Is VW likely to have killed many people in the UK with their diesel cars?

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Offline wolfekeeper

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At the moment, the VW story seems to be that lots of diesel Golfs worldwide are generating very high NOx pollution output, and diesels and golfs are pretty popular in the UK; and these cars would be punching way above their weight in terms of their NOx emissions, perhaps as much as what 10-40 other diesel cars produce.

That suggests that this might actually be a significant fraction of the NOx produced in the UK; significant percentages.

Air pollution is a pretty big killer in the UK. Does anyone have an estimate what proportion of UK's NOx that might represent, and how many people will likely have died from it?

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Offline ProjectSailor

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The UK in 2013 emmitted 1.02 million tonnes of NOx from all sources.. they estimate 28% of this is vehicles.. so 200-300,000 tonnes pa?

If the lab is right and they emit 40 times as much Nox.. then I am surprised we arent all dead.

The problem is these figures were calculated on the faked figures from car manufacturers (remember we dont know if its just VW at the moment) so we wont really know the actual impact.

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Offline alancalverd

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As I understand the situation, VW "bluemotion" diesels use Adblue, just like many trucks, buses and other German cars, to reduce NOx emissions. Problem is that it adversely affects performance and is a pain  in the butt in places like the USA where diesel cars are uncommon so the consumer may not know where to buy the consumable or how to administer it. 

Worse, the damn car won't start if the Adblue tank is low. Annoying in Europe, bloody dangerous in Death Valley or Alaska.

So it's better to switch it off when it isn't needed (i.e. when you aren't being tested for emissions) and let the garage worry about topping up the tank every year or so (when they do the emission test!)  Alas, someone thinks this is cheating.

So the answer is that innumerable lives have been saved - or at least not endangered - by VW only switching on the Adblue during emission tests in the USA. 

Is it cheating? Not to my mind. My plane is specified to lift off in x meters of runway, and then you read the small print (it's actually quite large for aeroplanes) that "runway" = hard, dry concrete at sea level  with no wind, one (small female) pilot, no baggage, minimal instrumentation, oil and fuel.....and you add your own correction factors which can more than double the takeoff run in "normal" conditions of wet grass etc.... 
« Last Edit: 23/09/2015 17:02:57 by alancalverd »
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Offline wolfekeeper

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> Alas, someone thinks this is cheating.

Oh well, if it's only "cheating" that's all right then.

Sorry, but I don't live in Alaska or Death Valley, nor for that matter do people living in LA, and I don't see why I should potentially die just so you get slightly higher mpg, and because you can't be bothered to top a small tank up at least occasionally.

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Offline alancalverd

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Problem seems to be that the Adblue tank doesn't have a level display, just a warning when it's about to expire - but the warning comes too late for many US customers who could well be stranded in a desert despite having a full tank of fuel.

No big deal with trucks, whose Adblue tanks are visible, or buses, which are serviced and topped up by mechanics every night.

Anyway your statstics for death certificates listing "air pollution" as cause of death will be interesting to read. The incidence of fatal bronchial disease has decreased by about 7% per year over the last decade in the UK, during which the number of diesel cars has risen from < 10% to > 50% of new sales. 
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Offline wolfekeeper

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I think we've already established that these are badly designed engines, the fact they lack a level gauge doesn't surprise me.

That's probably going down because other fossil fuel engines have been lent on- notably coal power stations are being used a lot less, particularly in summertime.

That doesn't mean it shouldn't have gone down a lot more; it should be interesting to see what happens when they tighten this up.
« Last Edit: 23/09/2015 19:27:38 by wolfekeeper »

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Offline chris

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The Peugeot engines fitted to some editions of the Ford Focus model use blue juice serum to "regenerate" the diesel particulate filter (DPF). Other specifications actually shove diesel into the cylinder during the exhaust stroke and enrich the air in the manifold to start an inferno in the DPF to achieve the same effect. In both cases though, these processes add considerable expense and unreliability to what is otherwise an excellent engine. The DPF gauges when it needs "regenerating" by doing a pressure differential test across the filter. But if the sensors fail then the engine registers a DPF failure and the management system cuts off the fuel, stranding you. This happened to me. Stuck at the roadside because a piece of plastic sheared on a cheap sensor. The first garage I took it to (Marshalls Ford, Cambridge) tried to tell me it needed a new DPF (£1200). I refused to believe the diagnosis - because they couldn't justify why it was the DPF and not the sensors - and instead paid another garage £200 to replace the sensors. Hey presto, my DPF worked like a charm again. These emissions control systems seem to be a license for some dealers and garages to behave like charlatans and prey on the insecurity and ignorance of their customers.
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx

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Offline wolfekeeper

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... otherwise an excellent engine
I would question that, if it was all that excellent it wouldn't need all these bodges on it to make it not kill people so very much.
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These emissions control systems seem to be a license for some dealers and garages to behave like charlatans and prey on the insecurity and ignorance of their customers.
Also a license for VW to do that [:(]

Really internal combustion engines have turned out to be a bit of a sorry tale overall; horribly polluting, and taking large numbers of lives. Lead in petrol and particulates in diesel engines, and NOx with both of them.

