Which Fossil Fuel?
Sunday on Facebook: My wife reads the daily newspaper, once described by the Duke of Edinburgh as being “Bloody Awful”. I have eventually been persuaded to change my car and find that my wife is opposed to vehicles that use diesel for fuel. No! She’s not a rabid environmentalist, my eventual research into why she holds such views turns out to be the reality of banning fossil fuelled ‘new cars’ in 2040. Any ban on new vehicle fuels is likely to apply to all fossil fuelled vehicles. Being driven by a ‘political hope’, or perhaps more aptly — by ‘political wishful thinking’ — that the energy source of declared environmentally friendly powered vehicles will not ultimately create a comparable amount of environmental pollution.
It all sounds bit like horse manure crisis of 1894 which fossil fuels averted and political encouragement was given to development of fossil fuels. Of course in 1894 there was little — if any — ‘hot’ environmental issues and one hundred years later diesel fuel was still being politically promoted as the fuel to use. Perhaps the only thing that we can glean from this debate is that todays politicians will not be answerable for the creation of tomorrows problems. If they are alive and taken to account historically, there is no way they will be held to account financially (dead or alive).
Incidentally my choice of vehicles is between a diesel or a petrol powered vehicle (both Japanese and I can’t afford a hybrid), the only thing making me veer towards petrol is the current environmental issues over diesel’s nitrogen oxides (NOₓ) emissions, but I can live with my small environmental misgivings. Besides, last month I was 79 so what do I care!
The death of diesel: has the one-time wonder fuel become the new asbestos? Diesel was touted at inception as a wonder fuel. It was a way of driving cost-efficiently while doing your bit to save the planet. Government, industry and science united to sell us the dream: cars running on diesel would help us cut our CO2 emissions as we eased smoothly into a new eco-friendly age.
Fact Check: are diesel cars really more polluting than petrol cars? Diesel was promoted as a more environmentally friendly fuel as part of the EU’s response to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide (CO₂). Diesel engines are “lean-burn”, meaning they use less fuel and more air to get the same performance as a petrol engine.
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