Archive for the ‘pollution’ Category

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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The writing is on the wall for German diesel car makers after this ruling. If bans or other rules are imposed on diesels in German cities, sales are bound to take another hit – on top of the recent VW ‘dieselgate’ fiasco.

Germany’s top administrative court has ruled that it is legal for cities to ban diesel cars, reports DW.com.

The government opposes the bans, but is under pressure from the EU to do more to combat air pollution.

Germany’s Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled on Tuesday that cities may be permitted to put driving bans in place for diesel vehicles.

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Some Fiat-Chrysler models


Negative publicity and tighter air quality rules look to be strangling the production of diesel-engined private cars, whereas hefty subsidies are on offer for electric vehicles.

Collapse in demand and rising costs lie behind decision, says The Week.

The car-maker Fiat Chrysler has announced it will stop producing diesel passenger vehicles by 2022, as costs spiral and demand falters.

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Image credit: carspart.net


Free handy hints here from the BBC, including: forget about face masks, avoid busy roads, and – wait for it – ‘stand back’ after pressing the crossing button at traffic lights.

Campaigners win a third High Court victory over the UK government’s plans to tackle air pollution – BBC News.

The judge in the case said the government plan was “unlawful” and that more action was needed in 45 English local authority areas.

He said ministers had to ensure that in each of the areas, steps were taken to comply with the law as soon as possible.

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New Sentinel satellite tracks dirty air

Posted: December 2, 2017 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Emissions, News, pollution

Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite [image credit: ESA]


This looks like a big advance in monitoring the contents of the Earth’s atmosphere, whether ‘dirty’ or not.

It’s been working less than a month but already the UK-Dutch-built Sentinel-5P satellite is returning spectacular new views of Earth’s atmosphere, says BBC News.

The spacecraft was designed to make daily global maps of the gases and particles that pollute the air.

The first sample images released by mission scientists show plumes of nitrogen dioxide flowing away from power plants and traffic-choked cities.

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This must cast doubt on some of the more alarmist claims about numbers of deaths attributable at least partly to emissions from vehicle engines, diesels in particular. It seems recent improvements in technology weren’t fully accounted for.

A team of researchers at the University of York in the U.K. has found that the proportion of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in nitrogen oxides in European traffic emissions is smaller than has been thought, reports Phy.org.

In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the group describes analyzing data from roadside monitors over the course of many years and what they found by doing so.

Drew Gentner and Fulizi Xiong with Yale University offer a News and Views perspective on the work done by the team in the same journal issue and suggest that the team’s findings could have implications for air pollution standards organizations in many more places than just Europe.

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Anyone who thought switching from diesel to a petrol vehicle would be a good idea might have to think again, if they ever intended to drive into UK city centres. And that’s just the start, if the Oxford plan sets the tone.

Oxford is to become the world’s first zero-emissions zone, as it looks to ban all non-electric vehicles from its city centre by 2020, says the IB Times.

The university town will become the first city in the UK to ban all polluting vehicles from its centre. All petrol and diesel vehicles, including cars, buses and vans, will be barred from six main streets in the centre as of 2020.

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London mayor seeks curbs on wood burners 

Posted: September 29, 2017 by oldbrew in Emissions, government, pollution

Image credit: BBC


Saving money on energy and being trendy may have attracted some buyers of wood burning stoves, but now reaction to air pollution claims is threatening to knock many such sales on the head. Bad news for some who already own them.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is seeking new powers to ban wood burning in the most polluted areas of the capital, says BBC News. The mayor has written to the Environment Secretary Michael Gove asking for greater powers to tackle air pollution not caused by traffic.

Mr Khan wants to introduce a network of “zero-emission zones” where the burning of wood or coal is completely prohibited. He also wants tougher controls on the sale of wood-burning stoves.

Under the mayor’s proposals only low-emission versions of wood-burning stoves would be allowed to remain on the market. There are currently 187 areas of London where pollution regularly exceeds European limits.

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The campaign to demonise diesel cars – above all other causes of city air pollution – rumbles on, as The Local reports. The conundrum being of course that Germany makes vast sums from sales of diesel cars, trucks, buses etc. As usual climate is wrongly conflated with air quality issues.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday pledged a billion euros to help German cities fight air pollution caused by dirty diesel cars, as a scandal strangling the automobile industry threatened to engulf politicians at the height of the election campaign.

Merkel said she was doubling financial aid to cities from a previously announced €500 million, in a bid to stave off the threat of an all-out ban against diesel vehicles.

The public health threat posed by nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions came to the fore after Germany’s biggest carmaker Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to fitting millions of cars worldwide with illegal devices to cheat pollution tests.

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Nobody in power wants to face the facts and backtrack, even though the unpleasant reality is staring them in the face.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Conrad Jones

image

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat11/1708081027_170807_AQEG_Biomass_report.pdf

Earlier this year, DEFRA published a report by the Air Quality Expert Group into the impacts of biomass on air quality. The results make for startling reading.

Among the findings are:

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Diesel car engine


Diesels are in need of some good news after all the recent negative press. The researchers believe their findings are of ‘major environmental importance’.

