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19146 Views 52 Replies Last post: May 13, 2011 5:28 PM by beebuzz099 RSS
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Nov 26, 2009 10:46 AM

Is Top Gear's attitude to the environment just not funny any more?

I'm finding it hard to be amused by watching these influential celebs make fun of hybrid and electric cars while promoting flashy gas guzzlers. I'm not suggesting that all the humour come out of the programme, but surely there's a need for a more responsible approach. Or is it just me?

  • Quite right. Its about time that Top Gear started to wake up to the environmental impact of transport and certain types of car in particular. Its not just climate change which it having an impact on, but also the decreasing amount of fossil fuels.
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  • I think attitudes need to change a bit. Most people can't even afford these flash cars anyway. But the fact that climate change has become a bigger problem now than it was before, Top Gear does need to look at the environment friendly cars and instead of laughing at them maybe test it with an open mind. Don't get me wrong I do enjoy Top Gear and the humour it has, it is funny to watch and is very entertaining. With the growing concern of climate change people are looking for alternative modes of transport so maybe it will appeal to more people. But keep in a few good cars anyway to make it a fun and exciting programme.
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  • yes now that i think about it actually isnt good for the enviroment at all!
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  • Well, I still find Top Gear enjoyable in a "Punch and Judy" sort-of-way as they really don't miss a chance to bash anyone. Playing on any prejudice available in the situation.

    However, I do think they're missing a hugh opportunity to help us all to make good and sustainable choices when it comes to cars. Environmentally friendly cars need to be both fun and functional to drive if they're to gain a market share that actually have an impact.

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  • I'd have to disagree with you.

     

    I think their approach is very healthy. It promotes discussion, disagreement and reaction and bings it to the table in a nutshell. Besides which, they tend to be right. There is no real argument for the use of hybrid or electric cars on the basis that the power still has to come from fossil fuels so they aren't really saving anything and let's face it, for the most part the manufacturers are making them to meet international environmental agreements and at the bottom line.. to sell cars, not because they give a damn about the environment.

     

    The other side of the coin is that the top gear team do also highlight certain issues through their 'special programmes', for instance, travelling across Africa in three non-four wheel drive vehicles was a pretty good indicator that for the most part they're unnecessary and certainly not a requirement for the home counties school run. Few people tend to remember these things.

     

    Most importantly.... it's an entertainment show and their outlook is comedic! If you follow the argument through that it's unhealthy for the environment, well so is watching TV as it consumes power. On that basis perhaps we should ban TV, Radio, The internet, Cars.... ad infinitum. I think that leaves us with the option of going to the nearest park, chopping down a tree to keep warm and pretty much resorting to family based tribalism, the 'environment' will be a poorer place in a very short space of time..

     

    It's all about perspective.

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  • I don't think it was EVER funny
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  • The attitude is not that bad is it? As televission goes: they at least debate it. They don't make fun of electric cars becouse they are electric but becouse they are much much worse for almost everything(including the enviroment) that combustion engines. They have more than once anounces that they think electric of hydrogen is the future. But their show is not about the future. Hybrids and electic cars are shown with more respect than old ugly and realy poluting cars. Thes guys willbe the first to be enthusiastic for a really good hybrid or electric car but those cars are not on the market yet.
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  • In my opinion, their attitude to the environment was not ever funny. I do not watch it often as I believe the whole programme to be a complete waste of valuable fuel and needlessly pollutes the environment. And for what? The sake of entertainment. Aren't there enough magazines about cars with comedic comments about hybrid cars and climate change? If you like cars so much why don't you go and drive one for some ACTUAL reason? For me, it's not so much the comments they make, but more the whole 'climate change won't affect us' attitude and the needless amounts of co2  produced during the making of the programme.It's silly.
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    • Couple of points to make about pinkpolarbear's comments.. Are you suggesting that we each buy a car magazine to got our car fix? Given that glossy magazines are a) usually read by one person only till they end up in a doctors waiting room, b) that it's known that recycling a gloss magazine is unbelievably energy expensve, much of the components inevitably going to landfill, let alone the energy expense involved in the production of the magazine in the first place. Compared to the energy involved in the production of a single tv programme watched by millions which, at the end of the day, you can turn off? I doubt that the lifecycle analsis of a tv production compared to the production of a gloss magazine is going to come down in favour of the magazine? Hardly the most environmentally friendly approach surely?

       

      I'd like to draw a comparison... I don't eat cows but I watch Countryfile. It's a known fact that cows are the biggest polluter of the global environment. A single cow is more polluting to the environment over its lifecycle than a Formula 1 racing car.. Should we ban cows? Countryfile as a programme makes no mention of its environmental affinity and ploughs on regardless (scuse the pun), promoting livestock farming. It's assumed by the watching public that because it's about farming it must be environmentally sound. Not only is this environmentally irresponsible but I could reasonably argue that the production team are actively promoting global warming!

