Anti-Diesel Propaganda
in the UK
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It will not have escaped readers of this website that there has been a lot of anti-diesel-car propaganda circulating recently, especially with regard to nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions.

It is difficult to understand why. Diesel cars are cleaner now than they have ever been; Euro-6 diesels emit hardly any pollution at all.

Take a look at these graphs:

It is clear from these graphs that there is not a problem. Why, then, is diesel being demonised?

A much larger quantity of nitrogen oxide pollution in cities is caused by industrial activity and by commercial and domestic heating, not cars. Diesel cars make a very minor contribution. Domestic cookers and central heating systems both emit appreciable amounts of nitrogen oxides. I notice no-one has told us to stop cooking or heating our homes.

This is another example of a policy being promoted without proper reason.

The BBC then assists by broadcasting propaganda to persuade us that the decision was right all along.

Here is a graph of the source of NOx emissions in Greater London in 2010. I am indebted to the Policy Exchange website for the diagram.

NRMM(non-road mobile machinery) + Industrial + Non-domestic Gas + Domestic Gas comes to:
10 + 7 + 8 + 13 = 38% of the total.

Diesel car contribution comes to:
.11 x .45 = 4.95% of the total.

Petrol car contribution is
.07 x .45 = 3.15% of the total.

The total road transport contribution is 45% in the diagram, but this was 7 years ago. There have been significant advances in engine cleanliness since then; both for petrol and diesel.

The 'anti-diesel' campaign will result in fewer diesel cars. However, NOx levels won't fall very far; car-diesel NOx is only 5% to start with.

Petrol cars will be bought as replacements for diesels, so petrol NOx will go up from its present 3%.

The reduction in overall NOx levels, even if every diesel car was replaced by petrol, would be a lot less than 5%.

I haven't done the sums, but I suspect that you could get a bigger NOx reduction by getting the public to turn down their central heating thermostats by 2 degrees.

Think of the waste of resources encouraged by this scheme: thousands of perfectly good diesel cars with plenty of life left in them will be turned into scrap.

This is not the way to protect the environment.


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