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Author Topic: Is VW likely to have killed many people in the UK with their diesel cars?  (Read 10072 times)

Offline Pecos_Bill

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For some reason people here often  are under the misapprehension that my posts are addressed to them. That is not so.

These threads are sometimes read by several thousand people - some of them can understand my warning of what lies ahead of them when they breathe that toxic caca - tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Where else can a retired RN do that for free?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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For some reason people here often  are under the misapprehension that my posts are addressed to them. That is not so.

These threads are sometimes read by several thousand people - some of them can understand my warning of what lies ahead of them when they breathe that toxic caca - tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Where else can a retired RN do that for free?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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"[OK, for a start, sorry, but I can't get this site to edit posts properly so I apologise for the multiple posts . if someone can stitch them together , that would be great.]
Secondly; Bill, was your post about "talk to the hand" addressed to everyone, or to someone in particular?"


BTW, no emoticon  will make a difference to the evidence that suggests that about 2.5% of cars in LA, California are diesel powered.
Looking on the bright side, at least thus far, you are not pretending that poetry is evidence.
« Last Edit: 26/09/2015 00:27:42 by Bored chemist »
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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Quote

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”


― Albert Einstein

The reason that garbage is shortening peoples' lives in London every day is plain old asinine supratentorial insufficiency.

When they were killing off the Bison herds, they would sit off at up to 1,000 yards with a .50-90 Sharps rifle firing a bullet between 21.7 -45.4 grams of lead and drop them one at a time.

The poor dumb beasts were too stupid to run away when their neighbor dropped dead next to them. No wolves. No Indians -- let's eat!

Today we see that it is possible to get a university education and - upon hearing true facts about the increased mortality risk of airborne Diesel particulates -- continue to bloviate about the percentage of diesel cars in the Los Angeles basin. Los Angeles isn't London so What? me worry?
 

Offline alancalverd

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As the original question was about the UK, Los Angeles statistics are irrelevant. But if anyone has any actual figures of  deaths attributed post mortem to diesel particulates, they would be very interesting, regardless of the geographical location.
 

Offline chris

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When I was in Australia last month I was driving around the southwest with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and we were discussing the question of diesel emissions. One of the points that surfaced in the conversation was the question of context. A diesel vehicle belching particulates in an urban environment is surely a greater health risk than an equivalent emission in an area with low population density. One presumes that the dispersal of the particles would bring down their influence to a level below that required to produce any kind of clinically relevant effect.

Therefore does there not exist an argument that the enhanced miles per gallon - and hence carbon cost - returned by diesels on the open road (big lorries running up an down motorways at constant speed) outweigh the pariculates cost in that setting.

Conversely, in town, the equation reverses, where slow movement of traffic, cold-started engines and slow clearance of pollution owing to the built environment serve to keep the concentration of the particles at a higher - potentially health-threatening - level for longer...   

We weren't sure whether this was a fallacious argument or not. What do you think?
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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It probably depends on how far the particulates travel before precipitating out. I suspect quite a long way.

In the UK, half the country is to the East of the M1 (for example), so the lorries would be pumping out a whole bunch of particulates and the prevailing winds would then waft their evilness over the rest of Britain and even onto the continent.

But it may even be that that's what diesel engines already do to some degree; apparently the manufacturers have an in depth discussion with the EPA about what the best way their emissions should be handled, I'm sure that kind of strategy would have come up.
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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It amazes me to see how lightly the empiricism of John Locke and Francis Bacon has infected the medieval scholasticism of the naked scientists.

To put that in the broad scots, "Why don't you people deploy some recce, open the window and see for yourselves?"

Quote
Public Health England’s (PHE) figures suggest that PM2.5 is a major cause
of disease in London, and at least as important as road accidents, communicable
disease, liver disease and suicide, and ranks up to 5th overall.

-A review of recent primary epidemiological evidence on the health risks of air
pollution for the City of London Corporation, including quantitative estimates of the
effects in Central London [1.]


Apparently the naked scientists have many among them who are tired of living.

This phenomenon is denoted by the verb "autodarwinate". What we see here is a segment of the human species autodarwinating.

For those who may be interested in making old bones, here is a map of air pollution in London.

http://www.londonair.org.uk/london/asp/annualmaps.asp

Those who think it is a significant endeavour to sit around talking about VW should have their Mommy's put them to bed, because the hour is late for such babes in the woods.


[1.] https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/business/environmental-health/environmental-protection/air-quality/Documents/Impacts-Of-Air-Pollution-On-Health.pdf
 

Offline Bored chemist

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"To put that in the broad scots, "Why don't you people deploy some recce, open the window and see for yourselves?""
OK. I looked out of the window and I saw people living for longer than they ever did before.
At the least, that tells me that air pollution isn't killing in droves like it used to.
It seems likely that VW's actions will have raised the death toll, and they should be held to account for that.
But exactly what you expect us to do about it remains a mystery.
The fact that their share value fell by a third within 2 days will probably do more to  persuade them (and others) not to do that again, than anything we can do.
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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I have previously said here...

The way to do  that (achieve clean air) is to use 4th generation nuclear power to energize electric vehicles.

