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Are electric scooters the next mega-extinction event on Earth?

 

I suppose you have seen the latest techno-phenomenon, namely electric scooters ("Electric scooters are invading. Bird's CEO leads the charge"). Now you can go to work on them by just getting their app and unlocking the contraption. They are supposed to be leading to reductions in traffic and maybe they even are.

 

When I go to China I see the dockless bikes there. They’re everywhere, sometimes in piles blocking footpaths. Since they are silent when being ridden it’s easy to get hit by one. I haven’t been yet but it’s the main reason I stopped running in Chinese cities (The other of course is the pollution).

 

I’ve noticed something in China over the past couple of years. Chinese people, who used to be famously slim, are getting much, much fatter. Part of this is the Western junk food they’ve been tucking into. The other is no doubt that they walk much less these days. Blame these electric bikes.

 

So here we are in the US belly-aching about obesity and our solution is ways to stop us walking. I wonder how many less calories everyone will burn once these things spread? Could this be the equivalent of a burger a day? That would be at least 500 calories. How much weight gain is that for the average person in a year? 50 lbs maybe?

 

We increasingly understand that health is overwhelmingly improved by moving more. Yet here is the perfect solution so that we can move even less.

 

And by health, I’m also thinking of cognitive and mental health. The more you move the better you will perform cognitively, and the happier you will be. Here we are all, justifiably, worked up about depression, drugs and the like and we’ve just added yet another deadweight onto our ability to think and to emote straight.

 

Several cities have started to ban these electric scooters but they are still spreading. They are a hot item on Amazon. Maybe you would like to try one for a paltry $279? Even the homeless can now afford one.

 

I strongly doubt that my blog or any other form of censure is going to stop people buying them. After all, they are fun as well as being cheaper. Yes, they do save time for many people going to work and anything that saves time is next to Godliness right?

 

But electric bikes are self-dosing calorie bombs that will reduce health life-spans by significant amounts. They will lead to even more diabetes, other metabolic diseases, and to mental health problems.

 

Oh, and yes, more traffic accidents, as some riders will inevitably use their smartphones while they’re riding, as in the picture above. How about playing Minecraft while riding? Cool, right?

 

Could these electric scooters become so ubiquitous that they become a cause of extinction of the Earthly human species in their own right? Just like that asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs?

 

Maybe the scooter explosion will be so large and its deleterious impact on human girths so massive that it shows up in alien galaxies which are looking for the next sign of incipient extinction events on the trillions of planets on their radar. That would doubtless include the tiny and utterly inconsequential planet peopled by those even more inconsequential Homo Sapiens carbon-based life forms. Maybe this will even attract the nasty aliens that don't like us who will come here post-haste (limited merely by the speed of light) to put us out of our self-induced misery.

 

You could hardly blame them given humans’ terrible track record for making stupid, life-reducing decisions like cigarettes, twerking and Facebook. If they eliminate our species it would probably be the biggest favor to us all since religion was invented (maybe by them, actually?).

 

If you have kids and grandkids getting into these scooters, get them a pair of cool-looking Air Jordan’s and some sexy spandex leggings. Hopefully they will use them and be around to enjoy their own kids that much longer.

 

More likely they will sport the cool gear to ride their new scooters. Ah, well…

 

 

 

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Monday, 17 December 2018

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