Archive for the ‘pollution’ Category


Correlation is not necessarily causation of course. People in cities are likely to come into close contact with higher numbers of other potentially-infected people, by the very nature of things. There’s also an attempt to link coronavirus problems to fuel burning in this article: ‘Long-term exposure to air pollutants from car exhaust fumes or burning fossil fuels can put people at risk of these health conditions, and can also increase the risk of infection by viruses that affect people’s airways.’
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Higher air pollution has been linked to coronavirus as a study by Cambridge University says cities with the worst air have bigger outbreaks of cases, says the Daily Telegraph.

An analysis by the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit compared regional data on total Covid-19 cases and deaths, against levels of three major air pollutants.

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How many were aware of the likely costs compared to fuel powered vehicles, before answering the questions? Improving urban air quality is no doubt a sound idea, but attempting to link EVs to climate – not so much.
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A quarter of people say they will become an EV driver in the next five years, according to a new survey, reports Energy Live News.

Coronavirus is convincing people to buy electric vehicles (EVs) with 45% of UK drivers claiming they would consider swapping their current car for an EV in the wake of the pandemic.

That’s according to a new poll conducted by Venson Automotive Solutions, which reports the current lockdowns around the world and the radical improvement on air pollution as a result of the demobilisation of transport have a positive impact on people’s awareness of the benefits to the environment.

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Schemes to ramp up climate alarm propaganda with ‘warming’ [sic] labels are already in the pipeline e.g. in Sweden. They try to claim a health risk from the warmer weather they feel sure lies ahead, while pointing the finger at humans for this supposed problem and equating it to tobacco smoking. If the pollution doesn’t get you, the climate emergency will…type of thing. Crude stuff loosely based on dodgy climate models.
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Mike Gill and colleagues explain how the implementation of of fossil fuel labelling could have a significant impact on the awareness of climate change, says The British Medical Journal blog. This article is part of The BMJ’s Health in the Anthropocene collection.

The use of fossil fuels should be rapidly reduced to keep the global mean temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels—a core goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Emphasising the risks to health of fossil fuel use, now and in the future, could motivate action.

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Credit: carsdirect.com


As Green Car Congress points out, weight is a major factor for vehicles and EV batteries are heavy. Time to look at real issues instead of non-existent ‘carbon pollution’.

Pollution from tire wear can be 1,000 times worse than a car’s exhaust emissions, Emissions Analytics has found.

Emissions Analytics is an independent global testing and data specialist for the scientific measurement of real-world emissions and fuel efficiency for passenger and commercial vehicles and non-road mobile machinery.

Harmful particulate matter from tires—and also brakes—is a growing environmental problem, and is being exacerbated by the increasing popularity of large, heavy vehicles such as SUVs, and growing demand for electric vehicles, which are heavier than standard cars because of their batteries.

Vehicle tire wear pollution is completely unregulated, unlike exhaust emissions which have been rapidly reduced by car makers due to the pressure placed on them by European emissions standards.

New cars now emit very little in the way of particulate matter but there is growing concern around non-exhaust emissions (NEEs).

Non-exhaust emissions are particles released into the air from brake wear, tire wear, road surface wear and re-suspension of road dust during on-road vehicle usage.

No legislation is in place to limit or reduce NEEs, but they cause a great deal of concern for air quality. NEEs are currently believed to constitute the majority of primary particulate matter from road transport, 60% of PM2.5 and 73% of PM10.

In the 2019 report ‘Non-Exhaust Emissions from Road Traffic’, the UK Government’s Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG), recommended that NEEs are immediately recognized as a source of ambient concentrations of airborne particulate matter, even for vehicles with zero exhaust emissions of particles—such as EVs.

Full report here.


Lack of public enthusiasm for much-touted electric cars wasn’t overcome by these relatively low-cost offerings. Where they think a sales boom is going to come from is a mystery.

An all-electric car-sharing scheme in London is being scrapped next month in a setback to the capital’s ambitions to get more polluting vehicles off the road, says the Evening Standard.

French-owned Bluecity, which ran a fleet of distinctive red battery-powered cars, said its £5-per-half hour service was no longer financially viable after it secured deals with only three London councils. It will officially shut down on February 10.