To say that I haven't addressed this problem here is just plain common.

This is the Naked Scientists open science forum -- not the Oxford faculty club. This petty behavior detracts from the usefulness of these discussions and is deplorable.

It is particularly deplorable when we are discussing the health and welfare of human beings in general and the people of London in particular.

As to the ignorant falsehood that "air pollution isn't killing in droves like it used to" I repeat the previously entered statement which was purchased by the city of London for its peoples' welfare.

Public Health England’s (PHE) figures suggest that PM2.5 is a major cause of disease in London, and at least as important as road accidents, communicable disease, liver disease and suicide, and ranks up to 5th overall. [op.cit ]
« Last Edit: 26/09/2015 19:21:55 by Pecos_Bill »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Thanks for the references, PB. I have found some numbers in the second reference and we can now answer the question.

Quote
Reducing Daily PM2.5 concentrations to the WHO guideline of 10μgm-3
This could have the benefit of avoiding 37 respiratory hospital admissions in Central
London annually, or about 1.5% of respiratory admissions. It could reduce CVD
hospitalizations by 50 per year, or about 0.7% of the 7004 annually.

I note "could" and "about 1.5%", but let's take the worst case. If we assume that half of the diesel particulate emissions in London are from cars (it's probably a lot less than half, thanks to the reintroduction of diesel buses) and that VW diesels account for 1 car in 20 in the UK*, it is just possible that they are responsible for one respiratory admission per year in London.

Given that other UK cities are much smaller and mostly a lot windier, I'd guess the answer, at least for hosptal admissions, is around 3 per annum attributable to VW diesel car particulates over the whole UK.

The irony is twofold: Far more admissions are caused by NO2 exposure (and these are definitively diagnosed and recorded, whereas the particulate figures are speculative) which comes from all i.c. engines. And VW diesels (or their Renault derivatives) are the preferred emergency ambulance engines.

The VW diesel giveth (a lot), and the VW diesel taketh away (a little). 


*data from the Daily Mail, I'm afraid, but what the heck - Pete's reference was by a Cambridge author so you can't trust either of them. 
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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I am  disgusted by this callous and nonchalant regard for human lives  and suffering... to say nothing of the carefree disregard of the needless drain on the NHS budget.

Is it any wonder that the SNP wants freedom from being yoked alongside brutes like this?

My data is not from the daily mail. I repeat it again..

Public Health England’s (PHE) figures suggest that PM2.5 is a major cause of disease in London, and at least as important as road accidents, communicable disease, liver disease and suicide, and ranks up to 5th overall

Furthermore his statement that "whereas the particulate figures are speculative" shames every honest person in Britain. This man is fully aware that "PM 2.5" refers to particulate matter of 2.5 mm.
« Last Edit: 26/09/2015 20:59:19 by Pecos_Bill »
 

Offline alancalverd

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2.5 μm, not mm. Particles of a tenth of an inch diameter don't get very far in the respiratory system.   

It's a pity we don't have actual figures from PHE, but whilst they employ some very able friends and colleagues on the laboratory benches, their publications don't rate very highly in my estimation - far too much politics between the numbers.

There were 132 road accident deaths in London in 2013, about 700 suicides, 1800 from liver disease, 7000 from communicable diseases. So I guess the "up to fifth" in this oddly logarithmic scale might be, perhaps 10 to 20? That is commensurate with the Parliament Hill estimate you quoted, and mine.

If you want a "needless drain on the NHS budget", look no further than the Thatcher reforms, the Ionising Radiations (Medical Exposure) Regulations, and the Care Quality Commission. Billions of pounds spent every year on pointless administration and navel-gazing. But it will all be reformed by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which will put the final nail in the coffin of evil, atheistic socialised medicine and hand the NHS (or at least the potentially profitable bits) over to US commercial interests.
 

Offline Pecos_Bill

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I will say no more of this. It was posted at 23:34 on a Saturday night. It, thus, graphically shows that the super-ego is soluble in ethanol - and in vino veritas.

The true nature of this person is evident in his own words.

I have heretofore tended to think the song "God Save England" was a sarcastic and unfair exagerration ... but after reading this....

Further, the Affiant sayeth not
« Last Edit: 27/09/2015 03:21:49 by Pecos_Bill »
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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To put that in the broad scots, "Why don't you people deploy some recce, open the window and see for yourselves?"
That would be because NOx and particulates are largely invisible pollutants.

However, a few months back I did have the misfortune to have to visit Bedford city centre on a very high pollution day; there was what, at least appeared to be, actual visible smog at the time and I GTFO ASAP.

It might not have been, there could have been a fire nearby or something, but the sickly yellowish slightly smoky look to the air did not inspire confidence!
 

Offline chris

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there was what, at least appeared to be, actual visible smog at the time

When you fly into Johannesburg in the morning the plane passes through a layer of brown air hovering over the city...
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Apparently there's over a million vehicles in the UK with the emissions software on it.

If the car is pumping out, on average, 5 times the emissions it should then it's presumably around 1/7 of the UK NOx emissions from the 35 million cars, if everyone else is telling the truth about their emissions.
 

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