Climate hysteria pushed car industry towards diesel


“Mr. President,

It is clear that Volkswagen has deliberately broken the law, and deliberately misled both regulators and customers.  It was wrong to do so.  It should rightly face appropriate and proportionate penalties.

But we must understand the regulatory environment in which this scandal has emerged.  The truth is that legislators were consumed by climate hysteria and carbon-phobia, and as a result we pushed car owners, and the auto industry, towards diesel, which was seen as a lower-emission fuel.

In fact its CO2 emissions are only marginally less than petrol, and in any case CO2 is not a pollutant.  It is a natural, non-toxic trace gas which is essential to life on Earth.  But as we are now realising, diesel’s other emissions – SOx and NOx and particulates — are highly toxic, and our dash for diesel has done more harm than good.

VW was trying to follow regulatory pressure by moving to diesel power, but found that it was unable at the same time to meet emissions targets, so it decided to cheat.  It was wrong to do so, but so were we, as legislators, wrong to impose conflicting and contradictory demands on the industry.

I see a parallel here, Mr. President, with our ill-judged rush to promote bio-fuels, before we understood the issues of energy inputs to agriculture, and the implications of Indirect Land Use Change.  By mandating 10% biofuels, and then later rowing back, we sent confused signals to industry and caused great damage to investors.

It is no part of my job to defend German industry.  But nor is this a time for schadenfreude.  I am concerned that the potential hit to Volkswagen could damage all of us – especially if, as many expect, other companies are drawn into the scandal.

With the prospect of multi-billion dollar fines in several countries, recall costs, class actions from owners and so on, it is not inconceivable that VW could fail.  That is an outcome we should seek to prevent.”



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20 Responses to Climate hysteria pushed car industry towards diesel

  1. omanuel says:

    Support for lock-step consensus “science” (lies) is rewarding:

    Today Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur B. McDonald of Canada were awarded the Nobel prize in Physics for saving the Standard Solar Model by reporting that most solar neutrinos oscillate away before reaching our detectors:

    Their findings are contradicted by the experimental measurements hidden from the public for decades:

    “Solar energy” (17 March 2015):

  2. Jane Davies says:

    Could it be that this climate hysteria is all part of the plan to justify Agenda 21?

  3. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Am pleased you said it as it is. Not that the fools will heed it much?

    Am off to invest in batteries…LOL

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    A few weeks back we had a laugh over Quentin Letts ‘ What’s the Point of the Met Office?
    An odd bod complained to the BBC and they bent over to apologise:

    H/T Bishop Hill

  5. B Hough says:

    I would suspect that this was a ploy to sell more cars especially in the UK..
    My car is a diesel, not a VW, but passes the mot on emissions OK.
    However if a prospective car buyer saw the reduction in vehicle tax in the UK for extra low emissions plus a sky high mpg. then he would go for a VW.

  6. Brin Jenkins says:

    This test was an artificial test on a stationary car with its engine running. It cut emissions very fine on this test and passed so exactly what is the problem? If the test was intended to do something other then change the test to cover the envisaged situation.

    As Roger says its a test to extort taxes for producing Carbon to stop Global Warming, Prove first the event is taking place, next that there is any linkage to Carbon

  7. Brin Jenkins says:

    Oh gosh, I had not finished when the last mail just got posted. I trust the intent is understood, and sorry about this.

  8. Pete Hodge says:

    I can see VW being brought to near bankruptcy by America, and then being sold to an American company.

  9. tapestory says:

    Agenda 21. The ending of private car ownership. Our friends purchased a new car for £6000 this week. The price for a basic car is falling fast.

  10. tapestory says:

    Imagine how much an inside can make, who knew this was coming. Short VW shares at 5% deposit, then scoop a ten times return in a week. As with all political moves, there’s a nice fat reward for those who know.

  11. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Don’t think countries outside of N. America and Europe give a toss about vehicle emissions really. I’ve seen Jaguars (XJS) have their Cats removed in the M. East and that was in the 80’s. I guess re-chipping must be booming out there these days. Anyway, they can’t afford to care or simply won’t.

    About the re-chip business (re-mapping), think what a manufacturer does in that context to extend an engines life normally. VW will likely re-map back and change some hardware(chips?). Some folk are going to feel a sudden loss of bang for mega bucks which is going to get rather nasty VED wise etc.
    Meanwhile we hear nothing from the fools creating regulation, and I think they still are for further rounds of engine emission restrictions. That likely pushes electric vehicles further to the fore, conveniently missing emissions from them elsewhere, and the techno battery issues.

    If I emit CO2 from my car (and boiler) thats almost a crime and incurs taxes (fines) to be arched against walls in Westminster/Brussels. If I have part emitted CO2 via a power station its ok… is it? I guess it is for plants. Acids and Urea…there’s a thing.

  12. p.g.sharrow says:

    This kind of thing is inevitable when bureaucrats demand results that exceed the abilities of engineers to deliver. At some point physics gets in the way of political demands and someone cheats. VW is not the only problem here.. Out of control regulators are out to destroy Western civilization.
    Bureaucrats always destroy the civilization that they manage, ALWAYS. It is their nature to manage and control, and GROW! At some point they strangle everything with their ever increasing demands. This has always been the final outcome for every civilization, ALWAYS.
    Prosperity requires a certain level of chaos and growth in wealth. Wealth that Bureaucrats covet for their own aggrandizement. At some point their grasping and regulation prevents wealth accumulation by the producers and wealth production ceases. EVERYONE starves and lawlessness increases as desperate people ignore the deluge of rules and laws meant to solve the problems that they caused. THE END! Slavery to the government or government destruction, revolution into chaos. ALWAYS!
    Constitutional and legal control, with teeth, to limit bureaucracies growth and reach are needed to slow their expansion. It is US or THEM.

  13. David H. Walker says:

    The US EPA has a long legacy of leaning on industry for convenient solutions, then belligerently pushing content requirements while ignoring serious problems with their solutions. I would bet the regulators knew, from the first day, that the diesel cars could not really meet emissions requirements, and quietly ignored the issue, because complaints from industry may prove that regulations have exceeded their usefulness.

    Now that other car manufacturers have been accused of “cheating”, it may be safely assumed there was a loophole, or a series of loopholes, that were shared with and/or among the industry members; and that the EPA and/or other regulatory agencies were complicit.

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