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Offline alancalverd

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I'm beginning to think this is all bunkum. There is an inherent problem when using an internal combustion engine in a road vehicle, because it can only reach maximum efficiency at one speed. No big deal in ships and planes, which cruise for hours or days at best speed, and trucks tend to have at least 14 gears so the diesel runs at 800 - 1200 rpm all the time, but not ideal for cars.

So you design an engine that will burn really efficiently at say 50 mph - i.e. the quoted fuel consumption speed, faster than average speed in the UK and the legal limit for most of the USA. Now you have to get rid of the noxious emissions at other speeds, so you install a sensor that squirts Adblue into the system whenever the demand is such that it wouldn't burn efficiently. Great, problem solved.

Except that a stringent emission test schedule would be designed to operate the engine at the point where it is producing most emissions. So when the chip works, the tester complains that you are cheating, and the solution suddenly becomes a problem!

As usual, good science has been overruled by bad politics. And if you think the US motor industry has nothing to do with politics, your naivete knows no bounds.   

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and taking large numbers of lives.
Any actual data to support this? Not "official estimates" but numbers from death certificates, please.
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Offline ProjectSailor

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Alan makes the whole point..

Just think about the huge amounts of development cash goes into hitting these politically driven arguable overreactions. We all know that electric motors are way more efficient than the internal combustion engine when it comes to this application.. and for all the conspiracies about Oil companies holding electric cars back, is basically untrue.. Oil companies would be looking at more stability and a longer life span if demand were reduced..

If half the money that was spent this way was actually funneled towards developing more suitable batteries or other electrical storage devices we would have perfected them already.. there are plenty in the background just needing that little bit extra capital to make it a feasible solution.

But politics drives development and since pretty much every modern politician is more interested in the quick wins and vote winners, more interested in papering over the cracks rather than doing the real hard work of fixing what is going wrong in the first place. Are we surprised that we find this filtering down throughout society?

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Offline wolfekeeper

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I'm beginning to think this is all bunkum. There is an inherent problem when using an internal combustion engine in a road vehicle, because it can only reach maximum efficiency at one speed. No big deal in ships and planes, which cruise for hours or days at best speed, and trucks tend to have at least 14 gears so the diesel runs at 800 - 1200 rpm all the time, but not ideal for cars.

So you design an engine that will burn really efficiently at say 50 mph - i.e. the quoted fuel consumption speed, faster than average speed in the UK and the legal limit for most of the USA. Now you have to get rid of the noxious emissions at other speeds, so you install a sensor that squirts Adblue into the system whenever the demand is such that it wouldn't burn efficiently. Great, problem solved.

Except that a stringent emission test schedule would be designed to operate the engine at the point where it is producing most emissions. So when the chip works, the tester complains that you are cheating, and the solution suddenly becomes a problem!

As usual, good science has been overruled by bad politics. And if you think the US motor industry has nothing to do with politics, your naivete knows no bounds.   
No, the same batch of testing showed that the BMW X5 actually consistently hit the standards, in real world conditions. This isn't just VW being hard-done by; this isn't some official conspiracy or screwup, and VW have already admitted they pointedly cheated on the test.

And fundamentally, it's the diesel engine that is at fault here; when diesel burns it's in swirling chaotic patterns as it gets injected, this generates large amounts of particulates that have to be dealt with, and it burns at high temperature and pressures which raises NOx. Petrol engines are by no means blameless, but the combustion process is much more tightly controlled. They don't generate the microparticles that are so injurious.

The BMW managed to finagle that away, but VW has been less successful. Partly this may be because they make smaller cars; it's harder to find a place for a big urea tank for example.

Big ships, you seem to be assuming that they're very clean. In reality, they're far dirtier, they can get away with it to some degree, because they're usually far from land. Aeroplanes are a smaller fraction of overall transportation than cars, so their emissions are somewhat less significant, and they don't use diesel engines because they're too heavy.

The other factor in all this would be the financial crisis; VW will have found themselves stuck back in 2009, the urea tank was too small, and they couldn't hit emissions. Few people were buying cars, and manufacturers were going bankrupt. They may not have had the cash for major redesigns, they needed cars in the showrooms pronto.

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Offline ProjectSailor

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Particulates and high NOx are on the opposite ends of performance.

Not enough oxygen - more particulates low NOx
Too much oxygen - less particulates, high NOx..

Its all to do the completeness of combustion..

