Thursday 24 September 2015


On first hearing of the scandal over a major German automotive manufacturer falsifying emissions trials to make their fleet of diesel vehicles appear cleaner than they were, I was naturally disappointed but I thought it was little more than the third installment of a series of bidden character-assassinations of German institutions of late.
Drawing sparse attention off the Autobahn, first a German driving club, which provides roadside assistance, was discovered to have auctioned off its accolades and awards for the most roadworthy cars to the highest bidder. Next, there was the FIFA football corruption case—which struck me as another rather open-secret that although it had certainly outlived it’s tolerability probably came to light through zealotry rather than necessity—the collapse of something corrupt and rotten and distractions from more serious affairs. Some people fall on their swords with a flair for the dramatic and others simply trip. I felt the same way about this latest sensation until, courtesy of Super Punch, I learnt that the amount of greenwashing, the phantom sustainability and good-stewardship could be measured in enormous terms, equated with the gross annual contribution of whole countries to air pollution and greenhouse gases.