Electric-Assist Bikes are Good for You and the Planet

Michael Jenkins and coauthors, summarizing their study on pedal-assist electric bikes:

Overall, it appears that the uptake of PAEB leads to a modal shift such that overall car use is decreased. PAEB use is associated with lower emissions compared to cars, but requires physical effort that classifies use of a PAEB as moderate intensity physical activity. Cost appears to be prohibitive, thus sharing or rental programs, and subsidies may be beneficial. Several additional barriers related to lack of infrastructure were also noted.

No matter what you call them, bikes with electric motors bolted on them are transformative. In urban settings, they’re more convenient than a car and not much slower. It comes as no surprise that we need to provide better infrastructure support.

The other day, I let a regular cyclist try mine out and talked about how I used mine. It was the first time he’d really thought about it as a tool for commuting. An ebike let’s you wear your work clothes (I commuted in my oxfords the other day), helps avoid the need for a shower and basically eliminates the park-and-walk portion.

CDC Director, Citing Botched Pandemic Response, Calls for CDC Reorganization

Sharon LaFraniere, reporting for The New York Times:

“For 75 years, C.D.C. and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” Dr. Walensky said in a startling acknowledgment of the agency’s failings. “My goal is a new, public health, action-oriented culture at C.D.C. that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication and timeliness.”

The CDC’s response was certainly hurt by the Trump Administration’s operational ineptitude, but we still had many government agencies that still accomplished their basic functions between 2017 and 2021. A central theme in The Premonition was the CDC’s failure to take a wartime footing.

The best time to fix the CDC is 75 years ago. The second best time is today.

This Universe and an Alternative One

The first image released from the Webb telescope offered the deepest view humans have had yet into the universe, showing light that is 4.6 billion years old.

There’s a alternate universe where religion has a long and rich history of respect for scientific inquiry since science allows us to see the grand order of the natural world, glimpse the true awesomeness of the universe and know humanity’s fundamental inability to comprehend it all.