Boy
    Joke

    On this logic

    Fatties should receive tax breaks.

    They offer 2 advantages over people who exercise:

    1) Less CO2 produced, due to no exercise

    2) they operate as highly efficient carbon capture devices.

    Providing they are buried and not cremated when they die, they are an ideal carbon capture and storage resource :-)

    1. I like noodles
      Stop

      Re: On this logic

      Aye but when you dig a little deeper:

      What about the extra CO2 produced by the poor buggers that have to sweat under the weight of them as they carry them behind the hearse?

      The gravediggers having to shift an extra one or two hundred kilos of soil?

      And even after that, surely they need a lot more worms working a lot harder?

    2. robin48gx
      FAIL

      Re: On this logic

      fatties should be taxed, they produce far more CO2 at rest than a fit person, and they are a burden on the NHS, with demands for heart/diabetes/blood-pressure/anti-inflamatories/stroke medicine.

  28. koncordski
    FAIL

    Ok i'll bite.

    The guy is obviously not quite the full shilling, in effect he's talking about a tax on breathing, which is dumb however you dress it up. And for the various commentards that claim they are 'held up' by cyclists, oh please. If you're driving in town then you're average speed is lower than the fleshy human on the bicycle, he'll beat you from one side of the city to the other, you're occupying a disproportionately large piece of road space to move your arse around, he's not. If you're on a country road, the 10 or 15 seconds you have to 'wait' behind the flashy human on the bicycle adds how much time to your total journey? In a nutshell, if you're going slowly in your car, you're not IN traffic. You ARE traffic.

  29. Crisp Silver badge
    Go

    Technically he's right.

    But you can produce as much CO2 if not more, by sitting around talking bullshit all day long.

    And lets face it, there's a lot more of that going on than cycling.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    He's missing the real point, cyclists cycle because they're too lazy to drive!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

    Dear cyclist bashers, the total tax amount gained from Road Tax (which hasn't existed since 1937 by the way - its a tax on vehicle emissions, the more polluting the car, the more you pay) plus petrol taxes, taxes from selling new cars and so on is estimated at 50 billion per year. The cost of maintaining the roads is 70 billion per year. The cost of paying for idiiot drivers killing and seriously injuring other people to the NHS/Police/Fire brigade/tax payer via benefit costs/investigation costs plus the cost to the nhs of treating unnecessary pollution caused by cars and so on has been estimated at between 30 - 50 billion per year

    So thats 50 - 70 billion per year not paid for by car related taxes.

    AND THE ROADS ARE PAID FOR OUT OF LOCAL AND GENERAL TAXATION - ALL UK TAX PAYERS INCLUDING THOSE WHO CYCLE OR WALK PAY FOR THE ROADS YET 99.9999999% OF ROAD PLANNING IS FOR THE CAR.

    Oh, and according to various surveys around 85% of 'cyclists' own a car anyway, so this cyclist vs car driver debate is crap anyway.

    Basicaly go to this website for more info: http://ipayroadtax.com/ - knocks down a fair few myths.

    1. Jean Le PHARMACIEN
      Coat

      Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

      " its a tax on vehicle emisions". No it isn't. It's a vehicle tax, the current RATE is based upon vehicle emissions (which is a relatively new concept in the history of the tax). Hint: it's called Vehicle Excise Duty and has gone from being a flat rate (for cars) through banding based on engine size then linking the duty to CO2 emissions. It is NOT a tax on emisions as you will find out when Govt finds a new formula for implementing some policy or other.

      You ar right in that all tax payers pay for roads some way or other as chunk of council tax (householders) pay some parts; fuel+income tax+other taxes+national insurance get lumped together for Govt to divy out in proportions they see fit..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

      "Oh, and according to various surveys around 85% of 'cyclists' own a car anyway, so this cyclist vs car driver debate is crap anyway."

      Oh I see - so a second car would be tax free. Oh wait, no it isn't.