       

      More programmes like Top Gear please, that offer an open opinion, reflect the public attitude, bring the argument to the table and are - in the true spirit of the BBC (and our licence payers money, educational, informative and entertaining.

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  • I don't really think that the attitude to nature was ever really that bad on Top Gear. i don't see what they are doing wrong????
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  • I think top gear is fab it doesnt really matter if they make fun of hybrids anyway coz no one really takes them seriously! no one would decide not to buy a hybrid just cause the guys on top gear said it wasnt very good! they dont really take things seriously which means people dont take them seriously!!!  i think they are funny and entertaining but not a show i would use to decide my next car XD lol
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  • Top gear soooo is funny! No one really pays attention to their advice though-yeah it is cool to watch a "gas guzzler" zooming on a race track but are the majority of people actually going to buy that car? No. Sooooooo it doesn't matter that they mock hybrids.
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  • I watch Top Gear quite a lot! I find it very very funny and amusing. People dont really take them seriously and it is entertaining! They are a programme about cars and they cannot be expected to use environmentally friendly cars all the time as it would not be as entertaining. Imagine a high speed race with electric cars. It wouldn't be as entertaining and they would lose viewers! I love Top Gear even though their views on the environment may not be right.

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  • For me, it's not so much their attitude that is stupid, it's the fact that if we're all so concerned about the environment why are we still watching programmes, reading magazines etc. that produce however many tonnes of greenhouse emissions every year?! We can all form our own opinions on climate change so the presenters views, unless you are very easily swayed, are not going to change your opinion. However, eventually, we are all going to be affected by climate change, so if you are concerned about it, or actually want to do the slightest thing to stop it- how about not watching programmes such as top gear or formula one racing and reducing its publicity? If we are actually going to stop climate change, we need to stop the needless emissions that are produced from programmes,air displays or battery farming. If we can't stop the needless emissions, how can we stop the emissions produced from activities we need perform to live?
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  • Top Gears Aproach to all things Environmental is appalling! When my Family members go to  buy cars i am shocked at the amount of people trying to find cars that had been used on Top Gear! And some of the cars even SAID " Tested and approved on Top Gear!"

     

     

    Well im proud to say none of my family members even glanced at the "Top Gear" Cars!

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  • Loads of people can't even afford cars!
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  • What type of car have you got then gas or electric?
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  • Sadly, I'm afraid that Top Gear reflects the attitudes of the vast majority of folk in our country- that a car is a necessity, a status symbol, a boy's toy and something to be jumped into and driven at every opportunity. Yes I do own a car but it is only used for long journeys where a train would be awkward. Five days a week it's the commuter train and a folding bike for me! I'm hoping that rising fuel costs will reduce car usage, but it doesn't seem to be. But here's another thing- does it make sense to get rid of "old" cars (you know the whole trade in thing where you get £2000 for your 10 year old car) when in fact the environmental impact of scrapping the old car and manufacturing the new one probably outweighs the environmental impact of keeping the old one going? And in my opinion, a 10 year old car is definitely not old, thank you very much. Top Gear has always really wound me up for its imbecilic attitudes but one bit that did make me laugh was when Clarkson said that he hated plastic bags... because they were manufactured from hydrocarbons that ought to be in his petrol tank!
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  • I agree with you, after all, the presenters never let us, the veiwers, know how much impact the car will have on the enviroment. Also, most of the speeds that the cars they feature go up to are way above the national speed limit. Finally, it is practically obvious that the problems are set ups.
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  • top gear can be enviro friendly sometimes like they do use electric cars instead of fuel in some episodes
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  • i think that there funny with some stuff, but you're right, just think of how much fuel is used  in F1 racing!

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    • Do you know what Formula 1 is for?

       

      It's a testing ground for new vehicle technologies, some safety-related, some about materials used for vehicle manufacture and, increasingly now about fuel efficiency. The big picture is that the fuel burned in a Formula 1 season is an investment in technology which trickles down, eventually, to your cheap shopping car to make it more efficient. Scale that over the millions of vehicles bought globally over the year and you will realise that the savings in fuel efficient engines, transmissions and aerodynamics, not to mention more energy efficient manufacturing techniques, are not just financial.

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  • Err Electric cars... yeah great, lets use some fossil fuels to charge up the "environmentally friendly car". As for hydrogen powered vehicles, what powers the plant that makes the hydrogen and what tows the tanker to the filling station... Hmm I do beleive its no enviromentally friendly powerstation or electric lorry LOL

     

    Top Gear is what it is, a somewhat informative light entertainment show, it will never wave the greenpeace flag as long as Jezza is on the show and the day it does is the day I stop watching it.

