May 5, 2010

Two-stroke isn’t Rad, it’s Bad.

Saw this awesome, fun, motorized bike at the Farmers’ Market

…and was totally into it. Loved the bro, too, and the Phat VT sticker.

But then as we stood around talking about it with some friends, I learned that two-stroke engines are reallllly polluting. A lawnmower (buy electric!) can be worse than a car. True?

Via Discover:

In 2001 Mary Jane Ortega, then mayor of San Fernando City in the Philippines, knew her city was choking to death. The cause? Air pollution, specifically that from two- and three-wheeled vehicles powered by dirty two-stroke engines, including motorcycles, scooters, and the motorized rickshaws known as tuk-tuks.

Around the world, outdoor air pollution kills 800,000 people a year and sickens many more. While big vehicles like Hummers and other SUVs are often blamed for excessive emissions, some of the worst culprits are the smallest rides around…

…larger but much more efficient auto­mobiles…use four-stroke engines…two-stroke vehicles spew great volumes of dangerous hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and smoke. A single two-stroke engine produces pollution equivalent to that of 30 to 50 four-stroke automobiles…

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