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Fireplaces and BBQs more polluting than cars auto

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What is the influence of passenger car traffic on air quality in the Netherlands? The KNAC has been asking this question since the introduction of the first environmental zones in 2007 and the reduction of the maximum speed to 100 km/h in 2020. KNAC director Peter Staal lacks a good numerical substantiation that justifies all anti-car measures.


Peter Steel 007
Peter Staal

Air quality in the Netherlands has improved enormously in recent years, says Peter Staal. “Industries produce more cleanly and the greening of the vehicle fleet is also helping. But other measures, mainly aimed at reducing car use, are debatable to say the least. There is no evidence whatsoever that they actually provide significantly better air quality. An example? Professor Martien Visser showed that lowering the speed limit to 100 km/h in the past year has led to an improvement in air quality by approximately 0,1%. Then you can safely speak of symbolic politics.”

Effects of the environmental zone minimal according to the Council of State

“The introduction of environmental zones is another measure against which the KNAC has been fighting for years. First of all, because research has shown that this measure does not work. Environmental zones also cost a lot of money, often millions, while a decrease in pollution is difficult to measure. Municipalities often calculate with incorrect figures in order to demonstrate the positive effects of an environmental zone. In a case that we brought against the municipality of Utrecht, the judge considered our objection to the environmental zone to be well-founded and the effects of the environmental zone to be marginal. Nevertheless, the environmental zone was allowed to remain, because it was part of a larger package of measures according to the Council of State.

“Research has shown that the introducing environmental zones does not work.”

Working together towards zero-emission mobility

“Please note, we would like to actively participate in achieving the EU's climate goals. We, too, are striving for less nitrogen and CO2 emissions and 'zero-emission mobility' by 2035. However, we are concerned about the way in which cars, especially older cars, are always seen and treated as the major problem . While cars really have a marginal impact on air fill. Would you like another comparison with which I would like to substantiate my story? In Amsterdam you are no longer allowed to enter the city with a Golf 1 from 1975, but you can enter the city with a cruise ship that pollutes as much as 80.000 cars! Again: they are really symbolic measures.”

Fairer treatment of car owners 

“Since its foundation in 1898, the KNAC has stood up for the interests of motorists. Many of our members drive classic cars and they are indeed more polluting per kilometer than modern cars. On the other hand, they spend much less time on the road and therefore hardly contribute to the air pollution caused by cars. A pollution that is negligible anyway. According to the RIVM, fireplaces and BBQs emit much more particulate matter and carbon monoxide and are therefore much more polluting than those beautiful pieces of heritage, which may no longer be welcome anywhere. This concerns us and that is why we will continue to work for a fairer treatment of car owners and users.”

More information via www.knac.nl/importance/environmentalzones/


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19 Comments

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  1. Yes, that of the cruise ship…… What about Tata Steel. Has also been filthy tolerated for years. Oh, what about KLM? Get a billion or three under the wings with vague restrictions.
    Convulsions of neo-liberal policies I hope.
    Until the time that the futility of this floundering is also recognised, you are regularly the sack with your classic license plate.

  2. Other sources of pollution are often pointed to to put those of (old) cars in perspective.
    You don't even have to. The annoying thing is that the exhaust is often pointed to as the culprit, but we rarely hear that more particulate matter comes from tires and brakes, whereby even the most environmentally friendly means of transport are complicit…

    Unfortunately, it is much more about support than facts and that is why we now have such stupid environmental zones.

  3. Apart from some constructive reactions, such as the cruise ships in the city center, I read a lot of nonsense and hoax so that I don't respond to every reaction.

    It is true that the small proportion of old-timers cannot be held responsible for the entire environmental problem, but there is certainly something to be said for the transition to the fully electric car.

    The degree of efficiency of a fuel engine (also of an H2 car) is much lower than that of an electric motor. But there is indeed still a lot to be done, such as the fact that the electricity used must really be green and not, for example, from biomass, which is pure folklore.

    What I (at least I think) share with most is that bashing old-timers or fuel-efficient cars by that green cabal is mood-making, but we have to be open to change and progress.

