The Citizen (KZN)

Going green can kill

- Andrew Kenny

One of the problems with green technology is that it is often very bad for the environmen­t. Recently, in Britain, a green technology has caused pollution believed to have killed over 20 000 people a year.

The pattern with green pollution is always the same. First green ideologues, for whatever mad reason, push a certain technology and force government­s to implement it. Then businessme­n make fat profits from it and encourage the greens to promote it even more.

In SA, the greens have coerced government to force Eskom to buy very expensive, unreliable electricit­y from gigantic wind turbines. Then, power companies, making fat profits from these monstrous, useless, environmen­tally blighting machines, urge the greens to them even more.

In Britain, the greens urged government to promote diesel motor cars. This is because diesel cars have higher efficiency than petrol cars and so use less fuel per km and so release less CO2. But they release more NOx (nitrogen oxides).

CO2 is a clean, safe, natural, life-giving gas that has very little effect on the climate. NOx gases are toxic and can cause disease and death.

One of the champions of diesel cars was Sir David King, once Britain’s chief scientific adviser. He was born in SA. He talks sense on many matters but complete nonsense on climate change, where he often rants like a fanatic. His was one of the most influentia­l urging the British government to give tax relief to diesel cars and penalise petrol cars.

Diesel engines are wonderful and have definite advantages over petrol ones. They have high efficiency at low loads; they can get high compressio­n ratios (petrol engines knock at high compressio­n); and there is no limit to the size of their cylinders (petrol engines cannot have cylinders much bigger than 600cc).

But they emit more NOx than petrol engines. The motor car manufactur­ers bluffed they could control NOx emissions. It turned out they were lying and could only do so by crooking the engine management to produce low emissions in tests but not in real world driving.

So Britain has a high proportion of diesel cars causing more and more toxic pollution in cities, killing 23 500 people a year (this figure must be treated with caution).

Sir David, to his credit, admits his mistake. A pity about his victims.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa