My first thought on starting to read author Iain Banks explaining why he traded in his Porsche for a more environmentally friendly vehicle was: “Good for you.”

But as I read his short but perfectly formed piece on The Guardian’s website I grew angrier with each word.

He hasn’t just traded in a Porsche 911, he’s also got rid of a Porsche Boxster S, a BMW M5 and a Land Rover Discovery (“like the Army uses”, apparently). And the greener vehicle he’s bought as a replacement – the Lexus SUV hybrid – still only returns 28.5mpg and for a wide variety of reasons it is not what I’d regard as the most environmentally friendly option available.

To make matters worse, he helpfully tells us: “The Land Rover was my day-to-day car to go the supermarket, because it didn’t matter if it got dented by people’s shopping trolleys and you always knew where you had left it because it was seven feet tall. The Boxster was for nice days out when you wanted to take the roof down. For comfortable seats, it was the BMW. The Porsche Turbo was an indulgence but I used it a lot to drive to the Highlands to see friends.”

Despite explaining that he has been “reading about green issues in The Guardian and the New Scientist for about 15 years”, I’m still not convinced this is worthy of parading on a national newspaper website.

“I do miss my sports cars but if sacrifices were easy everybody would be doing it,” he helpfully adds.

Yes, quite. But am I really supposed to celebrate with Iain on his green conversion?


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