      Cyclists should pay for their road use just like everyone else. All the extra cycle lanes, advance stops (not that any cyclist stops at a red light) etc all cost money. Who pays? The long-suffering CAR DRIVERS. Not all of whom like to squeeze into fetishistic lycra and ignore the Highway Code on a whim.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

        Ah another troll. I'll bite.

        "Oh I see - so a second car would be tax free. Oh wait, no it isn't."

        ---Why should a second car be tax free? I cycle to work. I also I own a car, sitting on my drive, which is taxed. Why should I not pay tax on my car?

        "Cyclists should pay for their road use just like everyone else. All the extra cycle lanes, advance stops (not that any cyclist stops at a red light) etc all cost money. Who pays? The long-suffering CAR DRIVERS. "

        ---Covered previously. In a nutshell everybody pays for the roads, whether they use them or not. And why do you think car drivers are long suffering? What would you like to change? Fewer cars on the road, perhaps? What if cyclists decided to drive instead of cycle? More cars on the road? Is this what you want?

        "Not all of whom like to squeeze into fetishistic lycra and ignore the Highway Code on a whim."

        --Why the obsession with lycra? A footballer wears football kit. A runner wears stuff for running. A cyclist wears attire appropriate to cycling. What would you like them to wear?

        Ignore the Highway Code on a whim? The same can be said for any road user.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

          "Why should a second car be tax free?"

          It shouldn't be.

          "I cycle to work. I also I own a car, sitting on my drive, which is taxed. Why should I not pay tax on my car?

          Again, you car should not be tax free. But you bike is, that's the problem. You are using your bike on the road, you should be paying road tax. If you have two cars, you would pay for both. You have a car and a bike - yet you don't pay for both.

          "Covered previously."

          No, your second vehicle (the bicycle) is free. You should be paying for that as well. Unless you want to continue to claim that the first car somehow includes the road tax for you other vehicle (which is what you are claiming). I can only drive one car at a time, but I would pay road tax on both. Why should your bicycle continue to be road tax exempt? It shouldn't.

          "What if cyclists decided to drive instead of cycle? More cars on the road? Is this what you want?"

          Then they'd actually be paying road tax which would allow for any required improvements to be paid for. Just now cyclists get all their lanes, extra marking and special considerations FOR FREE as they pay nothing for their bike use.

          "What would you like them to wear?"

          Day-glo/hi-vis and a helmet. Under force of law.

          1. Silverburn

            Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

            I'm a cyclist and a car driver (as most are btw Mr Troll), and I have the following suggestion.

            To save having to listen to the ill educated whiners going on about "oh cyclists don't pay tax"...I propose that VED version 1.0 is scrapped, and VED version 2.0 taxes applied to all road using vehicles, based on the vehicle's kerb weight x by the number of wheels (as weight is what damages roads).

            2.5p per kilo is about right. So a 1,200kg car will pay around the same as now - £120. A 3.5t van...£525.

            So my 8kg bike will pay...40p. It's a fair cop. Apart from the bit where it will probably cost the Government at least £1 to process every application and it's payment...

            1. Anthony Cartmell

              Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

              No, easier to keep VED version 1.0. A cyclists, as a very-low-emission vehicle, would pay zero.

              The cost of providing VED tax disks to all cyclists could require VED on the motorists who pay more than zero to be doubled...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

            "Again, you car should not be tax free. But you bike is, that's the problem. You are using your bike on the road, you should be paying road tax. If you have two cars, you would pay for both. You have a car and a bike - yet you don't pay for both."

            Muddying the waters, my friend.

            Road tax? Abolished in the 1930s. Roads are funded from taxation.

            VED is an excise duty. It is not hypothecated tax.

            *** Paying VED grants you no more rights to use the road than paying excise duty on a bottle of whisky. ***

            "No, your second vehicle (the bicycle) is free. You should be paying for that as well. Unless you want to continue to claim that the first car somehow includes the road tax for you other vehicle (which is what you are claiming). I can only drive one car at a time, but I would pay road tax on both. Why should your bicycle continue to be road tax exempt? It shouldn't."

            A flawed argument. You're confusing a non-existent 'road tax' with vehicle excise duty.

