Despite rising inflation in 2023, there are still cool new motorcycles under $5,000
2023 Honda Monkey: $4,249
2023 Honda Rebel 300: $4,749
2023 Kawasaki KLX230: $4,999
2023 Royal Enfield Classic 350: $4,799
2023 Yamaha MT-03: $4,999
2023 Honda Monkey: $4,249
2023 Honda Rebel 300: $4,749
2023 Kawasaki KLX230: $4,999
2023 Royal Enfield Classic 350: $4,799
2023 Yamaha MT-03: $4,999
by K. Randall “Bandit” Ball
The city from Laguna to Irvine and El Toro closed in on Trabuco Canyon like a concrete plaque. But Cook’s still resided in the last remaining unencumbered scrub hills. Bruno tied off his helmet to his TT bars and kicked up dust in the ground-shale parking lot to the door. It was wide, thick planks and swung open with a rusting creak. Dark inside the Four Tops played Only the Lonely from the neon jute box.
But something foreboding filled the air. Straight ahead was the bar and a number of club members scrambling around something or someone on the floor.
Click here to read the latest biker fiction from the master of the genre only at Bikernet.com
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I am writing this because I want people to know about the things Harold (Hal) Robinson went through in his life; things that led up to his greatness as a Cartoonist of the late ‘60s, ‘70s and the ‘80s. Hal Robinson did not have an easy life. However, he called his own shots and did things his way.
He needed this freedom to think and do the magnificent works he created. I loved my husband, Hal Robinson. I loved his drawings also, and I loved him because he was a great human being.
by Jason Marker from https://www.rideapart.com
During the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force discovered a glaring problem with its Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered fighters—the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire. See, that generation of Merlin was fitted with dual-choke, updraft carburetors built by the S.U. Carburettor Company Limited. These worked just like your regular updraft carb and were great in level flight. Problem was, you see, that fighter planes don’t spend a lot of time in level flight.
Any negative-G maneuvers, such as pitching the nose down sharply in a dive, would cause the carbs to flood and the engine to cut out. Not exactly what you want in your badass, high-po, Nazi-killing fighter. RAF pilots figured out pretty quickly that they could perform a quick half-roll before diving in an attempt to counteract the flooding, but this only worked so well. It also introduced a delay in the RAF boys’ maneuvers that provided ample opportunity for the fuel-injected Luftwaffe fighters—especially Willie Messerschmitt’s legendary BF109—to either blow up the RAF planes or run for it as the situation allowed.
The RAF needed a solution to this problem, and fast. Enter one Beatrice Shilling.
Humble Beginnings and Early Career
Beatrice Shilling was born on March 8, 1909, in Hampshire, and raised in Surrey. Her parents were butcher Henry Shilling and his wife Annie (née Dulake). She was, by all accounts, a peculiar young girl for her time. She was obsessed with Meccano, a model-building system similar to an Erector Set, and even won a prize in a national Meccano-building contest. She spent her pocket money on tools, knives, and pots of glue, and, the fact that most concerns us here at RideApart, bought her first motorcycle at age 14. From that instant, Shilling knew she wanted to be an engineer.
Shilling left secondary school at 17 and apprenticed under legendary electrical engineer, sister badass, and Women’s Engineering Society founder Margaret Partridge. Partridge, who knew quality when she saw it, encouraged Shilling to pursue further engineering education. Following her mentor’s suggestion, Shilling then enrolled at Victoria University of Manchester where she studied electrical engineering—one of only two women enrolled in the program. She graduated with her Bachelor’s in electrical engineering in 1932 and promptly pursued a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Unfortunately for her, Shilling graduated and entered the workforce in the midst of one of Britain’s worst recessions at that point. She kicked around from job to job, struggling to make ends meet, until she landed a spot as a research assistant at the University of Birmingham. There she worked with Professor GF Mucklow studying forced induction, especially supercharging.
In 1936, Shilling was recruited by the Royal Air Force’s research and development arm, the Royal Aircraft Establishment. Her first job at the RAE was as a technical writer working in the Air Ministry’s technical publications department. Her supervisors quickly realized her talents were wasted writing Spitfire owner’s manuals and pilot checklists, and she was transferred to another department where she did R&D on aircraft engines.
