Clarkson on: environmentalists
This article was first published in Top Gear magazine in May 1996.
Throughout history, there's been a selection of anti-establishment figures whose dreams of creating a new world order have shone like the most brilliant stars in the firmament, and then burnt out and died.
The world has been to the outermost reaches of extremism throughout the nineteenth century - from Fascism to Communism - and it has survived. When The Wall fell down we all breathed a sigh of relief, but there will always be anti-establishmentism, hell bent on suppressing free thought and democracy. Idealists will never go away; they'll just surface again with a new corporate identity.
Now they're back under the environmentalist banner. Only this time, in their quest to bring down commercialism and give power to the people, they really do seem to have hit a raw nerve. ‘If we carry on like this, the planet will die. In five minutes of geological time, we have turned paradise into a rubbish dump.'
Horse shit. They're not the slightest bit bothered about the environment; it's just a weapon which allows them to attack a system which no idealist has ever accepted - democracy.
But they've had a huge effect. Fearful of creeping sympathy for the so-called Greens, stupid, short sighted governments all over the world have imposed Draconian environmental laws on what they see as easy meat - the internal combustion engine.
And the car firms are being equally wet. Why don't they just go along to Downing Street and explain that cars put a massive £18 billion a year into the British exchequer? Instead, we get that idiotic Mercedes ad where some poppies burst into life when an E-Class slides by.
Let me fill you in on a few facts. The London Marathon generates more carbon dioxide than every grand prix in the whole Formula One calendar. A house produces more so-called global warming gases than your car. And, according to a Friends of the Earth advisor I spoke to, 97 per cent of the world's carbon dioxide is generated by nature. And that even if man's three per cent contribution isn't simply absorbed by the oceans, the resultant heat rise will create more dynamic weather, more snowfall over land and therefore lower sea levels!
Cars do not cause asthma. Cars do not shit in the streets and cause typhoid. And, since the catalytic converter came along, every single noxious exhaust emission has been slashed. Lead is down two-thirds. Sulphur is down tenfold.
"If they had their way, they would have us all up in trees, eating lentils and not washing our hair"
But still the eco-twats tell us to leave our cars at home and take the bus. Why? Because that'll slow the economy down to the same pace as the snails who are holding up the Newbury bypass. If they had their way, they would have us all up in trees, eating lentils and not washing our hair. They must do because their views are so completely at odds with what's realistic.
Whenever I suffer from asthma or acne, I take drugs to cure the problem. When I'm cold, I put the heating on. When I go out, I take the Jag. When I'm hungry, I have a Big Mac. And when I'm on edge I have a Marlboro.
These things make life fun and easy. They provide jobs, generate wealth. They keep society moving down its chosen path.
Take them away, and we'd have to think again. We'd have to invent a system where money played no part, so that there was nothing to be gained from making something which may damage the environment.
There is no way that such a system could be implemented by a com-mittee, so the responsibility would have to be shouldered by one man. Elections would be a casualty too.
And he couldn't go about it in a parochial way. There's not much point cleaning up Britain if the French are still filling the Pacific with plutonium. So, this one man would have to be a global dictator. A god.
If the environmentalists ever realise their dreams, you can kiss goodbye to free thought and say hello to the Gestapo or the KGB or whatever they decide to call their secret police.
In fact, environmentalism is every bit as dangerous as Communism or Fascism.
But we need not worry. Extremism will always be defeated by common sense. One day, in the Greenpeace bunker, there'll be the welcome sound of a Luger going off.