            VED for low/zero emission vehicles is £0.00. This £0.00 charge also would apply to, say Hyundai i20 1.4, a Nissan Micra 1.2 and so on.

            Them's the rules.

            Don't like it? Buy a Micra. Or get on a bike. Your heart will thank you for it.

            "Then they'd actually be paying road tax which would allow for any required improvements to be paid for. Just now cyclists get all their lanes, extra marking and special considerations FOR FREE as they pay nothing for their bike use."

            Wrong. it's not free. It's paid for from from taxation. As are the roads.

            1. NumptyScrub

              Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

              quote: "*** Paying VED grants you no more rights to use the road than paying excise duty on a bottle of whisky. ***"

              Not quite true. Not paying VED for a vehicle that requires it, means you are not allowed to use the public roads. Any registered vehicle is required by law to have a valid VED disc or be declared SORN, and driving a vehicle that is declared SORN on the public road is an offence.

              Whilst correlation is not causation, I would feel perfectly comfortable claiming that, in the UK, paying VED (along with insurance and having a valid MOT) is what grants you the right to use the public roads.

              Also:

              quote: "To save having to listen to the ill educated whiners going on about "oh cyclists don't pay tax"...I propose that VED version 1.0 is scrapped, and VED version 2.0 taxes applied to all road using vehicles, based on the vehicle's kerb weight x by the number of wheels (as weight is what damages roads).

              2.5p per kilo is about right. So a 1,200kg car will pay around the same as now - £120. A 3.5t van...£525.

              So my 8kg bike will pay...40p. It's a fair cop. Apart from the bit where it will probably cost the Government at least £1 to process every application and it's payment..."

              You seem to be forgetting that your bicycle does not self-navigate; when it is on the roads, it also has you riding it. EU regs on "kerb weight" for cars includes a driver at 75kg, so this would make the "kerb weight" of your 8kg bicycle 83kg, or a VED of £4.15 (not £0.40). Still peanuts, but a significant increase.

              I'd welcome this sort of change too, as my 350kg motorcycle+me would pay £17.50 instead of the current £76 :)

              Anyone with a Band A, B, or C hybrid / electric will hate you for it though, as they pretty much all weigh over a tonne (revised VED £100+), but currently pay £0-£30.

              Also note that the contact patch for a bicycle is significantly smaller than the contact patch for a car due to difference in tyre size; a VED targeted at "amount of weight applied to the roads during use" would need to also factor tyre width in there as well somewhere, and would need to divide weight by number of wheels (you provide less downward force per wheel when using more than one wheel for the same weight). In that sense, an 83kg monocycle would technically do more damage than an 83kg tricycle using the same tyres, as the total downward force due to weight would be distributed between wheels / tyres ;)

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

                -------------------------- quote --------------------------

                : Quote [quote: "*** Paying VED grants you no more rights to use the road than paying excise duty on a bottle of whisky. ***"

                Not quite true. Not paying VED for a vehicle that requires it, means you are not allowed to use the public roads. Any registered vehicle is required by law to have a valid VED disc or be declared SORN, and driving a vehicle that is declared SORN on the public road is an offence.

                Whilst correlation is not causation, I would feel perfectly comfortable claiming that, in the UK, paying VED (along with insurance and having a valid MOT) is what grants you the right to use the public roads.]

                -------------------------- end quote --------------------------

                Not quite true.

                Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders have the RIGHT to use the roads (with restrictions, such motorways and so on). These restrictions are in the highway code.

                In order to use a motor vehicle on the roads you have to apply for a (revocable) licence which gives you PERMISSION to drive the vehicle on the road, and this motor vehicle is subject to VED (whether a charge applies or not).

                So you'd be right if you said "VED does not grant any rights whatsoever. However, VED is one of the legal requirements to use a motor vehicle on the road".

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. robin48gx

        Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

        Lots of people cycle the A27 near where I live. When it rains we all get in our cars.... and guess what, congestion gets worse...

