I came across this article today: http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996312. It claims that three cigarettes created more pollutants than a diesel car that idled for 30 minutes. :dubious: Is that possible?
It’s possible, depending upon how you define “pollutants” I’d think. I’ve read news accounts that the new emissions equipment on late model cars is so good at cleaning the exhaust that people who try to kill themselves via a hose from the tailpipe to the passenger compartment are unsuccessful.
However, given that a diesel locomotive puts out as much air pollution as 3000 cars, I’d say that the total amount of pollution produced by diesels exeeds that of smokers.
People tend to think “diesel = dirty”, but I don’t think that’s really true anymore. It may be that 3 cigarettes put out more pollution (or at least more of certain pollutants) than a diesel engine idling for 30 minutes, but less than a gasoline engine idling for 30 minutes.