    By the way, that part of Peter about compressed air engines is really interesting, I'm curious if that will really work for passenger cars.

    https://www.ad.nl/auto/autorijden-op-lucht-spotgoedkoop-brandschoon-en-tanken-duurt-maar-vier-minuten~a1300633/?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialsharing_web

    • Efficiency should never be a reason to promote one technique and write off another. We should therefore not want electric as the only form of propulsion. If we do want to go that way: everything above the B-segment is not necessary, the more mass and size, the more energy you need to get that moving and no one larger than the B-segment needs. Humans are also not efficient, the majority of our food is heavily processed and every processing also costs energy. From now on we will only make music via Cubase, all those orchestras and (rock) bands also consume more energy than what we really need for music…. does this all sound boring? Welcome to the “all electric” world.

  4. What is funny is that the figures about pollution and air quality around Schiphol during the beginning of the Covid time are like to be kept under wraps.
    Then co2 and the like suddenly seemed to barely exist in that region. ... .

  5. We don't solve much by referring to other polluters. The responsibilities lie largely with ourselves. Moreover, in addition to my classics, I also like BBQ and I also fire a wood stove from time to time. And every now and then a cigar on the balcony.

    Of course, cars and older cars in particular pollute. However, driving less pollutes less and releases correspondingly less CO2 into the atmosphere. For the time being, this even applies to driving electric cars. Driving is fun, but do it in moderation. Also saves mountains of asphalt.
    The tour rides of the classic clubs are great fun, but in fact all extra kilometers. Especially in the west of our country, we often get into trouble on a nice day with other holidaymakers on the road, such as cyclists, walkers and cyclists.
    Going to a business appointment or for a weekday message with the oldtimer greatly reduces CO2 emissions compared to a Sunday in the classic traffic jam and is just as much fun and above that you really make the blitz.

    If you want to reduce your CO2 footprint from mobility even further, you can skip a holiday flight and take the train to work instead of the car. Or work from home if possible.

    Oh yes, emission zones where old-timers are denied access to city centers are really nonsense. Certainly in the cities with moorings for cruise ships or under the take-off and approach routes to and from the airport.
    But I can also imagine that municipal authorities want to do something about the multitude of two-stroke scooters and diesel vans that bring and collect all kinds of things. That can also be done electrically.

  6. We are now switching to electric cars without knowing how much they cost to build and then tear down properly. As the reactions show, we often just do something because the smart and expensive guys actually don't seem to know that well in retrospect. So they have to admit that. But that we have to do something: that much is clear. Cyclists and walkers have already solved a large part of the problem, but oh well, I may not say that here… I also like old-timers, otherwise I wouldn't read these articles.

  7. I don't understand that old homes are equipped with modern technology to prevent pollution, but that old-timer enthusiasts put their heels in the sand when corresponding adjustments are made to their vehicles. Every year I attend an event where a classic car club also stops. Very nice. Until they leave and a terrible smoke (with or without gray-blue smoke) lingers.
    I also miss the link to Martien Visser, who could therefore prove that driving faster does not lead to a more than proportional increase in emissions. Well well.
    Finally, it is of course very credible if an interest group is allowed to assess its own sector. Such as Iranian authorities who claim their country is gay-free or tobacco giants who question the link between smoking and lung cancer (and like to point the finger at transport and industry). Please don't treat your readers like morons - although the comparison in another comment between a Golf I and a cruise ship calls for it -, honesty will suffice. thanks.

  8. The earth is not warming, it will just get colder, climate change is a hoax, hopefully people will wake up in time so that we can continue to enjoy our hobby for a long time!

  9. Antwerp also has a LEZ (Low Emission Zone) and guess what? Now that the older cars have been driven out of the city center, the air quality has not improved, but has deteriorated. This may be due to the sooty old buses that De Lijn drives around the city centre, but mainly because the municipality finds it lucrative to have huge cruise ships moor up to 200 meters from the Grote Markt, where diesel generators have to provide the power supply day and night. Really too crazy to run loose, such officials.

