...yet another motorist-generated horror – one that has been with us since the first car rolled down the, then unpaved, road. They’re chucking their empty cans of beer and liquor bottles into hedgerows as they pass.
Bin-liners in hand, a group of us, infused with the seasonal goodwill that illuminates this column, of course, decided to walk a mile of a pretty and winding lane that had become particularly badly littered this winter, and collect it all. It’s amazing how much of the stuff there is when you start looking, and we ended up with a whole sackful. And what was the principal offending item? Glass bottles and empty cans of Budweiser, Schlitz, Bass Ale and other intoxicating products were lodged high in hedgerows at motorist level. Forgive me, but pedestrians were not the culprits here.
What is the carbon footprint of a panting, beer-swilling, fast food-chewing, diabetes-prone motorist?
a) His or her journey is usually totally unnecessary by car; b) whole convoys of cargo boats steam the Atlantic to bring the petroleum to be energy-intensively refined for them; and c) the chemical processes that generate the vile materials that manufacture their vehicles – not a man-made fibre among them – will be poisoning entire provinces of China.
But it’s the bad manners one cannot forgive. Cycling or walking, don’t you just hate the way that, speeding at ten or more miles per hour over the legal speed limit, they shout and curse at you or blare their angry little horns, as though it’s your problem that they need to clear the way? In just one little posse of these monsters there are levels of self-satisfaction that could power a small religious crusade.
Does motoring turn you into an insolent jerk? Or are insolent jerks drawn disproportionately to driving?