      3. Adam-the-Kiwi

        Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

        > Oh I see - so a second car should be tax free.

        No. There's a clue here - I'll point it out for you as you're obviously short of them: that's why it's a *vehicle* tax (that's the "V" in "VED") and not a *road* tax.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see people laughing

    But how crazy is his statement in relation to everyone else on this planet? How many people believe in one or more of these-

    A deity which takes attendance?

    A deity which made us and put us in charge?

    A deity which made the world in 6 days?

    A deity which will save us from death (life after death)?

    A deity which interferes in our lives?

    A deity which punishes us if we sin?

    An all powerful deity?

    Compare this to the deity of co2 which gets blamed for the sun, rain, snow, hurricane, etc. And of course this deity has a growing list of sins too- breathing, driving, farting, thinking, etc.

    How far our race has progressed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I see people laughing

      Yeah we're laughing at him, but we also laugh at them too. What's your point?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I see people laughing

        My point is how a lot of countries sit under the heel of religion. Including this crazy new one. And we are getting taxed for it and listening to geniuses like this one telling us how our breathing is bad so we need to be taxed more.

        I wonder if that is how the church used to do it

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I see people laughing

          I don't think it is. I think the church uses ignorance to provoke fear.

          It can't do that in a modern world so easily, and so - certainly in the first world - relies on it's other tried-and-tested strategy of effectively brainwashing from a very young age.

  33. Nuke
    Holmes

    How did Road Tax become just about pollution ?

    While Orcutt is an idiot, why has road taxation become just about pollution? Inthe UK low-emitting vehicles some small vehicles get away with paying no tax at all.

    That is not how road tax originated : it was to pay for maintaining roads. Whether it ALL goes into paying for roads today is irrelevant; the fact is that it costs money to build roads in the first place, maintain them, provide signage, lighting and police them. Then there is the matter of the land value that roads take, which in cities is a lot.

    There are many, many anomalies in road taxation. For example my wife drives her car only about 1000 miles per year, and I know some people who drive even less than that. This is out in The Sticks, where the journey to our shopping town does not pass one traffic light or, for 90% of the way, one street light. Her road tax is mostly subsidising others, especially HGVs who cause road damage orders of magnitude higher and who's freight should mostly be taken by rail IMHO.

    I am not going to get into how much of this road cost should be apportioned to cyclists if considered this way, but not a lot.

  34. Bigbird3141
    WTF?

    Cycling is far more efficient than walking - it's walking that needs taxing

    1. Silverburn
      Happy

      You haven't seen me cycling...

  35. billium
    IT Angle

    road tax for bikes

    Most cyclists own a car therefore pay road tax and are doing less damage than no cycling car owners.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: road tax for bikes

      If I have two cars, I pay two road taxes. Why should cyclists get a free ride? Pay up.

      Cyclists should also have insurance (at least third party) so that other road users and pedestrians can get some kind of compensation when the (usually untrained) cyclist causes an accident.

      Further to that, cyclists should be required to pass a driving test before being allowed on the road (this should include theory and hazard perception).

      All cyclists should carry some kind of number plater that uniquely identifies the rider (a bit like a number plate), this would be most beneficial at reducing the number of morons who ride through traffic lights at red.

      Cycling helmets should also be mandatory.

      As should lights and a bells. Any cyclist found riding and night without lights should face a fine (just as any car driver would).

      1. Nuke
        WTF?

        AC (1049 GMT) - Re: road tax for bikes

        Wrote :- "Any cyclist found riding and night without lights should face a fine (just as any car driver would)."

        They do face a fine. Cycle lights have been a legal requirement since the late 1930's I believe, although it started with just a reflector. I would agree that it should be better enforced, and I say that as a cyclist who is fastidious about my lights. I see cyclists without lights and I am amazed how they survive.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: road tax for bikes

        Re: road tax for bikes

        You are Dale Maile and I claim my five pounds.

        I've modified your post so you can see how silly your argument is.

        "If I have two cars, I pay two road taxes. Why should pedestrians get a free ride? Pay up.

