Friday, 27 May 2022

On your bike


I was asked yesterday if I’d be getting an eBike. 

The answer to that is no, certainly not in the immediate future. Why not? For the same reason that I sigh when I read all about the latest “sustainable innovations” praised in the various marketing and innovation newsletters I receive, be these fashion, electronics, cars or bikes

I have a perfectly good bike and don’t need a new one. Ditto T-shirts, trainers or cars. And I particularly resent “built-in obsolescence” which isn’t just a feature of mobile phones these days. 

The uncomfortable truth is that infinite economic growth on a finite planet just isn’t possible. A recent report by Unicef found that if everyone in the world consumed resources at the rate of OECD and EU countries, 3.3 earths would be needed to keep up with the consumption rate.

I do sometimes wonder what’s going to happen to all those eBikes once the novelty wears off - and to the perfectly good bikes languishing in dusty garages and cellars as a result of this boom.

“Within the constraints of the planet" is often added as an afterthought when marketers talk about growth, but perhaps it’s something that should be brought to the forefront more often. The planet is something we must all share. Share in the sense of apportioning something finite, not the more current use of sharing as a term for making public - and quite often, showing off.

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