The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

End leaf blowers now!

James Fallows and I share a hatred of the infernal machines:

Pound for pound, gallon for gallon, and hour-for-hour, the two-stroke gas powered engines in leaf blowers and similar equipment are vastly the dirtiest and most polluting kind of machinery still in legal use.

How can such little engines do so much damage? It’s all about technological progress, and the lack of it:

Over the past 50 years, gasoline engines for trucks and automobiles have become so much more efficient that they have reduced most of their damaging emissions-per-mile by at least 95 percent. This is not even to mention the rapid onset of electric-powered vehicles.

Two-stroke engines, by contrast, are based on long-obsolete technology that inefficiently burns a slosh of oil and gasoline, and pumps out much of the unburned fuel as toxic aerosols.

There is an obvious, rapidly improving alternative. That is battery-powered equipment (to say nothing of rakes).

I want them banned in Chicago. Let's start here.

Comments (1) -

  • David Harper

    10/3/2021 9:34:09 AM +00:00 |

    They are a bane here in Britain too, and so are petrol-powered lawn mowers.  My neighbours on both sides use the infernal things, and whenever they are mowing their lawns, I have to shut every window in the house to keep out both the noise and the noxious fumes.  We have an electric lawnmower powered by a rechargeable battery.  It makes almost no noise, and no fumes.

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