Anorak News | Land Bruisers

Land Bruisers

by | 20th, August 2004

‘THE most rugged terrain most 4×4 owners will venture over is the speed humps between Jack and Jemima’s school and the Harbour Club.

‘Must get to Waitrose before it closes’

But if you needed another reason to hate the urban tanks, the Chelsea tractors that ferry the short of chin around our cities, then this morning’s papers are happy to provide it.

According to the Guardian, responsibility for a tenfold increase in dust storms emanating from the Sahara can be laid squarely at the five doors of the Range Rover and its hybrids.

And this is not just a problem because Consuela, the Portuguese maid, has to work a bit harder to earn her £5.50 an hour, but because of the effect on the environment and human health.

An estimated 2-3 billion tonnes of dust is carried away on the wind each year, coming down as “blood rain” across Europe and causing respiratory problems and exacerbating allergies.

And Andrew Goudie, professor of geography at Oxford University, blames “Toyotarisation” for destroying the thin crust of lichen and stones that has protected the desert for centuries.

“I am quite serious,” he told a conference in Glasgow. “You should look at deserts from the air, scarred all over by wheel tracks, people driving indiscriminately over the surface, breaking it up.

“Toyotarisation is a major cause of dust storms. If I had my way, I would ban them from driving off-road.”

And if we (and most of the motoring public) had our way, we would ban them from driving on-road.

It is time to bring back the original ship of the desert, the camel.

No problems getting over speed humps, two seats for Jack and Jemima on the dromedary model and plenty of room for the weekly shop from Waitrose…’

Posted: 20th, August 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink