What I want to know is why are these people lying to us?

The effect on wellbeing of exposure to nitrogen dioxide, a gas mostly produced in diesel fumes, is comparable to the toll from losing a job, ending a relationship or the death of a partner, research suggests.

I’m perfectly willing to run with the idea that NoX is dangerous, that the concentrations in cities are more so and even that diesels are a major source in cities. But that’s not the same as being willing to agree to that dreck:

The largest human source of nitrous oxide emissions is from agriculture which accounts for 67%

Fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes are an important source of nitrous oxide emissions. These two combined are responsible for 10% of human emissions which equals 700,000 tonnes of nitrous oxide per year

A substantial amount of nitrous oxide is caused by biomass burning, which accounts for 10% of human-caused emissions.

Atmospheric deposition is another substantial human source of nitrous oxide emissions. Human activities release nitrogen compounds into the air which eventually falls back down to the Earth’s surface.

As with animal waste, human waste is a significant source of nitrous oxide emissions. Sewage plants and septic tanks are used to store and treat wastewater. Many of these systems create conditions that are favorable for nitrous oxide producing bacteria. Human sewage produces 3% of human emissions

Apart from being created by human activities, nitrous oxide is also released into the atmosphere by natural processes. The Earth’s soil, oceans and atmosphere are all natural sources of nitrous oxide emissions.

Human sources of nitrous oxide are smaller than natural emissions but they upset the balance in the nitrogen cycle that existed before the Industrial Revolution.

So, those wood burning stoves contribute. Fossil fuels, overall, are a minor addition to other human caused sources, the human caused being smaller than the natural. And nowhere is diesel particularly called out as a source.

My source for this?

Source: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

So, now what we’ve got to do is go back through all this shite talking about diesels and tease out what is their specific contribution to the problem. We need rather more than just they produce NoX, there’s a lot of it about. We need to know how much of that a lot is down to this one source.

Anyone know of any studies that actually do this?

17 comments on “What I want to know is why are these people lying to us?

  1. Location matters. Agricultural emissions are in the arse end of nowhere, population one sheep. Exhaust pipes are located at the height of a baby’s pushchair.

    Even if exhaust only accounts for a tiny amount of total NOx output, it can still have a big impact if it’s in the wrong place.

    The largest human source of nitrous oxide emissions

    Nitrous Oxide (N2O, aka laughing gas) is not to be confused with Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). Only the latter is the diesel / death scare.

  2. And I’d use NOx to indicate oxides of nitrogen; I can’t get my head found what NoX might be…

  3. Gas stoves produce nitrogen dioxide. As homes are increasingly better insulated, this can raise levels in the kitchen that induce asthma without ventilation. Unless one walks in heavy traffic or there is a temperature inversion trapping smog at ground level, staying indoors to cook poses the greater threat.

  4. NOx doesn’t (usually) include nitrous oxide. The former are usually produced as a side product of high temperature combustion and air(*), or by bacterial activity on nitrogen fertilisers, the latter is laughing gas.

    (*) Which is why some nifty GE gas turbine power plants use cryogenic techniques to separate air into nitrogen and oxygen and use only the oxygen for combustion – no nitrogen present, no NOx.

  5. Actually just looked at that stuff on nitrous oxide and it’s bollocks, they are actually talking about NOx. Typical technically ignorant greens.

    Anyway, as I said, most NOx is caused by high temperature and air – internal combustion engines, gas or wood stoves, that sort of thing, including lightning. The rest, pretty much, is bacteria working on nitrogen rich compounds such as fertiliser, or animal waste – urea is a nitrogen compound. The latter source is pretty diffuse, so not much cop for NOx concentrations, vehicles and stoves occur in much higher densities in cities than elsewhere, hence the problem with NOx levels in cities. If it was distributed across the planet evenly it wouldn’t be a problem, but urban environments trap NOx, especially if the city is in a bowl surrounded by hills and suffers an inversion layer. Athens is a nightmare under those circumstances.

  6. I fully expect the next round of research will show that NOx of various sorts is vital for proper brain development.

    See salt, fats, alcohol and pretty much everything else we have been told is bad for us. These people need to be ignored when not pilloried until they re-earn some trust and credibility.

  7. Now that the myth of CO2 is no longer working its magic they have moved on to something else.
    They were never interested in saving humanity, only in controlling it.

  8. Revealed preference.
    Nox capital of London is Oxford St
    Densest number of pedestrians in London, same place.

  9. TomJ


    Though they appear to be primitive forest-dwellers, the pacifist, nature-loving Nox are one of the galaxy’s oldest and most advanced races. Capable of living hundreds of Earth years, the Nox believe they are symbiotically linked with nature, and treasure the world in which they live

  10. Lots of confusion by the usual suspects about oxides of nitrogen. Nitrous oxide, N2O, is used, mixed with oxygen, in the mild anaesthetic gas used in labour wards. Nitric oxide, NO, is a pollutant but is apparently a critical part of the erection process in men. Nitrogen dioxide, NO2, is nasty stuff – turns to nitric acid in water. Then you have nitrogen tetroxide, N2O4, which is even nastier and is a component of rocket fuel. However the latter isn’t usually produced in the environment – the bonds in the molecule contain lots of energy, hence the rocket fuel, so it’s hard to produce naturally.

  11. @Ken: I’m pretty sure this Box have grown out of capitalising the trailing letter after being mocked by the Asgard and the Furlings…

  12. Why are they lying to us?

    So they can tax us into poverty and back into the dirt where they think we belong. For our own good of course.

    They will still be enjoying flights/expensive cars/luxury, as they will need to travel around to educate us as to why our continued subsistence mud farming is a good thing. Obviously.

  13. You would have to be huffing laughing gas to believe any of this eco-shite.

    Cut the money –sack the marxian freaks.

  14. One sure sign that this is just one more pseudo scientific piece of rubbish is that the journos are completely unaware of how many ways that nitrogen can combine with oxygen. I read a report this morning that said that NO can act to impair your anti allergenic system… and yet I remember from long ago chemistry classes that nitric oxide turns into nasty brown NO2 within instants of exposure to the atmosphere

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