On Monday night Channel 4’s Dispatches aired a programme called ‘The Great Car Con’, if you drive a diesel it’s worth watching.

About 20 years ago we were all exposed to global warming and were told to make changes in our lives to contribute to saving our planet.

The government at the time decided that one way would be to switch from the polluting petrol cars to the clean planet saving fuel of the future, diesel, but in reality your diesel car is costing you a whole lot more.

It all came down to CO2 emissions, most of us are aware that some petrol cars have horrendous emissions, but have we been so wrapped up making sure that the vehicle we drive produces the least amount of CO2 that we hadn’t considered that the very same vehicle may be producing other more deadly gases. Have we been mis-lead into believing that diesels were our saviour.

Are we to blame the government (Labour were in parliament at the time) did they mis-lead us? Or had we become so consumed by the chattering that surrounded CO2 that we became targets for the manufacturers, why were the manufacturers keeping quiet about the other gases, surely they must know their vehicles produce other gases in addition to CO2.

They say, 10 million of us decided to change to diesel vehicles, but why?

  • Better economy
  • Lower emissions
  • Higher price come part exchange

Or was it because diesels were the future, diesel vehicles can do more miles to the gallon, so yes they produce less carbon dioxide (CO2) than some petrol cars, but what about the other pollutants they produce?

According to the programme, compared to petrol vehicles, diesel vehicles produced 22 times more the amount of soot called particulate matter which is a cause of cancer and 4 times more oxides of nitrogen, with nitrogen dioxide being the biggest worry for our health, damaging our lungs, blood vessels and causing heart disease, strokes and diabetes.

But most shocking of all was the findings of a test that the programme carried out, they wanted to know which method of travel exposed you the most to nitrogen dioxide.

Driving, walking, taking the bus or riding your bike?

The result was not what I or most of us would have expected, the driver was most exposed followed by taking the bus, walking and lastly riding your bike.

We’re likely to think that when we’re in our vehicle we are concealed from the outside world and in some way not exposed to any of the pollutant gases in the air.

But the truth is some what different.