Following the news environmental activists let down the tyres of an electric 4×4 vehicles in Bristol readers have shared their views on the story. Many have been left feeling angry or confused by the action of the activists, while some are wondering why other ‘more polluting’ vehicles weren’t targeted instead.
Earlier this week, Bristol Live reported how the driver of one of the SUV vehicles had been left feeling ‘very angry’ after the incident – his Audi ETron electric 4×4 was one of the vehicles targeted by the group, which calls itself the ‘Tyre Extinguishers’. The Tyre Extinguishers is a global movement targeting 4x4s and large SUV vehicles in cities across North America and Europe, and it’s believed to be the third time they have undertaken a mass deflation of scores of tyres in more affluent areas of Bristol, as part of a nationwide night of action.
But the owner of one SUV thought his vehicle would not be targeted, as it is not the ‘huge polluting’ or ‘gas guzzling’ vehicle being focused on by the environmental activists. He said he discovered his vehicle had a tyre deflated, and the same ‘letter to the owner’ attached to every vehicle attacked last week.
Some readers tried to understand why certain vehicles were targeted over others. One commenter said: “I would suggest that the justification for targeting EV’s has more to do with the fact that it’s difficult to differentiate them from diesel models in the dark, than the environmental facts.
“How many of the activists are so concerned about rare earth metals that they shun mobile phones and computers? Presumably the pollution produced by car tyres and brake pads is also produced by those on bicycles, are they the next target?”
And others continued along those paths of thought to try and work out if other motorists would be targeted next. One commenter wrote: “Will they be letting down bus and lorry tyres? Those large diesel engines pump out a lot of CO2 and pollutants.”
One person argues that the people buying cars like the Audi ETron cared just as much about the environment as the activists targeting them, and said: “Equating a bike with an electric vehicle may seem ridiculous, but I would say equating an Audi e-tron to a gas guzzler is ridiculous too. These cars produce zero emissions and are carbon neutral.
“They cost almost twice as much as the equivalent diesel model, but people who buy them are prepared to pay because they do care about the environment. The reality is that driving an old Ford Fiesta is probably more damaging to the environment.
“I think the argument is caught up in the politics of economics and class, which is where it gets murky. As for whether they are really needed in a city, that depends on personal circumstances and I think making a general proclamation there is unwise. Ultimately, I think that targeting EV’s undermines what is a generally sound argument, but that’s just my view on it.”
When sharing their views in the comments section of the story, many individuals shared the opinion that the activists should have taken into consideration just what the vehicles targeted may be used for, and by whom. Dubbing the activists ‘vandals’, one commenter said: “That tyre looks permanently damaged.
“What do these vandals hope to achieve? An Audi ETron costs about £80,000. Do these vandals expect the guy to scrap it and lose his money? If he sells it, the vandals have achieved nothing because someone else will be driving it.”
Another said: “Some of the 4X4 owners may use it to get to work as a surgeon or other life critical societal needs. Besides if we are in a ‘climate emergency’ then all pollutants should be eradicated.”
However, a third pondered: “Facts don’t matter because it is the politics of envy and these people want the cover of a ’cause’ to make mischief.”
Some reading couldn’t help but ask the activists directly for a solution to the climate crisis, with one writing: “At least now they admit they’re targeting all personal vehicles. Since we can’t electrify ourselves out of the so-called climate crisis, what’s their solution? Can we hear that? Stay in our homes? Take the non-existent buses?
“It’s all well and good clutching your pearls over future humans, but what about us? We’re here today. We have rights which supersede people who don’t exist yet, and may never exist for entirely other reasons, surely.”