On November 1, 1939, she was promoted to Technical Officer in Charge of Carburetor Research and Development (a job I wouldn’t wish on anyone after years of tinkering with carbs myself) and, eventually, to Principal Technical Officer. It was in that role that Shilling developed the answer to the RAF’s stalling Merlin issue. Before we get to that, though, we have to talk about motorcycles.
Motorcycles and Motorsport
Now, all that airplane stuff is fascinating, but you all are here to read about motorcycles, right? Don’t worry, I got you covered. As I mentioned earlier, Shilling got her first motorcycle, an unnamed two-stroke job, at the tender age of 14. The first thing she did with it was teach herself how to tear down and rebuild the engine. From there she got into modifying her own bikes, and, like any good gearhead, trying to figure out how to make them go faster.
Throughout the 30s, Shilling raced motorcycles while pursuing her engineering degrees and working for the RAE. She and her all-woman—or nearly all-woman, the information is a little sketchy—team campaigned modified Nortons at various tracks throughout England. In 1934, she set a speed record at Brooklands by lapping the track on a Norton M30 with an average speed of 101.85 mph. She was one of the few riders who’d achieved this, and one of only two women—the other being the formidable racer and adventurer Florence Blenkiron.
For this feat, she was granted the British Motorcycle Racing Club’s prestigious Gold Star Award and bragging rights for the rest of her life. There’s also a story that comes up whenever discussing Shilling’s Brooklands lap that she refused to marry her future husband—fellow racer, rider, RAE employee, and RAF bomber pilot George Naylor—until he matched or beat her lap. Apparently, he eventually did, because the couple was married in 1938.
After The War, Shilling and her husband traded in their motorbikes for racing cars and spent some years tear-assing around the U.K. These cars were, of course, heavily modified by Shilling in her home workshop. Throughout the late-40s and early-50s, Shilling and Naylor raced a lightened 1934 Lagonda Rapier and an Austin-Healy Sebring Sprite. In the 60s, they upgraded to an Elva 200 Formula Junior car. They weren’t the best racers on the circuit, but to paraphrase Les Claypool, they never did win no checkered flags but they never did come in last.
Miss Shilling’s Orifice
So, back to Spitfires. The shortcomings of the Merlin’s carbs were well known, and much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments went on among RAF pilots, technicians, and engineers as they tried to fix the problem. As the RAE’s Chief Technical Officer for Carburetor R&D, Shilling was in the perfect position to do something about the flooding Merlin carbs.
She developed a small device—A brass thimble-like affair with a hole in it that eventually evolved into something like a small washer—that restricted fuel flow through the carburetor. This kept the carbs from flooding under negative g-force maneuvers and made sure the boys in the RAF had all the reliable power they needed constantly on tap. Sir Stanley Hooker, head of supercharger development at Rolls-Royce, called it “Miss Shilling’s Orifice” and the name stuck.
While it may sound odd to our ears here in TYooL 2023, Hooker’s name for Shilling’s restrictor plate is a lot more complimentary than other names people, primarily fellow engineers and RAF brass, had for the device. Most of those—Miss Tilly’s Diaphragm, for example—either referenced birth control or found ways to be derisive. The RAF pilots loved the device, however, especially since now they could keep up with the German fighters without the constant risk of falling out of the sky. Miss Shilling’s Orifice, officially called the RAE Restrictor Plate, stayed in use until Bendix developed the pressure carburetor—an early style of throttle body fuel injection—in 1943.
For the rest of her life, Beatrice Shilling continued messing around with engines. She retired from the RAE in 1969 and died in 1990 at the age of 81. I could probably write another two or three thousand words about her here, but I’m already pushing it with as long as this story is. There’s so much more to tell about her, and I only scratched the surface.
For example, I glossed over the constant sexism, obstruction, and disrespect she received from colleagues throughout her career. I didn’t get to talk about her work on the Blue Streak Missile, her becoming an Officer of the British Empire (OBE), or a dozen other interesting things about her life. Another time, perhaps.
