An important question an enviroweenie/Warmist wants answered from Grist (because your average E/W doesn’t seem to have the brainpower to do the Internet search themselves, so instead will ask someone else to do the work, thereby increasing the amount of energy needed to find the answer)
How much biking would it take to fire up your toaster? Well, your typical cyclist puts out about 100 watts, and a toaster requires 800 to 1,000 watts. There’s some loss involved in the energy capture and storage. According to Begley, it takes “15 minutes of hard riding … to toast two slices of bread.”
There are two main reasons why this route might not be practical for you, Eric: First, the cost is prohibitive for most people, typically around $500-$1,000 or more. You could try your hand at building your own, but even the DIY model is estimated to start at $300. Second, it is … kind of a dumb idea. At least for your average homeowner in the developed world. We use an insane amount of power at home, a fact colorfully illustrated by the BBC when it rounded up 80 cyclists to power a family’s home for a day. For a while, teams of 10 or 20 cyclists could keep things going, but at one point all 80 weren’t enough. A smaller-scale experiment at Middlebury College has been similarly eye-opening. Turns out the bike-generator idea, though cool, is pretty darned inefficient; here are two pieces that explain why, one short and passionate and the other long and nerdy.
Actually, I think this is a fantastic idea for Warmists. First, it would allow them to practice what they preach. 2nd, it would allow them to understand the high costs and burdens that their push for governmental regulations and laws would create.