Letter: No such thing as a green car

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Sir: Greenpeace is doing the environment no favours at all by producing a "menthol car" ("Why isn't the world's motor industry willing to produce a car like this?", 14 August).

By producing a car that is more fuel efficient and which produces fewer harmful emissions, Greenpeace is merely assisting in the inexorable growth of car ownership. Depletion of fossil fuels and global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions are only two elements of the environmental degradation wreaked by the car. The destruction of the countryside by motorways, the clogging of towns by traffic jams and the slaughter of pedestrians and wildlife will continue even if the cringingly named "Smile" car is widely taken up; in fact they will probably worsen, as drivers kid themselves that they are now "environmentally friendly".

There are only two ways to reverse the rise of the car: prohibitive taxes on both ownership and use and substantial investment in public transport. If Greenpeace is serious about saving the environment that is where it should be expending its energies.