If you’d like to know more about Beatrice Shilling and her many shining parts (and why wouldn’t you?) you should dig through my sources and follow your nose. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can try to find a copy of her biography Negative Gravity: A Life of Beatrice Shilling written in 2003 by Mathew Freudenberg. It seems to be long out of print and the only copy I found was offered on Amazon for the eye-watering price of $1,227 Yankee dollars. If you can find a cheaper copy of it anywhere, let me know.
Santa Fe Springs CA – March 10, 2023 – Vance & Hines today announced its 2023 season contingency support programs for motorcycle racers. The contingency sponsorships, offered in partnership with five, race-sanctioning bodies, has the potential to put over $170,000 in the hands of motorcycle racers in 2023.
The program offers contingency payout funds to riders in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle, MotoAmerica King of the Baggers and Twins Cup, American Flat Track, XDA drag racing as well as the Bagger Racing League. Contingency funds are offered to riders who are top finishers in races or series championships, and who qualify by using Vance & Hines products and services. The total value of the contingency sponsorship program for 2023 is $173,250.
“Racing is the ethos of the Vance & Hines brand,” said Vance & Hines President Mike Kennedy. “These contingency programs are just one of the ways we support racers who compete using our performance products.”
In NHRA Drag Racing, racers who finish first or runner-up using a Vance & Hines four-valve Suzuki motor in each Pro Stock Motorcycle (PSM) race earn payouts, and a shot at a $10,000 bonus for winning the championship. Riders using a Vance & Hines exhaust for their Suzuki motorcycle in PSM also earn a payout for a first or runner-up finish at each event. Total potential payout for NHRA is $34,000. Vance & Hines factory race team riders are not eligible for these contingency payments.
MotoAmerica, the country’s premier motorcycle road racing series, has expanded its slate of King of the Baggers (KOTB) races to seven, double-header events and also includes Twins Cup double-header rounds at seven of their events. Vance & Hines will offer payouts to the top five finishers in each KOTB and Twins Cup race and offers a $5,000 series Championship Bonus in each class as well. Total available payout in MotoAmerica racing is $60,400.
In American Flat Track, Vance & Hines offers funds to the top ten finishers in every SuperTwins and Singles class race. In addition, a $5,000 Championship Bonus is offered in each of these classes. With 18 races on the 2023 schedule, the total potential payout in AFT is $63,100.
The Xtreme Drag Racing Association (XDA) series offers ten classes of racing at five events which run from April through September 2023. Contingency payouts are offered to the top two finishers in each class of each race for using a Vance & Hines exhaust or for head work done by the Vance & Hines Racing Development Center. Potential payout at XDA races is $7,500.
The Bagger Racing League (BRL) has six classes for a variety of production v-twin motorcycles and will host five races at three venues in 2023. Contingency payouts are offered to the top three finishers in each of the six classes for using a Vance & Hines exhaust, air intake or FP4 tuner. Potential payout at BRL races is $8,250.
Specific requirements for earning contingency payouts are managed by each sanctioning body.
Learn more about the company’s history and products at www.vanceandhines.com.
March 4, 2023 | Daytona International Speedway | Daytona, Florida
Foothill Ranch, Calif. (March 5, 2023) – The iconic Daytona International Speedway played host to the world’s premier supercross racers for Round 8 of the Monster Energy® AMA Supercross Championship where Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jason Anderson secured his third consecutive top-five finish. In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Chris Blose displayed an impressive come-from-behind performance to secure a season-best seventh place.
When qualifying sessions began, a motivated Anderson was one of the first riders to hit the Daytona race course. The No.21 KX™450SR rider showed impressive pace while focusing his time on track to explore various lines and generate a sense of how track conditions will deteriorate throughout the day. In the final session, Anderson applied the knowledge gained from earlier in the day to secure the third fastest lap time (1:12.889) in 450SX qualifying.
In 450SX Heat 2, Anderson launched out the gate running in fifth and masterfully moved up to fourth through the first rhythm section. The New Mexico-born rider continued to race forward after taking control of fourth and within two laps was challenging at the front of the field. Anderson then displayed the superior cornering ability of his KX450SR by skillfully executing an inside line pass in Turn 1 to advance into third. The No.21 rode consistent laps until a last-lap pass moved him back to fourth. Despite his best efforts to regain the position, Anderson crossed the line fourth.
