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Diesel Bomb

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, October 1st, 2015 - 37 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, corruption, Environment, Ethics, health, International, quality of life, Social issues, spin, transport - Tags: , , , , ,

First there was Volkswagen. Then there was the VW subsidiaries Audi and Skoda. Now, from a Guardian article today…

Nissan’s X-Trail 1.6 cDi, which produced over 14 times more NOx in the WLTC test.

A Nissan spokeswoman said: “We can state unequivocally that we are committed to upholding the law and meeting regulations in all markets.”

Renault’s Espace Energy dCi 160 emitted over 11 times more NOx in the WLTC test, with Renault’s Grand Scenic and Kadjar also among Adac’s top 10 polluters.

A Renault Group spokesman said: “The group complies with all regulations and legislation for the markets in which it operates. Its vehicles are not equipped with defeat devices.”

•Adac found Jeep’s Renegade 2.0 emitted 10 times more NOx while other cars producing at least six times more NOx included Hyundai’s i20 1.1, Fiat’s 500x 1.6 and Citroen’s DS5 Hybrid4.

“Hyundai Motor abides by the testing regulations and methods of each region where it sells cars including Europe,” said a spokeswoman.

Citroen, Fiat and Jeep did not respond to requests for comment.


A simple bar graph of results and models is here.

The consequences? Well there’s another Guardian article outlining some of the history of the drive for diesel and the skulduggery and horse-trading indulged by industry and governments that’s worth the read. But essentially, the direct consequences outlined in that article, are that a lot of people have died and that a lot more people will die. Those are the consequences.

37 comments on “Diesel Bomb ”

  1. Tracey 1


    I wonder what those who seek no regulation other than self-regulation would say to this? When ethics is regarded as a “nice to have” but profit at all costs is the foundation….

    • Bill 1.1

      Sit back and watch the silent tumble weeds blow by…

    • David 1.2

      Different test gets different results shocker.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        The no-regulation fuckwits are more in favour of not having the tests at all so that they can make as much profit as possible at everyone else’s expense.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2

        Who designed the tests that produce the misleading* results, and why?

        *”cited by the marketing department”.

      • Bill 1.2.3


        A gamed test produced one set of results.
        An un-gamed test gave very different results.
        The industry gamed its tests.

        And then there’s all the rest of it….

  2. diesel is/was equivalent to fracking?

    as in a fake designed to pump profits from gorging fatcats in the twilight orgy of consumption whilst pretending to be a savior, an antidote to the pollution caused and strewn around by these industries .

    • dukeofurl 2.1

      Hows your bicycle ?
      You of course cant possibly use any fossil fueled transport as that would make you ‘part of the problem’

      Heres NZs life tables. Notice the part where life expectancy has been increasing even with increasing fossil fuel use .


      While the ‘people dying mantra’ is possible the reality is that the effect is a shortened life expectancy of a few months derived from computer modelling, those few months are hard to pick out in the myriad reasons people die “early”
      The computer models assume the current NOX levels will remain for the lifetime of those in the model and even then get up to 4-6 months of shortened life. An extreme example. Could it be reduced to less than 30 days if the NOX emissions are reduced ?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        You really don’t like facts that disagree with you do you?

        Yes, fossil fuel use increased at the same time life expectancy. This probably has to do with all the other efforts taken to extend life such as clean drinking water, better drugs and better understanding of what kills people and then addressing those things. Then there’s the fact that pollution from fossil fuel burning has really only started to peak in the last few years which means that the full effects of that pollution haven’t been felt yet. Not addressing this will continue to kill people earlier than necessary.

        So, yes, burning fossil fuels kills people earlier than necessary and nothing you say can actually make that truth go away.

        • dukeofurl

          Au contraire, the facts agree with me, as was discussed at length in Bills previous post . Go back and read the research from Kings College and tell me the parts I have got wrong ?

          NOx-ious shit all around.

