The ABD welcomes so called ‘weakening’ of the government’s stance against petrol and diesel engines (1). Despite much media hype the vast majority of petrol and diesel cars that do significant mileages are clean modern vehicles. Car emissions are a tiny and fast diminishing part of overall pollution which comes from many sources in modern life including many that originate in our modern insulated homes.
Much of the recent hype has resulted from hysterical claims of ‘multiple premature deaths’ from pollution. The clue is in the word ‘premature’ and actual number of hours or days that a life is supposedly shortened by are never stated. The truth is that if we stopped all industry, all heating, all trade and all transport there would still be pollution from natural sources. We may live a few extra hours from the cleaner air but would die from cold and malnutrition far earlier instead. We need to remind ourselves that whilst there may be minimal negative trade-offs from modern living, the benefits outweigh these many fold. Some common sense needs to return to the table.