The Volkswagon Emission Scandal

Over the past week it’s emerged that Volkswagon have been ‘cheating’ in their emission tests by making their cars appear far less polluting than they are. Volkswagon clearly see a different meaning to cheating than the rest of us. Whilst most students would consider cheating to be taking notes into an exam or copying a friend, Volkswagon think that poisoning the air we breathe and melting the ice caps is just ‘cheating’.

Maybe they only cheated a bit though, like copying a couple of multiple choice questions. Minor cheating, that one analysis shows up to 1 million extra fumes of harmful nitrous emissions were emitted. The hidden damage could equate to the combined sum of  emissions from all power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture in the UK. So Volkswagon have basically hidden nearly the total amount of nitrous emissions emitted by the UK. The technology required to do this sounds clever, but basically the cars can ‘sense’ if it’s being driven in test conditions, and then- and only then- pull out all their anti-pollution stops. When the cars run normally, where greater performance is required, the controls don’t operate in the same way and don’t control the pollution they emit. The cars are essentially tricking us, passing the tests like a recovering psychopath, reassuring us that they’re safe and trustworthy until it’s too late and everyone you love is dead. Which is what climate change is going to do.

On a brighter note, Volkswagon have said all the cars affected are perfectly safe to drive still, if you believe that a human being driving a car can ever be ‘perfectly safe’. This means that the car drivers won’t be affected, only pedestrians will, like the ones walking up Otley Road to Headingley and Hyde Park. But what’s life without a little risk? Which is probably what VW’s recently departed chief Director was thinking. When you have as much money as him you don’t worry about trivial issues such as global warming. What’s a deadly heatwave in India and Pakistan compared to the prospect of making more sales? He’s now resigned at least, after admitting “we totally screwed up”. Which is the right thing to do, stepping back into the shadows with all his money, letting everyone else take the fall for his actions. Now he’ll probably buy a nice little island in the Caribbean and discuss with Richard Branson on the best method to buy off the rest of the NHS. The NHS will be a cracking business in the coming years, with all the people coming in with breathing problems.

Volkswagon have assured us that this ‘issue’ is just a one-off, which is nice of them, as many people (literally) couldn’t live with big companies “screwing up” again. The only question is, what now? Should we just go on holiday to somewhere nice before it floods/becomes a desert? This isn’t the first time global companies have put money and profits before all else, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Lawrence Cwerner

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