Turbo charging has drastically reduced the amount of particulates generated by the average diesel engine

Actually.. big ships are pretty good nowadays since new technology such as common rail has reduced the fuel system errors that typically caused the engines to run dirty. In fact the ports in the north atlantic force big ships to burn actual diesel rather than HFO in their waters and ports now, which is more expensive, but you dont get that HFO smell (emissions are actually not that much better to be honest, worse in fact wrt NOx) 

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Offline chris

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What have VW actually gone on the record and admitted to doing? If the answer is as simple as Alan's synopsis, then their defence should be sound and there should be no need for the chief exec to resign...
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx

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Offline wolfekeeper

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The admission came directly to EPA, so far as I know it's not been a press release.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-24/how-smog-cops-busted-volkswagen-and-brought-down-its-ceo

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Offline alancalverd

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What have VW actually gone on the record and admitted to doing? If the answer is as simple as Alan's synopsis, then their defence should be sound and there should be no need for the chief exec to resign...

If you were offered 60,000,000 euros to say "I didn't know what was going on"  and resign your job tomorrow, what would you do? "Need"? try "greed"!
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Offline wolfekeeper

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Anyway your statstics for death certificates listing "air pollution" as cause of death will be interesting to read. The incidence of fatal bronchial disease has decreased by about 7% per year over the last decade in the UK, during which the number of diesel cars has risen from < 10% to > 50% of new sales.

If the lab is right and they emit 40 times as much Nox.. then I am surprised we arent all dead.

The problem is these figures were calculated on the faked figures from car manufacturers (remember we dont know if its just VW at the moment) so we wont really know the actual impact.
FWIW:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34340301

Prof Alastair Lewis, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, University of York, says much public policy is based on the test results.

"The reasons the tests are conducted is ultimately so that air pollution can be managed appropriately," he says. "Emissions data from manufacturers is used by governments to simulate future air pollution levels and set policy."

It was predicated a decade a ago that, for example, NOx in city centres would be on a downward trend, he said.

"But this was based on cars emitting NOx at the rates suggested by the manufacturers' test data, and the reality is that NOx has effectively plateaued in most cities, and in many places is above the European air quality standards."

« Last Edit: 25/09/2015 00:16:16 by wolfekeeper »

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Offline Pecos_Bill

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There is, I recall, in "A Doctor of the Old School" by T. Wilder which I once read in Woollcott's reader, a description of a doctor who practiced in the Scottish Highlands in the late 1800's.

There is a passage in that story which was to the effect that Highland men generally didn't start to slow down until well into their 80's except for one chap who had spent several years among the southrons and pooped out in his 70's.

What I have seen of London - which was no more than it took to go from the train station from Hollyhead to the Eurotrain's station - didn't show me anything to doubt that passage at all.

Nevertheless it is not possible to kill yourself directly with a VW short of running a hose from the exhaust pipe.

I hope future generations will view the current air quality of London  as little better than the bad old days when London was called, "The Smoke".

The way to do that is to use 4th generation nuclear power to energize electric vehicles. I this, and, I that in the milk of all combustion engines.

In the central valley of California when you crack a chest and look at the lungs they are not pink. They are ditchwater black from breathing that diesel crud.

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Offline alancalverd

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I hope future generations will view the current air quality of London  as little better than the bad old days when London was called, "The Smoke".

One of our best smogs in 1956 killed about 4000 people in 4 days in London alone. Currently, the rate of bronchitis death in the whole of England is about 9000 per year, principally among smokers and those who remember the 1950's. I think future generations will consider such a reduction as significant.     

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In the central valley of California when you crack a chest and look at the lungs they are not pink. They are ditchwater black from breathing that diesel crud.

Funny, that. There are hardly any diesel cars in California, or indeed anywhere in the USA. Must be the trucks and buses, but they are all made in the USA and therefore not subject to scandal.
« Last Edit: 25/09/2015 09:47:09 by alancalverd »
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Offline Pecos_Bill

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Funny, that. There are hardly any diesel cars in California, or indeed anywhere in the USA. Must be the trucks and buses, but they are all made in the USA and therefore not subject to scandal!


Bwaaa - hah - hah -hah !

I just love it when foreigners talk thru their hat like that. They are just so damn cute!

Here is a picture of a gas pump [image # 1] - as are common in every California gas station. See the green nozzle socket labelled "Diesel Fuel # 2" Those are only there in the hopes that the diesel cars and pickups which don't exist in California may suddenly (May it please the noble Gods) magically appear.

Here is a description of the more commonly seen diesel pickup trucks in California [1.] You need something like this to haul your cabin cruiser to the lake or your 5th wheel toy hauler to the beach. [image # 2]

Then there are the diesel tractors, tomato harvesters [ image # 3 ], and etc. for the agribusiness of the central valley.

And that is why the peoples' lungs she's a turn black after you breathe the air in Fresno, Kern, King's and Tulare counties for a few years.