          Of course You did read that part where I agree the facts are vehicle emissions do shorten peoples lives and has been doing so for humans ever since they used open fire to keep warm and cook with. ( still a major problem in places where that happens)

          ” But in India, indoor air pollution (IAP) was attributed as the chief cause of health problems, especially for the rural population which relies on wood, coal and animal dung as fuel for preparing meals.
          The inhalation of carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde due to burning of these materials cause diseases like pneumonia, asthma, blindness, lung cancer, tuberculosis and led to low-birth weight in newborn


          And Its right that vehicles should have lower limits and stick to them as essentially similar results from open fires

          Are you suggesting clean drinking water was only available in NZ after the 60s, as thats the life expectancy tables I referred too.?

          • McFlock

            But I told you several times in that thread when you confused the cause of death with the cause of the condition that caused the death, when you confused life expectancy with attributable deaths, when you failed to comprehend that tobacco was linked with lung cancer and heart disease in exactly the same way as NO2 and other environmental pollutants are linked with deaths that they cause, when you draw some obscure distinction between “shortening lives” and “killing people”…

            Frankly, I’m not sure you’ve ever gotten anything correct

            • Bill

              He’s quite good at getting his sign in name correct…although that might be ‘saved’.

              But it’s a possible ‘one thing’, no?

              • McFlock


                Although I’m getting a bit bored with this argument. Maybe I’m growing as a person? 🙂

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        “derived from computer modelling”.

        Duke, you’ve been shown the evidence that this statement simply isn’t true. Opinion is one thing. Telling lies is another.

        Lift your game.

        • dukeofurl

          So tell me how they do it, if not from computer models. Count the deaths in a hospital and say that one is 3 months early from NOX only ?

          In fact its the only way is by computer models, which I dont have a problem with, its done with heaps of things which give good reliable results. ie climate change and works well from next weeks weather all the way up to future temperatures.
          But you have to understand what they do and dont say

          “Understanding the Health Impacts of Air Pollution in London”

          1). The total mortality burden of anthropogenic PM2.5 for the year 2010 is estimated to be 52,630 life-years lost, equivalent to 3,537 deaths at typical ages- Page 8

          Modelling by a different method at 20m not 1 km grid scale, different definition anthropogenic PM2.5, population weighting by borough, gender and 5 year age group (ca. 13.72 μg m-3) not total population, life-years calculated by 5 year age group- page 9

          I dont have a problem with their modelling as its based on well established principles and thats how research works these days.!


          • McFlock

            Try working your way to page 22.

            The air pollution was modelled based on sampling stations in a similar way that other weather patterns are modelled – in other words, exactly what you approve of.

            The deaths were calculated, not modelled, from medical records, and the census was used to calculate (not model) the base population.

            • dukeofurl

              Read the detail, they use the word modelling themselves, how amazing that they tell us how they do it.
              and here:

              The London boroughs, DEFRA and TfL who contribute measurements to the London Air Quality Network which underpins the modelling work in this report.

              Concentrations were modelled using the London Air Quality Modelling toolkit based on the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (LAEI)
              The concentrations of pollutants derived from specific sources was modelled or estimated by difference.

              For the burden calculations, the modelled ambient concentration of NO2 is higher than for PM2.5

              For recent trends, the life years when modelled population weighted-mean concentrations remained the same as in 2008 for 105 years were compared with the life years for the modelled change in levels of pollution in 2010 and 201216, with levels in 2012 then remaining unchanged until 2112.

              The modelled population-weighted annual mean concentrations of anthropogenic PM2.5 increased slightly from 2008 to 2010, decreasing to 2012 albeit still above that in 200817. For NO2 there have been ongoing reductions in the modelled population-weighted annual mean concentrations since 2008

              Modelled concentrations were available for 2008, 2010 and 2012. The concentrations for 2009 and 2011 were assumed to be the same as the previous year.

