Friday, January 26, 2007

What is wrong with 4x4s?

We got this passionate email from Michael C., who lives on the Isle of Man.

"We are all quite rightly told to our bit to help the environment, yet car manufacturers still produce these apalling vehicles and everyday they are advertised on TV and there are more and more turning up on our roads everyday.

I live on the Isle of man which is 37 miles long and 12 miles wide and we have something like 6 to 7 cars out of 10 with extremely large engine capacities and people come here from all over the world for tax reasons, bringing these dreadful vehicles with them. Our population has increased drastically and our roads are getting worse!

I have always been close to nature from walking in parks to the countryside and i see changes, not just in our climate but in the plants and animals, particularly the birds and none of what i see is good. I see trees becoming increasingly mossy where birds used to nest and now there is no nests.

I honestly believe we are destroying our world and we need to do something about it before it's too late.I believe reducing engine sizes would be a great step forward and would be very easy to do. But for reasons unknown to me, no one will take the iniative to do it. The only thing i can think of is possibly protecting the revenue gained from selling more petrol or diesel. As far as i can see they will keep on producing these dreadful vehicles for generations to come, assuming the generations survive what is clearly coming with regard to climate change.

The only people i can think of that may need a 4 wheel drive are the emergency services like mountain rescue or the coast guards, not people picking there kids up from school or going shopping, or going to work. What is wrong with people? Big Vehicles have the disadvantage of:

1. A person in a smaller car, stuck behind one of these can't see to the left or right because of their width, or in front of them because of their height thus they cause blind spots and jeopardise road safety.
2. The volumes of pollution have been linked to childhood asthma.
3. The volumes of pollution are bound to affect climate.
4. If you park 3 of these big vehicles in a street they take up the same space as about 5 smaller cars, and many places have a car parking crisis as it is.
5. If these large vehicles hit a child or a pedestrian, they don't stand much chance of surviving.
6. If these large vehicles are in collision with a smaller car, the driver of the smaller car usually sustains the most injuries.
7. Due to their lower milage ratings, the have a bigger drain on the earths oil resources.
8. They cost a lot more to run, insure and tax.
9. The tyres are so big they use more rubber to make them ( This again is a waste of earth resources)
10. Their weight damages road surfaces, causing more expense to people paying taxes.
There are more, but the point is these cars are unnecessary and thats a high price to pay.

Basically the main reason people buy these large vehicles is to make themselves look better than anyone else. it is used as a fashion accessory at the expense of the children's health, the climate and the earths resources and the air we breathe! Can anyone tell me if i'm wrong about this?"