As light showers began to fall at the start of the 450SX Main Event, Anderson emerged from the first turn in seventh before quickly advancing to fifth as he reached the infamous Daytona sand. Once in fifth position, Anderson settled into a comfortable pace and steadily extended his advantage over sixth place. As racing progressed, the No.21 momentarily mounted a challenge for fourth but was unable to close in on the competition to attempt a pass and ultimately finished the race in fifth. Anderson’s top-five finish solidifies his hold over fourth place in the championship points standings.
“The track layout this year was nearly identical to the Daytona track we raced on last year, so our bike set up was very similar to last year’s settings. However, this track broke down differently and became a lot deeper, which made it difficult to get comfortable. The rain we had leading up to the Main Event also made the dirt very slick in some spots. I tried my best to adjust to the changing track conditions throughout the race but, to be honest, I just couldn’t get myself in a rhythm. Overall, we still had a solid weekend and earned valuable championship points.”
– Jason Anderson
As 250SX qualifying began, Blose deployed a calculated plan of attack as he elected to give space between himself and the rest of the field. The open track allowed Blose to locate his preferred lines before attempting a fast lap. Blose’s strategy proved to be beneficial as he improved his lap times with each time on track to log the 10th fastest lap in 250SX qualifying despite the rapidly deteriorating track conditions.
When the gate dropped on 250SX Heat 1, Blose executed a well-timed jump to emerge from the first turn in seventh. Amidst all the chaos of the opening lap, the No.57 KX™250 rider managed to latch onto the rear wheel of the rider ahead and challenge for sixth. Blose’s relentless pressure intimidated the rider ahead, allowing him to gain control of sixth by the midway point. Looking for more, the Arizona native closed in on another competitor as he continued to link together consistent laps. With only a minute of racing left, Blose made the pass for fifth stick and maintained track position to the finish.
In the 250SX Main Event, Blose again launched out to a seventh-place start and with a combination of clever line selection and veteran experience, the No.57 swiftly moved into fifth by the third corner of the opening lap. Running in fifth, Blose looked ready to secure his first top-five finish of the season until a mistake near the mechanic’s area resulted in a tip-over. Despite a quick remount, Blose was shuffled back outside the top 10. As racing continued, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider proved his racecraft by climbing up the running order with each lap. Blose achieved his impressive come-from-behind performance through consistent riding and his ability to capitalize on the mistakes of others to finish seventh when the checkered flag flew.
“Even though I’ve only been with the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team for a short amount of time, I feel like I’m starting to find my stride and confidence. From the start of the first practice to the Main Event, I felt extremely comfortable on the KX250 and that showed in my riding tonight. Even with a tip-over in the sand section during the main I was still able to move up the field and finish in seventh, my best result of the season so far. I’m looking forward to another week of practice with the team and feel like we can be in the hunt for a top-five finish soon.”
– Chris Blose
The 5-Ball Racing ballistic nylon vest – get yours at 5-Ball Racing Shop, click to view
Shop owners are not aware of Motorcycle Riders Foundation. People are busy. We are bombarded constantly by TV, radio, internet, social media you name it. Shop owners struggle with day to day operations, including doing the job, accounting, marketing, maintenance and customer service. Then there’s the fun aspect. So, who has time to be involved in the government, or motorcycle rights?
I believe most folks just raise their hands in despair and try to go with the flow. Plus, there’s been a major movement telling us not to question their facts or motives, just fucking bend and step aside. I have a feeling that’s coming to an end and folks are going to step up. Let’s see. Time will tell and shit will smell.
Welcome to our new subscribers! It’s been a great show here in Daytona thus far. Happy, as always, to reconnect with so many wonderful friends!
This year, David Uhl’s daughter Isabella has joined us in the gallery here. As you may know, Bella has begun making a name for herself as a portrait pencil sketch artist.
As she follows in father David’s footsteps, she has now completed her first-ever watercolor, titled “Original Iron”. This was a commission from one of David’s collectors and Bella is now offering prints on watercolor paper in a 24-hour Flash Sale!
