The hidden causes of pollution:
The high level of traffic pollution is caused by the combination of the utility of the motor car, the greed of the oil industries, and because people have a propensity to be lazy and thoughtless about their environment whenever the danger is not immediate. This seems to be a generic trait, as all humans across the globe exhibit the same behavior: use the resources in a particular location and use them until they are entirely exhausted. Witness the Easter islanders, a particularly savage and exemplary case of a clearly limited resource, that of timber on an isolated island, remorselessly cut down to build stone statues for their quasi-religious ancestor worship in the forlorn hope that one day they would return and rescue the faithful. What did these island and sailing folk do, surrounded by endless expanses of water with only a few stout trees remaining from which to make good boats, when they needed wood to maintain their mindless religion? “The people who felled the last tree could see it was the last, could know with complete certainty that there would never be another. And they felled it anyway.”
Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book.