              17 The year 2008 and 2010 were fully validated and modelled using their respective meteorology data, i.e. 2008 and 2010, while the year 2012 was projected forward from 2010 using the LAEI2010 and the most recent meteorology, i.e.2010. Emissions were based on LAEI2010

              This section provides a summary of the London Air Quality Toolkit (LAQT). For those readers requiring further information, a complete description of the model is available from a Health Effects Institute report5

              There is no room for the other 70 or so use of the words modelled in the report.

              Modelling isnt a dirty word, its probably the only way to do a major work like this. and like all good models uses observations where they are available

              But it seems you have taken a stupid pill today. Im baffled that a smart guy like you is saying such ludicrous comments. Do you live in a Alice in Wonderland world ?

              Who says tobacco isnt linked to lung cancer ? My mum died of a smoking related illness, so where did I say that lung cancer isnt overwhelming caused by smoking.

              I keep saying that lives are shortened by car emissions, this research gives details, lock stock and smoking exhaust.
              Its not enough for the dickheads like you that say no modelling here

              And for the answer to the question you asked me a few days ago
              ” The mortality burden can also be expressed as a loss of life expectancy from birth. This is calculated by assuming exposure to 2010 concentrations for a lifetime, for those born in 2010. ”

              page 10.
              The word Calculation is used as a numerical technique.

              Looking at the report “measured” is mentioned 7 times none of them for deaths. And observations is mentioned 2x

              • McFlock

                How many of those uses of the word applied to something other than the air conditions in areas from which the populations were calculated? protip: London Air Quality toolkit.

                Lol you were the one who said weather modelling was able to “give good reliable results”.

                They modelled the weather, just air pollution rather than temperature.
                They then applied that weather model to the population mortality that was calculated for those areas.

                I keep saying that lives are shortened by car emissions,

                cf with your initial bullshit:

                While the ‘people dying mantra’ is possible the reality is that the effect is a shortened life expectancy of a few months derived from computer modelling, those few months are hard to pick out in the myriad reasons people die “early”

                Your fundamental failure is to confuse the average shortening of life over the population with the fact that some of these people will not have a shorter life at all, while others will die in infancy. You talk about “derived from computer modelling” when it was the pollution exposure that was modelled, something that would give “good reliable results”. You use that ignorance to minimise the impact of air pollution, just like a tobacco lobbyist used to do with lung cancer. 50% of smokers die, on average, 25 years earlier than nonsmokers. That doesn’t mean that they all die bang on that level – some die in their twenties, some only a few days before their time.

                If you count enough people, quite subtle reasons for early deaths are easy to pick out from the statistical noise. That’s how they linked smoking to death – the british doctors study was just the first, simply applying “smoking/nonsmoking” to the population rather than a model of pollution exposure.

                • dukeofurl

                  Thats all incoherent nonsense.

                  The report in their own words uses well established modelling techniques including the LAQT , the name for a computer model !

                  My very first job used computer modelling, back then it involved stacks of punched cards.

                  Why keep mentioning smoking, I knew about that ( and have never smoked) before you were probably born. We have moved on to things like car exhausts , so please try to keep up. Everyone else has.

                • dukeofurl

                  You got in with your zinger before reading my answer.

                  But thanks for digging your own ( hopefully early) grave !

                  ” protip: LondonAir Quality toolkit.”

                  and from the report

                  ” London Air Quality Toolkit (LAQT). For those readers requiring further information, a complete description of the model is available from Health Effects Institute

                  • McFlock

                    And you failed to read my answer:

                    They modelled the weather, just air pollution rather than temperature.
                    They then applied that weather model to the population mortality that was calculated for those areas.

                    So they calculated attributable mortality by taking the known mortality rates and controlling them for a weather model that you yourself stated provides “good reliable results”.

                    They did not model the population. That was calculated using reliable records, and the population was not predicted or modelled.

                    I’m not sure I can put it any more simple for you – the numbers are pretty solid, the weather model was reliable, and the confidence intervals are well outside statistical variation. I suspect the issue is not so much my coherence as it is your ability to comprehend simple concepts.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Ill repeat what I said earlier.