This print edition offers you the chance to get behind a burgeoning artist on the ground floor at very affordable prices.
It will be fun to see what she has in store for us in the future! She’s already working on her second motorcycle-related watercolor painting, and is still taking orders for the custom pencil portraits.
Details on print edition can be found below.
Isabella Uhl 2023
These watercolor Fine Art prints are only being offered for the next 24 hours. We will begin taking orders now and will close the edition at this time tomorrow, regardless of how many are sold.
Each print will be hand-signed by Isabella Uhl, numbered and come with a Certificate of Authenticity. Edition number preferences will be considered as orders are received.
These are being offered unframed or framed.
** Image size 14 x 11, $95 unframed / $195 framed
** Image size 22 x 15, $195 unframed / $345 framed
Shipping is additional.
While at the show here today, our cell service is spotty at best – so if you want to get in on this one, please email me and I’ll be able to respond when I get back to my hotel room this evening.
As always, thanks for your time!
International Sales Director
David Uhl Fine Art
Over the last three months, a small group of independent journalists, including Leighton and I, have, thanks to the Twitter Files, exposed the ways in which social media platforms have, under pressure from U.S. government agencies, censored ordinary Americans and spread disinformation.
Today, at 10 am ET, journalist Matt Taibbi and I will testify before Congress and reveal the existence of a secret censorship-industrial complex in the United States.
Our findings are shocking. A highly-organized network of U.S. government agencies and government contractors has been creating blacklists and pressuring social media companies to censor Americans, often without them knowing it.
We and others have already reported on some of the actions of this complex, including its disinformation campaigns. But the extent of its censorship was unknown to us until very recently. And, as importantly, we now understand the ways in which this complex simultaneously spreads disinformation and demands censorship.
What my 68-page testimony to Congress shows is an effort by U.S. government intelligence and security agencies to wage “information warfare” against the American people.
I do not doubt that some people will try to justify the behaviors we have documented. They will say such censorship is necessary for “fighting disinformation.”
But there is no moral or legal justification for the acts of state-sponsored censorship we document, much less for the fundamentally unAmerican censorship-industrial complex.
I believe that any reasonable person reading our report, no matter their politics, will be horrified by what is taking place and demand an end to it.
With our testimony, we are calling on Congress to defund and dismantle the censorship-industrial complex immediately.
Democracy depends on freedom of speech. Both are under attack.
PS: A written transcript of my verbal testimony, which summarizes our findings, is below. I hope you will consider reading the full 68-page document, which can be downloaded by clicking the “download” button.
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The Censorship-Industrial Complex
My verbal testimony to Congress
by Michael Shellenberger
In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned of “the acquisition of unwarranted influence… by the military-industrial complex.” Eisenhower feared that the size and power of the “complex,” or cluster, of government contractors and the Department of Defense would “endanger our liberties or democratic processes.” How? Through “domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money.” He feared public policy would “become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Eisenhower’s fears were well-founded. Today, American taxpayers are unwittingly financing the growth and power of a censorship-industrial complex run by America’s scientific and technological elite, which endangers our liberties and democracy. I am grateful for the opportunity to offer this testimony and sound the alarm over the shocking and disturbing emergence of state-sponsored censorship in the United States of America.
The Twitter Files, state attorneys general lawsuits, and investigative reporters have revealed a large and growing network of government agencies, academic institutions, and nongovernmental organizations that are actively censoring American citizens, often without their knowledge, on a range of issues, including on the origins of COVID, COVID vaccines, emails relating to Hunter Biden’s business dealings, climate change, renewable energy, fossil fuels, and many other issues.
I offer some cautions. I do not know how much of the censorship is coordinated beyond what we have been able to document, and I will not speculate. I recognize that the law allows Facebook, Twitter, and other private companies to moderate content on their platforms. And I support the right of governments to communicate with the public, including to dispute inaccurate and misleading information.
But government officials have been caught repeatedly pushing social media platforms to censor disfavored users and content. Often, these acts of censorship threaten the legal protection social media companies need to exist, Section 230.
