Message In A Bottle

We’re only five days into 2023 and already one day…

…is indistinguishable from the next:

Part of the reason for this is that they’ve all been similarly warm, and that’s because we’re all going to die of climate change in 20 years, or five, or else 1985 if you ask that Paul Ehrlich guy. (I may not be a scientist, but even I know that if you’re going to make a dire prediction, at least set it far enough in the future that nobody can call you out on it.) Of course, climate change is a complex subject, which is why you shouldn’t attempt to think about it and instead just surrender to the experts. However, it’s also fundamentally simple in that it’s mostly caused by…

…bicycle bells!

What, you didn’t know that bicycle bells are terrible for the environment? It’s true! I saw it on Kickstarter:

It’s true, when I get tired of a bicycle bell I always throw it in the ocean.

Fortunately, there’s a solution, and it involves funding…a slightly different bicycle bell:

So what’s better about it? Well, it isn’t made out of plastic…UNLIKE HIS EYEGLASSES!

I mean yeah, sure, maybe the frames of his glasses were scavenged from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or something:

And obviously if the great minds of society don’t correct their vision they can’t save the planet for us, now can they? Hey, don’t make me play the Hypocrite Get Out Of Jail Free card!

I used to get that a lot on Twitter myself for doing stuff like pointing out the irony of how many bike advocates own cars, but the people who used to tweet it at me have since blocked me, so it’s been awhile.

As for the environmental catastrophe that is the bike bell, how bad is it? Really bad–at least according to the video. It’s like taking 10 million plastic bottles…

…and dumping them in the ocean!

Need some context for that? Let’s ask the Guardian, since plastic bottles seems like the sort of thing they’d be worried about:

[China’s using a lot of the bottles, but that’s our fault, apparently.]

So, in other words, all the bicycle bells that wind up in the ocean are equal to like 10 minutes of bottle production.


Furthermore, while it would be impossible to count the number of bicycle bells in the world, the estimate you find most on the Internet for the total number of bicycles is one billion. So even if every bicycle on Earth has a bicycle bell on it (which it doesn’t, although kids love bike bells and often have like three, so it probably balances out) in the end, then the number of bicycle bells out there that might potentially end up in the ocean is probably equivalent to about 16 hours of plastic bottle production.

Big fucking deal.

Now, I now what you’re thinking. “Bells schmells! Someone should design some sort of reusable water bottle! That would solve the Earth’s problem!” And having just thought that, it’s now occurring to you that there are already about a zillion different reusable water bottles on the market, made from all sorts of materials, and it’s a market that continues to grow…due at least in part to consumer guilt:

Unfortunately for the guilt-ridden consumer, the Earth doesn’t know or care whether a bottle is “reusable” or not–it’s an entirely human construct. Furthermore, clearly they’re not reducing the world’s insatiable demand for beverages in plastic bottles, and as the Guardian article notes, even the plastic water bottles we throw way are “highly recyclable,” even if we don’t bother. And of course, as anyone with kids knows, there’s only one thing they love more than having multiple bicycle bells, and it’s having reusable water bottles with fun designs on them. Alas, most of these water bottles suck ass, and have stupid pop-tops that eventually fail, and you just end up throwing them away too. As for the adults who buy them to save the planet, they just forget them in the cupholders of their cars with environmentally-themed bumper stickers, or leave them at the yoga studio, so eventually those also meet the same fate. So in essence you have an ever-increasing number of plastic bottles, which in turn spurs demand for bottles made from other things. Clearly bottles beget bottles, and unless everyone on the planet starts drinking from coconuts or we all start drinking our own body fluids it’s never gonna end:

All of this is a roundabout way of saying who gives a shit about the stupid bells?

But that’s all marketing. How’s the bell? It’s…fine I guess?

Looks nifty, if you’re into that. Not as nice as the other all-metal bells out there, which explains why they came up with the whole ocean thing. Sounds a little cowbell-y too, but you can mount it in the shifter position, which I always like in a bell.

That way you can easily ring your bell while reaching for your..PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE!

Smugness is a game nobody can win.

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