                      “I keep saying that lives are shortened by car emissions, this research gives details, lock, stock and smoking exhaust.”

                      There may be differences in different places due to the models used, the exact way different pollutants work in shortening lives and the quantum of the effects on life span. Thats for experts in the field to argue over.
                      I dont think people are dropping in street from car exhausts and it doesnt seem to me to be the magnitude of effect of smoking which took decades off peoples lives ( and was addictive too boot)

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      People aren’t dropping dead in the street? The science isn’t settled? Gosh, I’m experiencing some hefty deja vue. The name Wrathall springs to mind.

                    • McFlock

                      Who the fuck said it was the same magnitude as smoking?

                      The numbers are statistically significant. The methodology is the same as how the link with smoking was detected and quantified. The weather models used to estimate the exposures for populations in different geographic areas give “good reliable results”. Solid links have been found between environmental air pollutants and respiratory diseases towards the end of average life span, and with SUDI in the first year of life, using similar methodologies to how smoking hazards were identified.

                      And you still want to keep your head in the sand? Fine. So did tobacco companies. Given that some people do have heart attacks in the street, and that research shows that some of those heart attacks were probably aggravated by environmental air pollution, I’ll go with the people who report their research methodologies rather than your gut instinct.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Even our NIWA is doing great stuff in the area of air pollution modelling.

                    “Mapping Urban Traffic Pollution”
                    with its more detailed studies,

                    Development of a Roadside Corridor Model.

                    Exposure to pollution on the road and development of a Vehicle Ventilation Model.

                    Development and validation of a Traffic Impact Model concept to model nitrogen dioxide across the whole of Auckland.

                    NO2 from cars ? Who would thought theres a model for that ?

                    And the reasons ?

                    “From an urban air quality point of view we want not only to identify but also quantify the impact that the city itself has on people’s health through the changes in ambient air quality”


                    Interesting that when they made air quality measurements ( alert no modelling involved) while driving in traffic , this was the results

                    “The results very clearly showed that, although exposures were high for all commuters compared to the rest of their day, the cyclist was the least exposed and the car driver the most, even though they took almost identical routes at the same time of day. In an earlier pilot experiment, exposure to pollutants was highest of all when the commute was made in an old diesel train, the type now being phased out in Auckland in favour of electric trains.”

                    • McFlock

                      So when you said “derived from computer modelling”, did you actually mean that the attributable mortality calculations were “good, reliable results”?

                      Because I took it as an attempt to cast doubt on the reliability and practical relevance. Please correct me if I misunderstood.

        • dukeofurl

          A simple sorry that you made a a little mistake would be good OAB

          • infused

            As if. Hes a tool.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            “…the effect is a shortened life expectancy of a few months derived from computer modelling.”

            As I said the last time you attempted to introduce doubt, don’t you remember…

            Computer models, animal testing, real world studies …causal

            Jog your memory at all? You don’t deserve an apology, as North Korean war-boy’s endorsement must surely indicate.

            The Lancet is offline at the moment, here’s a pdf.

            The US miners study included a cohort analysis and a nested case-control analysis that was adjusted for tobacco smoking. Both showed positive trends in lung cancer risk with increasing exposure to diesel exhaust, as quantified via estimated EC as a proxy of exposure.
            Trends were statistically significant in the nested case-control study, with a 2-3 fold increased risk in the highest categories of cumulative or average exposure. This study provides some of the strongest evidence of an association between exposure to diesel engine exhaust and lung cancer
            since there were few potential confounding exposures in these underground mines, and high diesel exposures were well-documented in current surveys.

            Why don’t you make some sort of asinine comment about “proof” just to show you didn’t learn a damn thing?

      • Bill 2.1.3

        Well Dof, weren’t you the lucky one that I wasn’t around today?

        What the fuck you think you’re playing at doing the exact same derail as the other day (last week)?

