SUV owners in London might want to start carrying a tire pump with them. Thanks to this easily propagated idea, they risk coming back to their cars and finding them with the tires aired down. A yellow note may or may not be found under one wiper that encompasses a message saying: “Walk or Cycle, Use Public Transport, Go Small.”
At least these activists haven’t moved to slash tires – yet. Still, this move can damage the sidewall and inner layers, which will lead to needing a replacement. As such, the idea could backfire on those that want to protect the Earth from heating and hurting us all in the process. People could be forced to buy new tires before they need replacing, which might prompt a rise in unnecessary consumerism and the use of resources.
Activists argue they don’t want to damage any cars but underline that SUVs are emitting too much CO2 – the gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect thanks to its heat-trapping capabilities. That’s why they say deflating tires is equal to “disarming” cars that are bigger in size and might come with three-liter or four-liter engines.
It’s not entirely clear if these unknown people are targeting all SUVs or if they know which are hybrid (HEV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and which are not.
While meddling with someone’s property to ruin their day isn’t something that anyone should encourage, a Harvard University study from last year made in collaboration with University College London, University of Leicester, and University of Birmingham showed that “air pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal and diesel was responsible for about 1 in 5 deaths worldwide.”
It is important to underline that London has important and costly measures set in place for drivers of polluting cars like the CO2 tax, the congestion charge, or the Ultra Low Emission Zone, while owners of zero-emission cars that are cheaper than £40,000 ($49,950) pay nothing.
The United Kingdom will also ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars from 2030.