In recent weeks, several countries and car producers have announced plans to phase out diesel and petrol vehicles. Swedish manufacturer, Volvo, has pledged that from 2019 it will produce only fully electric or hybrid cars. Following swiftly after Volvo, French President Emmanuel Macron indicated that, by 2040, France would outlaw the sale of cars with traditional internal combustion engines. These initiatives were taken in order to address public health issues, including the need to improve air quality and stop climate change.
Macron has set the bar high for other countries to follow. By committing to achieve the targets set out in the Paris climate accord, he has shown tremendous leadership. His bold actions make it clear that beta males are just as capable as alpha males of driving lasting change.
At the same time, many progressives (including us) want to see more radical action. Whilst an electric car is preferable to a petrol-driven car, it still requires electricity to power it. Since this electricity is often produced in environmentally-unfriendly ways (e.g. burning fossil fuels), are we in fact better off? Wouldn’t the optimal solution be to ban cars altogether in favour of something truly green? These are all arguments made eloquently by progressive writer, George Monbiot.
We have always believed that the means of transport of the future already exists: cycling. The car has had its day. Cars are filthy, expensive, anti-social, cause obesity, and must be jettisoned to history.
Does this contradict our previous article, written only last week, in which we appeared to advocate the banning of cycling? Possibly, but this is beside the point. Like Muslims, we progressives practice Abrogation, by which means we update the truth for something better or similar. And what we now pronounce by means of this journalistic fatwah is that cycling is absolutely the way forward. Our 180 degree change in mindset is really no different to how important people like Hillary Clinton and Obama were for many years against the idea of same-sex marriage. Then, one day, it was expedient to do support it and amend their sincerely held past beliefs.
As Groucho Marx is supposed to have said, ‘those are my principles and if you don’t like them…well I have some others’.
The first thing to say about cycling is that Al Gore is a firm fan. When he is not in his private jet en route to another climate change initiative, Al Gore loves nothing more than getting on his bike. This is enough for us to know that cycling is a good thing for the Planet.
Secondly, when have you ever seen an unfit cyclist? Unlike obese car drivers, who are two a penny (to use an antiquated English expression), all the cyclists we meet in the street look just like these in the displayed photos. They are fit as a butcher’s dog (to use another antiquated – and possibly politically incorrect – English expression).
Car drivers who have ditched their motoring habit for cycling report increased happiness, ‘a feeling of well-being’, lower stress levels, reduced blood pressure as well as weight-loss. We spoke to Waynetta Hedgeway, 30, who recently took up cycling after many years of driving to work. In the process, Waynetta lost an amazing 150 pounds and now feels ‘like a whole new person, it’s amazing’.
Lazy car drivers use all manner of excuses to justify not getting on a bike. They bleat things like ‘but it’s raining’, ‘it’s too dangerous on the roads’, or ‘how will I apply my make-up on the way to work when I can use the rear-view mirror and hold up all the other traffic’?
There’s always an excuse for resisting change, but solutions do exist to each of the above problems.
- rainproof clothing exists
- when everyone else has ditched their cars and taken up cycling, there will be no more dangers on the road
- become a feminist and don’t bother making an effort over personal appearances. Christian Grey will be along in just a moment. On his carbon racing bike of course.