I’ve lost count of the times I’ve pitched these ideas to the media. Most go unanswered, making me wonder if I’m being censored. Likewise, my latest pitch about air quality, emailed today to two people at Newsnight and two at The Times, has elicited no reply:
I have two angles on the air quality debate which no-one else seems to be seeing:
1. A little-known study finds that modern (GDI = gasoline direct injection) petrol engines emit ten times more particulate matter than diesels. Filters absorb most but not all of the dangerous emissions from diesel engines. Filters for GDI engines are cheap, and would mop up all the noxious emissions from GDI engines. Manufacturers know this, but they are not retrofitting filters, and only gradually fitting them to new models.
2. In my 2007 piece, No Idle Matter, I wrote that traffic lights (those weapons of mass distraction, danger and delay, symbols of a dysfunctional system), multiply emissions by a factor of four. Since then I’ve found a lecturer in engineering who supports my thesis and says the multiple is no less than 29.
So, I tried. The media and officials like the Mayor of London see only part of the picture. Even when a wider angle is offered, they ignore it, and continue to pontificate or make policy that’s based on a partial picture, so it’s ineffective and misguided.