Saturday, October 06, 2018

If Car Companies Hadn't Lied About Diesel

In 2014 the International Council on Clean Transportation discovered that the diesel cars of a number of different car manufacturers exceeded legal levels for nitrogen oxide emissions. The result of diesel cars emitting higher levels of pollution than claimed by the manufacturers has been far higher levels of air pollution across the world. This has been starkly visualized by Da Standaard.

Last month Belgium newspaper Da Standaard mapped out the results of a huge citizen science project to test the quality of air in Flanders. You can view the interactive map of Flanders air quality on the newspaper's Curieuze Neuzen Vlaanderen feature. Now that Flanders has an accurate map of air quality in the region, based on measurements from over 20,000 sensors, it has a decent base layer with which to see how clean the air would be without the emissions from diesel engines.

In What would Flanders look like without tampering with diesel cars? Da Standaard has created a number of side-by-side visualizations which allow you to compare air pollution in different locations around Flanders with diesel engine emissions and without diesel engine emissions. These visualizations show what the air pollution would have looked like if the car manufacturers had obeyed the legal limits for diesel engines and what air pollution would look like if diesel was banned completely.

These visualizations clearly show that diesel cars have contributed hugely to air pollution in Flanders. They also show that if diesel cars were removed from the roads most of Flanders' most polluted roads would instantly fall within European standards for safe levels of air pollution.

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