You’re a polluter. Does it matter?

2019-03-02 15.25.15I guess these guys, there were two in the cab, were waiting to implement traffic management to support the night’s A14 works but they were early and seemed to think it was a good idea to sit and wait with the engine running.

Why do they do it? They’re not alone, more people do it than don’t. Don’t they realise that running the engine when it’s not needed wastes money and, more importantly, contributes to airborne pollution?

I did talk to them, it was a polite exchange, but they did not switch the engine off. I got the impression that they thought my request was silly or unreasonable or simply funny. I did ask if they had children and whether or not they worried that they were growing up in a polluted world but it didn’t seem to matter. 10 minutes or so after my request they were still sat there with the engine running.

I’m sure that, relatively speaking, if we all switched off our engines when we’re not moving it would save only a vary small % of emissions. However in absolute terms it would be significant. And if we did and understood why we were doing it maybe we’d all do a little more to reduce our personal impacts on the world we live in.

Way back we lived in Switzerland and during one period of tight oil supply and high energy prices the government encouraged drivers to switch off their engines when they were sat at traffic lights. That makes sense. At the same time it arranged for most traffic lights to switch to flashing amber when it was quiet so that drivers did not have to stop unnecessarily. Maybe that’s something we could try here as well.

We’re all polluters and, yes, it does matter.

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