Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« James Brown: Still Packing 'Em... | Vote SQUIRREL!!! »

Friday, December 29, 2006

How Green Is Your Mayor?

posted by on December 29 at 11:22 AM

Not very.

On the same day that…

A giant ice shelf… snapped free from an island south of the North Pole, scientists said Thursday, citing climate change as a “major” reason for the event. The Ayles Ice Shelf—all 41 square miles of it—broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 500 miles south of the North Pole in the Canadian Arctic.

“This is a dramatic and disturbing event. It shows that we are losing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years,” Vincent said. “We are crossing climate thresholds, and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead.”

This asshole was spotted using a greenhouse-gas-spewing leaf blower at 16th & Aloha…


Lip service isn’t going to reverse climate change, Greg. A “green” mayor he would do something about these dirty, noisy, unnecessary monstrosities. Ban ‘em, Greg.

P.S. Please note that there aren’t any leafs to blow at 16th & Aloha. Just… dust. Or something. Whatever it is this guy is getting off the sidewalk, a broom could do the job without drowning any fucking polar bears.

RSS icon Comments


Dan, I used to have a second-floor office in Green Lake right across from the park, near the giant Starbucks there. The effing leafsucking machines would be out for days and days and days, sucking leaves. Guys would be blowing leaves around. It went on for weeks in the fall. I finally contacted the city to say, what in god's name is going on? They gave me a fairly lame reply. The same amount of people could have raked the leaves or more efficiently done whatever the hell they were doing in a couple days with no noise.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman | December 29, 2006 11:35 AM

i like how the only car in the picture is a prius.

Posted by dna | December 29, 2006 11:39 AM

Has an initiative banning these ever been proposed?

Posted by DOUG. | December 29, 2006 11:41 AM

I'd sign it. Leaf blowers are the stupidest goddamn machines ever invented. Around and around. Whatever that dork is blowing is going to settle right back where it came from as soon as he turns around. BAN 'EM.

Posted by Fnarf | December 29, 2006 11:42 AM

Street cleaners use them too--to blow around cigarette butts. Such bullshit.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 29, 2006 11:50 AM

Yuck. Noise pollution too. Here's a great rundown on why the blowers suck so badly. Two-stroke engines are bad news. Get em off Lake WA too, please.

Posted by j | December 29, 2006 11:59 AM

They've been illegal in L.A. for over 10 years. Those fucking things are idiotic.

Noisy polluters that appear to be only slightly more efficient than the old fashoned way.

Posted by But They Look So Damned Cool! | December 29, 2006 12:06 PM

If you turned the mayor upside down while he was talking about the environment, he'd make a pretty decent leaf blower himself.

Posted by Juliet Balcony | December 29, 2006 12:07 PM

I'm guessing the Prius driving by is both way quieter and emits less greenhouse gasses than that stupid "leaf" blower. Dan, was that irony intentional, or completely coincidental?

Leaf blowers have got to be among the worst "labor saving" devices ever invented.

Posted by SDA in SEA | December 29, 2006 12:10 PM

I am dying, that guy is literally blowing nothing! There is nothing on that sidewalk! And the Prius? C'mon, that's too good to be a coincidence.

Posted by longball | December 29, 2006 12:14 PM

Why do you have to dress up as a Ghost Buster to operate one fo those things? Seriously, are those knee pads? Is he going to kneel while he blows?

Posted by longball | December 29, 2006 12:18 PM

Banning leaf blowers in Seattle would actually be a decent initiave for an elected to have their name attached to. It would be a pretty sure win, since beside the environmental impact they have, most people associate them with an untimely Sunday morning wakeup call from some batshitcrazy neighbor.

Suprised no one has gotten on this. Can't even imagine what the opposition would be. Personally, I'd way rather rake leaves into a pile wearing a t-shirt and jeans than truck around one of these beast and associated protective gear. Raking leaves is actually kinda enjoyable work, IMO.

Posted by Dougsf | December 29, 2006 12:22 PM

Fine. So what's the process for getting an initiative started? I'm new to the state so I don't know how it works here. Does someone draft a petition, then we all sign it and submit it? Let's get this ball rolling, people!

Posted by david | December 29, 2006 12:31 PM

Government worker here. To my knowledge, no environmental organization has approached the city asking for a ban of these machines. If they have, the demand hasn't been as loud as those awful leaf blowers.

If you are interested in this, I would suggest in addition to contacting elected officials directly, contact environmental organizations (especially if you are a member of one) and ask them to lobby the City to ban them. Organizations can help individuals be louder and their whole job is to effect change.

The City also has an Office of Sustainability and Environment and I bet they would love to get some love on this issue. (They are a tiny office within in the larger bureaucracy.) They have all kinds of studies, plans, hopes, dreams, etc. but I didn't see this one on their list. Maybe an accomplishment for 2007?

I saw one of those leaf-blowers on my way to work, too. Ugh. I'm sure they are part of the storm clean-up effort, but still.

Posted by Gubmint | December 29, 2006 12:50 PM

Actually, SDA, that leafblower is emitting as much exhaust as about a thousand or more of those Priuses, or any other modern LEV car. And But they, the blowers are actually far LESS efficient at moving stuff around manageably than a broom is. That's why the guy has a mask on; not only is he sucking fumes, but he's covering himself, and his lungs, with a thin mud of microfine particles. For no reason.


Posted by Fnarf | December 29, 2006 12:51 PM

Every polar bear is one too many. Viscious things. Eat your children. Eat your elders. Let them drown I say. Thank you Seattle for doing your bit to bring about this bit of poetic justice. By the way it's the least you could do given the number of boats you send up our way to steal our fish.