        Pedestrians should also have insurance (at least third party) so that other road users and pedestrians can get some kind of compensation when the (usually untrained) pedestrians causes an accident.

        Further to that, pedestrians should be required to pass a driving test before being allowed on the road (this should include theory and hazard perception).

        All pedestrians should carry some kind of number plater that uniquely identifies the pedestrian (a bit like a number plate), this would be most beneficial at reducing the number of morons who walk through traffic lights at red.

        Pedestrian helmets should also be mandatory.

        As should lights and a bells. Any pedestrians found walking at night without lights should face a fine (just as any car driver would)."

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: road tax for bikes

          @ac 12:11 that's actually a good idea - this would of course have apply to all car drivers (and their passengers) that get out of their cars in public - though the helmet may prevent them from being able to drive.

          Actually most pedestrians are covered by household insurance but fortunately those claims are us lawyers can only advertise to couch potatoes.

      3. Anthony Cartmell

        Re: road tax for bikes

        "cyclists should be required to pass a driving test before being allowed on the road" - even if they're children?

        Now, if motorists were required to pass a driving test more than once when they were a teenager, that might change things. A re-test every five years would enable everyone to learn the current standards required (I have never taken a driving theory test, for example) and would also help to discourage bad habits from creeping in (like forgetting to indicate, going faster than the maximum speed, passing cyclists too close, etc.).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: road tax for bikes

          "even if they're children?"

          Yes. Or do you not even teach your children how to cross the road? I guess we'll have to rely on Darwin then.

        2. Marcelo Rodrigues
          Devil

          Re: road tax for bikes

          "cyclists should be required to pass a driving test before being allowed on the road" - even if they're children?"

          Why not? Last I heard it was mandatory in Germany. A friend of mine, at the time aged 12, had just got her license. To ride a bicycle on public.

      4. Tim Parker

        Re: road tax for bikes

        "If I have two cars, I pay two road taxes. Why should cyclists get a free ride? Pay up."

        Oh do fuck off you stupid twat - as has been pointed out again and again in this thread, and indeed every time this comes up - cyclists, and others, don't get a free ride. Also, if you have any conviction in your beliefs then why don't you try posting as someone real, not a coward. FFS.

      5. evs

        Re: road tax for bikes

        Did you know that helmets decrease the likelihood and severity of head injuries for car drivers and passengers at about the same rate that they do for bikes? Not saying that helmets aren't a good idea just maybe we aren't thinking big enough...

        Agree 100% about lights at night. Given that an adequate flasher can be had for less than $6, I'm surprised that anyone rides without one. Responsible retailers should include them standard with new bikes. For my own part, I've been seriously considering keeping a few on hand just to give away to suicidal idiots (at least the more polite ones).

        Horns? Meh. A yell is louder, more instinctive and doesn't require lifting your hands from the bars. It's not like you are sitting on a sofa watching the world go by from behind a thick window.

        License and registration? Where I live here's a quick breakdown on how that would cost out: govt dept of bike licensing would run about $13,000,000 / year (figured at 1% of ICBC budget). Actual claims: ~$800,000 year(0.12c/km * 150km/rider * 1% of population). Probably not a great way to spend tax dollars.

  36. The BigYin

    Do I understand this?

    >he admitted that he had not "done any analysis"

    So he is holding a position without any evidence as to that position's validity.

    Has he considered other savings? e.g. due to having healthy hearts, cyclists will need less medical car than a lard-bucket with their Double Gulp driving to the mall. Saved CO2!

    (I have done no analysis, but the above is true.)

    Yeah, cycling is not zero-impact but then neither is walking. They are both still leagues better than a car.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Do I understand this?

      he admitted that he had not "done any analysis"

      He's also a Republican. There's a tautology in there somewhere.

  37. Miek
    Trollface

    Politicians do nothing but spout hot air, more so than cyclists and motor cars put together. Let's cull them and end pollution as we know it.

  38. BigG
    Trollface

    Tax humans

    by their weight. Seems to be a catch all in terms of resource depletion (I would allow a Bulgarian Airbag allowance).

