Incompletely Combusted – How Diesel Didn’t Save the World

By Mark Simpson  (Originally appeared on LeasePlan September 10, 2014) ‘Can hate be good?’ This was the question posed ten years ago in an animated ad that was as impossible to avoid as the products of incompletely combusted fuel in built-up areas. It began with noisy, dirty diesel engines flying over a pretty, super-saturated green countryside which rebelled against them. ‘Hate something, change something’ choruses the soundtrack, and a flock of shiny, newly-designed, silent, clean – and green – diesel engines arrive from Japan and the […]

Global cooling – the Rise and Rise of ‘American Air’

Mark Simpson on the rise and rise of ‘American air’ (London Times Magazine, 2003) ‘This is my home, this is America!’ a canned, generic male power-ballad singer, possibly on loan from those naff Gillette commercials, warbles over the P.A. The giant on-stage video screen flashes stirring images of the American flag, soaring eagles, the Statue of Liberty and Abraham Lincoln. Song and images reach a lugubrious climax. Lights flash. Disco music pounds. A middle-aged man in an expensive suit and a side-parting that appears to […]