The E.P.A. estimates that the greener fuel will ultimately save $150
billion a year in health and welfare costs and prevent 20,000 premature
I was behind a diesel the other day that was putting out so much smoke
it could have been on fire.
That should be illegal.
and then there was the Ford "Powerstink" pickup.
Then again, they _would_ say that, wouldn't they?
I'm skeptical as to how anyone could possibly make such estimates.
Soot from diesel engines is an aesthetic matter. The soot isn't
what contributes to smog; oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are.
So I'm not the only one who's noticed that the Navistar engine Ford
used in those pickups (and in many, many tow trucks and ambulances)
has a uniquely malodorous, sickly-sweet smell? I normally like the
smell of diesel exhaust, but what comes out of those engines could gag
a maggot. Besides, the things are as thrashy as all get-out; they
sound like they're always on the verge of tearing themselves apart.
A friend used to have an F-250 diesel, and I was appalled at how
noisy it was, particularly under acceleration. The Cummins used
in the Dodge pickup isn't much better.
Why are pickup diesels so noisy, when the diesels in passenger cars
demonstrate that the aural pollution simply isn't necessary? My theory
is that it's a marketing thing, aimed at the (mostly blue-collar male)
demographic who buys the trucks: diesel trucks are macho, and the Joe
Lunchbucket types who buy most of these pickups want everyone within
earshot to know what they have under the hood. (Even gasoline-engined
pickups are inexplicably noisier than passenger cars with the same
Driving a diesel, I have it both ways: I get good mileage _and_ piss
"If you are going to sin, sin against God, not
the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the
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