Another day, another empty claim that we need to alter our lifestyles to appease the power-mad brokers of our country. The latest hectoring harbinger is that our landscaping equipment is murdering the planet, so changes need to be enforced. This is what the over-educated and under-employed generations have wrought; the constant grazing for the next offense that needs to be addressed.
USA Today delivers this latest solution to a wholly manufactured problem, claiming that the lawn mower and the leaf blowers used by your lawn service are the most pernicious producers of deadly emissions, saying “Regulators and clean-air advocates are increasingly eyeing the pollution emitted by small gasoline engines.” Get ready for the hyperbolic, uber-idiotic proclamations, with high-priced solutions attached.
While many critics first attacked the small engines for the noise they make, experts say these small, two-stroke engines release shockingly large amounts of pollution – two problems that modern and increasingly affordable electric-powered equipment solves. Advocates say that in addition to the climate-changing emissions released by the engines, workers are exposed directly to their exhaust and rarely wear filters to protect their lungs.
Then, as if they have not already granted us permission to stop listening to these “experts”, get a load of this fertilizer-quality claim that is made to justify their outrage.
Environmentalists say using a commercial gas leaf blower for an hour produces emissions equal to driving from Denver to Los Angeles.
Yes, environmentalists say quite a lot of things. And if they would just shut up CO2 emissions just might plunge precipitously. Who exactly is going to buy that the global impact of a drive cross-country is exceeded by me running my Husqvarna Maple Blaster 2000 for an hour?! This is the kind of hysteria that needs to be pointed out. And then laughed at, loudly.
Of course, nestled deep under a pile of press release mulch in this article comes some of the glaring facts. While touting extensively the merits of lithium-powered lawn care as a “more sustainable alternative”, there is this reality.
Critics say battery-powered machines aren’t as strong as gas-powered ones, and some people also worry about having to buy new equipment, which is generally more expensive. Someone starting a small landscaping business could buy the necessary gas-powered equipment for about $6,000, but the electric equivalents could cost three times that.
That is not “generally” more expensive, that is a 300% increase. So if you are forcing lawn care companies to transition to battery-powered equipment it will translate to bills for homeowners spiking three times higher. As usual, environmental prophets are free and loose with solutions as they are essentially spending other people’s money. This is also making the flower bed for the next siege in the culture wars, as an impending lawnmower debate is shaping up to become the next flashpoint in the national divide.
As we have seen over the years, a cycle has developed where a new mandate comes down, there is pushback from the citizenry, and then the loud reaction is scorned by lawmakers and the press as a made-up controversy by those on the right.
We have seen this consistently, as the reaction to a proposed regulation is reframed as being a manufactured culture war topic by conservatives. Look at how there were claims Critical Race Theory is not taught in schools in complaints about blocking it.
Note the defense that drag shows have been around for generations but Republicans are now trying to ban them. Earlier this year conservatives were accused of creating a gas stoves controversy. Yet CRT has been pushed into schools, drag shows are newly sexualizing children at performances, and the Biden administration first proposed eliminating propane ovens in homes.
Maybe hold this USA Today article in a folder, so when you are told no one demands that you get rid of your Toro in the shed you can pull it out to show them this is not a manufactured controversy. It will be tough to blame conservatives for starting a new culture war when it has been declared first in the press. Their newly formed conflict is presented right there in the opening sentence: Your lawn may be the next climate change battleground. And parks. And playgrounds.