Are scooters green? Are their carbon emission claims valid?
A new paper by researchers at North Carolina State University was just published that aimed to answer this question.
The result was a flurry of (and clickbait-y) media articles proclaiming scooters to be not much better than automobiles in terms of carbon emissions.
Yet the actual findings of the study were much more modest than the grandiose claims made both by the study’s author’s and repeated by media outlets without much critical analysis.
It may seem like a lifetime ago, but Bird made its debut only a year ago on the streets of Santa Monica.
By the summer of 2018 scooters were already the year’s, if not the decade’s, biggest blockbuster. Scooter adoption levels rivaled potentially any other technology in human history and resulting in much analysis in the disruptive potential of these vehicles.
But Bird didn’t manage this alone. Disruption usually doesn’t just happened by just one company.
Conferences and industry events. All too often, they are forums where industry actors can perform on stage for clever sound bites and self-congratulation. All fluff, no substance.
Maybe because the industry is young and the participants are naive enough to be speaking their minds, maybe it was because the organizers’ focus was education instead of mere indulgence, the first ever Micromobility Conference was a significant cut above the rest.
On the whole, liberals identify with the following values:
1. Evidence-based, with the ability to change their opinions and quickly adapting when presented with compelling facts
2. Collectivist-minded, concerned with the plights of fellow human beings and society as a whole
3. Deep concerned for environmental issues
Historically, the expansion of humanity’s horizons has often been paid for by the public. As Neil deGrass Tyson often points out, governments have frequently bankrolled endeavors whose costs were very high and whose risks were unknown such as such as long sea voyages or space exploration. These ventures mapped out the risks, learned by trial and error, innovated, and subsequently paved the way for commercial ventures.
In a curious turn of events VCs and entrepreneurs took on the risk themselves, pushing the boundaries of electric micromobility with the force of hundreds of millions of dollars.