Two guys in the USA looking at car emission issues were puzzled as to why American cars waltzed through the tougher emission testing whereas the European cars had difficulty. They decided to carry out a number of tests to see if they could come up with an easy solution, and to prove that cleaner cars could be efficient and still retain their power. They tested Volkswagen vehicles. The storm began!
The exposé of Volkswagen over the emissions from their diesel cars has led to a bonanza of enquiries about emissions. We are all now aware that we have been systematically lied to for decades by the automobile industry.
An examination of the testing techniques employed to determine the degree of emissions by Which? consumer group has revealed a devastating picture of deceit by all the leading manufacturers. The extent of the deception is quite staggering when laid adjacent to the number of deaths associated with the pollution from cars.
Incredibly, 97% of all diesel cars give out nitrogen oxide (NOx) a highly toxic substance. The Which? sponsored tests by Emissions Analytics (EA) under the auspices of Imperial College London (ICL) has burst the protective bubble around the manufacturers. Which? describes the previous lab-tests as, ‘so seriously flawed they’re meaningless’. www.theguardian.com January 2016.
Another dynamic of testing is that in colder conditions the emissions become worse, e.g. below 18C. A mechanism in the engine closes down which in turn facilitates more miles per gallon (mpg) but at the expense of greater toxicity. Obviously the manufacturer will highlight the better mpg and say nothing about the toxic emissions. Beware marketing!! Professor Ricardo Martinez-Botas of the ICL was taken aback and ‘shocked’ by the findings. Daily Mail 23/06/2016
The Guardian further reports that by 2020 London will introduce an ultra-low emission zone.
Q? Why ultra-low, why not a definitive NO! Why wait until 2020?
Both car producers and politicians have been aware of the adverse effects of NOx and yet we wait to take action. The technology exists to produce cars of nil NOx emissions!! Note the words of Sir Malcolm Green professor of respiratory medicine when he says that such pollution is ‘shortening people’s lives’.
We may never know the full extent of the death rate from car pollution or how badly it affects asthma sufferers. Particulates from diesel cars are the deadliest form of air pollution and can easily trigger an attack of asthma. We know it brings on emphysema and bronchitis but what else.
- The number of diesel cars in UK has risen from 1.6million 1994 – 12 million to date.
The death toll is frighteningly high. The Mail online January 2016 suggests a figure of 30,000 annually with 23,500 directly related to diesel cars. The Guardian 2014 gave figures of 42,000 with 29,000 associated.
- NOx levels in UK are ‘far above safe levels for human health’. Mail online
- NOx is at illegally high levels in several British cities. Guardian April 2016
Q? Why have our politicians allowed this travesty to continue?
The answer may surprise you. Since 1993 the EU has introduced directives (E) to mitigate the pollution. In 2005 E5 was passed, in 2015 we had E6, therefore as far as the politicians are concerned the car industry has been pushed decidedly in the right direction. Hurrah? NO!
- Those suffering from the effects of the pollution are not dancing in the street.
Taking the sum of 30,000 deaths per annum in UK, add some 40,000 from France and then the rest of Europe and we have well over 100,000 deaths due to exhaust pollution. One hundred thousand + deaths per year! If these souls were war dead, major ceremonies would have been held, plaques would have been placed in various venues and bronze statues raised in honour of our dead. But hey, most deaths are just a scattering of ordinary Joe’s.
A staggering death tally and the silence of our politicians’ hammers home a truth, a terrible truth – profit before people. As the death toll rises the EU is set to permit double the official limit of toxic emissions until 2021 and at 50% above thereafter. (Guardian) These targets I can only assume are based on the lab-tests so discredited by Which?.
Our leaders may suggest that their rationale is governed on the available science.
- They encouraged people to buy diesel.
- They are allowing the continuation of the pollution, beyond 2021.
- We have the technology to build better engines. Now!
- Since 1993 they have had knowledge of the cause and effect of car pollution.
- The death toll is rising.
- The number of cars on our roads will continue to increase. Pollution? Dah!
Roads go on
While we forget, and are
Forgotten like a star
That shoots and is gone.
Edward Thomas 1878 – 1917
The failure to insist on the use of better technology is an act of disdainful arrogance by the parties, the manufacturers and the politicians. The only conclusion to be drawn is that they are in cahoots. That our politicians skewed the advantage to industry is a surreptitious abrogation of their elected responsibility. It illustrates in graphic detail their utter contempt for the concept of democracy.
Q? What was the industry’s motivation? Profit!
Q? Will it ever end? Volkswagen is to pay $15 billion in compensation to USA drivers. Is this the necessary sting in the tail?
Do some good…..Join Robin Hood.