Climate activists are deflating the tyres of SUVs, but how far does it go?

The Climate Group Tyre Extinguishers are intending to target 10,000 vehicles by the end of the year. Could you bike be at risk?

Climate activists are deflating the tyres of SUVs, but how far does it go?

Climate activists of the group Tyre Extinguishers claim to have deflated the tyres of more than 3,000 SUVs since March in cities across the UK. 

The group has claimed to have been working in London, Brighton, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Cambridge, according to Sky News.

Sky also says that Tyre Extinguishers aim to target more than 10,000 SUVs by the end of the year. “We want to strike fear into anyone who drives a huge polluting SUV in a UK city,” a spokesperson told Sky News.

They claim that people are being “choked” by “gas guzzlers” such as SUVs, according to Sky News. They also say that “leaflets” are left on targeted SUVs to warn the owner in response being asked whether a road accident would stop their current form of climate activism, or would make them decide to change their approach. 

SUV sales are rising despite warnings regarding their impact on the climate. SUVs use on average 20% more energy than a standard-sized car as a result of their additional weight, but they also have utility for some, such as independent tradespeople. 

Continuing government inaction - on a global scale - regarding climate change means that, even with relatively radical protesting such as that exhibited by Tyre Extinguishers, little positive impact is being felt. And, despite continued warnings from climate scientists over the last decade and more, climate change is still seen as more of an annoyance than a genuine threat. 

But, as things continue to worsen, there is the possibility that anger will grow over the use of any kind of polluting vehicle, which includes motorcycles. 

While 125cc nakeds or scooters can be seen as one of the smallest evils of the internal combustion engine, thanks to their utility and their relatively straightforward operation. But there is clearly a disconnect between the logic of these kinds of relatively radical activists and ordinary people, or non-activists.

So, while we, as people who overall enjoy motorcycles, can see the benefit of a 1200cc enduro bike, there is the potential for others to not see it in the same way. Additionally, there is scope for such protests to expand to road bikes, especially the higher capacity ones. If you happen to have placed an order for a two-litre cruiser from Combat Motors, you might want to keep it out of sight.