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Electrobikes – could China’s method help Chiang Mai?

September 6, 2010

Recently I read an article in a Thai news paper, where the motor journalist concluded that global warming was due to carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide emissions was largely due to the ‘western culprits’. He then went on describing the latest BMW. I believe he was wrong twice. As I have explained before, I do not believe in the carbon dioxide hypothesis as an explanation of the current global warming, and anyone who has been to Chiang Mai knows that between January and April there is so much smog, and so many uncontrolled fires of forests, rice fields and garbage, that solely blaming the west for pollution seems plain stupid. In addition, the multitude of tuk tuks and motorbikes without any significant exhaust filters adds to the pollution problems. Most people also suffer from the loud noise from these obsolete and filthy engines. Are there any alternatives?

Yes, since a couple of years China has banned small motorbikes, only allowing ‘electrobikes’, i.e. vehicles that look exactly like motorbikes, but they are silent, and do not emit any air pollution! When I was in Kunming a couple of days ago I could not but keep praising the silence and the absence of exhaust. Governments worldwide should follow China’s example, and ban all new motorbikes and tuktuks to favour a gradual replacement with electrobikes! With great expectations we wait for useful and silent cars!

The future citizens of Earth! Shao, his wife Liu and their daughter Apple take the electrobike to the university in Kunming, China. They are bilingual (Mandarin and English), well educated (PhD students and free of superstition), only one child (saving the earth from the only environmental problem, i.e. the overpopulation), hard working (the lights at Chinese laboratories are still on after midnight) and very cheerful and polite. Eventually, students have to become better than their supervisors, or there will be no development. If such young people come after us, I can die in peace!

Eric Danell

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