We have mentioned it before, but it is about time that diesel vehicles were all banned from cities. The evidence points to a small brown job - the gas nitrogen dioxide - as well as several of its transparent friends. Jonathan Leake of the Times (the London one) extolls the lack of virtue of the diesel car and the diesel truck and that diesel bus because of the health risks in Dirty diesel death toll hits 60,000.
The British health report on the subject will appear from the official advisory COMEAP committee next month, but this early release obviously means national and international worries are growing, as the effects of the NO2 alone appear to equal smoking as far as actual deaths are concerned. Those affected are mainly vulnerable to lung disease, chronic heart disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) emphysema and asthma. The NO2 problem was confused for many years with the problem of PM2.5 particulates, also created by diesel vehicles. It obviously would not be wise to bring your child up in the inner city either! One big problem is that in the small area of the UK, 60% live in urban areas, mainly the cities of the north, and of course, the Great Wen (London.)
With these thoughts, small changes such as the proposed car-free Sundays, in which London copies the regular practice in Jakarta, would seem quite irrelevant. Certainly, it would make people feel better, as they exercise or simply breathe for a change. This does not provide as much relief as the banning of diesel and other trucks, which is exactly what several cities are doing every day. The background politics of course is the ECJ (European Court of Justice) ruling that we all have a basic right to clean air and significantly that the UK government needs to pull up its socks on city pollution- if it can still breathe enough to bend over. The UK and one or two other countries will not be able to reach the recommended legal limit for nitrogen dioxide till 2030. Your children will be growing up with damaged lungs, parents worldwide!
The number of deaths concerned is absolutely amazing. How the health experts could have confused the effects of particulates with this gas for so long is also quite a surprise. While 29,000 people die each year from particulates, 60,000 deaths pa are attributable to NOsub>2. The problem now has to be explained to people in every city, as diesel traffic is ubiquitous. Here is our small effort to try and list the control efforts in some countries last September.