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June 20, 2013


Illustration: Car idling
Verdant Vigilante

Shut Off Your Engines Please: One Man’s Mission

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A few years ago, New Yorker George Pakenham approached an idling limousine and asked the driver to turn off his engine. To George's surprise, the driver obliged. Emboldened, Pakenham started approaching drivers of other idling cars and trucks in an effort to curtail pollution. He's approached more than 2,900 drivers.

“More often than not, it was friendly,” Pakenham says. “And more often than not, I achieved my goal of having them shut their engine off.”

In this conversation with host Dick Gordon, Pakenham talks about trying to persuade the city to enforce its own law and about the good – or ugly – interactions he’s had with drivers.  He made a documentary about his work called Idle Threat.


"Satisfied" by Clothesline Revival; "Shut Up" by Apollo Cobra

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