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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Electric scooters are often worse for climate change when compared to the transportation methods they’re displacing, according to what is likely the first-ever peer-reviewed study on the new trend.

Why it matters: E-scooter use is skyrocketing in the United States and around the world. To the extent this trend continues and actions aren’t taken to offset the impact, a seemingly green mode of transport will only add to the herculean task of combating climate change.

Where it stands: E-scooters don't emit carbon, therefore most of the detrimental climate impact comes from making the scooters (in China, primarily) and moving them around once they’re in cities (usually by gasoline-powered cars), according to the study by North Carolina State University published Friday in the Environmental Research Letters journal.

What they’re saying: The report’s “results show that dockless e-scooters consistently result in higher life cycle global warming impacts relative to the use of a bus with high ridership, an electric bicycle, or a bicycle per passenger-mile traveled. However, choosing an e-scooter over driving a personal automobile with a fuel efficiency of 26 miles per gallon results in a near universal decrease in global warming impacts.”

  • Yes, but: Roughly half of e-scooter riders say they would have walked or biked if it weren’t for the scooter (greener options), with just a third saying they would have taken a car instead, according to surveys cited in the study.
  • That means e-scooters are the less climate-friendly option about two-thirds of the time.

One level deeper: The study finds that the global warming impact of an e-scooter, including how it's made and during its use, is equal to about half the impact of an average gasoline-powered car per mile traveled.

What we're watching: The authors recommend e-scooter companies do the following:

  • Make sure scooters last as long as they can (the more they get destroyed/vandalized, the more materials needed).
  • Use more energy-efficient vehicles to pick-up and drop them off, and streamline the process.

Go deeper: Scooter companies meteoric rise in one chart

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.

Updated 19 mins ago - Sports

Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.

Trump blasts “wacky” GOP Sen. Cassidy after “Axios on HBO” interview

Former President Trump on Monday blasted Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) after he told "Axios on HBO" that he is not sure Trump could win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Driving the news: When told that Trump could be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in saying: "I don't know that."