Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t like the british Department of Transport. In fact, he loathes it. On many occasions he made that pretty clear. For example, if you take a look at his most recent posts on Drivetribe, you will get this first hand. However, most recently he published a short column about the new anti-diesel measures some european cities have put into effect. Within just a few words he starts a rant embodying the best Clarkson-style wrathfulness.

What is the hassle all about?

But first, let’s take a closer look at these measures to get a decent understanding of the underlying context of Jeremy’s column. Over the last few months, more and more cities all over Europe have announced that they want to reduce air pollution caused by particulate matter. Therefore, in December 2016 Paris, Madrid, Athens, and Mexico-City announced that they want to ban all diesel cars from their urban areas by 2025. To achieve this goal, they founded the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. The C40 houses around 90 cities from all over the world – London is one of them.

According to The Guardian, recent research has shown that air pollution “is now the biggest single killer in the world”. However, this will cost a lot of money. In a report regarding the reduction of air-pollution in Mexico City, around 375 Billion US-Dollar will be needed cut the pollution in half. Numbers for other cities haven’t turned up yet.

Clarkson feels that Brits are being mucked about

Jeremy Clarkson on the other hand thinks that the British people are being treated unfair. Some time ago the government told people to buy a diesel because it was deemed to be “good for the environment”. Because diesel engines burn fuel more effectively than petrol ones, they eject fewer carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, we now know this isn’t enough. But for Clarkson the same administration will just use this whole climate doom-mongering to rob people of their money.

Clarkson reckons that it will only be a matter of time before “the gullible lunatics who run Britain will be leaping onto the bandwagon” and ban diesel cars from major cities. Well, he might not be that far away from the truth. Jenny Bates of Friends of the Earth reportedly prompted London’s mayor Sadiq Khan to measure up. Anyway, Clarkson himself won’t buy another diesel – at least not in the foreseeable future. He thinks that you shouldn’t either.

Now it’s your turn: What do you think about the climate measurements Clarkson criticizes? Are you sharing his opinion? Please let us know in the comments down below.

7 Responses

  1. Edward Millership

    Diesel was heralded as fairy dust compared to the evil petrol! That’s why it got SO expensive at the pumps! Then, you can’t trust a tory can you

  2. John Ree

    The UK government pushed diesel trchnology (e. g. via fuel tax reductions) without fully investigating the pollition. They need to fix this and be held acvountable.

  3. Richard Neal

    What kind of fool drives in London anyway? The public transport infrastructure is superb.
    If you really must drive, share your car. Fine drivers of single occupied cars.

  4. John Sykes

    I entirely agree with Jezzers view. Government’s track record on these issues invariably hinges on fleecing the motorist. The most recent proposal to levy an extra charge (tax) on higher polluting vehicles entering London, is THE case in point. As far as I can see, an extra charge on vehicles with higher emissions (which primarily means diesel) entering London, is simply daylight robbery and will have little impact on the achievement of cleaner air in the city.

    Sure, there are a good many vehicles around that produce high CO2 emissions, new and old, but CO2 does not directly cause poor air quality. Diesel, on the other hand, DOES contribute enormously to very poor air quality as a direct result of the high emissions of NOX gases and particulates, which are proven to have been causing deaths and respiratory illnesses for many years. I personally first became aware of this problem back in the ‘70s, when guys who had to spend time in bus depots, where bus diesel engines were left idling, were regularly suffering from respiratory problems, some so bad that they were retired early on health grounds. It’s from that starting point, that I always vowed never to own a diesel vehicle, and that my tendency to rattle on about diesel emissions has developed.

    Even though, for some years, Government had been plugging diesel as the better solution, given their, albeit questionable, better fuel consumption, and although Sadiq Khan was party to this policy at that time, the reality is that the earliest removal of diesel vehicles (of all types) from our roads is imperative to achieving the quality of clean air we all need and deserve.
    For that reason, I applaud Khan’s and the Government’s volte-face on the subject, although an extra charge really IS NOT the way forward.

    Clarkson’s comment – “the gullible lunatics who run Britain will be leaping onto the bandwagon” and ban diesel cars from major cities, suggests a continuation of the stupidity of government that promoted diesel in the first place. I’m not sure I get his use of the word “gullible”, as the fact remains that the earliest removal of diesel from our cities, and indeed the rest of the country, must be the sole, urgent target. A “scrappage” scheme would be a good starting point, although the suggested £3,500 per vehicle compensation figure may be too low, in some cases, to avoid penalising owners of more valuable diesel vehicles. Another option for consideration might be that of engine swaps, from diesel to petrol. This would probably be costlier than the suggested compensation figure, but might well be appropriate for newer vehicles with higher residual values. Given all the scandals concerning fiddling of economy tests by manufacturers (e.g. VW), perhaps those same manufacturers should contribute largely towards such a solution.

    It’s possible that Sadiq Khan’s track record raises questions about his latest stance on the diesel issue, but that should not detract in any way from the validity of the ultimate message to remove diesel vehicles. It’s rather like peoples’ view of Tony Blair and his recent statements on Brexit. Those negative views should in no way detract from the very valid message that he is raising. The key is – hear the message, not the messenger.

  5. MadManDan

    Cities are already trying to destroy motorists. In Manchester City centre, I don’t think you can go along any of the main roads without encountering some roadworks bent on removing cars.
    Wider footpaths, more bus lanes, bus only routes and more cycle lanes.
    I do cycle every now and again so don’t think I’m having a pop at the cyclist, but the council plans are stupid. Apparently, they think that building an even wider path, then creating a cycle lane right through the middle of it is perfectly fine. This appears to be so that cyclists can overtake buses safely….with no thought to the bus passengers getting off their bus, headphones on, staring at their phone thinking they’re safe, before getting hit by a cycle courier.
    As for the parking, I took the family to dinner and the cinema the other week. It cost more in parking, than it did for the film!

  6. Stewart Bailey

    Just be another excuse for these robbing bunch of twats we’ve got in power, won’t have anything to do with the environment cause if it was then they would have introduced hydrogen engines by now but there’s no money or excuse to rip everybody off. Oh by the way hydrogen will work with a normal internal combustion engine.

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