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Old 21st January 2011, 08:35   #1
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Default Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

Social activist Sunita Narain in todays TOI :

(Speaking about diesel being more polluting and diesel car owners benefitting from the subsidized price of diesel)

"But given the rising economic cost and pollution, this option of doing nothing cannot be acceptable anymore. The options are to either to equate the price and emission standards or to ban production of personal diesel vehicles. If this is not possible, then government should in the coming budget tax diesel vehicles - 100% cent of the price of the vehicle - to remove the existing fiscal distortion in price and policy."

Full article at :

Paying for diesel in subsidy and health - The Times of India

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Old 21st January 2011, 09:10   #2
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

She needs to Buzz off. He is nothing but a loud mouth. Her system of belief is "Do as I say, not as I do". In an interview about 2 years ago, she went on & on about how cars are bad, & how the Nano when it is rolled out will lead to the acolypse. Hormuzd, just asked her one question. How did she get from her office to the Studio, by train or by car ? Leave you to guess what her answer is.
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Old 21st January 2011, 09:16   #3
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

Another "I want to make an impact by caring about the environment"....Bet she has a Mercedes or something. How can she even suggest ridiculous things like this, especially when modern diesels are so efficient.
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Old 21st January 2011, 09:27   #4
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

a. Don't shoot the messenger.
b. First - we need data - Can someone actually post the on-ground data/scientific studies?

I can attest as a delhiite that the air quality has been going bad every winter, year after year and the only thing changing is the number of diesel vehicles hitting the road.
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Old 21st January 2011, 09:33   #5
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

^^I agree. Many activists have hare brained ideas, but something should be done about the price disparity of Petrol Vs diesel. Differential pricing of diesel is impractical, so tax the cars at the time of sale. However efficient, IMO diesel engines will inherently pollute more than their petrol siblings, wrt SPM.
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Old 21st January 2011, 09:34   #6
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

I read this article too.

Even this great lady is guilty of making a mountain out of a molehill.
She states that Diesel cars are greater pollutants.

I think that she would do well to look at the new technology in private diesel cars and then make comments.

Yes I agree that the old gen Diesels were highly polluting. But the vehicles that use these engines are largely the trucks, commercial vehicles and government buses and government vehicles, not private vehicles.

I think she needs to check her facts before shooting off her mouth.
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Old 21st January 2011, 09:40   #7
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
a. Don't shoot the messenger.
b. First - we need data - Can someone actually post the on-ground data/scientific studies?

I can attest as a delhiite that the air quality has been going bad every winter, year after year and the only thing changing is the number of diesel vehicles hitting the road.
Phamilyman - Not shooting the messenger. Most Indians have critical thinking skills & realise the effects on environment relating to vehicles, water pollution & what not. What we are tired of is hypocrites who will raise a stink about it, while leading the same lifestyle they propose to alter for others.

And that results in more harm to the cause, than good.

Last edited by Seeler_Rebeiro : 21st January 2011 at 09:43. Reason: Some more context
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Old 21st January 2011, 10:01   #8
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

Why cant the government try and improve the roads and traffic management skills and equipment? Our approach is always the same. We never focus on the root cause of the problems. Everyday on our city roads, one can identify numerous places where due to wrong policies the govt has ended up creating some sort of nuisance. For example in Delhi:
1. BRT corridor- totally useless and even the govt owned up to its mistake. Whats stopping them from demolishing it?
2. Inner ring road at Punjabi Bagh junction- Absence of flyover for traffic coming from Dhaula Kuan leads to massive jams everyday there. What made them take that decision.

The list will go on. Everyday we end up wasting so much fuel in these jams. Care to do anything about those? No. Target the rich who buy SUVs which would constitute a very minor proportion of people owning cars and make lots of noise about it. The media will jump on the bandwagon too and project these Diesel car owners as the biggest obstacle to our progress. The poor start loving it and the govt is re-elected. Typical Indian approach!

For starters Why cannot the govt put up timers at every signal (which actually work also!) . I would happily turn off the ignition if the clock shows in excess of a minute. Sorry for being OT.
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Old 21st January 2011, 10:03   #9
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

Pollution of modern diesels is nothing to fret about.

The only moral issue about private diesel vehicles should be regarding the pricing distortion, which is created by none but the government.

Either they can introduce a yearly tax on private use diesel vehicles to offset it or bring price parity between petrol and diesel and then subsidise public transport one way or other. Otherwise we will be left with only diesel vehicles on our road after 5 years or so. Just imagine what will happen if crude price was to touch even $120 per barrel.

Last edited by CoolFire : 21st January 2011 at 10:04.
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Old 21st January 2011, 10:03   #10
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

She has gotten her fundamentals wrong; that says a lot about the quality of the article.

