News Treehugger Voices Leaf Blower Wars Are Getting Serious as Senator Rand Paul Gets Mauled By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Updated September 24, 2019 ©. JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE/AFP/GettyImages Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices It is hard to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when there is so much noise. Ayn Rand wrote in For The New Intellectual that "to deny property rights means to turn men into property owned by the state. Whoever claims the 'right' to 'redistribute' the wealth produced by others is claiming the 'right' to treat human beings as chattel." Her spiritual heir, Senator Rand Paul, apparently claims the right to redistribute his leaves on to his neighbor's lawn. His neighbor apparently responded by tackling the Senator from behind, breaking six of Senator Paul's ribs and bruising his lungs. Now I am no coastal elitist, unless one considers that the Great Lakes have coasts, but there is no question that leaf blowers have been a scourge of humanity forever; one of my very first posts complained about them, back when our posts were short so that people could read them on their TRS-80s. We wrote about them again more recently after David Dudley of Citylab called them The Devil's Hairdryer. The crude little two-stroke engines used by most commercial backpack-style blowers are pollution bombs. “Simplest benchmark: running a leafblower for 30 minutes creates more emissions than driving a F-150 pickup truck 3800 miles,” [James] Fallows writes. “About one-third of the gasoline that goes into this sort of engine is spewed out, unburned, in an aerosol mixed with oil in the exhaust.” Evidently Senator Paul and his neighbor have been fighting over property rights for years; according to the Courier Journal, "I think this is something that has been festering," said Jim Skaggs, the developer of the Rivergreen gated community in Bowling Green, where the two men live. "... I wanted to build a place where everyone could get along, but I guess that's just impossible." Especially when one of the men is armed with a leaf blower. Fortunately, the Second Amendment doesn't cover leaf blowers, so perhaps it is time to lower the temperature around the USA every fall by banning them as noisy, noxious and unnecessary impediments to neighbors' life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Of course, readers always complain that I want to ban everything, but I think many would agree that leaf blowers have now gone beyond being just noisy and polluting but to the stage where they incite violence. The libertarian Senator Mauled Paul probably wouldn't agree, but they are still a scourge of humanity.