MANHATTAN – A group of international climate change activists, known as ‘The Tyre Extinguishers,’ say they’ve descended on the Upper East Side, wreaking their particular style of havoc in New York City for the first time.
The activists, who spell tire the British way, claim to have mildly inconvenienced the owners of forty ‘killer’ SUVs– deflating their vehicle’s tires in an effort to “make it impossible to own a huge polluting 4×4 in the world’s urban areas.”
The Tyre Extinguishers confirmed to Upper East Site its members targeted SUVs parked on Upper East Side streets in the East 60s near Fifth Avenue sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Details of the caper were first reported by Streetsblog New York.
The activists say they chose our neighborhood because it is “home to the greatest concentration of individual wealth” in the five boroughs.
However, a photo accompanying the climate group’s news release shows someone deflating the tire of a Kia SUV.
Hardly the vehicle of a high-roller.
The group, which hosts instructions for letting the air out of an SUV’s tires on its website, has claimed responsibility for ‘strikes’ on the vehicles parked in cities mainly in the UK and Europe and encourages others to join its cause.
“You’ll be angry, but don’t take it personally,” a note purportedly left on the windshield of ‘disarmed’ SUVs reads.
“It’s not you, it’s your car. We did this because driving around in urban areas in your massive vehicle has huge consequences for others.”
According to a 2019 report by the International Energy Agency, SUVs were the second-largest contributor to the increase in global [carbon dioxide]” in the last decade— even more so than the global aviation industry.
The climate change activists say their vision for the world includes banning SUVs in urban areas, pollution taxes on all SUVs and a massive investment in mass transit.
One Upper East Sider whose family’s SUV had its tires deflated on East 65th Street lamented the nuisance caused by the climate group.
“It’s really upsetting,” Michelle told Upper East Site.
“They think they’re helping climate change, but the amount of trucks we had to call to repair our cars really didn’t help the environment in any way,” she added.
The NYPD says it is aware of The Tyre Extinguishers claims, but says only two drivers have reported their tires were deflated.
“This is the first action in New York City,” the climate group said, “the first of many.”