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VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? HIPPIES
" ... Carbon crusade is literally poisoning us all in order to save us.
... The fact is, however, that the Volkswagen story is only a small part of the NOx story - in which the human race is busily poisoning itself in a pretty much pointless quest to cut back on emissions of carbon dioxide. ...
As soon as the car was no longer under test, the car would change mode and emit huge amounts of NOx. This wasn't done for no reason - if a machine is allowed to generate NOx freely, it can be very fuel-efficient - and thus, of course, its carbon emissions can be very low too.
The basic problem is that air itself is a mixture of around 78 per cent nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2). When you burn hydrocarbon fuel, as the human race has done to obtain most of its energy for the last million years or so, the hydrogen (H) and carbon (C) in the fuel (coal, wood, gas, oil or whatever) react with the oxygen in the air.
If things went as well as they possibly could, the only resulting chemicals would be H2O and CO2: water steam (largely harmless) and carbon dioxide (only bad for humans in very high concentrations which are pretty much never reached - but capable of causing global warming to a poorly understood degree at much lower concentration).
Many would say that CO2 is quite bad enough, but unfortunately when fuel is burned, things don't normally go this well. Commonly, some of the fuel doesn't get burned and emerges as black carbon particulates - that is, soot. Soot warms the planet up too, perhaps just as badly as CO2. It's bad for people in the world today, and it can also clog up and knacker the machine that produces it.
Another thing which happens a lot is that fuel burns only partially and comes out as carbon monoxide (CO). Like soot, this is a lot more poisonous to people than CO2.
There are various ways to make machines produce less soot, monoxide and dioxide for a given amount of energy. Unfortunately - especially when trying to reduce CO2 by achieving greater efficiency - they often involve the use of higher combustion temperatures.
At higher temperatures, the nitrogen in the air starts to combine with oxygen to form NOx; and this process starts to run away exponentially as the temperature climbs through 1,100°C.
NOx is really bad for people, both on its own and because it causes the formation of ozone (O3: highly desirable high up in the sky to ward off ultraviolet from the sun but poisonous when breathed). NOx also causes acid rain.
In the UK as a nation, air pollution - resulting in large part from the carbon-dioxide crusade - is now once again the same sort of problem it was in the 1950s, when filthy pea-souper "fogs" killed people by the thousand. As the Clean Air campaigners of today point out, air pollution is now on the same level as smoking if you measure by premature deaths. It's more serious than alcohol, much more serious than obesity, and many times more serious than road traffic accidents.
Meanwhile mainstream science, carrying out similar calculations with respect to the Fukushima "disaster", gives a figure of zero attributable deaths, as compared to the tens of thousands in the UK alone every year from the hippies' particulates and NOx.
Even the wildest anti-nuclear advocates struggle to generate a figure in the tens of deaths from Fukushima. This makes the Greenpeace position look frankly cretinous. ... "
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