  39. Kay Burley ate my hamster
    Paris Hilton

    Air filters

    Us cyclists also remove a large number of fine particulates from the air you breathe by trapping them in our lungs. Come the revolution motorists will be attached to their exhausts to act as air filters too. ;P

  40. David Simpson 1

    Driving a car does not have to make you stupid

    Cars destroy roads because they are very heavy and have a large power output. Neither pedestrians or cyclists do so find a new piece of nonsense to moan about troll. Instead of demonising other people ask the government why they don't even spend all the road tax they raise on the roads never mind fuel duty.

  41. David Simpson 1
    Flame

    Driving a car does not have to make you stupid

    Cars destroy roads because they are very heavy and have a large power output. Neither pedestrians or cyclists do so find a new piece of nonsense to moan about troll. Instead of demonising other people ask the government why they don't even spend all the road tax they raise on the roads never mind fuel duty.

    1. fzz

      Re: Driving a car does not have to make you stupid

      Stupidity comes naturally to many US Republican politicians. So much so you'd almost have to conclude it's the party of the dull-witted or inventively irrational.

  42. David Simpson 1
    Flame

    stupid

    Cars destroy roads because they are very heavy and have a large power output. Neither pedestrians or cyclists do so find a new piece of nonsense to moan about troll. Instead of demonising other people ask the government why they don't even spend all the road tax they raise on the roads never mind fuel duty.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Alert

      Oooooh

      It's deja vu all over again.

  43. jpb421

    Need to account for non-travelling CO2

    Though cyclists have a raised CO2 production while cycling, they are probably fitter as a result so produce less CO2 during other activities during the day because they are more efficient. The net effect is probably negative net emissions relative to doing nothing.

  44. Alan Brown Silver badge

    FWIW

    See post about damage down to contact pressure (axle weight)

    The reality is that the vast majority of road damage is caused by heavy vehicles and _those_ aren't taxed at anywhere near the correct proportional rate. A single bus can do more damage to the road in one pass than a month's worth of cars .

    BTW, the formula given isn't quite correct, it's a factor of the 4th power of axle weight AND the 2nd power of speed(hammer effect) - which is why really heavy loads are required to operate at very low speeds.

    As for cyclist damage/CO2 - the only damage that cyclists do to the road is when they go under my car and they produce less CO2 in general than twittish gasbags in government. :)

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the Party of Dumb

    Yet another example of why the Republican Party has earned the moniker Party of Dumb. Don't confuse me with facts, my mind's made up.

  46. Big_Boomer Bronze badge
    Alien

    TOO MANY ******* PEOPLE

    is the problem. Whether they are driving or cycling or sitting at home watching TV. People = CO2 emissions, not to mention methane and other nasties. So, if the world wishes to sort out Global Warming and related issues, then POPULATION control/reduction is the only way forward. Even if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a certain level per person, if there are more people there are more gasses. Long term, ONLY population reduction will work. Either that or we will all eventually cook in our own juices from our own waste heat.

    Perhaps that is what our Alien Masters are waiting for. A whole planet covered with 20+ Billion joints of slow- roast long-pig.

  47. brain_flakes
    FAIL

    It's really very simple, all berating-related CO2 is CARBON NEUTRAL. **CARBON NEUTRAL**. ZERO NET GAIN IN ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS.

    Every single atom of CO2 exhaled CAME FROM THE ATMOSPHERE. Plants take CO2 and turn it into sugars, animals eat those and turn them back into CO2.

    The reason fossil fuels are bad is that you're taking CO2 that has been accumulating for millions and millions of years and releasing it all in one go, thus it's a **POSITIVE NET GAIN** ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS.

    Anyone trying to equate someone's breath with fossil fuels is a LYING HACK FOR THE OIL INDUSTRY.

    The only possible link to any greenhouse gas emissions is if you eat slightly more, but again that's only because our food industry uses so much fossil fuel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "LYING HACK FOR THE OIL INDUSTRY"

      In fairness, nobody in the oil industry is stupid enough to think this kind of thing would do them any good. I'm quite sure they're much more subtle when it comes to their lying hacks.