“If government officials are directing or facilitating such censorship,” notes George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, “it raises serious First Amendment questions. It is axiomatic that the government cannot do indirectly what it is prohibited from doing directly.”
Moreover, we know that the U.S. government has funded organizations that pressure advertisers to boycott news media organizations and social media platforms that a) refuse to censor and/or b) spread disinformation, including alleged conspiracy theories.
The Stanford Internet Observatory, the University of Washington, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and Graphika all have inadequately-disclosed ties to the Department of Defense, the C.I.A., and other intelligence agencies. They work with multiple U.S. government agencies to institutionalize censorship research and advocacy within dozens of other universities and think tanks.
It is important to understand how these groups function. They are not publicly engaging with their opponents in an open exchange of ideas. They aren’t asking for a national debate over the limits of the First Amendment. Rather, they are creating blacklists of disfavored people and then pressuring, cajoling, and demanding that social media platforms censor, deamplify, and even ban the people on these blacklists.
Who are the censors? They are a familiar type. Overly confident in their ability to discern truth from falsity, good intention from bad intention, the instinct of these hall monitor-types is to complain to the teacher — and, if the teacher doesn’t comply, to go above them, to the principal. Such an approach might work in middle school and many elite universities, but it is anathema to freedom and is an abuse of power.
These organizations and others are also running their own influence operations, often under the guise of “fact-checking.” The intellectual leaders of the censorship complex have convinced journalists and social media executives that accurate information is disinformation, that valid hypotheses are conspiracy theories, and that greater self-censorship results in more accurate reporting. In many instances, censorship, such as labeling social media posts, is part of the influence operation aimed at discrediting factual information.
The censorship industrial complex combines established methods of psychological manipulation, some developed by the U.S. military during the Global War on Terror, with highly sophisticated tools from computer science, including artificial intelligence. The complex’s leaders are driven by the fear that the Internet and social media platforms empower populist, alternative, and fringe personalities and views, which they regard as destabilizing. Federal government officials, agencies, and contractors have gone from fighting ISIS recruiters and Russian bots to censoring and deplatforming ordinary Americans and disfavored public figures.
Importantly, the bar for bringing in military-grade government monitoring and speech-countering techniques has moved from “countering terrorism” to “countering extremism” to countering simple misinformation. The government no longer needs a predicate of calling you a terrorist or extremist to deploy government resources to counter your political activity. The only predicate it needs is simply the assertion that the opinion you expressed on social media is wrong.
These efforts extend to influencing and even directing conventional news media organizations. Since 1971, when the Washington Post and New York Times elected to publish classified Pentagon papers about the war in Vietnam, journalists understood that we have a professional obligation to report on leaked documents whose contents are in the public interest, even when they had been stolen. And yet, in 2020, the Aspen Institute and Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center urged journalists to “Break the Pentagon Papers principle” and not cover leaked information to prevent the spread of “disinformation.”
Government-funded censors frequently invoke the prevention of real-world harm to justify their demands for censorship, but the censors define harm far more expansively than the Supreme Court does. The censors have defined harm so broadly, in fact, that they have justified Facebook censoring accurate information about COVID vaccines, for example, to prevent “vaccine hesitancy.” Their goal, clearly, is not protecting the truth but rather persuading the public. That is the purpose of open debate and the free exchange of ideas.
And, increasingly, the censors say their goal is to restrict information that “delegitimizes” governmental, industrial, and news media organizations. That mandate is so sweeping that it could easily censor criticism of any part of the status quo, from elected officials to institutions to laws. This extreme, reactionary attitude is, bluntly, un-American.
Congress should immediately cut off funding to the censors and investigate their activities. Second, it should mandate instant reporting of all conversations between social media executives, government employees, and contractors concerning content moderation. Third, Congress should limit the broad permission given to social media platforms to censor, deplatform, and spread propaganda.
Whatever Congress does, it is incumbent upon the American people to wake up to the threat of government censorship. “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry,” Eisenhower noted, “can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
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EDITOR’S NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author Michael Shellenberger and is shared here only as part of diverse perspectives. This article or author does not represent Bikernet.com, its Sponsors or their products & services.