(Works best in a Scouse accent)
I don't often do serious articles. One of my earliest was my second ever post in November 2009 in which I sort of looked at how lean-burn engines were a better, cleaner bet than catalytic converters.
Also around that time, the Government was trying to encourage people to buy diesel cars since better fuel economy meant less Carbon Monoxide & Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere.
Yes - diesel.
Things have changed a bit since then.
People are suddenly more interested in NOx (Nitrogen Monoxide & Nitrogen Dioxide) - these are dangerous gases now linked to respiratory illnesses, stroke and even diabetes. Scary.
Last night, Channel 4's documentary strand, Dispatches, reported on the situation - fronted by their reporter, Morland Sanders:
Here's a link to the official blurb.
Basically, lots of people were convinced to buy diesel cars on the grounds of fuel efficiency and ecological advantage and they are now being told that it was a bad move and NOx levels are a serious problem, especially in certain urban areas such as East London.
A few people don't come out of this very well at all. This is Mike Hawes, boss of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders who didn't think that it was cheating for manufacturers to tape up shutlines of their cars when performing official fuel-efficiency tests.
Then there's this guy - Barry Gardiner MP. I was going to use the first picture, then I spotted the second, then the third - choose which one you like the most:
He is Shadow Minister for The Environment and he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Trade & Industry when the then-Labour Government decided to encourage diesel take-up. He admits, "Hands up, can I say there’s absolutely no question that the decision we took was the wrong decision" - but he says that with a big grin on his face and then adds in lots of what he believes to be mitigating factors.
If I thought he was genuinely sorry, I've had accepted that.
He went on to try and make it more party-political with his statement, "Certainly the impact of that decision has been a massive problem for public health in this country. The real tragedy is after we set up the committee on the medical effects of air pollution and it reported back in 2010 we’ve had five years that this government has done nothing about it."
The Tories response is just as bad, “We’ve acted on the Committee’s findings through providing effective health advice to the public. Air quality has improved significantly in recent decades and we are investing heavily"
Recent decades!? so they are trying to take credit for what happened before they were in power?
And what health advice are they talking about? I've not noticed any and I'm a member of the public.
I did feel a bit educated by the programme last night though when they did an experiment on NOx exposure to a pedestrian, a cyclist, a bus passenger and a motorist.
You would expect the cyclist to inhale the most, followed by the walker then the bus passenger and finally the motorist cocooned in his car.
It was actually the reverse that was true. Must remember to put by heating system onto re-circ.
No mention was made of this man:
Now to lighten the mood, here is an American cop joining in with Taylor Swift: