The War On Diesel Cars Takes A Hit: German Ministry Of Environment Accused of Spreading “Bogus” Findings

Recent German Ministry of Environment findings showing 6000 premature deaths annually due to nitrogen dioxide (stemming in large part from diesel cars) called “bogus”, made up “horror-news” and “fear mongering”.

study commissioned by the German Ministry of Environment and released in March found that nitrogen dioxide, in large part emitted by diesel engines, had a “serious impact on health” and likely led to “6000 premature deaths” in Germany in 2014 alone.

According to the Environment Ministry press release issued:

Statistics for 2014 indicate roughly 6,000 premature deaths due to cardiovascular diseases which are linked to background concentrations of NO2 in both rural and urban areas. The study also shows that nitrogen dioxide pollution is associated with diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.”

And if one extrapolates the number to include all countries and all diesel cars worldwide, then one gets death tolls in the millions.

Part of a fabricated negative campaign against diesel cars

The suspected of culprit of all the misery of course is the dastardly diesel engine. Lately diesel powered cars have come under massive fire in Germany since the revelations of diesel emissions test manipulation by VW. Now there’s a concerted push to make diesel engines to look like huge polluters.

Part of the negative campaign by media and environmentalists is to promote greater acceptance of electric cars, bicycles and wlking.

When the findings of the study were released, the media immediately thrust them into the national spotlight, and calls for electric cars became ever louder. Hey hey, ho ho, diesel cars have got to go.

Bogus science behind the 6000 deaths claim

However, just days after the finding had been released, major media outlets such as Spiegel online and sharply criticized the science behind the dubious claims of 6000 premature deaths.

Then on March 28, 2018, the RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research issued a press release calling the findings “the bogus statistic of the March 28, 2018”.

The RWI, press release said the figure of 6000 premature deaths “is the product of a pure model calculation” and that there is “no evidence that nitrogen dioxide leads to death through cardio-vascular disease.”

Some 25 years ago, German policymakers promoted the use of the more combustion efficient diesel engines with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions. But today’s trend is to shift to tiny electric cars, and so the a race to vilify diesel engines is now on in earnest.

Electric cars cause “far more CO2” than diesel vehicles

The RWI reminds that electric cars still face huge obstacles and lead to much higher CO2 emissions. The RWI press release writes: “An electric car with a range of 250 km currently in Germany causes far more greenhouse gas emissions than diesel does, foremost because of the electric power supply and the energy needed for production.”

The RWI also claims that adding 6 million electric vehicles to the German fleet by 2030 will have little impact on overall nitrogen dioxide concentrations in the air, citing figures from the Environment Ministry itself.

“Three cigarettes are 10 times worse”

In its press release the RWI reminds that pollution by nitrogen dioxide today is “comparably minor” and that “the fine particle pollution from three cigarettes is ten times higher than it is for a person standing near the tailpipe of an old Euro-3 diesel 30 minutes long.”

It adds that a Christmas wreath with 4 burning candles already causes the NOx limits to be exceeded.

The RWI notes that “the biggest killers today are smoking, alcohol, lack of physical activity, and unhealthy nutrition.”

Horror news and fear-mongering”

The RWI press release summarizes:

There are two facts which no one can dispute: the pollution from environmental contaminants including nitrous oxides has been falling in Germany for decades and that Germans are living longer. We should praise these successes instead of allowing ourselves to be frightened by horror news and fear-mongering.”

8 responses to “The War On Diesel Cars Takes A Hit: German Ministry Of Environment Accused of Spreading “Bogus” Findings”

  1. dennisambler

    The standard “causes x000 premature deaths” is used in all cases where a product is to be demonised. I suspect there is no death certificate anywhere in the world that says “cause of death: diesel exhaust”.

    The US EPA of course, did attempt to produce premature death with diesel fumes:

    More examples:

  2. 'Don from OZ

    To dennisambler Your first ref is to an absolutely disgusting series of experiments on children ( and adults alike) How did they manage to get away with it?
    To Pierre and RWI thanks for sane and sensible reporting.
    Hopefully the world has many more like you and less of the others

  3. John F. Hultquist

    Christmas wreaths with burning candles would likely cause a few deaths, although not from the NOx.

  4. AndyG55

    Maybe they could try an experiment of trapping people from third world in mud huts burning dung, and see how many deaths that causes?

    Oh wait.. that is what the World Bank and other Euro banks are already doing…

    … in the name of “saving the planet from CO2”.

  5. Craig Austin

    If 6000 people are dying yearly, maybe we can see one death certificate with diesel exhaust as the cause of death, just one.

    1. tom0mason

      Most probably more people with lung injures caused by being in contact with nasty (unsustainable) plastic resins’ vapors, and the glass and carbon fiber dust of mixed composite while making those blades of modern wind mills.
      Or nearly as many that suffer from being slowly poisoned from all the toxic metals leaching out (and into water courses) from solar panels.
      Or all those in low cost housing incorporating highly insulated (and some flammable), low ventilation living spaces.

  6. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #317

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