A second car-sharing club, German-owned DriveNow, is pulling out of London at the end of next month. It operated 130 electric BMW i3 cars out of a total fleet of more than 700 vehicles.

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There goes the notion of a zero-emission vehicle. The chief suspect is vanadium, which ‘was the only metal that interacted with the macrophages and was also present in both brake dust and diesel exhaust particles’.

The harmful impact of air pollution caused by diesel exhaust fumes on our health is well known, says The Conversation.

It’s responsible for causing everything from respiratory problems to dementia and even certain types of cancers.

But what most people don’t realise is that exhaust fumes aren’t the only cause of air pollution.

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Cardiff trolleybus, 1969 [image credit: David Stowell @ Wikipedia]


They’re certainly quick off the mark and quiet. As with trams the initial costs would be significant, but they do have their advantages.

They were the original electric buses but 50 years ago today saw the plug pulled on the last trolleybus in Wales, says BBC News.

Environmentally friendly and cheap, they finally succumbed to car ownership and fossil fuel on 11 January 1970.

Yet half a century later – almost to the day – local councils now see electric public transport as an answer to congestion and air pollution.

Some experts and enthusiasts even believe that shift could spark a revival for the forgotten trolleybus.

Known as the “trackless trolleys” when they first appeared on UK streets in 1911, trolleybuses became the workhorses of the public transport network.

Freed from the restrictions of tracks, taking their power from overhead cables, they provided clean, affordable and quick transport for the masses.

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Electric SUV concept car [image credit: motorauthority.com]


The report headline also claims this ‘is terrible news for the planet’, because they are obsessing about harmless trace gases in the atmosphere. But the motoring public don’t seem to share their misplaced concerns, as ever-popular SUVs outnumber electric vehicles by about 40 to 1 worldwide.

Sales of hefty and heavily-polluting SUVs have doubled in the last decade – outweighing the progress made from electric vehicles, says WIRED. Can cleaner SUVs offer a way out?

The phenomenal rise of the SUV all started with a squabble over chicken.

It was 1963 – the height of the Cold War – and US president Lyndon Johnson was fuming over a tax that France and West Germany had imposed on cheap, intensively-farmed US chicken flooding European supermarkets.

In December 1963, after months of failed negotiations, Johnson retaliated.

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Bristol’s urban area population of 724,000 is the 8th-largest in the UK, says Wikipedia. Diesel owners don’t have long to get rid of their cars, convert them to another fuel or find another method of transport if they need to get into town to work, shop or anything else during the day, after March 2021 – unless the next government decides to step in and save them.

Under the plan, all privately-owned diesel vehicles will be banned from entering it every day between 7am and 3pm by March 2021
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Bristol is set to become the first city in the UK to ban diesel cars as part of its efforts to improve air quality, reports Energy Live News.

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‘You first’ might be one response. Once again the BBC, like a lot of the media, tries to frame ‘greenhouses gases’ and ‘pollution’ as the same thing, which confuses the reporting even more. Note the capital letters: ‘Zero Carbon’. All part of the make-believe future they are trying to sell to the public, but now exposed as unrealistic.

MPs say people will have to stop driving if the UK is to meet its Zero Carbon goals by 2050, reports BBC News.

The Science and Technology Select Committee says technology alone cannot solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

It says the government cannot achieve sufficient emissions cuts by swapping existing vehicles for cleaner versions.

The government said it would consider the committee’s findings.

In its report, the committee said: “In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation.”

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It seems switching to an EV can only scratch the surface of the clean air problems due to motor transport. Since their batteries make them heavier than fuel-burning cars they should have greater tyre wear, creating more road debris. Of course the parallel claim is that there will/would be some noticeable (presumed beneficial) effect on the climate in the long term due to lower CO2 emissions, but as we’re also told there’s little time left and sales of EVs are minimal, that doesn’t look good for climate alarmists either.

A new report released by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) in the UK recommends as an immediate priority that non-exhaust emissions (NEE) are recognized as a source of ambient concentrations of airborne PM, even for vehicles with zero exhaust emissions of particles, reports Green Car Congress.