  48. Mike_1727
    Facepalm

    Road tax doesn't exist

    Road tax doesn't exist. It's car tax, a tax on cars and other vehicles, not a tax on roads or a fee to use them. Motorists do not pay directly for the roads. Roads are paid for via general and local taxation. In 1926, Winston Churchill started the process to abolish road tax. It was finally culled in 1937.

    Car tax is based on amount of CO2 emitted so, if a fee had to be paid, cyclists would pay the same as 'tax-dodgers' such as disabled drivers, police cars, the Royal family, and band A motorists, ie £0. Most cyclists are also car-owners, too, so pay VED.

  49. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Totally agree with the dude!

    Cyclists are a total menace to our environment!

    Grief, when I jump on my bike, after a full English breakfast containing baked beans, bacon, couple of eggs or so, lard-fried slice, mushrooms, fried tomatoes, grilled onions and (horsey) sausages, I could give out more "ventus foulus" than the Queen probably did last week. Gawd, even the buses keep 20 yards away!

  50. gaz 7
    Devil

    cycles and tax

    The annual vehicle tax in the UK is based on pollution - there are plenty of cars that pay a zero rate, petrol/diesel as well as leccy.

    If you are angry/jealous of the fact that you pay a few quid a year for your car and a person on a bike doesn't, then either buy a bike, or buy a zero-rated car and stop whinging like a bitch.

    Bicycles just make for more effiicient pedestrians - should we create a pavement tax for shoes? Morons.

    Bicycles in the UK at least are rated for VAT so we pay a purchase tax. Most roads paths etc are funded out of local taxation anyway so again I pay my way there.

    Bikes take up a lot less space and do a lot less damage than cars. In the UK billions are spent trying to cure people who's mouths are bigger than their arseholes and do little more than move from the sofa to the driving seat and as a result are suffering heart disease, diabetes and all sorts of other nasty stuff. If more people rode and walked then that would reduce saving the whole country money, and possibly cutting your tax bill.

    Most adult cyclists in the UK have passed a test to use the road - called a driving test, cos surprise fecking surprise most of them also drive. Not two seperate species.From the standard of most drivers I see they need to pass a fr1gging test.

    At night most of the people riding bikes that I see are teenagers on mountain bikes& bmx - parental responsibility anyone? Cos most of their parents are probably drivers bitching about cyclists without lights!

    Most cyclists ARE responsible. The ones that aren't are generally neerdowells or idiots, and if they were in a car would be driving whilst drunk/drugged out of their skin without a licence. mot or insurance, so you are better off with them on a bike!

    considering this is a tech/sciencey type site and the comments threads normally have sensible commenters, I am wondering where all the idiots have come in from.

    Spawn of the devil cos as a cyclist I obviously am! Although unlike most of the nutters and trolls I am willing to put my name to my comments

    1. pk123
      Thumb Up

      Re: cycles and tax

      Well said, sir!

      We don't have hypothecation of taxes in the UK*, and for very good reasons too, hence paying VED on one's car(s) has nothing to do with maintenance of roads.

      A simple example: if we had hypothecation (or ringfencing) of taxes then childless people would be asking for tax breaks on the basis that their family doesn't use schools. Similarly, the healthy would be demanding tax breaks on the basis that they don't use the NHS. Taxes on cigarettes and booze don't go to NHS directly, they go into a central pot, just like motoring taxes.

      The local roads, on which people will find people riding bikes, are built and maintained by local authorities. Who pays for them? All council tax payers do. Of course, the extension of the logic that has been on display by some of the trolls, students and other persons who don't pay council tax should not be allowed on pavements, roads or anywhere public.

      DfT has made it clear that it will not bring in any form of cycling tax as they would have to tax pedestrians too.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are all republicans retarded?

  52. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Carbon Cycle 101

    I was about to make a snarky remark about this legislator, but it appears that all the El Reg commentards (so far) have missed the point as well, so I'll be kind.

