I’ve lost count of the times I’ve pitched these ideas, to no avail, to the likes of The Today Programme. Likewise, my latest pitch about air quality, emailed today to two people at Newsnight and two at The Times, has brought no reply:
I have two angles on the air quality debate which no-one else seems to be raising:
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 cost just £50, and trap 100% of noxious emissions from GDI engines. Manufacturers know this, but because EU regs don’t (yet) require it, they are not bothering to fit, and are refusing to retrofit them.
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!
Too often, when a wider angle is offered to media outlets, MPs and officials, they ignore it, and continue to report, pontificate or make policy that’s ill-informed or ineffective, based as it is on a partial picture.