The Volkswagen emissions scandal has cost one man his job already – Martin Winterkorn left the Wolfsburg building yesterday where Volkswagen have their HQ but there are worries that surely many more will follow. The scale of the Volkswagen Dieselgate debacle is such, it could affect the entire German economy. Europe’s economic powerhouse employs 775,000 workers in automobile manufacture either directly or indirectly and as declining sales, fines and lawsuits start to roll like an 18-wheeler doing 120k/ph in a bicycle lane, it has been claimed that the Volkswagen fiasco presents a greater downside risk to the overall German economy than a Greek debt default would.
NOTE: Mildly Not Safe For Work cartoon below
Car Crash “Made In Germany”
The whole “Made in Germany” tag may not mean as much as it did last week but give them credit for their “magnificent” corporate speak, which is a car crash in itself.
“The Executive Committee proposes that the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG create a special committee, under whose leadership further clarifying steps will follow, including the preparation of the necessary consequences.”
A necessary conseuqence of that verbiage is this link to The Verge story that details a few more choice statements from the senior men at Volkswagen HQ. For his part, Herr Winterkorn was spotted leaving the building after the presser in a low-key fashion by a vigilant citizen journalist yesterday:
— Adam_J (@1974_aj) September 24, 2015
Dieselgate Debacle’s True Meaning
Of greater concern, of course, is that the pollution emanating from Volkswagen tailpipes actually causes respiratory harm to innocent bystanders who happen to be walking down the street, minding their own business. Not to mention the global warming effects from NOX and N2O – a greenhouse gas. Global warming and the “downside risk” that presents will make Volkswagen and Germany’s sustainability woes look like chickenfeed.
It may be that Das Fiasco is a result of European climate change politics. Unreality has crept in at every step of the way on human-kind’s climate change journey – the power of denial is exploited on many fronts for political ends, running the gamut of logical fallacies to avoid taking action against the “necessary consequences”. If one good thing can come of this, it is to focus minds on the problem of vehicular emissions, a source of ill health, ecological harm and now (and in future), economic turmoil.
Many rival companies will be laying claim to green credentials as they attempt to seize market share from their rivals. One of these is Ryanair, who never miss an opportunity for a scathing tweet. It’s all relative, of course, and one man’s low per-seat pollution average may be another continent’s fastest rising and most expansive GHG emitter in total, but, to give them credit, it is a little puntastic.
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) September 23, 2015
Also poking fun at the Volkswagen fume-breathing dragon cars is The Poke (naturally) with a nice bit of photoshopping, then a scramble to get the poster erected before the rush hour begins, saying over a picture of the Golf fleet “Drive a chimney with 4 wheels. The 2015 Volkswagen Golf. Contributes more to global warming than we led you to believe.”:
— The Poke (@ThePoke) September 24, 2015
Of course, leave it to the French to wade right in there in the most vivid way possible. Their cartoonists are the stuff of legend and they’ve never been known to hold back. It’s a little Not Safe for Work (NSFW) but in the traditions of great satire epitomised by the French press, we reproduce the tweet here for all our readers to examine, preferably after lunch.
— La Liberté (@TweetLaLiberte) September 22, 2015
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