    CO2 emission is not in itself a bad thing. There is a natural cycle and as long as you are respiring/burning/carbon that is already part of the current natural environment, you aren't changing the amount of carbon in general circulation. Therefore you won't cause the atmospheric concentration to change. You could burn the whole cyclist and it wouldn't affect global warming.

    The problem is in releasing fossilised carbon. That adds to the total carbon in circulation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re: Carbon Cycle 101

      "You could burn the whole cyclist and it wouldn't affect global warming."

      Sure, but you have to admit there are times it would be pretty satisfying...

  53. Colin 4

    Re: UK: Cyclists already pay for the upkeep of roads, as do pedestrians

    "All the extra cycle lanes" eh ? All they do around here is paint a line a couple of feet in from the edge of the road and call it a "cycle lane".

    This has rather hilariously resulted in quite a lot of roads where the car lane is actually not wide enough to FIT a car. Especially hilarious when there's a bike going each way, and a bus going each way ...

  54. MrXavia
    Facepalm

    The problem is with CO2 being seen as a pollutant... it is needed in the atmosphere,we just need more plants...

  55. samlebon23
    Unhappy

    I thought farting was more polluting than breathing.

  56. ElectricFox
    Windows

    Cyclists' showers

    I bike 4 miles to work every day. I generally have to shower when I get into work, and then again when I get back from work. I suspect a 4 minute shower is of far more note than the rest of my commute. Society has higher expectations of personal hygiene than they might have done 50 years ago. Tramp symbol, because that's my girlfriend's opinion of / reaction to me every evening I get home.

  57. Malcom Ryder 1

    That lawmaker knows that bill will never pass, he's just trying to get points from his redneck overweight pick up truck driving ditto heads. That is today's Congress, more concerned about getting out soundbites than doing any real legislation.

  58. C-N
    Joke

    Nothing could ever produce as much gas as a politician.

  59. fzz

    so it logically follows that

    politicians exhale more frequently when bloviating, thus pollute nearly constantly.

    TAX 'EM for every second they're speaking!

  60. pyroweasel

    A Republican, admitting concern over greenhouse gases?

    Where's the flying pig icon?

  61. M Gale

    There's some really jealous trolls in here.

    Get a bicycle, you green-faced cunts. Nobody is stopping you.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All lungs are not created equal

    Obviously, some are of greater size and capacity and should be taxed....

    Oh, grow up you dickbrains.

  63. etabeta
    FAIL

    A fool anyway

    For this jerk to write or even think of something this silly, with or without apologies, he is still a fool . Who votes for people like this?

  64. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Sigh.

    This is why people hate us.

    This, and Microsoft.

    And flaming plastic airplanes.

  65. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Happy

    RE: stuck behind a bicycle

    Yeah. I hate it when that happens:

    http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/1732/examedetranjm7.jpg

  66. MachDiamond Silver badge
    Facepalm

    You now see what we are up against.

    The comments from this "Oh-So-Enlightend" congress critter is middle of the bell curve. You have to realize that US government is made up of lawyers that failed in private practice yet still had good enough hair and really white teeth to look good in ads. Some of them even have a good speaking voice if you ignore what they are actually saying.

    I'll keep up the mantra... "Be afraid, be very very afraid" ~Douglas Adams

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tax them hard and often.

    And so it begins. With cycling becoming more and more popular, you can guarantee the politicians will be searching for ways to tax the hell out of cyclists. Global warming worked well for the car, but they are going to need something new for the cyclist. Safety is the obvious choice....fines for not wearing helmets or proper clothing, mandatory bike MOT's etc.

  68. Gearhead
    FAIL

    Taxman

    I am an American and proud to be so but it is becoming difficult not to be embarrassed to be American.

    The caliber of people elected in the US is shameful. What is worse, these idiot elected officials represent the public so what does that make the public. Idiots.

    As far as the bicycle tax, this brings to mind a favorite Beatles Tune, Taxman:

    If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,

    If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.

    If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,

    If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

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