Today, we tread lightly to honour those lost to recent ecological disasters. The 2023 Honda Civic Type-R. An iconic track car from 1953, adventures with (small) trucks you won’t want to miss, and the hottest hot button topic in the known galaxy.
1953 Lotus Mark VI, £39,995 • One of the first production Lotus. Reportedly #46 of 106 built and with an extensive racing career in the U.S., 964 XUU is about as lightweight as sports cars get at just 950 lb., not a typo, when new.
Consider that as far as raw materials go, as it sits it’d tip the scales closer to a grand piano or a moose than an actual car. Despite all the years of racing and at least two trips across the Atlantic Ocean, I’d say it’s been a pretty efficient way to enjoy motoring ever since it was built…before many of us were born.
The Mark VI kit accommodated mounting points for different engines, from the factory; this example did as intended. Campaigned, updated, and engine swapped over the years, this is no original. (And, in spirit, is not supposed to be.)
Cranley Sports & Classics Ltd via Pistonheads
🚙 Tiny trucks, big lives 🛻 The Autopian’s story about R/C builders like Mark Tucker reminded me of a terrific 2010 documentary about artist Mark Hogancamp called Marwencol—currently 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. (Not to be confused with the Marwencol-inspired film Welcome to Marwen, starring Steve Carrell…at 35% on Rotten Tomatoes.)
🥵 The climate • Growing up in Sarnia, the city adjacent to many of Canada’s petrochemical production facilities gave me an early, intimate, ever-present understanding of how pervasive, powerful, and polluting the industry is. (There was even a huge warning siren on a tower in the corner of my schoolyard, in case one of the refineries blew up.)
As parts of the world experience unprecedented heat waves and people are being pushed past the breaking point, I want to highlight the extreme mental stress that climate change can create for people.
This is not about transportation per se, it is about the nuts behind the wheel. Consider how the climate is changing us.
Start with the work of Britt Wray, PhD, author of the book Generation Dread and her email newsletter by the same name that I can’t recommend highly enough.
The most recent topic is one I’ve suffered with and have only previously discussed with my wife and therapist: suicidal thinking as an escape from climate distress. Wray writes:
“What I do know is that every now and again, I come across a message from yet another young person who says they simply can’t bear to live any longer in a system run by people who don’t seem to care about them, which is made clear by their sticking to the status quo. The writers of these messages often also mention that they don’t want to witness the destruction of ecosystems and whatever social strife this may cause over the rest of their lives.”
One of the coping mechanisms I’ve developed for myself is this site, speedster.news, and the various topics, projects, and opportunities that being a writer and publisher may open up. This and freelance copywriting projects allow me to work from an apartment, meaning zero commuting and hopefully less impact.
But that’s your friendly neighborhood weird car guy, after years of anguish, then tons of therapy, and is not a recommended route to happiness. Your mileage must vary.
Believe it will get warmer or cooler, I don’t care: climate change is inescapable.
There are no “two sides” to this, only those who seek to delay meaningful change for their short-term gain vs those of us who don’t want to live on the 3rd ash tray from the sun.
Only you know for sure where you stand and where you must start, I’m no judge. Maybe now you’ll have more insight into my obsession with small, interesting, lightweight, fuel-sipping cars ;)
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” the Wizard of Oz said. Sooner or later, climate change will pull back the curtain for everyone. And how we each confront the little curmudgeonly climate denying nihilist inside matters. It is not just about purchasing EVs, solar panels, or going garbage picking.
I, for one, wish I had resources like Britt Wray, and others, years ago.
“Can’t we take just a little time, when we need a break, to just go play with a toy truck?”
– Mark Tucker, for The Autopian
Want to connect with me about climate anxiety?
My inbox is open: email@example.com