The study Nye speaks was written by Karl T. Ulrich of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and it’s titled “The Environment Paradox of Bicycling” (PDF file). In short, the study suggests there is an immediate energy savings by bicycle riding, since a cyclist is up to nine times more energy efficient than a single-occupant car. However, the study suggests cyclists increase their longevity by 10.6 days for every year of cycling. Because of that, they consume more energy over their lifetimes, thus doing more harm to the environment.
Which is more important: human life or the environment? If you really believe that the environment is more important than your own life, then you should commit suicide now. There are none of us with a carbon footprint of zero.
If it’s at all possible for you to ride your bike to work, you should DO it! It will help the environment in the short run and keep you alive in the long run. I’ve written about this in the past: