Tyre Extinguishers on the move; Crimes committed in the name of Climate Justice

By Aditya Soyanke

Image of a flat tire: Unsplash.com

  The streets of London were once again moved by the new-age self-proclaimed warriors of climate change who took the law into their own hands by resorting to the act of vandalism. A Group which goes by the name of “Tyre Extinguishers” (abbreviated to TE henceforth) has started to target the SUVs in the city by deflating the tyres of the motor vehicles. SUVs are known for their luxurious style, with most of these supporting features with off-roading capabilities. These cars consume more energy and have become the second-largest contributor of CO2 emissions worldwide, leading to wider problems for climate change and ozone layer depletion. 

According to the International Energy Agency, the sales of SUVs evidenced a 10% year-on-year growth between 2020 and 2021 and made up about 45% of the new vehicle sales across the globe. TE notes these vehicles are a “climate disaster, dangerous and unnecessary”.

Cities like Brighton, Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Sheffield, and Cambridge are not far behind, with approximately 3,000 vehicles being targeted across UK, 250 of which were deflated in a single night. TE aims to reach the 5-digit mark by the end of this year. 

What seems like a woke-act in the right direction may not necessarily have the same impact and the outcome as expected. Those who were impacted regarded these actions as highly irresponsible and insensitive, which may put the innocent lives at risk. Tampering the vehicles may put the personal security of not just the driver and passengers in the car but also those around the neighbourhood at risk. A car running on a flat tyre could cause structural damage to the wheel, brakes, alignment, and potentially other components like the suspension and steering system. TE, on the other hand, brushed-away these arguments stating SUVs are fitted with sensors that alert drivers to a flat tyre when they put the key in the ignition.

 Such actions are bound to tarnish the intentions of the people who are fighting for the climate in a peaceful manner without causing disruption in the lives of regular folk. 

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