Posted by C Ursinus | December 29, 2006 1:04 PM

You can't ask that guy to pick up a broom...he might actually get some exercise. Can't have that.

As William Shatner once said:

"Leafblowers...Is there anything more futile?"

Ban 'em!

Posted by Matthew | December 29, 2006 1:05 PM

I really hope that people see some humor in this big harumph harumph.

Posted by The CHZA | December 29, 2006 1:14 PM

That's why the guy has a mask on; not only is he sucking fumes, but he's covering himself, and his lungs, with a thin mud of microfine particles.

I just realized that my evil apartment manager doesn't use any protection when using a leaf blower. Here's to nice, deep breaths.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 29, 2006 1:16 PM

Pedro(my foreman), Manuel and Pedros nephew Alex and I work Landscaping. Its all economics saves our boss money and hey- we are not assholes. My coworkers are Latinos who came here to America and work damn hard. Mix your rant with all the Immigrant debate arguments on how we work harder than Americans( THEY TOOK OUR JOBS)and most Latinos working in these tediuos but vigourous landscaping, carpentry and road repair jobs would laugh at you.
Maybe we should Educate the boss who bought these Blowers or the people selling them. Or get right to it and tell Pedro "WTF is wrong with you asshole why are you making noise and destroying my environment. I like it quiet when you mow my lawn!" etc etc.
Theres a lot of leaves and needles from all these goddamn trees during the storm.
The contracts we get are comming in by the minute. More jobs done more work. So the leaf Blowers help save time and money for Big Boss and Retiremnet home(for example). The asshole who invented the damn machine was a genius and thanks to free market was able to get rich. Thats our dream to come from mexico and make money. We like the environment but hey we gots to make money essay .
Less time at a job=more jobs more money
Kinda of like the high speed computer replacing older slower ones that contribute to more garbage that gets burnt that clouds the sky as well.
So come up with new machine and maybe geniuses we'll work with that.
Oh yeah Fuck a Rake. and if you want your Condo or business or schoolgrounds cleaned up while protecting the Environment go hire some local kids or better yet lol the Amish( they love rakes and push mowers)..... instead of hiring the contractors. We Mexican leaf blowers donna care about the environment.
No hard feelings just saying. I worry about the environment to.

Posted by Landscaper grunt | December 29, 2006 1:21 PM

After reading a bit more on the issue, it's curious that besides Los Angeles, who also sites their environmental impact, cities with legislation banning leave blowers in California are doing so under solely under a noise ordinance, and in most cities only bans their use in residential areas, leaving business free to blow all their garbage into the street and sewer. I don't think their taking it as seriously as they should be.

As for opposition, it's landscaping companies (being supported by Stihl Inc. and Shindaiwa Inc., two big manufactures of the devices), claiming they are losing money without the gas-powered devices (but are allowed to use electric ones, which I can't really see the point of either, but can't really muster as compelling an argument against). It's a bullshit argument anyway - as if these companies aren't going to bill their clients for the extra time if that was really the case.

Posted by Dougsf | December 29, 2006 1:22 PM

I find it ironic that an institution such as Swedish Medical Center--ostensibly devoted to improving the health of our community--routinely uses these gaseous monstrosities. The supposed economic benefits of leaf blowers aren’t worth the health risks.

Posted by Polka Party | December 29, 2006 1:37 PM

Gosh, I guess I wasn't looking at it the right way, thanks for opening my eyes Landscape Grunt. If you can make more money, go ahead and fuck everything else.

Posted by Dougsf | December 29, 2006 1:51 PM

Please don't think my opposition to leaf blowers is an attack on hardworking landscape grunts. You guys are the ones breathing in the fumes and debris.

If it takes the workers more time to sweep and rake than it does to blow, it will not hurt the companies if every company is included in the ban; rates will go up, but no one will be able to undercut them.

I have written to Richard Conlin, the councilmember who suppposedly handles environmental affairs, to ask him (1) if the city will stop using them and (2) how an initiative is filed. We'll see. I say we ban the fucking things entirely.

Posted by Fnarf | December 29, 2006 1:51 PM

Yes Dan, Greg Nickels sent him out there to use that device to cause global warming, an issue the Mayor obviously cares little about. There must be a warrant for his arrest around here somewhere for the Lindbergh baby too...

Posted by StrangerDanger | December 29, 2006 2:15 PM

The only good leafblower is the one burning from the IED that took it out.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 29, 2006 4:00 PM

oh, and if you absolutely must have a leafblower, they sell electric ones - which, if you use the local electricity - are more than 90 percent green energy.

Where's the petition/initiative?

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 29, 2006 4:09 PM

lol @ # 26

I catch a bus at Westlake 'park' most weekday mornings. Nearly every goddamn day there are a group of leaf blowers deafening everyone in the park. :(
I assume this fine 'service' is provided by the city?
I've taken to wearing hearing protection but it only helps a little :(
If this were done as an initiative I'd take a sign up sheet around to everyone I know and all my co-workers.
Some savvy politician should jump on this and make it happen though, I can't see the downside for a politician...

my zwei pfennig

Posted by K X One | December 30, 2006 12:21 AM

Bring back the "broom". I mostly see guys with leaf blowers. The worst is in the middle of summer when they are just blowing dust around, we can not have dust on the sidewalk (Dust anybody, Dust?). Anyway it is full of pollen and usually ends up drifting into my apartment windows while I am out.
I want them Banned! They are useless. Just another motor guys like to play with and feel important using.

Posted by Brian | December 30, 2006 9:31 AM

I hate initiatives, but I would go out with petitions myself to get those fucking things banned.

Posted by Lo | December 30, 2006 10:57 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).