SMMT and the UK Government: Don't mention #dieselgate
The SMMT has a new video up, claiming the EURO6 diesel is reducing pollution, and that new cars are cleaner.
What does this video ignore?
It ignores dieselgate, repeating the utterly discredited claim that EURO6 cars are better than before.
NOx Pollution in our cities is not getting any better. No doubt manufacturers will say "cities must address traffic flow" —but that's just a way of telling cities that congestion is their fault.
While it highlights the "real world" tests, it conveniently omits how the manufactures have pushed for "tolerances" on the test, so that they can keep driving cars that would otherwise fail the tests
It ignores that Paris is closing its roads to cars on alternate days, because pollution there is so bad *and their government recognising and acting on the problem*.
It highlights that "with Diesel, CO2 emissions are down", while failing to cover the consequence, "with Diesel, NOx emissions are now an unacknowledged public health crisis"
The reason for VW cheating was to save 300 Euros/car. That's all.
VW Audi Group chose to poison people across Europe and the US to save £200 per vehicle. That shows how little manufacturers value the lives of their customers and their families. Because if the claims that in-car NOx is worse than people away from the road, it's actually their own customers who are dying. If dieselgate spans more companies, car companies will have shown that same cynical willingness to kill their customers as the tobacco companies.
And what do they do? They produce videos claiming that their "low tar" cars are not poisonous, that their "filters" work, ignoring "passive diesel smoking". And they fill the press and TV with adverts implying that driving is a status symbol. This is of course, exactly like the tobacco adverts of fifty years ago.
For anyone reading a paper this weekend, look out for the car adverts,
Adverts highlighting how the new models are less polluting than the old ones
Adverts targeting women
Adverts associating cars with sports
Adverts associating SUVs with extreme outdoor activities
Adverts in front of national landmarks
Nowadays we'd look at those adverts and laugh at the naivety of the adverts and their audience, but we still expect and accept papers and magazines full of glossy adverts for products which are, en masse, killing thousands of people a year.
Accompanying the fantasies of the SMMT comes the silence from central government. Even if Cameron gave a fuck —which he doesn't— the EU negotiations would have forced him to do whatever was needed to keep Angela Merkel happy. Now that's done, is he going to suddenly roll out some emergency anti-NOx measures? Not a fucking chance. The environmental legislation that is forcing the government to act comes from Europe, its exactly the kind of "red tape from Brussels" that the Brexiters will be railing against.
Instead the SMMT, the UK government, the main London mayoral candidates are all quietly pretending Dieselgate was a minor US detail, that there is nothing to worry about.
If there's one thing which will break this calm its a pollution crisis which can't be blamed on the saharan desert or pollution from the EU. If that situation arises, pro-city activists need to be ready to draw awareness to the issue. Hold a protest outside a VW showroom, get hold of any form of mobile pollution sensor and start visibly testing cars in parliament square.
This summer: demand air fit to breathe