What does your car say about you? City Gas Guzzler
The UK is baking in the summer heat – and in London, the Motor Show has started. Greenpeace has responded by producing an ‘aspirational’ advertisement, taking the piss out of traditionaladverts that connect flashy 4x4s to the driver’s identity and status.
Using SUVs (sports utility vehicles or four-wheel drives to you and me) for what they’re built for is fair enough – but cities are starting to fill up with insanely powerful machines. In 2004 alone Ford spent over Â£18 million in the UK marketing Land Rovers as glamorous products for town and country. The company spent Â£3.2 million on marketing the vehicles to Londoners! And then there’s the fact that Hummer are about to start selling right-hand-drive machines… who the hell needs a 3.5L Hummer off-road military vehicle H3 for picking the kids up from school?
But back to that slick hiliarous advert, directed by Ben Sedley…
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“Off road cars use around 300% more fuel and pump out 300% more pollution than ordinary passenger cars. Some of them pump out two or three times their own body weight in carbon dioxide every year.”
“In an accident, off road cars are three times more likely than ordinary passenger cars to kill a pedestrian. They are twice as likely to cause severe traumatic brain and abdominal injuries and 50% more likely to kill the passenger of another vehicle.”
“4x4s are among the worst offenders in the road transport sector – the sector responsible for almost a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to The Independent, one in seven cars sold in London is now a 4×4. Most of their drivers will never use the all-terrain features that make the cars so criminally irresponsible. ”
“Climate change already kills 150,000 people every year; parents who drive 4x4s for the “safety” of their children are contributing to the likelihood that those children will face a dire global emergency while they are in their twenties.”
Last year, Greenpeace occupied the Range Rover assembly line in Solihull, shutting it down for a day. For several months, Greenpeace volunteers have been clamping 4x4s with cardboard clamps, putting leaflets under windscreen wipers and fixing fake tax discs to windscreens that call for extra road tax for gas guzzling vehicles. One of the targeted cars belonged to Thandie Newton. Now BAFTA-winning Thandie has sold her BMW 4×4 and replaced it with a hybrid car. The star of â€˜Crashâ€™ has also written to dozens of other celebrities suggesting they think about doing the same.
Thandie Newton, has said â€˜as you know, extreme weather events are on the increase. Climate change, which is largely brought on by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, seriously threatens generations to come. Thatâ€™s why I swapped my SUV for a fuel efficient Toyota Prius. I hope this film from Greenpeace will persuade others to do the same.â€™