On this Earth day, one of the easiest and most fun ways to help Mother Earth is to drive less, walk more and bike more. Yes, it really is that easy and so healthy for us, too. First, moving our bodies is very healthy and second, cars are deadly – for the planet and people.
The car companies, tire companies and gasoline companies don’t want you to know that 1.4 million people die every year from car accidents worldwide. No, that would shatter the glorified, sexy image we have of driving. The truth is, there should be warning labels on cars like the ones on packs of cigarettes – no joke.
To obfuscate the fact that cars are deadly, the auto industry plants seeds of fear around biking. One way to discourage biking is to promote bike helmets. While a bike helmet seems to make sense at first glance, there is mixed evidence to the efficacy of bike helmets in preventing head injury in adults (for children, there is more evidence that helmets prevent traumatic brain injury). In fact, bike helmets make adults 14% more likely to be involved in an accident.
For an eye opening look at the fear propaganda around bike helmets, see the video below (note how Montreal is on the Top 20 list of most livable cities in the World!).
Source: Lew Rockwell
Some folks believe that not wearing a helmet while cycling or motorcycling is “stupid,” though this comment is actually pretty dumb on its own. The lack of a helmet is not a result, at all, of lacking intelligence, or even common sense. The wearing or non-wearing of a helmet reflects how you comprehend and rate risk.
There is a website called Helmet Freedom: Risk in Perspective, and its motto is “Cycling without helmet laws is safe. Fear is unhealthy.” I like that motto because as much as the fear mongering and obsession with safety is worldwide, in America, the totalitarians-at-large have turned safety fixation into a national pastime.
On TedX Copenhagen, bicycle advocate Mikael Colville-Andersen gave a talk, “Why We Shouldn’t Bike With a Helmet.” In his talk, he discusses the culture of fear that controls the public. He calls it a “pornographic obsession with safety equipment” in a “bubble society.” While the culture of fear ignores facts and science, the fear mongering is big business, and it is lucrative.