I was born in Honolulu in to parents who had recently emigrated from Korea for graduate studies at the university. By the time we were living there in the s, the headquarters building had become a convening spot for occasional weekend festivities for local Koreans.
Pinterest Volkswagen diesel emissions: To sell a car, they want to increase fuel economy, but they must also reduce its CO2 emissions to avoid global warming, and clean up the NO2 exhaust gases which poison people.
It is chemically nearly impossible to do it all. Improve one and you will probably make another worse.
But European governments have prioritised a reduction in climate emissions and incentivised the diesel industry with lower tax thresholds and fuel prices for cars that emit significantly less CO2. The result is that millions of people have bought diesels believing the industry and government hype that they are better for the planet than petrol cars.
But the cruellest thing the industry did was to lobby the European commission and national governments to weaken and Politics of volkswagen essay the adoption of tighter emission tests.
More stringent diesel rules, called Euro 6, were proposed eight years ago and are meant to ensure that all European cars are tested in road rather than laboratory conditions. But carmakers, backed by governments, have made sure these new tests will not come into force until at the earliest.
Every month they delay its introduction, carmakers add to thepremature deaths, and countless respiratory, cardiac and other illnesses that result from air pollution in Europe. The risks are known, and manufacturers carry on oblivious to the damage being done, determined to carry on cheating the public.
If they have their way, the new European tests will not be random, will only be conducted in urban areas — despite the high levels of pollution produced by cars on motorways — and all test cars will be driven on known routes with trained drivers to minimise pollution. Governments have turned a blind eye to the cheating that blights effective air pollution legislation.
Until Britain was dragged to the European court of justice and then the supreme court last year by a small group of environmental lawyers, it had no plan to meet legal limits of toxic NO2 gas in London until — nearly 25 years after it was first ordered to act by Europe.
Now the UK government says it plans to meet limits in London by and other cities by The VW scandal appals, but the big picture shows that European carmakers and governments have colluded over a generation to deceive and harm their populations.
Not only have they failed to reduce climate emissions, they have also guaranteed that a generation will breathe heavily polluted air. High levels of nitrogen oxides in cities will persist for decades; and because diesel cars have a life of about 16 years, when those cars get older they are likely to be exported to African and Asian cities.
Governments, too, will duck because they are complicit. But there are plenty of things they can do — such as ban all diesel vehicles from city centres and introduce Euro 6 standards immediately.
Carmakers could make amends only by focusing on electric or hydrogen vehicles which emit little more harmful than water and might thus prevent millions of illnesses. Informed about the scale of their cheating, we must force them to act.In revelations that stunned the global business community, Volkswagen was accused of illegally using “cheat devices” to “evade clean air standards” for six years.
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Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews a new.