Isn’t this interesting

Renault diesel cars emit the highest levels of toxic nitrogen oxides of all the big manufacturers and the French company’s recent models produce nine times the legal limit, tests have found.

Volkswagen, which has paid £15 billion to settle cases in the US over cheating emissions tests, now produces the least-polluting cars, according to Which?, the consumer group.

Jeep, Nissan, Hyundai and Ford scored badly in the Which? tests, producing at least five times the limit.

As engineers the world over have been saying, absolutely everyone has been lying. Because the basics of diesel technology are that you can’t reduce both CO2 and NOX in a cheap diesel engine. Only an expensive one.

Well done to the planners there.

Injustice is it?

Researches have described the “environmental injustice” facing commuters, who are exposed to up to eight times more pollution than car users.

Even though motorists produce the most pollution per commuter, they are the least exposed to harmful particulate matter (PM) as they are sealed off from the outside, a study by the University of Surrey found.

“We found that there is definitely an element of environmental injustice among those commuting in London, with those who create the most pollution having the least exposure to it,” Dr Prashant Kumar, who led the study, said.

Sigh.

Pedestrians too, people just living there. It’s not about public transport.

Interesting, no?

Hundreds of ancient earthworks resembling those at Stonehenge were built in the Amazon rainforest, scientists have discovered after flying drones over the area.

The findings prove for the first time that prehistoric settlers in Brazil cleared large wooded areas to create huge enclosures meaning that the ‘pristine’ rainforest celebrated by ecologists is actually relatively new.

The ditched enclosures, in Acre state in the western Brazilian Amazon, have been concealed for centuries by trees, but modern deforestation has allowed 450 to emerge from the undergrowth. They were discovered after scientists from the UK and Brazil flew drones over last year.

The earthworks, known by archaeologists as ‘geoglyphs’ probably date from around the year zero.

What would be even more interesting to know is how long does it take?

That is, remove man from any particular environment around here. How long does it take to go back to “normal”? Normal meaning pretty much how it was before any men turned up?

100 years is obviously too little time, but is 500 enough? 1,000? For example, say we just stopped farming the British uplands. How long before the ancient forests are back as George Monbiot recommends?

Well, obviously, which idiots don’t know this?

The gathering of discarded timber in urban areas for fashionable wood-burning stoves and an ignorance of fire techniques is contributing to Britain’s air pollution crisis, it has been claimed.

People living in cities who grew up with gas-fired central heating but have now turned to “cosy” wood-burning stoves need to be educated on the use of appropriate wood, academics and industry leaders say.

Their warning comes after Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said that the capital’s “filthy air”, which on Monday exceeded the pollution levels of Beijing, was creating a health crisis.

Previous studies have suggested that levels of particulate pollution surge at weekends as people light up stoves.

This is simply so friggin’ obvious. What’s happened, everyone become morons or something?

Cruise ships and pollution

The view is pretty spectacular. But it’s what he cannot see that worries MacQueen. Like many cities across the UK, Southampton has such poor air quality it breaches international guidelines, and while the government and local authorities are looking to take action on cars, maritime fuel – the dirtiest and most polluting of all diesels – is on no one’s radar. Not only do the giant cruise liners churn out pollutants at sea, they also keep their engines running when they are docked in places like MacQueen’s home town.

Hmm, OK, should this be something we worry about?

German environment group Nabu claims one medium cruise ship emits as many pollutants as five million cars going the same distance. It says the ships belch out 3,500 times more sulphur dioxide than cars

You know, maybe we should?

– although international rules to reduce sulphur emissions in shipping are due to come into force in 2020.

Ah, no, we already got this, done and dusted.

Diesel cars 10x more polluting than trucks

Actually, umm, no, that’s not quite true:

It found that heavy-duty vehicles tested in Germany and Finland emitted about 210mg NOx per kilometre driven, less than half the 500mg/km pumped out by modern diesel cars that meet the highest “Euro 6” standard. However, the buses and trucks have larger engines and burn more diesel per kilometre, meaning that cars produce 10 times more NOx per litre of fuel.

