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Monday
Dec082014

It's Hardly News.

 I don't wish to come across smug and knowing, but the many unpleasant effects of tailpipe emissions aren't exactly news, are they?
When I first visited Los Angeles in the mid 1980's during its period of bearing the 'most polluted city in the world' moniker, there was a great deal of talk about local area pollution and the dire effect this toxic smog had particularly on the old and very young.

On a bad day in LA you could barely see or breath, this pollution was anything but subtle.
20 years of legislation by the Californian government and in particular the California Air Resource Board, (CARB) encouraged the introduction of things like unleaded petrol, catalytic converters and of course hybrid and electric cars.
Now it's in the news again, like the fact that tens of thousands of diesel cars in London being a bad thing is a sudden shock to everyone.
In a recent BBC report it was stated that "...traffic is responsible for 42% of carbon monoxide, 46% of nitrogen oxides and 26% of particulate matter pollution."
Not sure what that means?
Try cycling around London with an air filter face mask and have a look at the filter after a half hour pedal. It's properly black. I first noticed that in about 1979.
So, the sooner we get rid of all diesel taxis, busses, trucks, vans and cars the better.
'But,' say the fossil defenders, 'that could have a huge negative effect on the economy.'
I would like to suggest that it could have a huge beneficial effect on our economy and indeed cut down on the annual estimate of 29,000 deaths that are as a direct result of traffic related air pollution.

 

Reader Comments (3)

Get rid of the fossil-fuelled taxis and replace them with those ones in that FullyCharged episode(1) but with 90-second swappable batteries as demonstrated by Tesla last year(2). That'd make them not only feasible but a great improvement (less noise, faster "refuelling", cheaper running costs) on the current ones.

Electric vans are also do-able and are available as demonstrated by Renault and others. But what about electric buses? How far have they come along?

The only big problem are electric trucks AKA lorries in UK parlance. I don't know if they are on the horizon. Are they?

But don't miss a biggie: London could easily have Dutch levels of cycling if it aimed for it. That's upwards of 30% of all trips. Electric cars are fine and dandy but can't solve the congestion problem nor can they solve the health problems of our current sedentary life styles. The humble bicycle can help a lot here.

1 http://youtu.be/gzWWgw-3WYs
2 http://www.teslamotors.com/en_AU/batteryswap

December 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFrankR

If the Exhaust fumes from Petrol & Diesels were bright pink, we'd ALL be driving Electric by now !

(Except for Mazda MX-5 drivers, - natch ! ;-) )

December 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNick

Not just Londres Robert
I work on the north-east corner of Paris, just near Charles de Gaule aƩroport and coming into work on a bright sunny morning it's plain to see
the pollution above Paris. Here come the restrictions on vehicle age/type of carburant Hehehehe!

February 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Livewire

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