     

    If it offends you so much, don't watch it!

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    • I agree. If it offends you stop watching it Jezza and the gang are hilarious but if the cars were'nt 'gas guzling' people wouldnt watch it! Its meant to be funny not an environmental programme!
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      • I'm in my 40's and eventhough I passed my driviing license 23 years ago I haven't driven for nearly 20 years, and have never owned a car. This is purely on personnel ethical grounds. But saying all that I love 'Top Gear'. It's one of the funniest programmes on TV. It's a shame that the vast majority of the bland, innane, witless and pointless so called 'comedy' sketch shows that endlessly spew across are screens don't employ  Jezza, the Hamster and Captain Slow as 'ideas men'. It's not about the environment, it's about laughter and entertainment. If people don't like it then turn of your TV, go for a walk, and save some energy.
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  • I love watching Top Gear, but even as an avid viewer, I have grown tired of the way Jeremy thinks global warming is a myth!
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  • What is this top gear you speak of ?

     

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  • I think you all tend to take this programme far too seriously. its primary function is surely entertainment - nothing more or less and anyone who is likely to be persuaded by Clarksaon et all are not worth saving anyway!!!! i enjoy the programme but it does not change my opinions. you may as well put a block on all programmes that dont follow a certainly line of thought. there is something known as freedom of speach. loosen up a bit and more maybe achieved in the long run

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  • totally, I know that because my brothers watch it, that they never have eco-friendly cars and never very nice to the environment.
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  • Top Gear is primarily a commercial venture, designed to be sufficiently entertaining to make  alot of money for  stakeholders. That is its raison d'etre. It doubtless has other worthy objectives too but there is a pecking order of priorities. Social responsibility and environmental concerns may be in there somewhere, but if so, are probably lower down the list in terms of priority.

    However it is one thing to articulate sincerely held beliefs contradicting current environmental concerns; this potentially adds to the richness of an important debate affecting everyone on the planet.  It is quite another to pose as "harmless" irreverent entertainment when the real motives are a little bit more basic than that; there is an unresolved ethical problem with this programme and that is why it is does not amuse anymore.

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  • Top Gear is just a TV show. Frankly does it matter if they drive around in flashy cars, because most people won't be able to afford a car like that anyway. And so what if they mock 'green' cars that is their opinion not anybody else's. What most people don't no about electric cars is that the amount of energy used in making the cars and shipping the components around the world is usually worse than if you buy and drive a Range Rover. And on a more personal note would you really prefer to drive a G-Wiz than a sports car? BTW i do support hydrogen power.
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    • Slightly flawed Range Rover argument but, expressed properly, does illustrate the point you make.

       

      If you buy a brand new Range Rover and run it normally over its design life (i.e. don't crash it and throw it away after 18 months) then the entire cycle of manufacture, fuel burned and used as lubricant, consumable parts used and energy used in recycling it has a lower environmental impact overall than if you apply the same cradle-to-grave calculations to a Prius. Because a RR is made largely of aluminium which can be very efficiently recycled and the Prius is nearly as heavy and consists largely of unpleasant battery chemicals which can't. And it has to lug around a heavy petrol engine all the time, even when running solely on batteries.

       

      Top Gear is a TV show watched by those who enjoy a light-hearted look at cars, driving and motoring issues. Watched and made by enthusiasts, obviously it will poke fun at detractors. The rest of the TV schedule is filled with eco-mentalists demonising the car (but not so much public transport, air travel, farming, deforestation, central heating, consumption of food transported around the globe ...) so let's get this 12 hours per year of TV into perspective.

       

      And while we're at it, lets get the contribution of the private motorist to the CO2 problem into perspective too. If you support Carbon Offsetting then the Road Tax, and fuel duties paid by motorists are ample compensation. We should apply the same tarrifs to air travel.

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  • Yes, but then it wouldn't be a proper car show
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  • Sometimes its just not that funny, but at other times that can be a smidge funny
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  • My big brother says 'I think the debate is a load of rubbish and your just gonna make a fool of yourself cuz your just a carwasher', but i completely disagree with him because:

    a) he's an idiot

    b) he has no idea what he's talking about

    c) he doesn't care for the environment

    d) he's an idiot

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  • YES Top Gear is funny! I agree with people that they should take the environmental side of it more seriously, but then  I also agree that if it offends you so much, don't watch it,  and no one takes it seriously anyway. i don't think it would be fair if the programme were to stop because some people were taking it too serously. we all need something to laugh at at the weekend, and if its nutters going on about driving fast cars then so be it.

    LOL

    Beebuzz099

     

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