Longtime readers know that I despise leafblowers, and have drawn several strips about them over the years. I had been debating whether it was time to do another comic on the subject when a reader shared an essay in the NYT by Margaret Renkl entitled “The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Leaf Blowers.” I already knew about some of the quoted statistics, such as the Edmunds study that found a Ford F-150 Raptor pickup created the same amount of emissions driving from Texas to Alaska as a half hour of yard work with a crude two-stroke blower. I hadn’t heard that gas-powered lawn equipment now creates more ozone pollution in California than the state’s tens of millions of cars.
This is also very much an environmental justice issue; blowers emit carcinogenic benzene and lung-damaging particulate matter, as well as cause hearing loss in workers exposed to them all day long. Powerful electric alternatives now exist.
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