Fiddling with the numbers there then.

Terrors, eh? Terrors

The traffic measures are designed to allow for the construction of a new access road into the field where the exploration will take place. Over the next three months Cuadrilla plans to develop a site roughly the size of a rugby pitch, creating a well pad lined with an impermeable membrane to protect the environment.

In April, it hopes to begin drilling down thousands of feet into the rock to take samples and assess the best trajectory for horizontal wells that will, for the first time in the UK, extend out into the shale rocks beneath nearby homes.

A whole rugby pitch!

All that will change is that the lies won’t have FoE on the top

A green campaign group has agreed not to repeat misleading claims about the health and environmental impacts of fracking after complaints to the advertising watchdog.

Friends of the Earth spent more than a year trying to defend its claims, which were made in a fundraising leaflet, but has been forced to withdraw them.

The group’s capitulation is a victory for a retired vicar and a retired physics teacher who have been working for years to expose what they believe is scaremongering about a safe technique for extracting shale gas.

The Rev Michael Roberts and Ken Wilkinson complained about Friends of the Earth’s claims to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which also received a complaint from the fracking company Cuadrilla.

The authority found that Friends of the Earth (FoE) failed to substantiate claims that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase asthma rates and send house prices plummeting.

This really is damn idiocy

Some of Britain’s best-loved landscapes are being threatened by the government’s rush to declare the country “open for business”, warn rural campaigners.

That British countryside is entirely man made. Made by previous forms of business like hill farming and all the rest. There is no natural wilderness – what is being suggested is that the form of business taking place there might change, that’s all.

From something which loses money and makes us poorer to something that creates value and makes us richer.

Well, that’s easy enough

Plans are being made for fracking to take place under Sherwood Forest where an ancient oak stands where according to legend Robin Hood and his merry men rested.

Ineos, one of the world’s biggest chemicals company, is poised to start looking for gas under Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, in a move which could lead to it seeking permission to frack the area.

The area could become a flashpoint with campaigners from Frack Free Nottinghamshire saying they will copy Robin Hood’s example and “defend Sherwood Forest”.

You defend the forest up there at ground level and they’ll frack hundreds of feet below you. You’ll not even know it’s going on.

Another thing Reagan was right about

He said, to much amusement, that trees cause pollution. He was in fact correct in his statement, despite the amusement. and he’s still correct but for a different reason:

City trees, popularly thought to remove pollutants and improve urban life, may also increase the amount of foul air that people breathe, says the UK body which gives independent health guidance to national and local government.

Nature, it’s always been out to kill us……

Isn’t this such grand hypocritical fun!

Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters will not follow a government directive to leave the federal land where hundreds have camped for months, organizers said Saturday, despite state officials encouraging them to do so.

Standing Rock Sioux tribal leader Dave Archambault and other protest organizers confidently explained that they’ll stay at the Oceti Sakowin camp and continue with nonviolent protests a day after Archambault received a letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that said all federal lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed to public access Dec. 5 for “safety concerns.”

Remember when it was some handful of Bundys hanging out on some Federal land and they should all be sent to jail for life for treason? Even the outrage when they weren’t?

The environmental Kuznets Curve is alive and well

The winter air in Tehran is often foul but for six days last week it was hardly breathable. A dense and poisonous chemical smog made up of traffic and factory fumes, mixed with construction dust, burning vegetation and waste has shrouded buildings, choked pedestrians, forced schools and universities to close, and filled the hospitals.

Anyone who could flee the Iranian mega-city of 15 million people has done so, but, say the authorities, in the past two weeks more than 400 people have died as a direct result of the pollution, known as the Asian “brown cloud”.

Tehran is far from alone. A combination of atmospheric conditions, geography and the start of the winter heating season regularly traps urban air pollution from October to February across a great swath of Asia. But this year has seen some of the worst smog episodes in nearly 20 years despite cities trying to reduce traffic and factory emissions.