Researchers have discovered a new reaction mechanism that could be used to improve catalyst designs for pollution control systems to further reduce emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust, as Phys.org reports.

The research focuses on a type of catalyst called zeolites, workhorses in petroleum and chemical refineries and in emission-control systems for diesel engines.

New catalyst designs are needed to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides, or NOx, because current technologies only work well at relatively high temperatures.

“The key challenge in reducing emissions is that they can occur over a very broad range of operating conditions, and especially exhaust temperatures,” said Rajamani Gounder, the Larry and Virginia Faith Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering in Purdue University’s Davidson School of Chemical Engineering.

“Perhaps the biggest challenge is related to reducing NOx at low exhaust temperatures, for example during cold start or in congested urban driving.”

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Goldman Sachs, the merchant bank, calls cobalt ‘the new gasoline’ but there are no signs of new wealth in the DRC, where the children haul the rocks brought up from tunnels dug by hand.

Adult miners dig up to 600ft below the surface using basic tools, without protective clothing or modern machinery. Sometimes the children are sent down into the narrow makeshift chambers where there is constant danger of collapse.

Cobalt is such a health hazard that it has a respiratory disease named after it – cobalt lung, a form of pneumonia which causes coughing and leads to permanent incapacity and even death.

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Even electric cars can’t cut the mustard in polluted cities, according to this BBC report at least.

Plans to promote electric vehicles in the UK do not go far enough to tackle air pollution, according to a leading government adviser. Writing in the Guardian, Prof Frank Kelly said fewer cars, not just cleaner ones, were the key to cleaner air.

Electric cars produce particulates from their tyres and brakes which are linked to serious health problems. Prof Kelly said that London should lead the way in promoting non-polluting transport policies.

Just last week the government unveiled its strategy for tackling illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air. The key element was a promise to end the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars from 2040.

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If cars are to be electric only there will obviously be a massive increase in demand on the National Grid as a result – and that’s only one of a number of major issues arising from such a policy, such as cost and practicality. Whether hybrids would still be allowed is not clear.

New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government is set to announce.

Ministers will also unveil a £255m fund to help councils tackle emissions from diesel vehicles, as part of a £3bn package of spending on air quality, reports BBC News.

The government will later publish its clean air strategy, favouring electric cars, before a High Court deadline.

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Image credit: Chris Sampson / Wikipedia


Even buying an ice cream from a van could be a health hazard, in Britain at least, according to the Mail on Sunday’s roadside test results. A pre-existing condition might be triggered by the fumes, they say. The anti-diesel campaign rumbles on.

Diesel-engined ice cream vans are spewing out dangerously high levels of a deadly pollutant which is especially harmful to young children, a Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed.

The engines are kept running while the vans are parked to power their fridges, leaving queuing families to breathe in a pollutant that can trigger asthma attacks after just a few minutes’ exposure and is responsible for thousands of deaths each year.

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City life in China

Maybe the courts could order the issue of free anti-pollution masks, pending any government ‘clean-up’ action.

The UK government may face legal action after seeking to delay publishing its plan to tackle air pollution until after the general election, says BBC News.

The courts had given ministers until 16:00 on Monday to set out draft measures to combat illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. A 2016 court ruling said existing measures proposed by the government did not meet the requirements of law.

The general election is scheduled to take place on 8 June.
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French anti-pollution car stickers


A colour-coded badge of honour or shame for every car under new French regulations. UK MoT certificates won’t do for city visitors.

UK drivers planning to go to France in the coming months are going to require new ‘clean air’ stickers or face on-the-spot fines for failing to display them, as CLM reports.

Paris, Lyon and Grenoble introduced the new Crit’Air scheme in January to tackle vehicle pollution in their city centres, with another 22 towns and cities said to be planning to follow suit over the next few years.

The scheme requires all vehicles to clearly display an air quality certificate windscreen sticker, or vignette, according to how much they pollute.
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An embarrassing U-turn by the promoters of pointless carbophobia as diesel cars get the role of public enemy.
H/T Daily Mail via GWPF

It’s less than 20 years since the Labour government – backed by the vociferous green lobby and most of the scientific community – urged motorists to abandon their nasty, carbon-emitting, petrol-engine cars and convert to diesel.

With hindsight, looking at the names of the politicians who pushed this revolution – John Prescott, Neil Kinnock (then EU Transport Commissioner), Gordon Brown – we should have known it would end in tears. But at the time we were assured that driving a diesel was good for the planet and buying one was doing a public service.
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s-bahn
Hard to see bus and train operators giving 40 days of discounts to ‘help the climate’ as so-called climate experts fondly imagine. Pollution, congestion and climate fears all get rolled into one issue.

For years German cities have suffered under the effects of polluted air, mainly caused by diesel cars. But now that it’s nearly the Christian season of abstaining before Easter, experts have a novel solution, as The Local explains.

The Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) and other climate protectionists are encouraging Germans to go on a ‘car fast’ for the season of Lent leading up to Easter.

Katrin Dziekan of the UBA suggested special discounts on Deutsche Bahn and regional train services could be offered to those who abstain from cars for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
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