DID you recently step outside to find a flat tyre? Are you a resident of an urban area? You could well have fallen foul of the latest band of climate crusaders - The Tyre Extinguishers.



Calling themselves ‘The Tyre Extinguishers’, they say they are “people from all walks of life with one aim: To make it impossible to own a huge polluting 4x4 in the world’s urban areas”.


Impossible how?

They describe their response to finding these 4x4s in urban streets as a “simple tactic” - “Deflating the tyres of these massive, unnecessary vehicles, causing inconvenience for their owners”.


‘Chelsea tractors’ comes to mind….

Indeed, in the 2000s, the increasingly common sight of SUVs on the streets of cities and towns earned them the name the “Chelsea Tractor”, in a particular nod to the glut of the vehicles spotted in London’s well-heeled Chelsea area, typically seen dropping the children off at school rather than being off-road.



The band of “Tyre Extinguishers” are on the prowl and are looking for new members. On their website, they not only give an advice on how to spot an SUV and how to delfate an SUV tyre, but they offer a printable leaflet supporters can download, print out and leave under windscreen wipers to explain why car owners have flat tyres all of a sudden. The leaflets say: “We have deflated one or more of your tyres. You’ll be angry, but don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s your car. We did this because driving around urban areas in your massive vehicle has huge consequences for others.”


What else?

The leaflets tell flattened drivers: “Car companies try to convince us we need massive cars, but SUVs and 4x4s are a disaster for our climate. SUVs are the second-largest cause of the global rise in carbon dioxide emissions over the past decade - more than the aviation industry. The world is facing a climate emergency...We need emergency action to reduce emissions immediately. We’re taking actions into our own hands because our governments and politicians will not.”


So that’s their main tactic…flattening tyres?

Their website states: “Deflating tyres repeatedly and encouraging others to do the same will turn the minor inconvenience of a flat tyre into a giant obstacle for driving massive killer vehicles around our streets. We want to live in towns and cities with clean air and safe streets. Politely asking and protesting for these things has failed. It’s time for action. Join us. We have no leader - anyone can take part, wherever you are, using the simple instructions on this website.”


They mean business?

Their Twitter page states that on Saturday night, “66 SUVs were disarmed in the posh Crouch End area of London”, adding: “Our actions continue across London. A few of the places hit so far: Camden, Chelsea, Chiswick, Islington, Tower Bridge, Hampstead Heath, Notting Hill, etc. imagine what we could do with more people!”



Glasgow-based activists took responsibility for targeting dozens of 4x4s in the city's Newlands area in the early hours of June 1. 


Do they have support?

Mixed responses to the movement are docuented online. One response to the group’s latest actions included: “Pack of clowns. Greta has brainwashed you.” Although, another tweeter said: “Well done guys, keep up the good work.”