Poor places are clean because no one has any shit (other than literal shit) to make the place dirty. Places getting rich are filthy. For people spend that getting richer on basics like food, clothing etc. Then rich places get clean as people spend some of that new richness on having a clean place not enveloped in shit.

All well known, it’s the environmental Kuznets Curve.

The only interesting question is when do people think they’re rich enough to start cleaning all that shit up? One estimate I’ve seen is about $8,000 GDP per capita. It’s only one estimate – but it means that China will be cleaner going into the future, Iran, Indonesia still have some way to go.

This is serious fucking idiot stupidity

The Ontario government has proposed a two-year moratorium on the creation or expansion of bottled water operations fed by groundwater in the Canadian province, in a bid to strike a balance between a burgeoning bottled water industry, a growing population and the effects of climate change.

The province vowed to take action earlier this year after a severe drought prompted questions over regulations that allowed bottled water to draw millions of litres a day of water from the province.

“Water bottling is a different kind of industry and we need to treat it differently,” Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s premier, said as she promised to update the government’s policies. “Thirty years ago, we wouldn’t have envisioned an industry that took water and put it in plastic bottles so that people could carry it around.”

No, really, this is twattery.

Mayor Kelly Linton said last week that Nestle did nothing wrong because it followed the existing rules, which he called on the province to change so municipalities get a better chance at securing a safe drinking water supply than a bottling company.

Nestle would still be able to renew its permits to take up to 3.6 million litres of water a day from its well in Aberfoyle, where it has a bottling plant, and another 1.1 million litres a day at a well in nearby Erin, another community in Wellington county.

Average Canadian household (ie, not including industry or agriculture, the two big users everywhere) water usage is 300 litres per capita per day. Or, for the 14 million or so Ontarians, 4 billion litres a day. They’re fucking about regulating people who bottle 0.1% of that?

It’s an irrelevance.

Worse that that. For if people don’t get a drink of water from a bottle then they’ll get a drink from the tap. Which comes from the same damn groundwater source as the bottled water.

This is the product of idiot environmentalism – allied with people having absolutely no fucking clue.

Murderous bastards, us

Humans are predisposed to murder each other, new research suggests, although it remains unclear if it’s down to genetics or other factors.

Researchers from Spain have found that a tendency to bump off members of the same species is particularly common among primates, and have estimated that around 2% of human deaths at the origin of our species were down to such lethal spats.

Myself I think it’s rather higher than that but that’s from those studies of Yanamamo and so on. But what I love is the bloke claiming to show that it’s all wrong:

But Douglas Fry of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US, disagreed, saying that: “Gómez and colleagues demonstrate that recent assertions by Steven Pinker and others that violent death in the Paleolithic was shockingly high are greatly exaggerated. To the contrary, the findings show that social organization is critically important in affecting human violence.”

Gómez says the research highlights the control humans have over their situation in life and death. “The main message of our study is that no matter how violent or pacific we were in the origin, we can modulate the level of interpersonal violence by changing our social environment,”he said. “We can build a more pacific society if we wish.”

No one disagrees that we can build a more pacific society. Steven Pinker is insistent that we have in fact built one. Rather, the finding is about how we do so. And returning to that Edenic hunter gatherer fantasy so beloved of the extreme environmentalists would lead to a more violent one…..in fact, if we were being cheeky, we would start insisting that the consumerist frenzy capitalism makes possible through the system’s efficiency makes for a more pacific society.

Much sniggering but is it fair?

So South Australia, the whole state, without power as a result of a storm.

The federal energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, has questioned whether South Australia was too reliant on renewable energy as the state’s premier, Jay Weatherill, said no system could have coped with the major storm and cyclonic winds that lashed the state, which led to lightning strikes hitting generators, causing a surge and overloading the network’s capacity.

Obviously neither solar nor birdchoppers worked in the middle of a storm.

But was that actually the cause? At least on report states that it was lightning strikes at multiple points along the grid, tripping the whole thing into shutdown. Which isn’t, so far as I understand these things (rather little, obviously) anything to do with how the electrons are loaded into the system.

So, who wants to tell us the truth here?