The Tyre Extinguishers have suggested it will target hybrid and electric SUVs as its numbers grow.
Environmental Journalist John Gibbons told Newstalk Breakfast the Tyre Extinguishers do not discriminate in the SUVs whose tyres they deflate.
“The key point they're trying to make is that SUVs are a really bad idea, and they have drawn attention to that fact,” he said.
“All the gains we’ve achieved in the electrification of cars have been wiped out by the fact that car manufacturers have flooded the market with SUVs.”
While electric SUVs are more environmentally friendly than their gas counterparts, they still require large amounts of mined minerals for their huge batteries and are potentially worse for the environment than smaller combustion engines.
“Not only are they bad for the environment they increase the risk of death or serious injury,” Mr Gibbons said.
“Globally, SUVs are the second largest sources of emissions rising across the world... not only are they bad for the environment they increase the risk of death or serious injury.”
I’ve had calls from constituents who last night had their tyres slashed in Churchtown by a supposed climate action group.
It’s now with the local Gardaí.
This thuggery is unacceptable, I’m hopeful the investigation can put a stop to this carry on but be vigilant. pic.twitter.com/NnQUFSGUpu
— Neale Richmond (@nealerichmond) June 14, 2023
While Mr Gibbons agrees with the concerns of the Tyre Extinguishers, he said they should focus on “the powers that be” rather than individuals.
“Moving from combustion SUVs to electric SUVs is a terrible idea,” he said.
“But this idea isn't being driven by the consumer, it’s being driven by the motor industry.
“We need to really hammer SUVs with appropriate taxes so when consumers go into a showroom, they see this dangerous oversized vanity project [isn't worth it].”
'Should they have stayed at home?'
Despite his reservations, however, Mr Gibbons said the Tyre Extinguishers’ disruptions are starting an important conversation about cars and climate change.
“Martin Luther King Jr. was one of America's most hated men in the 60s, the Suffragettes got themselves locked up in prison,” he said.
“What matters most is how history judges them – should they have stayed at home?
“Critically, history will judge people who didn’t act on the climate emergency.”
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