Quote:
It even makes more sense to buy a fuel guzzling SUV and run it on subsidized diesel.
A 9 - 10 kpl Scorpio or Safari are hardly what you would call "fuel guzzlers". She couldn't have been poorer informed.

Quote:
The car company claim that modern diesel vehicle is clean is far from being true.
Modern common-rail diesels are no longer significant pollutants.

Quote:
In the US, the world's car Mecca, where emission standards and price does not differentiate between fuels, there is no market for diesel cars.
Again, mis-informed comment. Fact is, for 4 decades uptil 2003, fuel was so cheap (petrol AND diesel) that the American consumer never bothered about kpl or the cost of fuel...leave aside the obvious savings with diesel. I used to fill up my Accord for $1.3 a gallon (about 56 rupees for 3.7 liters). That's 15 rupees per liter!! If that was the case in India, no one would bother about diesel either. The last 5 years, and rising oil prices, have pushed the price of a gallon as high as $4. Fuel efficiency is slowly becoming a driving factor in America, and I won't be surprised if diesel rises in popularity as well.

Also time the author realised that the country she considers "the mecca" is the one where 3 - 4 kpl SUVs drove the market. The grass, indeed, only seems greener on the other side.

Quote:
They exploit the fact that diesel price is kept lower because of its use for transportation of essential goods and for public transport
Humorous comment at best. How on earth are car manufacturers being accused of exploitation, when they have no hand in the cheaper pricing of diesel!

Quote:
If this is not possible, then government should in the coming budget tax diesel vehicles - 100% cent of the price of the vehicle - to remove the existing fiscal distortion in price and policy.
Her solutions are as ridiculous

I'll give this to her; she does have a point. However, her attempt to "sensationalise" the entire issue has made for a joke of an article.

Last edited by GTO : 21st January 2011 at 10:04.
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Old 21st January 2011, 10:22   #11
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

I just want to say one thing to people like these, that they should first do something about their lifestyle. I remember seeing the government officials/ministers arriving in luxury sedans like BMW, Audi with a caravan of security & pilot cars along with (most of them being "fuel-guzzling" SUVs). Even the scam ridden personalities like Kalmadi would always turn up in an Audi. Ask them, how are they contributing to this cause that they are so vigorously trying to uphold.

Common man is the most conscious & sensible & it shows when I see people in my personal & professional circle combining multiple stops in one trip so that they can save on fuel. I agree that they might be doing that primarily because of rising fuel prices, but they are at least sensible about something. These so called ministers are a pathetic excuse to governance, only good at making "stage poetry".

Drive safe.
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Old 21st January 2011, 10:31   #12
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

More than modern diesel vehicles polluting, the main issue is the subsidization of diesel vis-a-vis petrol. Modern car owners have no business enjoying subsidies that are simply not meant for them.

Then again, the main cause of increasing pollution is the lackadaisical approach to enforcing the emission rules for commercial vehicles and a political approach of allowing old commercial vehicles to ply despite many of them being way past their sell by date.

That Sunita Narain is a big mouth who's more show than go is an indisputable fact.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 21st January 2011, 10:41   #13
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfire_9 View Post
Common man is the most conscious & sensible & it shows when I see people in my personal & professional circle combining multiple stops in one trip so that they can save on fuel.
As far as the Govt is concerned, if you can afford a car, you are not a "common man"!
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Old 21st January 2011, 10:51   #14
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

A nut indeed, but then most such persons are, most politicians and social activists do not know what they are talking about when they go into details about anything that is technical let alone cars.

Yes it is funny but the sad bit is that there will be people who will acutally believe that she is making sense.

With increasingly better emmision norms polution from cars is no longer a point that one needs to debate, other sources of polution are much worse offenders.

It actually boils one's blood that ill informed persons yet want to shoot their mouths off to sensationalize a point and get free publicity.
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Old 21st January 2011, 10:55   #15
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Default Re: Social activist speaks out against diesel cars

In my limited understanding, this is how I think modern diesels and petrols compare, ( if you look at similar engine capacities )

- diesel engines give out more particulate matter , though in modern diesels it is very insignificant, it is still there. In petrols it is next to nothing.

- Carbon Monoxide emission is higher in petrol engines - maybe because diesels burn more completely?

I guess on other counts they are comparable. Correct me if I am wrong.

So I think its one type of pollution against the other..

btw I drive a diesel. a 1400cc engine that gives me 22+ kms per liter on the highway, so I can argue that I am actually stretching my fuel much longer than petrol cars! ( though the gap is narrowing with some of the recent models.. )
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