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Image credit: autocarbrands.com


More damage on the way for the reputations and finances of underhand German car makers, it seems. It’s reportedly not related to previous charges over ‘cheat devices’, although the intentions look much the same.

BMW, and Volkswagen face possible hefty fines after EU antitrust regulators on Friday charged them and whistleblower Daimler with colluding to block the rollout of clean emissions technology, reports Yahoo! News.

In the latest pollution scandal to hit the auto industry, the European Commission said it had sent statements of objections to the German carmakers setting out the charges, nearly two years after carrying out dawn raids at their premises.

It said the collusion occurred between 2006 to 2014 and took place during technical meetings held by the “circle of five”, namely BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group’s VW, Audi and Porsche.

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So much for trains replacing planes in line with current US ‘green’ ideology? The UK equivalent is the HS2 project which is also under pressure from various quarters. Both eye-wateringly expensive.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that he was abandoning plans to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, citing the high cost and the time it would take, reports Phys.org.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that he was abandoning plans to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, citing the high cost and the time it would take.

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Here we’re quoting the most relevant part of a longer article discussing this issue, also including particulates. Has the German public and the world been fed a scare story that gives diesels an unfair image, to some extent at least?

Several German pulmonary physicians question the current nitrogen oxide and particulate matter limits, says DW.com.

These are inadequate and mainly based on questionable epidemiological studies, they say.
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Many victims of smoking, but where are the NOx deaths?

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Chinese electric car [image credit: scmp.com]


China already has 250 million electric scooters and around 3 million electric cars, most of which face battery replacements in the next decade or so. But high costs have opened the door to ‘cowboy’ operators.

Researchers estimate it will cost nearly US$3 million to reverse the damage caused by just one illegal plant, says the South China Morning Post.

Authorities in eastern China are turning to the courts to raise the millions of yuan needed to rehabilitate water and land polluted by dumping from an illegal lead-acid battery recycling plant.

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Where does this leave people who were encouraged to buy wood burning stoves?

The UK government is consulting on proposals to ban wood and coal burning in households, reports Energy Live News.

The sale of the most-polluting fuels used in UK households are to get the chop as part of government plans to reduce emissions.

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Typical electric car set-up


As the worldwide ideological push to establish electric vehicles continues, all is not well in the world of lithium extraction and usage.

As the world scrambles to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, the environmental impact of finding all the lithium required could become a major issue in its own right, says Wired UK.

Here’s a thoroughly modern riddle: what links the battery in your smartphone with a dead yak floating down a Tibetan river?

The answer is lithium – the reactive alkali metal that powers our phones, tablets, laptops and electric cars.

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Nairobi traffic


It’s debatable whether air quality was top class in many African cities before the arrival of these old diesels, but they aren’t doing much to improve it.

As emission regulations become stronger for new vehicles in industrialized countries, cars as old as 25 years no longer able to meet emission standards are being exported to Africa.

Air quality is suffering as a result, reports DW.com.

Any child playing at the Uhuru garden — a recreation park in the middle of the Kenyan capital Nairobi — is oblivious to the health dangers in the air around him or her. But that air is laden with toxic pollutants, which have become a leading cause of respiratory disease in Kenyan cities.

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Credit: carsdirect.com


One of the sub-headings to this BBC News story is ‘Push and go faster’. That really would be a fuel saver if it worked 😉

The government’s ambition to clean up motor vehicles by 2040 is not ambitious enough, a leading energy expert says.

Professor Jim Watson, head of the prestigious UK Energy Research Centre, said the target should be at least five years earlier, as in Scotland.

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Credit: Coal India Limited


A big vote of no confidence in the Paris climate agreement, by the world’s second most populous country. Political reality comes first: coal is much cheaper than nuclear.

India has decided to cut its planned nuclear power plant construction by two-thirds, says The GWPF. This will further expand the country’s use of coal for electrical power generation.

The Financial Express, one of India’s major newspapers, reports that the Narendra Modi government, which had set an ambitious 63,000 MW nuclear power capacity addition target by the year 2031-32, has cut it to 22,480 MW, or by roughly two-thirds.

The decision has enormous implications for expanding use of coal for electrical power generation and for release of CO2, other greenhouse gases, and for adding to India’s dire air pollution problems in its major cities.

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