The infamous Republican war on science continues. Washington state representative Ed Orcutt (a Republican) wants to tax people who ride bikes because of the wear and tear bicycles generate on roads and, incredibly, because of the greenhouse gases cyclists produce when they exhale.
Orcutt argues that bike riding is not green, and is actually harmful to the environment, because of the CO2 that your body exhales.
I suppose that’s one solution to global warming, all the Republicans can simply hold their breath.
Republicans generally hate cyclists. Since heaven forbid anyone exercise, or use roads in a manner that actually decreases the pollution impact. Cyclists are socialists, you see, and simply must be destroyed.
Here’s what Orcutt wrote to a local bike shop owner inquiring about the tax:
Even crazier is that Orcutt is the top Republican on the state Transportation Committee in the Washington state House. He’s their science guy.
This argument is a familiar one for anyone who rides a bike. Even though most cyclists also have a car and pay taxes that build roads, that’s not enough for the bike haters. It’s impossible to reasonably argue that bikes damage roads the way cars and trucks do — the average bike weighs, say, 30 pounds, while the average car weighs 4,000 pounds, or 133x more.
Asking cyclists to help fund special bike paths is fair, but Orcutt’s attack on cyclists is what we’ve come to expect from a political party that is far outside of the mainstream. It must be frustrating for Republicans. They’ve had their way on economic policy for three decades and all they have to show for it is a weaker middle class, a more polluted environment, and decreasing support from the electorate.
Orcutt may have apologized for his email but the problem remains, the GOP has a crazy-problem that isn’t going away.
Every day we hear about new “scientific” theories from Republicans, whether it’s dinosaurs living alongside man (in fact, Noah had dinosaurs in his ark!) only 6,000 years ago, or Marco Rubio’s insane claim that no one knows the real age of the earth (it’s 4.5bn years, in fact).
There are Republican theories on how women’s bodies have a way of shutting down pregnancies resulting from rape.
Or nutty Joe Walsh’s claim that pregnancy is no longer ever a risk to the life of the mother (false) because science has “solved” that problem.
Or the NASA air safety study that the Bush White House killed lest air travelers knew how dangerous flying really is.
Or Missouri Republican Rick Brattin – who calls himself “a huge science buff” — who wants to force the redefinition, in law, of the phrase “scientific theory” to include “faith-based philosophy.” So this way, priests could call themselves “scientists,” and creationism would be “science.”
Or the Republican US Senator who compared global warming science to Hitler. (“First they came for the ozone…”)
Or the head of the Texas science curriculum board who had to resign because she believed in evolution.
Orcutt isn’t the fringe of the GOP, he is the GOP.