    In a city like Rotterdam (where the environmental zone has been abolished) an estimated 300.000 central heating installations, mainly on natural gas, burn in winter, whereby nobody checks whether they are optimally adjusted.

    “For the climate”, others buy pallet stoves that burn waste wood pellets, producing an enormous amount of particulate matter (soot).

    The Dutch livestock produces many times more CO2 than all cars combined.

    And the “clean” electric cars mainly run on coal.

  10. The whole country is full of wind turbines that turn and turn into meat grinders for birds and of which every pole is made of 1200 Tons of highly environmentally destructive steel from China. Sunbathing areas where large-scale birds can no longer forage. Biomass as being green, while forests are being cleared to prevent CO2 absorption. Teslas that eat Cobalt that is stolen from the ground in Africa by child slaves under appalling conditions and whose batteries are not recyclable. And then a certain Frans Timmermans thinks he is working green from the ivory tower.
    In the case of diesels and lean burn-fired petrol engines, the reduction in speed also has the effect that the NOx production increases due to the increased air excess. It is clear that the calculation-technical substantiation of numbers is completely lacking. Only calculation models are used. Cats spitting out exactly what you want to see. Welcome to the government, where politicians know even less about technical matters than stopping a cow of socks

    • I find sun meadows absurd anyway. Not so long ago, various clubs screamed when fields were used for the cultivation of energy crops for fuels ("then the food supply is at risk because we have more and more mouths to feed"), but now those same fields are filled with solar panels is it a good idea??? I have absolutely nothing against solar panels, but then they have to be placed in places that cannot be used for anything else. Above public parking lots, roofs, noise barriers… those kinds of places.

    • No, those 40 years are a matter of the tax authorities, not of the environmental zones. That's what the church is about.

      But while we're here: in Germany there is an exemption for environmental zones for cars of 30 years and older, provided they have an H registration and are therefore registered as Historic Vehicle. This also applies to foreign cars, such as those with a Belgian or French old-timer status, issued by an automobile club such as the Fehac. Unfortunately, some clever bear has come up with the idea that this does not apply to Dutch cars, but blue number plates must be affixed to the car, which are banned after 1-1-1978 and so a German is allowed to drive through the city with his 1990 car. but not you with your car from 1980.

      And actually that is legal inequality and within the EU everyone should be treated equally under equal circumstances.

      • NL cars older than 30 years with a yellow license plate may also enter the environmental zone in Germany without an umwelt sticker. (source ANWB)
        However, an official copy of the registration certificate must be on the dashboard showing that the car is 30+, although that will be clear for a 504 Peugeot or Opel Record without a paper behind the windscreen.
        there is hardly any control.

  11. Embracing “environmental science” through politics actually means that it is no longer about the environment but about money. And let the car be an easier money tap than the bbq or fireplace. Because that's where a lot of money comes out. In the pre-milieu era, a certain Wim Kok also realized this with the penny, which has never been deducted from the liter price 😢.
    The term Global Warming has also been replaced by Climate Change🤔.

    I only came across a story that in the past if there was a (mini) ice age there were NO sunspots. And there are hardly any at the moment. If you have invested heavily in a heat pump, you will discover that they are energy guzzlers in real cold and (almost) do not work in extreme cold. Think I'll keep the stove operational after all.

    • Last winter was once again a winter that looked a bit like the winters we had “in the past”.
      And what turned out: in many houses with modern techniques such as heat pumps and the like it was not really comfortable / warm to get, according to a good acquaintance who works at an installation agency (and therefore actually benefits more from positive news as negative, seen work techniques)

  12. Hopefully the old idea of ​​the compressed air car will be 'breathed back to life'
    Two-strokes could be converted relatively easily because no compression stroke is needed anymore. For example, many old-timers could be converted with the original (modified) engine
    In theory, filling the tank should be possible directly with a small windmill without first having to uselessly switch to electricity and then back to compressed air.
    Almost too good to be true, however the idea and prototypes have been around for a long time.
    But then the air we breathe is likely to become very expensive.

    Los Angeles 1932 compressed air car.jpg thumb

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