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Environmental Group Calls On Activists To Take Part In SUV Tyre Challenge

Daisy Phillipson

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Environmental Group Calls On Activists To Take Part In SUV Tyre Challenge

Featured Image Credit: The Tyre Extinguishers/Alamy

An environmental group has called on activists to take part in an SUV tyre challenge in a bid to tackle climate change. 

Canadian non-profit Adbusters put forward the idea this month, suggesting people should deflate the tyres of SUVs.

Petrol and diesel SUVs produce 25 percent more CO2 on average than a medium-sized car, earning them a bad rep in the fight against global warming

It’s for this reason Adbusters launched the ‘SUV Flat Tire Challenge’, with the organisation offering a three-step instructional infographic to explain to people how to take part. 

SUVs use up more fuel than regular cars. Credit: Pexels
SUVs use up more fuel than regular cars. Credit: Pexels

“So here's what we do: Wedge gravel in the tire valves, leaflet the SUV to let them know the tires are flat and why it was done, and walk away,” they wrote on Twitter

“It's that simple. If we organize, we can hit enough SUVs in particular neighborhoods to spark reporting and spread the metameme.”

Discussing SUVs in a separate tweet, they said: “They're the 2nd-largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions since 2010, more than aviation.

“This is a gentle escalation of methods to drive the urgency of this climate crisis home and engender a systemic aversion to SUVs.”

Adbusters said that ‘targeting SUVs is a good way to hit the automotive industry where it hurts’, adding that the vehicles play a significant role in its expansion. 

However, they suggested to ‘start by targeting wealthy areas’, adding: “Our goal isn't to disrupt workers – and avoid targeting vehicles with disabled stickers or hangers.”

The group, who describe themselves as a ‘global collective of poets, punks and philosophers implementing radical design and media strategies to shake up complacent consumerist culture’, also shared a leaflet for people to put on SUV windshields after deflating their tyres. 

It reads: “Your tires are flat. It isn't personal. SUVs are disproportionately fuelling the climate crisis. They're the 2nd-largest contributor to increasing global CO2 emissions since 2010. And they're totally unnecessary. 

“The climate crisis is spiralling out of control, making drastic action necessary. So we deflated your tires. 

“Walk, bike, take public transit if you have to. But it's time to end our reliance on these gas-guzzling behemoths.”

Adbusters also pointed people in the direction of the website of The Tyre Extinguishers, a UK-based collective and one of the early initiators of the challenge. 

Last month, a woman spoke out about how she’d been targeted by the group, and had to get an Uber to work after discovering the flat tyres on her Skoda Yeti car on 23 March. 

Carly Bateman, from Didsbury, saw a note on her windscreen which began with the words 'Attention - your gas guzzler', and went on to accuse the 28-year-old of driving a 'huge vehicle [which] has massive consequences for others'.

Carly Bateman was targeted by The Tyre Extinguishers. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Carly Bateman was targeted by The Tyre Extinguishers. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

It added: “The world is facing a climate emergency... So far, the impacts on you have probably been minimal. 

“We need emergency action to reduce emissions immediately. We're taking actions into our own hands because our governments and politicians will not."

Topics: Environment, Cars, Global Warming

Daisy Phillipson
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