15 April 2011

Every Time You Buy Lycra, a Polar Bear Dies

Polar Bear

Steve from Bristol sent us an amusing email stemming from the recent Every Time a Bicycle is Stolen a Fairy Dies post.

As he puts it, Every Time You Buy Lycra, a Polar Bear Dies. He explains:

"It's worth noting that since 2004, Lycra and coolmax fabrics have been owned by Koch Industries.

The brothers who own most of this company don't believe in global warming - and also think if it is true, it could be good for the planet. Ironically, they are one of the top 10 air polluters in the US, according to a report from last year by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute.

Here's an article about the brothers from NPR.

And here's an article about the brothers and their support of right-wing causes, including the bit about air pollution from The New Yorker.

The conclusion is: if you own old Lycra or Coolmax you are untainted. If, however, you bought stuff after 2004 then you fund Sarah Palin and other mad people, and if you buy lycra now you only make things worse.

Whereas Merino wool only helps sheep."


Jack Thurston said...

Though sheep, like cattle, do contribute to climate change through methane emissions

Paul Martin said...

On the same topic, from ABC's (Australia) 'Hungry Beast' show: The Beast File: Koch Brothers

ed said...


Anonymous said...

How about cycling shorts and jerseys made out of bamboo or hemp fibers?

Kim said...

I would just like to correct Jack Thurston assertion that sheep, like cattle, do contribute to climate change. The do produce methane emissions, but this is part of the natural carbon cycle. The current climate change is being driven by the release of fossil carbon, which is a far greater issue.

jarvinho said...

it's not so much fun being a merino sheep.:

Plus there's nothing natural about industrialised agriculture.

Khal said...

Regarding Kim's comment. Since much of modern agribusiness is highly mechanized (at least in the United States), its hard to argue that farming doesn't contribute to fossil fuel emissions. Some forms of agribusiness more than others. Eat locally grown food and eat low on the food chain.

One has to look to the greater good. Its too bad that the Koch Brothers bought out Coolmax and Lycra, but does that mean you stop using it or simply minimize one's consumption, which one should be doing anyway as an environmentalist. Regarding the politics of purchasing, I suggest that readers only buy bicycles and bicycle components made in a socially acceptable fashion as well. Which leaves out much of what is made in China via factories powered by primitive coal fired power plants where the cost of coal burning includes not only emissions, but several thousand dead miners per year.

How far do we want to take this? I applaud Copenhagenize for raising this issue, but wonder how pure readers are supposed to be. I will, though, look into Protogs again. Think global, act local indeed.

Khal said...



townmouse said...

Don't know about Australian sheep, but in Scotland, sheep are mostly extensively grazed on land that wouldn't otherwise be productive to agriculture (although they are quite detrimental to trees), and there's no mulesing that I've ever seen. Unfortunately, their wool doesn't seem to be that widely used but is just sheared off and either discarded or used for insulation. Not the same quality as merino of course...

RK said...

You don't need special clothing to ride a bike. Advertisers will have you spend more on your special wardrobe than you did on your bike. I believe it discourages many in the US from riding at all, as does the "cycling is dangerous" myth.
According to those who wear it, wool is the best for multiday tours and variable weather. I wish I had some.

Khal said...

The "Cycling is dangerous" mythology might keep some from riding. But how is seeing a cyclist in lycra out on the open road going to discourage someone from riding to the corner store in street clothing? I'd like to see some actual data on that.

As Patrick O'Grady recently opined, its simply too easy for most Americans to sit behind the wheel and turn the key. Not to mention, we have built up much of the US infrastructure to make cycling or other alternatives a real PIA to Joe Average.

But certainly, in keeping with the title of this piece, "Every Time You Fill Up The Tank, a Gulf Coast Pelican Dies". Along with a lot of other wildlife.

amoeba said...

Rachel Maddow on Koch Industries

Koch Industries Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine

There's evidence of much more extensive involvement in and funding of the Climate Change Denial industry.
Plagiarism? Conspiracies? Felonies? - by John R. Mashey

For more, this one mentions Koch, but not specifically about them. Google: John Mashey lecture tour: The Machinery of Climate Anti-Science

Apologies for slightly off-topic OT comment.

Stinkoid said...

So sad. But don't dab away your tears with Brawny paper towels... also a Koch Brothers production.

Anonymous said...

It is the Lycra and Sponsor-logo jersey crowd who are the biggest hinderance to getting cycle tracks built in the USA. Because, they proclaim, building such infrastructure will force them to not be able to use the regular highway!