        • dukeofurl

          Nothing wrong with you said, its all standard stuff.
          Im in complete agreement with what you said , which is rare !
          The detail work is done with models, nothing wrong with that either, and its all explained when you read the original report where they mention “modelling” over 70 times.

          Car emissions shorten lives and we are the worse for it. Car companies are gaming the numbers and then denying it.

          Im more than happy to take those apart who who think they have the exclusive understanding of complex issues. And if i do say so myself have made my point very well here.

    • Bill 2.2

      Nah. Diesel – or the claims made by manufacturers is more in line with historical tobacco industry claims that smoking’s good for bronchitis.

  3. Adrian 3

    The equivilant annual ” road ” transport toll in NZ in the 1880s from horses was equal to about 4000+ deaths today.*
    That doesn’t count the associated mortality from living with all that shit.
    The european city mortality rates around that time ( from all the shit ) was astronomical, there was just too much to get rid of.
    * this from a study done about 10 years ago by one of our universities from what I recall. Checking census data will confirm it.
    Give me a nice new Euro hatchback with climate control and surround sound any day.
    And anyway horses look a lot better as meat pies.

    • Bill 3.1

      The equivalent IQ of a horse in the 1880s was equal to about 4 of you.
      That doesn’t take into account the IQ of other living things.
      Human mortality rate is, was, and always will be 100%.
      Checking the graveyards will suggest that’s correct.
      Cars do not ‘control’ climate and all car sound systems are a bit ‘meh’.
      Anyways. Meatheads look a lot better as horses, although equine IQ levels suffer as a result – poor things.

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      Its more likely connected to sanitation in general.
      The air pollution in victorian cities was shocking, a lot of industry was closer in than now, all fuelled by coal. Home heating was predominately by coal. Clean burning wasnt heard of .

  4. RedLogix 4

    After a bit of searching:

    From September, the new Euro 6 standard for diesel engines will become mandatory in new vehicles, introducing better filters and catalytic converters in exhausts. Whatever the impact of particulates and nitrous oxide emitted by diesel engines is on our health, and there surely is some, especially from traffic jams in towns, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders claims it has already been reduced and will be substantially improved by Euro 6 and new ultra low emission zones in city centres.


    The Media headline, that man-made air pollution causes “29,000 premature deaths” in the UK is from a report, dated 2010, by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, COMEAP. The snazzy title is The Mortality Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution in the United Kingdom. The report runs to 98 pages.

    Paragrpah 2 of the Executive summary provides:
    At sub-para (a): “The current (2008) burden of anthropogenic particulate matter air pollution is, with some simplifying assumptions, an effect on mortality in 2008 equivalent to nearly 29,000 deaths in the UK at typical ages and an associated loss of total population life of 340,000 life-years. The burden can also be represented as a loss of life expectancy from birth of approximately six months”.

    At sub-para (d): “The uncertainties in these estimates need to be recognised: they could vary from about a sixth to double the figures shown”.

    The range cited represents “75% plausibility limits”. Had the more usual 95% limits been used they would have embraced zero, meaning that, in statistical terms, the forecast shortening in life expectance due to particulates is no different from zero
    The saving may be achieved only if all man-made particulates [1] are eliminated
    Only about one tenth of man-made particulates are from road traffic. Separately from the report, COMEAP say that removing all particles attributable to local traffic may increase average life-expectancy by approximately 16 days for England and Wales and approximately 41 days in Inner London.

    Furthermore, the computation and assumptions underlying the data are opaque. The report refers to an earlier report with the title, “Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution: Effect on Mortality”, published in 2009, 186 pages. That report refers to “Relative Risk” coefficients derived from the “American Cancer Society (ACS) study (Pope et al, 1995, 2002)”. COMEAP uses those coefficients, together with other sources, to compute the changes in life expectancy. However, the complexity and opacity of the whole undermines confidence. Indeed common sense suggests that it may be nigh on impossible to isolate the effects of particulates from the other factors.


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