Then there are the coccidioidomycosis spores  like were eating the meninges of the poor pepper picker I shamed Merced county into treating until he decided he would rather go home to Mexico rather than get another intrathecal dose of Amphotericin.

So California's central valley is no place for sissy-boys. They just might get run over by a diesel pick-up truck( that doesn't exist) while the bozo driving it is texting his babe.

[1.]  http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1086531_diesel-pickup-trucks-from-chevy-ford-nissan-ram-ultimate-guide

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Offline alancalverd

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Overall, diesels account for less than 3% of all cars sold in the U.S. That ratio could shift up to 8% or even as high as 10% by 2018, according to various projections.

Thus proving that Time magazine's business section is written by ignorant foreigners!
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Offline Pecos_Bill

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"Ignorant foreigner", eh?

Well, I am sorry that I responded to your initial provocation. Sadder, but wiser, eh?

I am going to post a picture of a diesel suv and then a diesel pick-up truck. Both of them are common in California. Not even Time magazine would think they are "cars".

Are you sure you want to keep following me around pulling this nonsense again , Hoss? I suggest that you get a nice tall glass of milk and think it over. Try a hobby or go watch the "footsie". Whatever it takes to get beyond the rancor which passed between us over in that GSCE dogfight. That sort of thing is thoughtless, unfortunate, and inconsiderate to others who aren't interested in seeing this forum turned into a Jerry Springer show....again.....like me.

If I have addressed you directly since then it was a regrettable and inadvertent mistake. I promise not to do it in the future and I would be deeply obliged if you could follow my example.
« Last Edit: 25/09/2015 12:52:34 by Pecos_Bill »

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Offline Bored chemist

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Funny, that. There are hardly any diesel cars in California, or indeed anywhere in the USA. Must be the trucks and buses, but they are all made in the USA and therefore not subject to scandal!


Bwaaa - hah - hah -hah !

I just love it when foreigners talk thru their hat like that. They are just so damn cute!

Here is a picture of a gas pump [image # 1] - as are common in every California gas station. See the green nozzle socket labelled "Diesel Fuel # 2" Those are only there in the hopes that the diesel cars and pickups which don't exist in California may suddenly (May it please the noble Gods) magically appear.

Here is a description of the more commonly seen diesel pickup trucks in California [1.] You need something like this to haul your cabin cruiser to the lake or your 5th wheel toy hauler to the beach. [image # 2]

Then there are the diesel tractors, tomato harvesters [ image # 3 ], and etc. for the agribusiness of the central valley.

And that is why the peoples' lungs she's a turn black after you breathe the air in Fresno, Kern, King's and Tulare counties for a few years.

Then there are the coccidioidomycosis spores  like were eating the meninges of the poor pepper picker I shamed Merced county into treating until he decided he would rather go home to Mexico rather than get another intrathecal dose of Amphotericin.

So California's central valley is no place for sissy-boys. They just might get run over by a diesel pick-up truck( that doesn't exist) while the bozo driving it is texting his babe.

[1.]  http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1086531_diesel-pickup-trucks-from-chevy-ford-nissan-ram-ultimate-guide

In response to the claim that there are hardly any diesel cars in California you have show some pictures of things that use diesel, but are not cars (for example, because they are trucks) and also shown the pumps that let people buy fuel for them.

But you don't seem to have addressed the issue of cars in CA that use diesel.
Anyway, here's a list of 6000 or so diesel cars for sale in LA
http://www.autoblog.com/used-list/location-Los+Angeles+CA/fuel-Diesel

and here's a list of 249000 cars for sale that are not specifically diesel.
http://www.autoblog.com/used-list/location-los+angeles

All of which rather strongly suggests  that, at least as far as the  2nd hand market is concerned, only about 2.5% of cars there are diesel.
 
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Offline wolfekeeper

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Nobody is dumb enough to claim there's no diesel powered trucks in LA.

The thing is though, the scandal specifically affects cars, and is partly because there's nowhere much to put an adblue tank in the car, so VW were trying to achieve the same affect without the tank... and apparently failing.

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Offline Pecos_Bill

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Neither Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease nor Oat cell carcinoma of the lung give a lousy pinch of sour rat toe-jam whether the particulate matter which lets them kill people come from a VW, a John Deere tractor, or an SUV.

Premature death is death. You soon come to realize that when you are hooking them up to the morphine drip for the first night of their eternal rest.

That may sound crude to you, but I believe it calls for pregnant speech - and not fossicking about with nonsense -- considering the circumstances.

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Offline wolfekeeper

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It doesn't sound crude to me, it just sounds like you didn't read or understand my post.

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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?

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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?
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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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 »
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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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?

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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.
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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?
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx

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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.

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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

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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.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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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 »

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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. 
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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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 »

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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.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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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 »

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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!

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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...
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx

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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.