Are Motorbikes Bad For the Environment?
What is global warming?
When carbon dioxide, as well as other greenhouse gases, collect in the earth’s atmosphere, they absorb the sun’s heat & radiation which bounces off the earth’s surface. Normally without these build-up of gases, the heat and radiation would bounce off into space. These gases within our atmosphere are essential to human survival, as, without them, the earth would most likely be too cold. However the problem isn’t that these gases are there, the problem is the ‘natural production’ of these gases has been sped up so rapidly by industrialization, leaving us with a rapidly increasing warmer Earth.
What does that mean to life on earth?
According to the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, approximately 150 life species are going extinct per day. The rapid warming may not seem so threatening now, but this could eventually lead to our extinction too.
Which industry produces the most greenhouse gases?
A United Nations study, showed 14% of the world’s emissions come from transportation, (that includes planes, cars, ships, everything). Not surprisingly, electricity & heat production, as well as agriculture (forestry), contribute towards half of greenhouse gas productions.
What does this have to do with motorcycles? Aren't they better than cars?
A lot of people argue that motorcycles are environmentally friendlier than cars, due to their fuel-efficiency, as bikes are smaller, and usually don’t stand around in traffic. However even though motorcycles prove positive with emitting fewer carbon emissions than cars, they emit far more smog-forming hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, and the toxic air pollutant carbon monoxide.
Why? Motorcycle engines are (or have been) far less advanced than car engines when it comes to integrating fuel injectors and catalyst converters, understandably.
Will the biking industry become cleaner?
EU regulations are putting pressure on motorcycle companies to make some serious changes. And positively, EU emission regulations are now being followed by countries that dominate the motorcycle market, like India and Japan. So the future is looking brighter.
What can we do?
Biking is a sport, a passion and a way of life for so many people. Therefore not biking is most likely not an option. However, small things like not using 2 stroke engines, investing in newer cleaner bikes or even looking for an alternative electric bike can make all the difference.
Do you feel there is more the industry can do? Comment below.