Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Is Diesel Bad for You?

I've trumpeted diesel as being an alternative fuel source for cars in the future. Europe, and much of the world feels this way, because of its higher mileage than gasoline run cars. There were two caveats to diesel that I spoke about: higher greenhouse gases, and whether it can cause cancer. The Car Connection has a great article about this. Basically, the newer diesel engines that are out there may be cleaner, and not cause lung cancer, and the findings are inconclusive when overlapped with people's using of cigarettes.

The article doesn't go into it, but the fact of the matter is, that lung cancer rates in Europe are consistently LOWER than in the US, and that's with that continent's higher use of diesels and cigarettes.

I must stress that I see diesel as an intermediary fuel, not as a final solution. It's an easy step for Americans to make because there are thousands of filling stations that have diesel, and it would be rather easy for car companies to make diesel cars. What is not debatable is the fact that diesel produces pollutants that cause global warming, and that these cars are quite more polluting than comparable hybrid cars.

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