Happy Thanksgiving, you turkeys!
Barring anything I feel compelled to share before then, I’ll be out of the office until Monday, November 29th. In the meantime, I’ll be giving thanks for my good fortune, and I hope you’ll be giving thanks for yours–or, if you’re from some other country where they don’t have Thanksgiving, consider spending the day giving thanks for our good fortune, because hey, the more the merrier.
In addition to giving thanks, Thanksgiving is also a time for feeling guilty, and if you’re a member of the Smugness Mafia that means blaming other people because you’re tempted to drive to see family:
Oh, just use the damn car to go to Connecticut, you know you want to.
Speaking of smugness, recently I wrote about the bike industry’s “climate commitment,” and now I see via CyclingTips that Trek has released some hot sustainability porn in which they take a lascivious look at how much carbon it takes for them to crank out all that crabon:
Apparently they make as much greenhouse gas as 65,000 passenger cars do in a year:
That’s about equal to the number of registered vehicles in Jefferson County, NY, which is to say Trek’s crabon frootpint is laughably small, and probably not even worth consideration. The chart is interesting in that it does show which bikes are responsible for the most emissions, and the “worst” one appears to be the Marlin:
I had to look up the Marlin, and apparently it’s just a hardtail mountain bike:
Though the site does offer us a glimpse of a future in which there’s nothing left on Earth’s scorched surface except the billions of Trek Marlins that were responsible for destroying it:
They probably just built a bunch of Marlins last year.
Looking closer, the report also reveals which parts generate how much killing power:
At which point I wondered not “How can Trek produce bikes more efficiently?,” but, “How much did they pay for this report?!?” To try to find out, I did some research on the company who prepared it for them, smugness pornographers WAP Sustainability Consulting:
Though I took a wrong turn in the process, and by the time I found their actual site I forgot why I’d gone there in the first place.
Well played, WAP Sustainability, well played.
Anyway, clearly it was money well spent, because Trek have devised a sophisticated plan to decrease stuff, unless that stuff happens to be good, in which case they will increase it:
One of the things they’ll increase because it’s good is riding bikes:
We’ve already established that Trek’s carbon footprint is tiny, and if you multiply it by 17 that’s still only about the same as all the registered vehicles in Suffolk County, LI. Also, if bicycle mode share increases, it would stand to reason that the carbon footprint of bicycle companies like Trek would increase along with it, so instead of focusing on that it seems to me the very best selling point for increasing bicycle mode share remains that it’s healthy and fewer car trips means fewer people getting run over by them. However, instead of tangible benefits we can reap almost immediately, everyone nowadays seems to want to focus on carbon and staving off an apocalyptic future that never seems to arrive, so here we are.
The report then looks at the best places to ride bikes:
Amusingly, they pad the “U.S. Large Cities” list by treating Brooklyn, Manhattan, and The Bronx as three separate cities…and also by treating Portland as a “large city:”
Anyway, I still don’t know how much Trek paid for this, but I suspect its greatest value is as a marketing tool that will reassure the sorts of people who fret about this stuff that Trek takes it seriously, while simultaneously perhaps saving them a few bucks in packaging costs.
Can’t wait to see what next year brings, maybe they’ll go for their Kosher certification.