Against pollution of every kind

In the 1950s, suburban sprawl, the spread of highways and low oil prices encouraged people to use cars over public transport. Over the long term, cars create environmental and social problems – pollution, noise, stress and aggression. But the automobile took over anyway, because it made people's lives easier. Since then, the car manufacturing lobbies, together with government inaction and force of habit, have made it impossible for many people to do without a car. Entire countries, trying to deal with the imperative of responding to climate change, are paralyzed in their meagre efforts by the burden of car culture.

The hegemony of the automobile is emblematic of many sources of pollution. Through ignorance, laziness and greed, we allow polluting industries to grow, persuaded they are the price we have to pay for progress. Borne along by our consumerism and indifference, the plague of pollution is spreading, silently tainting the soil, the water, the air, wildlife and plants. It is only when we feel threatened, confronted with disastrous environmental change, that we make the effort to act. To break this vicious circle, it is up to us to rethink ideas about progress and to plan for the future – starting now.